Welcome to the end of 2023! Man that went fast, didn’t it?

Once the Christmas madness is over, you deserve to take some time for yourself and relax. Any of these books would be an excellent excuse to curl up with your best friend over the winter.

It’s an eclectic collection of books that have stuck in my brain from years gone by, are recommendations from friends and clients, and even a recent random find that will be my holiday read, as I put the camera down and take a little break! When the new year starts I want to be refreshed and ready to capture pet portraits for Niagara dogs, equines and their humans!

1. The Art of Racing in the Rain
Written by Garth Stein. An all time great storyline  that is both gut wrenching and uplifting. Told through the eyes of an aging dog named Enzo, telling the story of his life with an up and coming race car driver. I read it a number of years ago and have decided to get another copy and read it again… it was that good.
2. Waiting for Gertrude
Written by Stephen Leacock “Medal for Humour”  winning Canadian author Bill Richardson. Truly delightful, it’s set in Paris’s famed cemetery “Père-Lachaise Cemetery” the final resting place of many famous artists including Maria Callas, Jim Morrison and Proust. The twist in the story is that the feral cats in the cemetery have been inhabited by the spirits of the souls interred there. It’s  charming and fun.
3. Horse Brain, Human Brain: The Neuroscience Of Horsemanship
This book is a real eye-opener, written by brain scientist and horsewoman, Janet L. Jones. The book shines a light on how horses think, feel and perceive, and explains how to work WITH your horse’s brain instead of against it. So much to learn. I’ve got this on audio book but would love to get the hard copy  as well. This book comes highly recommended by a number of horsewomen in my world, and me!
Available at Chapters Indigo  and I spied a copy at Beamville Greenhawk too! 
4. All Creatures Great and Small
I absolutely adore the series on PBS and it got me remembering how much joy these books brought me when I was young. I voraciously read each and every one. They were surprising, funny, charming and heartwarming. The perfect gift for any person, young or old, enamoured with our four-legged friends. I highly recommend these beautiful stories, from a time gone by!
5. Sea Biscuit. An American Legend.

Lauren Hillebrand documents the story of a onetime bicycle repairman who becomes an overnight millionaire, hires as his trainer – a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains – and purchases Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price. The trainer hires as a jockey, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. I mean, what could go wrong? Or what could go right! It’s an incredible story of ups and downs to legendary.

Seabiscuit an American Legend, book cover
6. The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation

Elizabeth Letts tells the legendary story involving what could be categorized as misfits!  Against all odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, a horse rescued from a truck heading to the slaughterhouse, and a Dutch immigrant ascended to the apex of the sport of show jumping. This one was emphatically recommended to me by one of my equine portrait clients.

Available at Chapters Indigo , at Greenhawk Beamsville, as well as Amazon
The Eighty Dollar Champion book cover
7. Lily and the Octopus

My winter read is Lily and the Octopus by Stephen Rowley. I was sold by this review by the Washing Post: A national bestseller combining the emotional depth of The Art of Racing in the Rain with the magical spirit of The Life of Pi, “Lily and the Octopus is the dog book you must read this summer”. I’m looking forward to curling up with the boys by the Christmas tree and diving in over the holidays!

The Eighty Dollar Champion book cover

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the books, and please let me know some of your favourites too, I’m always looking for another good read!

Cheers and wags,