Tails & Tales Summer Reading List

Moby Dick
Herman Melville
A classic of the sea, telling of the pursuit of Moby Dick, the white whale who defied capture. October 18th, 2001, marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of the greatest novel in American literature.
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Seabiscuit: An American Legend
Laura Hillenbrand
Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail.
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The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein
Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher's soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three year custody battle between daughter Zoe's maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver.
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The Guardian
Nicholas Sparks
Julie Barenson's young husband left her two unexpected gifts before he died - a Great Dane puppy named Singer and the promise that he would always be watching over her.
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Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen
Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope.
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We Bought a Zoo
Benjamin Mee
The amazing true story of a young family, a broken down zoo, and the 200 wild animals that changed their lives forever.
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Call of the Wild
Jack London
The novel's central character is a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in California as the story opens. Stolen from his home and sold into the brutal existence of an Alaskan sled dog, he reverts to atavistic traits.
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Peter Benchley
Benchley's novel, while better known as the source material for Steven Spielberg's classic movie, has earned its own stripes as a small gem of suspense fiction.
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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
David Wroblewski
A tale reminiscent of "Hamlet" that also celebrates the alliance between humans and dogs follows speech-disabled Wisconsin youth Edgar, who bonds with three yearling canines and struggles to prove that his sinister uncle is responsible for his father's death.
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Black Beauty
Anna Sewell
A horse in nineteenth-century England recounts his experiences with both good and bad masters.
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Charlotte's Web
E.B. White
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend.
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Black Maestro
Joe Drape
New York Times writer Drape illuminates a little-known figure in the history of American sports: Jimmy Winkfield, the last black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby.
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Stephen King
The story of the middle-class Trenton family and rural Camber clan in Castle Rock, Maine. Their domestic problems are dwarfed by mortal danger when Donna and her four-year-old son Tad are terrorized by a rabid St. Bernard named Cujo.
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Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog
Joe Grogan
Labrador retrievers are generally considered even-tempered, calm and reliable-and then there's Marley, the subject of this delightful tribute to one Lab who doesn't fit the mold.
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A Dog’s Life: the Autobiography of a Stray
Ann M. Martin
Squirrel, a stray puppy, tells her life story, from her nurturing mother and brother to making her own way in the world, facing busy highways, changing seasons, and humans both gentle and brutal.
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Animals Make us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals
Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson
Drawing on the latest research and her own work, Grandin identifies the core emotional needs of animals and explains how to fulfill them for dogs and cats, horses, farm animals, and zoo animals.
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Babe: The Gallant Pig
Written by Dick King-Smith
Iillustrated by Mary Rayner
The fast-paced story of an extraordinary pig that wants to be a sheepherder.
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Dean R. Koontz
Koontz taps into one of literature's oldest themes, the monster versus the innocents. Here the monster is a very sick man, and the innocents are an autistic boy, his mother, and a gifted dog.
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H is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald
An award-winning best-seller from the UK recounts how the author, an experienced falconer grieving the sudden death of her father, endeavored to train for the first time a dangerous goshawk predator as part of her personal recovery.
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Who Rescued Who
Victoria Schade
A delightful romp through the English countryside, Schade's second novel is resplendent with sheep, dogs, cats, and lovely people.
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The Bear
Andrew Krivak
With artistry and grace, National Book Award--finalist Krivak offers a story of endurance and a return to life with nature in a postapocalyptic world, where an unnamed father and daughter are the only remaining humans on earth.
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An Incantation of Cats
Clea Simon
With the help of her three cats, known as familiars in the Wiccan world, Becca sets out to discover who's trying to kill her client Gaia Linquist, a clerk at the Wiccan boutique in Cambridge, Mass.
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The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd
Honey-sweet but never cloying, this debut by nonfiction author Kidd features a hive's worth of appealing female characters, an offbeat plot and a lovely style.
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David Rosenfelt
Defense lawyer and dog rescuer, Andy Carpenter gets a call about 61 dogs found in a tractor trailer parked at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway.
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Pet Sematary
Stephen King
Dr. Louis Creed, who, after relocating with his wife Rachel and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family's new home.
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The Glass Menagerie
Tennessee Williams
In this intensely autobiographical play, Williams dramatizes the story of Amanda, who dreams of restoring her lost past by finding a gentleman caller for her crippled daughter, and of Amanda's son Tom, who longs to escape from the responsibility of supporting his mother and sister.
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Animal Farm
George Orwell
All animals are equals but some animals are more equal than others.
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
When the young Alice follows a waistcoat-wearing rabbit holding a pocket watch, she finds herself in a fantastical world of talking mice, disappearing cats, hookah-smoking caterpillars, fish-headed footmen, and babies who turn into pigs.
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The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka
A man wakes up to find he has turned into an insect. But the claustrophobic, dirty room and the increasingly distressed narrator soon turn this into a tale of slow horror.
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All Creatures Great and Small
James Heriot
The stories of a young veterinarian making his way in the rugged English countryside?and of the people and animals he met along the way.
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A Dog's Promise
W. Bruce Cameron
The dog who thinks of himself as 'Bailey' knows one thing for sure: all dogs go to heaven after they have fulfilled their purpose on earth.
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River Love
Tricia Frey (local Traverse City author)
A compelling memoir about a dog named Sheldon and his remarkable journey to his true home.
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William H. Armstrong
Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and through his relationship with his devoted dog Sounder.
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Life of Pi
Yann Martel
The peripatetic Pi (n the much-taunted Piscine) Patel spends a beguiling boyhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper.
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Tarzen of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
John Clayton is born in the coastal jungles of equatorial Africa to a marooned couple from England, John and Alice Clayton, the Lord and Lady of Greystoke. But after his parents die, the infant Clayton is adopted by she-ape Kala.
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Perestroika in Paris
Jane Smiley
Paras, as the horse is known, wanders out of her stable and finds herself in Paris's Place du Trocadéro, where she meets Frida, a shorthaired German pointer who understands money and uses it to buy food for Paras and herself.
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Maus: A Survivor's Tale
Art Spiegelman
The author-illustrator traces his father's imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp through a series of disarming and unusual cartoons arranged to tell the story as a novel.
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The Ten Trusts: What we Must do to Care for the Animals we Love
Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff
Goodall and Bekoff, a biology professor at the Univ. of Colorado, offer a prescriptive conservation plan designed to protect animals as well as help educate people about the importance of saving both animals and the environment.
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Midwestern Birds: Backyard Guide
Bill Thompson III
A guide to watching, feeding, landscaping, and nurturing birds in the midwest.
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The Big Year: a Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession
Mark Obmascik
Hoping to be the one to spot the most species during the course of the year, each birder spends 365 days racing around the continental U.S. and Canada compiling lists of birds, all for the glory of being recognized by the American Birding Association as the Big Year birding champion of North America.
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The Whale: A Love Story
Mark Beauregard
In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville met Nathaniel Hawthorne at a Massachusetts picnic, and the lives of both men were changed forever.
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Ahab's wife, or, The Star-Gazer
Sena Jeter Naslund
"Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last" reads the first line of this fascinating sage. Follow Una's rich life inspired by Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
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