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Shorewood, Wisconsin

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Staff blog

Non-Fic Picks for August: Furry Friends

This summer, there have been a lot of new books about interacting with the animal kingdom. Maybe it's because it's summer and people just want happy feel-good books - and, based on the existence of the Internet, we know that animals make us happy. Whatever the reason for this glut in animal-based publishing, we're recommending some new non-fiction for the animal lovers out there. And, yes, there are TWO books about owls on this list.

The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar: Living with a Tawny Owl by Martin Windrow

Windrow tells a memoir of sorts here, of his 15-year relationship with his Tawny owl Mumble. He relates not only his day-to-day life with his much-loved pet but also information about Tawny Owls in general. This is a loving story, filled with photos of the author and Mumble, and some charming illustrations, too. 

Travels with Casey by Benoit Denizet-Lewis

Ever since Marley and Me, dog memoirs have really taken off. In this latest, the author takes us on a cross-country road trip with his dog. Along the way, he reflects on what dogs mean in the US, the country with the highest dog ownership in the world, and the pair also meet other dogs and their people. It's a fun, sweet and funny ride.

Elephant Company: the Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke

Ah, elephants: the cuddliest giant creature (that could totally squash you) on earth. A man named J.H. "Billy" Williams took an offer to work with logging elephants for the East India Company during World War II. Not content to sit idly by while the war was fought in Asia, Billy took his elephant companions and formed the "Elephant Company" which was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma. It's a war story with a decidedly warm and fuzzy side.

Off Leash: A Year at the Dog Park by Matthew Gilbert

Another canine-centric book, this one focusing on the distinct atmosphere one finds at a dog park. Colorful characters abound - eccentric, dog-loving, hair-covered. Author Gilbert slowly transforms into one of them as he overcomes his fear of dogs and of social situations and embraces the world of the dog park.

Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family by Melissa Hart

Part human love story, part animal love story, this one is a bit of a tear-jerker. When Hart found herself lonely, depressed and newly moved to a place full of strangers, it took a chance encounter with a similarly lost dude who volunteered at a raptor rehabilitation center to bring her back to life. Hart tells the story of not only the life they grow together that is shared in this story, but also the love she develops for an owl named Archimedes. 



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