Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Seven books that prove you’re not the only weirdo

Kelly Conaboy is a writer living in Brooklyn. She was most recently a writer-at-large at New York Magazine’s The Cut. Before that she was a writer at the Hairpin, and before that Gawker, and before that Videogum. (None of those websites still exist.)

Conaboy also has a dog named Peter. They’ve written a book together. It’s called The Particulars of Peter: Dance Lessons, DNA Tests, and Other Excuses to Hang Out with My Perfect Dog.

At Electric Lit Conaboy tagged seven books that made her feel she was "not alone in an odd or seemingly 'dumb' question, or a peculiar way of thinking." One title on the list:
Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz

I believe there is no way to share your life with a dog without thinking, multiple times per day, “why is my dog doing this and, if I knew why, would I be able to use that knowledge to give him a better life, please, oh god, all I want to do is make him happy?” Alexandra Horowitz knows why and, luckily, she has written several books to enlighten us. She also gives permission, and direction, for what might seem to some like indulgence. I often like to let my dog linger on walks, stopping at every spot he might want to sniff. This can be an annoyance to anyone walking with me, or behind me, but I have always felt it was better to let him enjoy the sniffing, as it seems to be his favorite activity. Horowitz agrees. “Since I’ve begun to appreciate Pump’s smelly world I sometimes take her out just to sit and sniff,” she writes. “We have smell-walks, stopping at every landmark along our routes in which she shows an interest. She is looking; being outside is the most smelly, wonderful part of her day.” So, there you have it. At the instruction of Alexandra Horowitz, everyone else just needs to wait.
Read about another entry on the list.

Inside of a Dog is among Miriam Parker's five indisputably best dogs in (contemporary) literature and Bernard Cornwell's six best books.

The Page 99 Test: Inside of a Dog.

--Marshal Zeringue