Books

5 new books for the pet lover in you

We do love our pets. Some 70 million to 80 million dogs and 74 million to 96 million cats own people … uh, are owned by people in the United States, says the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Presumably, many of those pet-owners like to read pet-centric books, such as these new titles:

“The Secret Life of Souls” by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee (Pegasus, $25, 240 pages): Child actress Delia Cross can’t depend on her exploitative parents or brother for emotional support, but she does lean on her gifted dog, Caity, a ginger Queensland Heeler. When a “freak accident” puts the girl in mortal jeopardy, it’s up to Caity to rescue her.

“Unlikely Companions” by Laurie Hess (Da Capto, $25, 256 pages; with Samantha Rose): The exotic-pet vet takes animal lovers on a dramatic and emotional journey into her practice as she treats pythons, birds, hedgehogs, wallabies and pot-bellied pigs, and compassionately counsels their eccentric owners.

“Dogs and Their People” by the editors of BarkPost (barkpost.com). The BarkPost website is an online gathering place for canine owners to share photos and stories about themselves and their dogs. The attraction here is a fun, photo-centric look into dog owners’ lives, their anecdotes and their relationships with their best friends.

“Flying Dogs” by Julia Christie (Touchstone, $15, 128 pages): Photographer Christie got the idea for this very funny photo book from the aerial antics of her puppy, who loved to leap for Frisbees. The result is a photo album of 120 dogs in mid-air, many of them looking quite surprised. A cover note assures, “No dogs were harmed in the making of this book.”

“The Dog Ray” by Linda Coggin (Candlewick, $16, 208 pages): ’Tweens who love dogs will love this unusual tale of grief and healing (with a happy ending). When 12-year-old Daisy dies tragically, she finds herself in a “soul-reassignment center” and returns to Earth as a dog. She remembers her life as a girl, though, and embarks on a journey to find her human parents. “Heartfelt” is the right word.

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe

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