The Accidental Reader

Interesting tale, but too longThank you, dog bloggers and emailers, for letting me be an accidental reader.

Since the book’s publication in October, one of my greatest joys has been subtler than one might think. Yes, Rebecca Skloot’s review in the New York Times was a thrill. Same for the National Geographic Weekend radio coverage.
But the coverage that in some ways has moved me most has been from talented people with small blogs or slightly obscure websites whom I didn’t know at all, and whom the publisher didn’t know either. These are often the reviews that I either stumble upon by accident. Sometimes, it’ll just be an email from someone who says, “I really loved your book, and here’s why.” I love those.
This morning, a photographer from Indiana, Mike Meadows, posted an amazing review of the book on his blog. His website is filled with great photography of dogs and people, and I learned something new just by reading his take on the book.
In November, I found Ranny Green’s review on the Seattle Kennel Club’s website. He’s the former president of the Dog Writers Association of America, a five-time recipient of the DWAA’s columnist of the year award and a six-time winner of the DWAA feature writer of the year for newspapers over 150,000 circulation. He retired from the Seattle Times in 2008.
Then there was Robert Vaughn’s mid-October blog post on the book, which he’d seen by accident in his local library. I didn’t know Robert, and there was something special about that complete lack of connection that made his post special. No advance copies from the publisher, no pleading for a possible review. Since I suffer from probably more than what is a healthy dose of fraud syndrome, Robert’s review, Ranny’s review, Mike’s review — and all of those emails and Facebook messages from strangers help provide me with an extra dose of feeling it was a worthwhile project writing the book.

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