31. Herman Koch – The Dinner

11698583_10204678397186438_1499409569681829790_n So, I started this post last week but then got distracted and never got around to posting it! Sorry!

Last Saturday was my dog Keebler’s fifth birthday! And I am a crazy dog lady, so yeah I got him a creemee (in Vermont that’s what we call soft serve ice cream) and put candles in it. He even had a cute birthday hat. 🙂 I know it’s a pretty bad picture, but it’s the best I could do.

Anyway, I finished my newest book a couple of days ago and just haven’t had time to post about it. It was The Dinner by Herman Koch.

I first heard of this book when a girl I follow on Instagram posted a picture of it. She said it was a good book, so I looked it up and read a description. It seemed interesting so I put it on my to-read list.

Herman Koch - The Dinner (photo taken by me)
Herman Koch – The Dinner (photo taken by me)

The story mostly takes place in one night, with lots of flashbacks and a look to the future at the end. The story is told from the point of view of a man named Paul, who, along with his wife, is joining his brother Serge and his wife to dinner. Serge is a politician and is likely to be voted the next Prime Minister (the book takes place in Holland).

Throughout the book, you realize that the two couples have come together to discuss a crime that their teenage sons committed together. Naturally, there are a few different opinions on what should be done.

I thought this book was really interesting. It had short chapters (my favorite!) and I could barely put it down. I’ve also been recommending it to everyone. At first, I was a little weary of reading it, because I’ve been reading a lot of suspense novels lately, but The Dinner is totally different.

The narrator has a great voice and I really enjoyed this book

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19. Martin Kihn – Bad Dog (A Love Story)

So, good news! Tomorrow I have no classes and I’m going home for the weekend because Sunday is my 21st birthday! Yay!

I finished this book the other day (and I’m almost finished another one before I’ve even gotten around to writing this!), Bad Dog (A Love Story) by Martin Kihn. I was drawn to this book by the picture of a Bernese Mountain Dog on the cover as an avid puppy lover. The last book I read about dogs was Inside of a Dog, so I was looking forward to reading more of a story about dogs instead of an analysis.

Martin Kihn - Bad Dog (A Love Story) [photo taken by me]
Martin Kihn – Bad Dog (A Love Story) [photo taken by me]
The book is a memoir from Martin Kihn about his life with his Bernese mountain dog, Hola. Kihn and his wife got Hola as a puppy when Kihn was an alcoholic – his wife thought the dog would keep her company. Since Kihn was unmotivated to train Hola, she was very poorly behaved and even started attacking Kihn’s wife.

After one particularly bad day with the dog, Kihn’s wife left to get some time to herself in their vacation home. This inspired Kihn to sober up and train Hola to be a good dog so that his wife would come back home to them.

At the start, Hola seemed untrainable, but Kihn persisted and the book leads up to Hola taking the Canine Good Citizen test. Throughout the book, Kihn explains this whole process and what exactly the Canine Good Citizen test is, as well as Hola’s progress.

I have mixed feelings about this book. For the first chunk of the book, I wasn’t in to it. It was kind of boring and I didn’t really have the urge to keep reading, although I stuck with it, and ultimately I was glad I did.

The ending of the book is really, really sweet, and after reading it, you really feel connected to Hola. I was definitely left with a heartwarming feeling when I finished this book.

If you start to read this book and aren’t hooked immediately, I think it’s certainly worth sticking with until the end. I think people who like dogs will especially like this book.

11. Alexandra Horowitz – Inside of a Dog

I just finished my latest book, Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. I saw this book at Barnes & Noble and, being the dog lover that I am, picked it up. I chose to read it these past few weeks to shake up my genres a bit because I still feel like I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs lately.

Before I started this book, I looked up reviews on it, which is not something I usually do. I think I was curious because this book is different from anything I’d normally read, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it.

Alexandra Horowitz - Inside of a Dog (photo taken by me)
Alexandra Horowitz – Inside of a Dog (photo taken by me)

The book explains “what dogs see, smell, and know,” as told by Horowitz, a cognitive scientist. Basically, Horowitz was interested in the behavior of dogs and spent years studying and analyzing their behaviors in order to write this book. The book gives you a better understanding of why dogs act the way they do and what they can actually understand.

The reviews I read of this book were not all that positive – a lot of people said they felt that the book didn’t really have a point and left them wanting a better understanding still.

I completely disagree with those reviews. I really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot of interesting facts about dogs through this book, was able to relate to it since I have a dog at home, and even though it may not answer all questions I have about dogs, it still gave me a much better understanding of them. Horowitz also points out in the book that not all dog behaviors have an explanation, so it makes sense that she can’t answer everyone’s questions.

I thought the book was really interesting and it taught me a lot. Horowitz uses examples of her dog, Pumpernickel, to introduce her findings, which I thought was a really nice touch. The book also has a really nice ending that helps the reader to admire their own dog in a new way.

I think this book would be great for any dog lovers, especially people who have their own dogs, because then while you’re reading it you can connect it to your dog and learn a lot more about them.

I really love dogs in general, which I think made me biased in terms of liking this book, but I’d love to hear about your dogs in the comments! 🙂