THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN -- by Garth Stein -- is amazing. I loved it. COULD have read it straight through, cover to cover, but I took "reading breaks" day-before-yesterday, and then saved it for bedtime LAST night. Don't know if the last-chapter TEARS did me any favors before sleepy-time ;-), BUT I have to say - the book is FANTASTIC.
HERE's just a little taste -- hope you're "hungry":
“In Mongolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills so people cannot walk on his grave. The dog's master whispers into the dog's ear his wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life. Then his tail is cut off and put beneath his head, and a piece of meat or fat is placed in his mouth to sustain his soul on its journey; before he is reincarnated, the dog's soul is freed to travel the land, to run across the high desert plains for as long as it would like. I learned that from a program on the National Geographic channel, so I believe it is true. Not all dogs return as men, they say; only those who are ready. I am ready.”
Don't miss this one. It's a story, as told by the family dog (Enzo), with some adult themes and some adult language - this is NOT a book for the kids, but it IS for every adult I know.