Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Thirteen titles about the joy in a life filled with non-human creatures

E.B. Bartels is a nonfiction writer, a former Newtonville Books bookseller, and a GrubStreet instructor, with a BA from Wellesley College and an MFA from Columbia University.

Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter, Bartels’s debut narrative nonfiction book about the world of loving and losing animals, exploring the singular nature of our bonds with our companion animals, and how best to grieve for them once they’ve passed away, is out now from Mariner Books.

Bartels lives outside Boston with her husband, Richie, and their many, many pets: a red-footed tortoise (Terrence), a chihuahua-pitbull mix (Seymour), a small flock of pigeons (Bert, Lieutenant Dan, and Murray), and fifteen African cichlids (all named Milton).

At Lit Hub she tagged thirteen books about the joy that comes with a life filled with non-human creatures, including:
Woodrow on the Bench: Life Lessons from a Wise Old Dog by Jenna Blum

Blum’s memoir recounts the last year of her dog Woodrow’s life as she comes to accept that it is the end. Though a lot of Blum’s book deals with the difficult choices that one has to make around a pet’s end-of-life-care, what stands out the most in her book is all the joyful moments that make up her final months with Woodrow. Friends, family, neighbors, exes and current partners, the doorman at the hotel down the street, and even bookstore employees rallied together to give Woodrow the best last year he could possibly have––trips to the beach, the finest of snacks, and just hours enjoying time sitting on Woodrow’s bench across the street from Blum’s apartment. Animals find joy in the simplest of things, and they remind us to do that too.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue