"What's a Dog For? The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy and Politics of Man's Best Friend," by John Homans (Penguin Press, New York, NY, 2012; $25.95). Executive editor of New York Magazine, Homans' text is incredibly readable, though he offers lots of scientific facts. The connection between people and dogs may be innate in both species; Homans offers evidence that both species co-evolved. As evidence, he notes that though chimpanzees aren't as bright as dogs, canines pick up on our cues far more quickly (without training). Homans even tackles controversial topics from American Kennel Club breed standards to the plight of dogs referred to as pit bulls.
Pet lovers love to read about….pets. Of course they do! Here are seven new books, covering everything from beautiful images of puppies to a life-changing rooster to a controversial book (at least in some circles) about a less conventional approach to pet care.