Saturday, March 7, 2009
Our first book review!
978-1-60239-638-8 / 6” x 9” /
Skyhorse Publishing (distributed by W.W. Norton)
DOG’S EYE VIEW
Kathryn Miles is a great writer. From page one, this sets Adventures with Ari: A Puppy, a Leash, & Our Year Outdoors (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95) above the pack of everything-I-know-about-life-I-learned-from-my-dog memoirs out there. Her premise is to see her world anew through the light-blue eyes of her shelter mutt adoptee, Ari, during their daily walks. This may seem a mundane proposal, and some of the scenarios are well known (and well worn) to anyone who has welcomed a dog (especially a puppy) into their home—books are chewed, floors are soiled, dead creatures are ecstatically rolled upon, dogs reeking of death are bathed, and bathed, and bathed, the peace of other animal companions is disrupted. The twist is that Miles is a naturalist by trade, a professor of environmental writing at Unity College in Maine, or as it bills itself, “America’s Environmental College.” She is no couch potato using the tethered energy of her young dog to get outdoors for the first time; rather, she decides to take this opportunity to see her well-explored and -recorded world through the new eyes (and keen nose, and closer-to-the-ground) perspective of her pup. She refers to theirs as “caninaturalist” romps, and writes about these adventures—and how she invariably applies them to life among her two-legged friends and family members—with humor, skill and beauty, becoming herself the reader’s guide to a freshly discovered rural world. —Jessica Rae Patton, E Magazine