Library Notes: Celebrating animal stories for adult readers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 8, 2021

By Abigail Hardison
Rowan Public Library

Across the country libraries have been celebrating Summer Reading, and this year is a celebration of animal stories called “Tails and Tales.” The adult fiction collection has added some special titles this summer for readers who appreciate the amazing roles that animals play in the lives of people. Whether your reading preferences lean towards mysteries, thrillers, heartwarming or irreverent; whether you are a dog person, a cat person, or any other variety of pet person; there is a book waiting for everyone this summer at the library.

A very new arrival to the collection is “Dog Days” by Erica Waller. Weaving the stories of three characters, George, Dan and Lizzie together, Dog Days, is about strangers who each learn life lessons and find a measure of happiness through their relationships with dogs. George is a grumpy widower whose late wife has left him with a miniature dachshund puppy he does not want. Dan is a therapist whose most meaningful relationship is with his dog instead of other people. Lizzie has lived a hard life; she finds trusting anyone or anything difficult and objects to being tasked with walking another person’s dog, at least at first. This story is not just for dog people, but for anyone who enjoys stories of redemption, love and affirmation.

Next up is an edge-of-your-seat thriller by Jeffrey B. Burton. “The Finders” came out last year and is the first in a new series. The sequel, “The Keepers,” was released at the end of June. In this series, dog handler Mason Reid trains cadaver dogs, who have the bleak but important job finding the bodies of victims of crime and natural disaster. Teamed up with a determined Chicago detective, Mason and his talented golden retriever, Vira (short for Elvira), are on the hunt for a killer, and if they aren’t successful, they will become the prey themselves.

For the cat lovers out there, N.C. resident and author Melinda Metz has written a series based on the true story of a kleptomaniac cat and his amazing matchmaking skills. “Talk to the Paw,” which came out in 2018, introduced tabby cat burglar MacGyver (Mac) and his lonely human, Jamie. Mac swaps items of Jamie’s and her single neighbor David, forcing them to meet and return each other’s stolen property. Before long, they realize they have more in common than just a furry and lovable mischief-maker. When you finish the first one, pick up the sequels “The Secret Life of Mac” and “Mac On a Hot Tin Roof.”

As Summer Reading Program wraps up for the year, check out RPL’s YouTube channel and watch the Reading RoCo videos featuring animals from Dan Nicholas Park and the Rowan County Animal Shelter, along with books you can read to find out more. Check out the RPL social media channels at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 12 to catch the virtual Summer Reading Finale video and learn about the winning prizes this year. In September, RPL’s slate of fall programming begins, and you don’t want to miss it. Check rowanpubliclibrary.org in the coming weeks to see what is coming soon!

Abigail Hardison is adult services supervisor at Rowan Public Library.

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