Pet owners are legion all over California. It follows that nonfiction and fiction books featuring dogs and cats usually sell well. Consider these:
“Comet’s Tale: How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life” by Steven D. Wolf (Algonquin, $14.95, 267 pages; Oct. 9): Because of a debilitating medical condition, the author leaves his law practice and retires to Arizona. There, he connects with a rescue group that specializes in mistreated greyhounds. Wolf’s touching memoir tells how he trained Comet to be a service dog – which ultimately gives the author a new perspective on what’s important in life.
“A Street Cat Named Bob” by James Bowen (Thomas Dunne, $24.99, 288 pages): Down-and-out street musician James finds a sickly stray cat he names Bob, whom he “nurses back to health” and then lets go. But Bob returns, and brings with him a certain bit of magic that helps James turn his life around. This nonfiction title was a mega-hit throughout Europe.
“The Secrets of Lost Cats” by Nancy Davidson (St. Martin’s, $24.99, 272 pages): When her cat disappeared, the therapist-counselor put up lost-cat posters and had a happy ending. Which led to her seven-year passion for connecting with the owners of lost pets who also put up posters. Her agenda was “to offer empathy and support.” Also, the pet owners told great stories.
“Unleashed” by David Rosenfelt (Andy Carpenter, $25.99, 320 pages): Entry No. 11 in the Andy Carpenter “man’s best friend” mystery series finds the lawyer-sleuth tracking the killer of his friend, aided by the lost dog that saved his life.
From the heavy-hitters
A few heavy-hitters have recently published books – again:
“Light of the World” by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster, $27.99, 560 pages): The Edgar Award-winning novelist returns with his 20th adventure of Louisiana police detective Dave Robicheaux; his uncontrollable ex-partner, Clete; and their two adult daughters. This time, the guys are vacationing in Montana when a vicious serial killer escapes prison and starts a bloody spree that can end only in more violence. The audiobook version ($49.99) is very effectively read by actor Will Patton. Burke’s stories have transcended the mystery-thriller genre to become literature.
“Rose Harbor in Bloom” by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine, $26, 336 pages): The queen of women’s fiction (160 million books in print worldwide) offers the second in her new series, set at the Rose Harbor Inn in the fictional harbor town of Cedar Cove. “The focus of the stories will revolve around (widowed innkeeper) Jo Marie Rose and the guests who come to stay there,” Macomber said on the phone. The drama focuses on a new rose garden, a 50th wedding anniversary and an illness.
“After Her” by Joyce Maynard (William Morrow, $25.99, 320 pages): Two young sisters scheme to catch a serial killer. Thirty years later, they fear he is alive and coming for them.
“Let Me Go” by Chelsea Cain (Minotaur, $25.99, 368 pages): Five titles ago, Cain introduced serial torturer-murderer Gretchen Lowell; Archie Sheridan, the detective who brought her down; and punk newspaper reporter Susan Ward. Lowell is on the loose again, and things get more diabolical than ever.
Book and author notes• Listen, read and sip at the eighth annual Wine for Words, featuring Kevin Smokler, author of “Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven’t Touched Since High School.” Gather at 4 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Placerville Library, 345 Fair Lane; (530) 621-5540, www.eldoradolibrary.org. Tickets to the fundraiser are at the library and at Face in a Book bookstore in El Dorado Hills Town Center (916-941-9401).
• Coy Cross of Citrus Heights became his wife’s caretaker on the long and trying journey after she was diagnosed with cancer. In “The Dhance:A Caregiver’s Search for Meaning” (Koho Pono Press, $19.49), he shares the lessons he learned and offers counsel to others. Meet him at 1 p.m. Saturdayat the North Highlands/Antelope Library, 4325 Antelope Road, Sacramento.
• British sci-fi/fantasy author-graphic novelist Neil Gaiman will tell another good tale in his upcoming videogame, “Wayward Manor,” to be available this fall. “It’s lighthearted and goofy,” Gaiman has said.
It’s about the ghost of a man living in a spooky old house in New England, who wants nothing more than to be left in peace. As more intruders come ghost-hunting, the more the ghost learns about the details of how he became a ghost in the first place.