Last week I told you about my exciting new venture, blogging about pet travel books and movies on A Traveler’s Library. I semi-jokingly said, “Can a pet travel book club be far behind?” Several of you expressed enthusiasm.

We’re on.

Phase 1

Here’s the plan. I will tell you — at least a month in advance — which book I will be reviewing on A Traveler’s Library and on what date.

On that date, I will post two reviews. The one on A Traveler’s Library will be more, well, literary. I’ll discuss the work primarily on its merits as a book or film, one that creates a strong sense of place, character, etc. Animals will be important, of course, but in context.

The other, on this blog, will be more pet-geek oriented, catering to my typical readers. I’ll talk about how the animals were depicted, the human-animal interactions handled. You know, stuff that we pet obsessed folks tend to notice but can’t discuss in other circles without being thought slightly insane.

Those who read the book can — and I hope will — comment on both blogs.

Phase 2

It gets better.  As often as possible, I will choose books by living authors — or filmmakers, if I can find them — and invite them to participate in the conversation. If I can, I’ll record the interview and post the podcast on Animal Cafe. If that’s not feasible, I’ll send an email Q & A and post the answers here.

I’ll depend on you, dear book club members, to suggest questions you would like me to ask, whether literary, travel or pet oriented. Just try to keep it clean — though discussing poop is perfectly permissible.

The First Pet Travel Book Club Selection

There might be an earlier example of the genre but I don’t know of any pet travel book that has influenced more writers than Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. I’m reading it for the first time and am delighted by both its literary and pet geek appeal. Charley the poodle is quite a personality.

Date of Discussion: Thursday, November 10. I’ll remind you as the deadline approaches.

There’ll be no follow-up interviews this time — unless I can find an animal communicator to channel Charley — but I hope a lot of people will participate anyway.

One more thing

In case you’re wondering how my life has come to this — i.e., the split-screen division of interests — be sure to go A Traveler’s Library and read the Q & A I did with the site creator and my longtime friend, the talented Vera Marie Badertscher.  She asked me great questions that really made me think. I hope that shows in my answers.

25 thoughts on “Introducing: The Pet Travel Book Club”

  1. This is kind of a funky idea. I’ve participated in a few book clubs before but it always ended up being more about the wine than about literature. Usually I was the only geek who’d actually read the entire thing.
    It takes guts to admit this, so please be kind, but I’ve never read anything by Steinbeck before, not even The Grapes of Wrath. So I will give this my best shot!

    1. We can drink privately, while discussing the books! No one will even know what time it is. I didn’t read the Grapes of Wrath either and a lot of the other epic Steinbeck books; I think I read Of Mice and Men and The Pearl in high school. The good thing about an online book club is that no one will know if you don’t have *a lot* to say; whatever you say will be an important part of the discussion. I’ve never been in a book club at all — the equivalent of your never having read Steinbeck — so I’m a little nervous myself (will anyone show up? was this a dumb idea) but I hope it’ll be fun.

  2. Will there be wine? It’s not really a book club without wine ;0) This is a neat idea I’m a little busy right now, but in a few weeks, I hope to jump right in. I t sounds like fun!

    1. I see no reason that there shouldn’t be wine — and no one will know if you have a second or third glass ;-). I’m glad you’ll join us, whether sooner or later!

    1. I remember reading great reviews of this book when it first came out. Thanks for reminding me; I’ll definitely check it out.

  3. This is fun!! I love “Travels with Charley.” I read it a few years ago when I got my dog Mili. Yes, Charley is a black French Poodle.

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