Blame it on Marley and Dewey if you like. But wherever the cause may lie, there is no sign that the flood of "pet lit" will abate anytime soon. "You might as well ask why love stories are so popular," Grand Central associate publisher Les Pockrell tells Publishers Weekly.
In fact, the books are so pervasive this fall (and seemingly "bulletproof" even in a down market) that they are featured on this week's PW cover story, titled "Publishing's Best Friend" and beginning, "A furry friend's work is never done."
So what lies beyond Marley ("Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog" by Josh Grogan, 2005) and Dewey ("Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World" by Vicki Myron, 2008)?
According to PW, here are some of the stronger of the titles aimed at animal lovers this fall:
– "A Big Little Life," by Dean Koontz: Famous author writes about the golden retriever who changed his life.
– "Animal Magnetism: My Life with Creatures Great and Small," by Rita Mae Brown: A companion book to the Sneaky Pie Brown feline mystery series
– "Beyond the Homestretch," by Lynn Reardon: How the author found new homes for more than 700 retired racehorses.
– "Whose Sofa Is It Anyway?," by Nicole Roder: A how-to book on avoiding the pitfalls of animal training.
– "You Can Train Your Cat," by Gregory Popovich: Tips from a fourth-generation circus performer.
– "Healing Companions," by Jane Miller: About therapy dogs.
– "Red Dog Rising," by Betty McKinley: The life of a search-and-rescue bloodhound.