So you’ve found yourself on the couch with plenty of time on your hands. You’ve streamed all the good stuff on Netflix and played as much Angry Birds as your thumbs can handle. What’s next? Why not crack open a book (or download one to your e-reader)?
From literary classics to modern day DIYs, these tomes take a novel approach (see what we did there?) to your favorite topic: pets.
“How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You”
Y’know what the world needs right now (besides about a billion more rolls of toilet paper)? Jokes! Cat jokes, specifically. And few authors have better cat jokes than cartoonist Matthew Inman, whose website The Oatmeal is basically the funniest place on the internet. “How to Tell if Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You” combines his greatest hits with 15 new comics created exclusively for the book. Snuggle up with your favorite feline and dive into its pages—just remember to watch out for sneak attacks.
“Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon”
If you’re a pit bull parent, you already know the unfair stereotypes that some people attach to your pup. But how did these sweet creatures get such a bad rap? In “Pit Bull,” author Bronwen Dickey digs into the history of the breed, tracking pit bulls’ importance everywhere from the battle of Gettysburg to 20th-century Hollywood. This book gets to the heart of the controversy over pit bulls—so after reading, you’ll be prepared to set the next misinformed person straight.
“Call of the Wild”
There’s no time like the present to brush up on the classics. “Call of the Wild” is the original American adventure story, following Buck, a dog who’s kidnapped from his California home and transported to Alaska to pull sleds during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s. It’s a timeless tale, but last month’s release of the movie based on this book, starring Harrison Ford, has brought it back into the current pop culture conversation.
“Animals: A Mindful Coloring Book”
Maybe you just need to turn off your brain for a little while. Maybe you need to light up the parts of your brain that are too often overridden by life’s stressors. “Animals: A Mindful Coloring Book” lets you stretch your creative muscles, with 35 illustrations for you to decorate as you see fit. Each animal design incorporates swirls and patterns inspired by Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as a bit of information about each creature and its habitat. Coloring in these pages will change your focus, ease your tension, and spark your creativity.
“Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat”
OK, look: Desperate times call for desperate measures. And when you’re spending long stretches at home with your favorite furry friend, sometimes things get … creative. Unorthodox. A little weird, maybe—but also super adorable! Just check out the cute cat-motif coin purses! Or the mittens and gloves! And did you also know you can make tote bags, picture frames, and even your cat’s own toys out of their hair? Look, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Honestly, if upcycling your cat’s hair is the weirdest thing you get up to during social distancing, you’re more normal than most of us.
We've found plenty of excellent reads at Chewy, but if you're looking for more to add to your to-be-read list, check out these titles:
“The Problem With Pugs”
Central Park Books
Looking for a light, funny book to lift your spirits? “The Problem With Pugs,” the first novel in author A.G. Henley’s “Love & Pets Romantic Comedy Series,” is extremely your jam. The story follows Amanda, whose ex-boyfriend left her with his aggressive pug named Doug, as she tries to reenter the dating scene. After Doug sends a potential paramour to the hospital, Amanda enlists the help of her handsome veterinarian, Travis, and … well, you can guess where this is going. The good news: If you love this book, there are three more installments in the series to devour: “The Trouble With Tabbies,” “The Downside of Dachshunds,” and “The Lessons of Labradors.”
“Three Bags Full”
If there was ever a time to ease into a cozy mystery, this is it. And there’s no mystery cozier than one populated by fluffy farm animals. That’s right: the sheep are the main characters in this whodunnit by Leonie Swann, which starts when their shepherd, George, is found felled by a spade in his own pasture. Before his untimely demise, George spent his nights reading to the sheep, giving them the heightened intelligence and insight they need to determine which of the village locals is to blame. It’s a quirky premise, sure, but one that leads to a delightful, unexpected story.
“Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback”
Bernice Ende is a true badass. She’s earned her nickname, Lady Long Rider, by criss-crossing the country on horseback, with single-stretch rides up to 8,000 miles. She’s the first person to travel across the country and back again on horseback. “Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback” brings readers along on her journey, expanding her physical and mental limits, coping with solitude, and reimagining her sense of self. Hey, if you can’t travel at the moment, you may as well live vicariously.
“The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances”
Sometimes you tame your dog. Sometimes it’s the other way around. For Evie, the main character in this novel by Ellen Cooney, it’s a little bit of both. Evie takes a job at a sanctuary for rescued dogs, though she knows nothing about caring for canines. Like the pups in her care, she too has a troubled past. And together, they overcome past trauma to let the love and kindness of the present heal their wounds. We hope you stocked up on tissues.
“Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine”
Your beloved pup would do anything for you. And with the right training, that just might include saving your life. Welcome to the world of highly skilled MDs (that stands for Medical Dogs, of course), where four-legged friends can help detect cancer, predict seizures and soothe people with autism. Author Maria Goodavage explains the many ways dogs help people stay happy and healthy—and the newest ways they’re being trained to help us live our best lives. As if you needed more proof that we don’t deserve dogs.
Dutton/Penguin Books USA