At once encyclopedic and intimate—a tour de force in canine appreciation.



An engaging, comprehensive study of man’s best friend.

In 2008, Kerasote told the tale of his relationship with his beloved Merle (Merle’s Door, 2008, etc.), the stray dog who basically walked out of the desert and became the author’s stalwart companion. After Merle succumbed to a brain tumor, Kerasote mourned his loss by investigating the factors that influence a dog’s longevity, undertaking a quest to find and raise the healthiest pup possible. “Why has nature decreed that our friendly dogs are already ancient in their teens,” asks the author, “while giving the unhuggable tortoise more than a century of life and some whales two hundred years to swim through the polar seas?” Kerasote attempts to answer that question, combining his close personal observations of canine behavior and health with extensive veterinary input and field research. With his trademark attention to detail and masterful descriptive abilities, Kerasote delves into the crucial factors affecting a dog’s life—breeding, diet, environment, spaying and neutering, living conditions—as he chronicles his hunt for and acquisition of Pukka (pronounced PUCK-ah and Hindi for “first-class”), the good-natured golden Labrador retriever puppy born in Minnesota, whom the author took back home to live with him in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Kerasote covers every aspect of young Pukka’s life, from the genetics and character of his parents, to the car restraints fashioned for their road trip home, to the best food to feed him. Kerasote also graphically probes issues in the U.S. animal shelter system, noting that in a country with upwards of 60 million dogs, 3.4 million dogs and cats are euthanized annually, a vast number compared to Europe and other developed nations. The book is packed with considered, sometimes controversial, reflections alongside accompanying illustrations and helpful notes.

At once encyclopedic and intimate—a tour de force in canine appreciation.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-23626-1

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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