Friday, October 23, 2009

Literary Animals

I've been working at Troubadour for four years, come December, and I've never lost the thrill of opening a new carton of books. So it's been a fun week, with holiday orders coming in, trying to figure out how to show off all of these books that caught our attention at the fall show.

Animals are everywhere, from fiction to non-fiction, children to adults. I've got big puppy eyes staring at me from book covers and calendars. Everyone seems to want to get inside the animals' heads. The narrator of The Art of Racing in the Rain is Enzo, a lab mix - he thinks he must have some terrier, too, since terriers are problem solvers, unlike sheep dogs, who don't think outside the box. Also on offer are The Hidden Life of Deer and The Hearts of Horses.

My money is on Temple Grandin to do the best inside job. "Autism made school and social life hard, but it made animals easy," she says. If we want to make our pets or livestock as happy as possible, we have to recognize that they have the same core emotion systems that we do. Then we can figure out how to maximize positive emotions and minimize the negative. I'm hoping the cat chapter will help me figure out what the heck our cat wants, since she often seems to be demanding something...loudly.


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