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    Discovering a new author

    I’ve just completed a book called, “A Dog Year,” by Jon Katz. I recently heard about this author from reading another book called “Marley and Me,” by John Grogan, which I’ve already written about.

    “A Dog Year” chronicles the lives of two dogs, Julius and Stanley, and later, two other dogs named Devon and Homer. I can’t say too much about the book without ruining it for you, should you decide to read it. But what I can say is that it is totally enjoyable to read for any animal lover, or even if you’re not one.

    The book talks in pretty good detail not only about the dogs, but about the author as well. I really got a sense of the whole environment that Katz described.  The whole book takes place in New Jersey and an upstate New York cabin.

    I definitely have changed my reading interests lately. If you recall, I was most recently on a Jodi Picoult kick, and I still recommend her highly as an author. I’m finding it harder and harder to get time to read as the warmer temperatures are upon us.

    At the end of Katz’s book is a page dedicated to how to contact the author. I took this seriously and E-mailed him right away. To my utter amazement I received a prompt reply from him very kindly offering to have his publisher send me galleys of his new book for me to review in an upcoming column. (For those of you who don’t know, galleys are printers’ proofs of a book before it goes into publication.)

    Katz seemed genuinely pleased I was interested in his books. I’ve since gone on to read “Running to the Mountain” which is a book of self-discovery for Katz and I also read “The Dogs of Bedlam Farm” which is a book about Katz’ farm experience with sheep, goats and donkeys.  I’ve just begun “The New Work of Dogs” sub-titled “Tending to life, love and family,” also by Katz. When I start reading an author I like I tend to read everything I can find by that author.

    As my reading tastes seem to widen, I’ve had Herman go to Amazon.com to purchase some books for me, but I need to seriously start going back to the library before people think I am buying stock in Amazon. That and the budget crunch is a definite reminder.

    So do try these books if you feel so inclined. I’ve gotten endless enjoyment from them.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com