The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Around the House and in the Garden, and Paths of Desire, both by Dominique Browning

Now this is more like it! Around the House and in the Garden is a very slight book of essays, the kind of thing to keep by your bed if you read for 10-15 minutes before turning out the lights each night. And Browning seems a tad too helpless at times, but maybe she’s just more honest about her feelings than many of us are. I like her writing voice and her observations of the world around her so much that my mild objection to the admitted helplessness is a mere quibble. Until recently the editor of the now-defunct House and Garden magazine, Browning has written other books, including Paths of Desire, which I absolutely love and reread every spring. I can’t recommend it strongly enough; it is one of my favorite books ever.

Anyway, Around the House and in the Garden is Safe for animal lovers, as is Paths of Desire. I will discuss them more in the second comment, below (the first comment having been hijacked by a “pingback”, which is okay, but still…).

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March 16, 2008 - Posted by | Book Reviews | , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. I haven’t reread Paths of Desire since starting this blog, so I can’t precisely address the presence or absence of animals in that book except to say that her approach is similar to that of Around the House and in the Garden.

    I will note that Browning and her two sons never appear to have any pets. You’d think that in the course of two memoirs, pets would be mentioned, so I have to assume their absence. Browning traveled a lot for work, and her sons spent half of the time with her ex-husband, so pets might not have been practical due to the demands of crazy schedules. Or there may have been allergies. Or something else. Whatever the reason, Browning certainly makes up for it by showing concern for the animals that live in her yard.

    In Around the House and in the Garden, Browning describes how one son’s first sentence is addressed to a tiny lizard. Another 4-page chapter discusses how “a garden would feel abandoned without birds.” Browning clearly loves her birds, checking on a pair of nesting cardinals after a noisy predator attacked their nest one night, and playing the piano for whichever birds assembled on a nearby trellis to listen. As she said, “even though my lot isn’t even half an acre, it contains a zoo’s worth of animals.” As spring birdsong rouses us at ungodly hours and other urban wildlife becomes more active with the warmer temperatures, we should all be so wise as to appreciate the tiny zoos outside our homes.

    Comment by esheley | March 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] Garden Decor wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptNow this is more like it! Around the House and in the Garden is a very slight book of essays, the kind of thing to keep by your bed if you read for 10-15 minutes before turning out the lights each night. And Browning seems a tad too helpless at times, but maybe she’s just more honest about her feelings than many of us are. I like her writing voice and her observations of the world around her so much that my mild objection to the admitted helplessness is a mere quibble. Until recently the editor of the now-defunct House and Garden magazine, Browning has written other books, including Paths of Desire, which I absolutely love and reread every spring. I can’t recommend it strongly enough; it is one of my favorite books ever. Anyway, Around the House and in the Garden is Safe for animal lovers, as is Paths of Desire. I will discuss […] […]

    Pingback by Garden » Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Around the House and in the Garden, and Paths of Desire, both by Dominique Browning | March 16, 2008 | Reply

  3. Glad to hear from a fellow Dominique fan! Just found her on facebook, where she has all her latest articles and upcoming appearances! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dominique-Browning/402905210711?ref=ts

    Comment by Nicole | March 23, 2010 | Reply


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