Despite the fact that it is narrated by a dog, this one's for everyone, including non-dog types. Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain isn't new, but it's your must-read for the summer if you haven't yet treated yourself.
It's the story of Denny and his companion Enzo, a dog of indeterminate breed confounded by his lack of opposable thumbs. Enzo is convinced (thanks to a special he happened to catch on TV one day) that when dogs die, those who are ready return to life as a human. But only dogs who are ready. Enzo takes this quite seriously and spends his days observing, preparing and absorbing as much as he can. We're treated to his thoughts on people in general, to his concerns about not measuring up once he's human, and his fears that maybe being a human isn't all that great. (After all, they can't just live in the moment and they'll never understand the joy of finding an old cracker under the couch.) Denny marries, has a child and endures a number of human trials, and Enzo never fails him--reminding us of why we love our dogs.
This is not Marley and Me, where you finish the book and cry for 90 minutes as you think about every dog you've ever said goodbye to. Nor is it War and Peace. But you'll experience every possible emotion and you may never look at your dog the same way again as you try to determine just what they're thinking.
Even a curmudgeon could love this book.