Summer is a time for slowing down and enjoying staycations, trips to the beach, and an overflowing picnic basket of literary choices. Here are 8 books —  featured in America's Top Dog Model Paw Prints Magazine "Top Reads" column— that we recommend to kick off the reading season. For those who are unable to travel this season, nothing beats the simple pleasure of a great book with a cold drink on a hot summer day! 

Pets and the City: True Tales of a Manhattan House Call Veterinarian, New York City’s premier “house call veterinarian” takes you into the exclusive penthouses and four-star hotel rooms of the wealthiest New Yorkers. In Pets and the City, Dr. Amy shares all the shocking, heartbreaking, and life-affirming experiences she’s faced throughout her thirty-year career treating the cats and dogs of New Yorkers from Park Avenue to the projects. Some of her stories are about celebs, others are about remarkable animals. Every tale in this rollicking, informative, and fun memoir affirms a key truth about animal, and human, nature: Our pets love us because their hearts are pure; we love them because they’re adorable. In short: Our pets make us better people.

Now, more than ever, we are conscious of where our food comes from. We want to support farmers and ranchers who do things right and care deeply about the well-being of their animals. In line with this holistic approach, Dr. Robin Ganzert, CEO of American Humane--America's first national humane organization-- has compiled delicious recipes featuring ingredients that are compassionately produced by farmers, ranchers, and other organizations that are American Humane Certified(TM). The recipes are constructed around the seasons-- summer, fall, winter, and spring--so that whether you are simmering a stew on a cold night or grilling out under balmy skies, you can set a humane table year-round. Compassion and love are the ingredients for a humane table--a setting where American Humane's shared values of treating animals with kindness, respect, and dignity are truly celebrated. If you're a home chef who supports these same principles, The Humane Table is for you.



On the heels of the bestselling Bucket List comes a new entry into the series focused on family-friendly trips, getaways, escapes, and adventures that go beyond the tried and true. With options for exciting trips and anything but ordinary journeys, the vast choice of experiences showcased in this volume is curated to appeal to all types of families and people of all ages: from visiting a “hobbit roundhouse” in Cornwall, England or shopping the docks for lobster in Portland, Maine to birdspotting along the Panama Canal or partaking of hundreds of activities at the Florida State Fair. Organized geographically, the book’s entries feature a wide array of things to do spanning numerous interests and activity levels sure to appeal to all ages. Author Nana Luckham and Kath Stathers. Rizzoli New York. 

The world’s best hikes and walks in one volume with breathtaking photography, detailed terrain and route guides, maps, and expert descriptions—whether you need to unplug for an afternoon or get away for longer. This carefully selected collection of 200 routes designed to appeal to perambulatory enthusiasts of all stripes. From vigorous hikes around Lake Tahoe to enjoying the charms of England’s Thames Valley, there is something for everyone. Sample entries include New England’s Franconia Ridge Loop, Washington’s Mount Rainier Trail, the pilgrimage route of Saint Francis in Italy, and Mont Blanc, where France, Italy, and Switzerland meet. Author Stuart Butler and Mary Caperton Morton. Rizzoli New York.

Bestselling author Jen Ruiz takes readers on a trip around the globe in 12 Trips in 12 Months, defying societal expectations of what a woman is supposed to be--and empowering others to do the same. The year before her thirtieth birthday, Jen Ruiz decided to change everything. Despite being professionally accomplished and contributing to the world as an attorney at a nonprofit, she had yet to achieve the most important goal, according to society: becoming a wife and mother. Tired of dating apps and sitting in an office, Jen embarked on an epic challenge. Over the course of the year, she descended into a volcano in Iceland, volunteered at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, called in sick to fly in a hot air balloon, and went scuba diving at an underwater museum in Mexico. In a moving and inspiring story, Jen invites readers along through the year wherein she decided to stop waiting for others and start living for herself.

This cutting-edge science narrative, chock-full of heartwarming case studies, is one woman’s quest to learn the true meaning of dog intelligence. This delightful narrative takes readers on a powerful search to unlock the secrets of dog cognition, based on evidence from trainers, owners, behaviorists, and the animals themselves. With in-depth reporting and more than a few personal adventures, bestselling author Jennifer S. Holland digs into what intelligence really means. Readers will meet a pack of genius dogs embodying all types of smarts. National Geographic.

Dog parents only want the best for their fur babies. With Teach Your Dog to Read, you can train your dog to recognize up to 20 different words and commands (yes, really!). These spiral-bound flash cards have a simple word or short phrase on one side for your dog to read and a hilarious sketch just for you on the other. Using this book is no different than training your dog to sit. It’s a matter of showing them the word, saying it, and then sealing the deal with a treat. Action-oriented words or commands like walk, down, and treat will pair nicely with your dog’s typical training, or you can use the book to train your dog and teach them to read simultaneously. Maybe next time you sit down to read with the family, your best friend can join in the fun! Susan Holt-Simpson (Author), Bernardo França (illustrator); Familius Publishing.

BEN & SCOUT is inspired by author Denise Minnerly’s dogs and their enduring love for one another. It’s so painful to lose a pet we cherish and books that discuss these topics can become part of the healing process. Ben and Scout are the best rescue dog friends ever. They spend their day together going on great dog adventures, always side by side. When Ben passes away, Scout doesn’t understand. Where is his best friend? Scout soon realizes they have a special bond that can never be broken. When Scout has difficulty eating after Ben’s passing and his hair falls out in clumps, a miraculous event occurs. Scout’s hair begins to grow back and it’s the same color as Ben’s coat. This book is serving an animal rescue project, Pilots to the Rescue. Forty percent of the total book sales will be donated to helping rescues find their forever home. Monarch Educational Services, LLC.