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Following Atticus : forty-eight high peaks, one little dog, and an extraordinary friendship
2011
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Relates how the author and his dog named Atticus M. Finch attempted to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire's four-thousand-foot peaks twice to pay tribute to a friend who died of cancer and raise money for charity. - (Baker & Taylor)

In this inspirational tale filled with adventure, friendship and family, the author relates how he and his little dog named Atticus M. Finch attempted to climb all 48 of New Hampshire's 4,000-foot peaks twice to pay tribute to a friend who died of cancer and raise money for charity. 100,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

After a close friend died of cancer, middle-aged, overweight, acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan decided to pay tribute to her in a most unorthodox manner. Ryan and his friend, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch, would attempt to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire&;s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. It was an adventure of a lifetime, leading them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. At the heart of the amazing journey was the extraordinary relationship they shared, one that blurred the line between man and dog.

Following Atticus is an unforgettable true saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family, as one remarkable animal opens the eyes and heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman to the world&;s beauty and its possibilities.

- (HARPERCOLL)

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New York Times Bestseller

Following Atticus is the remarkable true story of a man and a dog embarking on the challenge of a lifetime. This is author Tom Ryan&;s inspiring tale of how he and his miniature schnauzer companion, the &;Little Buddha&; Atticus M. Finch, attempted to scale all forty-eight of New Hampshire&;s four thousand foot White Mountains twice in the dead of winter. It is a story of love, loss, and the resilience of the human and animal spirit that&;s as thrilling as Into Thin Air and featuring the most endearing and unforgettable canine protagonist since Marley and Me.

- (HARPERCOLL)

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BookPage Reviews

The divine canine

They’re so much more than man’s best friend. These days, dogs occupy privileged places in our hearts and homes, improving us as humans and making our lives more purposeful. As the books here show, the love of a good canine can cure almost any ailment. 

DIARY OF A DOG LOVER
When Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, adopted a golden retriever puppy named Scout, she blogged about her canine-related experiences on the paper’s website. Her posts proved surprisingly popular, prompting responses from readers around the country. We’ve got good news for Abramson’s followers: Her beloved blog has inspired a full-blown book, The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout

In this wonderfully engaging narrative, Abramson documents the ups and downs of Scout’s first year. It’s a time of adjustment, as Abramson and her husband, Henry, struggle with a bad case of the empty nest blues made worse by the loss of their previous dog. Scout fills these voids, and then some, but she comes with a catch—a boisterous nature that suits Abramson’s country house in Connecticut but poses problems in her New York City loft. Exasperated by the challenges of raising a dog in an urban setting and by Scout’s bad habits (you name it, this puppy’s done it: chewing shoes, barking at mealtimes, relieving herself indoors), Abramson turns to behaviorists for help. The story of how she molds Scout into a compliant, city-dwelling creature will give hope to anyone who owns a problematic pooch. Along with humorous anecdotes and can’t-be-beat memories, Abramson offers sound counsel on breeding, adoption and diet, making this an invaluable guidebook as well as a sweet valentine to a lovable canine.

INTO THE WILD
As the man behind the Newbury, Massachusetts, newspaper The Undertoad, Tom Ryan played the role of roving reporter for a decade. In 2007, ready for a change, he sold the publication and relocated to the White Mountains of New Hampshire with his miniature schnauzer pal, Atticus M. Finch. The move opened up new vistas for the pair—both literally and figuratively—inspiring the incredible adventures that Ryan recounts with flair in Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship

Stirred by the majestic terrain of his new home and moved by the death of a close friend from cancer, Ryan forms a plan to raise money to fight the disease: With Atticus by his side (accoutered in booties and fleece-lined bodysuit), he tackles the intimidating peaks of the White Mountain Range, climbing all 48 of them twice as a charity fundraiser. Up in the mountains, the two contend with frigid temperatures, snow and wind, and there are times when the weather makes progress impossible. It’s at these moments that Ryan’s affection for his pint-sized companion, who possesses courage and pluck of epic proportions, is most endearingly apparent. Not long after their return from the peaks, Atticus experiences serious health problems. What transpires for him and for Ryan on their home turf is just as extraordinary as their mountain journey. Following Atticus is an intriguing story of growth, possibility and the one-of-a-kind camaraderie that exists between man and dog.

SALVATION WITH A FURRY FACE
Julie Klam has had lots of experience in the dog department. Her best-selling memoir, You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness (2010), was a delightful account of the way her under-populated personal life was enriched by a dog named Otto and grew to include a husband, daughter and small brood of adopted Boston terriers. Klam’s latest release, Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself, exhibits the same humor and narrative panache that made her last book so appealing. 

With her wry, honest style in full swing, Klam shares personal tales of dog rescue and rehab that read, at times, like adventure stories. Traveling to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Klam finds herself in a swamp assisting with the retrieval of a feral puppy who has a jar jammed on his head. A Manhattan rescue named Morris—a burly pit bull—helps resuscitate the author’s fragile marriage. Another adoptee, a Boston terrier called Clementine, has a major (and messy) incontinence problem and a spirit so cheery that Klam can’t help but be inspired by her. At bottom, these stories share a single sentiment—that pets in general (and dogs in particular) have a rejuvenating effect on the human spirit. This is a lovely little book that will strike a chord with just about any breed of animal lover.

HOME IS WHERE THE DOG IS
Globetrotting photographer Art Wolfe has aimed his lens at just about every kind of animal imaginable—canines included, of course. In fact, photographing dogs and the people who own them has been a pet (pardon the pun) project of Wolfe’s since 1984, when he snapped images of kids and their four-legged friends while on assignment in Tibet. Wolfe’s favorite dog-and-owner shots are showcased in the breathtaking new book Dogs Make Us Human: A Global Family Album. Remarkable for its reach and diversity, this international gallery features poodles and Pomeranians, purebreds and mutts, dogs that hunt and dogs that defend—canines of every conceivable breed and demeanor. Ditto the owners. 

Along with captivating images from every continent, this unique collection contains text by best-selling author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, who examines the incomparable bond between man and dog. “Our relationship with dogs is the single most important symbiotic relationship between humans and another species on the planet,” he says. Wolfe’s photos support this statement. Standout images include a Yorkie in Tokyo perched on the seat of a moped, and a chihuahua in Seattle whose sunglasses and leather cap parallel its owner’s outfit—or lack thereof. If you’re trying to convert a cat lover, this collection should do the trick.

P.S. FROM A SPECIAL PET 
With Letters from Angel, Martin P. Levin offers a touching tribute to a much-missed pooch. After he was forced to put Angel, his golden retriever, to sleep, Levin decided to share her story with the world, producing this slender but substantial book. Told from Angel’s perspective in a series of letters, the narrative provides a dog’s-eye view of daily existence that’s utterly enchanting. Angel is frightened of fireworks, finds cabdrivers unmannerly and adores Mrs. Levin’s home-cooked lamb chops. She uses the letters to share memories—not all of them happy—of her pre-Levin life. Her take on humans and the world they inhabit is irresistible. Illustrated with delightful black-and-white line drawings, this is a book you can breeze through in a single sitting, but it’s better savored slowly. 

Copyright 2011 BookPage Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews

Lyrical memoir of an adventurous New England journalist and his trusty canine companion.

Ryan spent many years single-handedly owning and operating the Undertoad, a newspaper covering the police and political beats (and their interrelated improprieties) in eccentric Newburyport, Mass. ("Norman Rockwell meets Alfred Hitchcock"). The author's journalistic exposure of local scandals didn't sit well with folks in power, however, and he feared violent retribution. Quelling his paranoia was the "commitment" of adopting an older miniature schnauzer. Sadly, his time with that pet lasted less than a year, but spurred him to adopt schnauzer pup Atticus Maxwell Finch. After a frustrating training period, Ryan and Atticus struck a harmonious human-animal rapport, a uniquely interactive relationship the author clearly reveled in. A few tastes of majestic New Hampshire mountain climbing with his brothers brought back fond memories of better days with his estranged father, a haunting presence throughout the memoir. That family hike challenged Ryan to scale all 48 of the White Mountain range's 4,000-foot peaks in 90 days with a dog Ryan fondly writes was "made for the mountains." The experience became therapeutic, transformative and spiritually enlightening for both. Without regret, Ryan retired the newspaper and, in honor of cancer victim Vicki Pearson, galvanized himself and Atticus to, again, hike the 48 peaks (twice!) as a cancer fundraiser. Rivetingly portrayed, both valiantly braved the vicious winter elements (Atticus in booties and bodysuit), but the dog's darker days were only just beginning. There's immense pathos in the frank depiction of the author's turbulent relationship with his father, both in describing his physical abuse as a youth or finding forgiveness in adulthood.

In befriending Atticus and carrying his father's memory to those serene mountain peaks, Ryan admits he discovered a rare peacefulness, a quality that underscores this touching chronicle.

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews

After getting five-pound puppy Atticus M. Finch, newspaper editor Ryan carried him around for a month. But they really bonded when, to raise money for charity after a friend died of cancer, Ryan set out with his dog to climb all 48 peaks over 4000 feet in New Hampshire's White Mountains—twice. Another heartwarming dog story (there can never be enough), with this one getting attention from national hiking clubs as well as Muttluks, which makes canine booties. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

[Page 74]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Journalist Ryan shares the heartwarming, surprisingly suspenseful story of his bond (and adventures) with his intrepid and loyal miniature schnauzer, Atticus Maxwell Finch. Mourning a friend who has recently died, Ryan decides to hike all 48 of the 4,000-foot peaks of the White Mountains twice in the 90 days of winter—with Atticus. Despite contracting Lyme disease, Ryan and his faithful companion embark on their journey and face a host of dangerous storms, fierce winds, and temperatures registering 30 degrees below zero. Their greatest challenge, however, arises not on a mountain but in the veterinarian's office where it's discovered that five-year-old Atticus has cataracts and presumed thyroid cancer and requires surgery. Through their love for the mountains they climb and their devotion to each other, along with some good luck, the pair are able to continue doing what they love the most—being together. Part adventure story, part memoir, but most important, a love story, this entertaining and joyous book proves that dog really is man's best friend and vice versa. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

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