cover image Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog

Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog

Dave Barry. Simon & Schuster, $26 (196p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6115-5

Humorist Barry (Best State Ever: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland) turns (somewhat) serious in this ruminative look at seven life lessons he’s learned from his rescue dog, Lucy. “This book represents my attempt to understand how Lucy manages to be so happy and figure out whether I can use any of her methods to make my own life happier,” Barry writes. The lessons he covers include making new friends and staying in touch with old ones (Lucy has “a trustful, open, unreservedly joyful way she approaches everyone”) and letting go of anger (“Lucy definitely gets angry but not often, and—this is the important part—never for long”). Barry’s signature sarcasm and dry wit is on display throughout; his one-liners (“aging is not ‘growth’ unless you’re referring to nasal hair”) and sarcastic asides (“I’m not saying professional humor is grueling work, like mining coal or cleaning toilets or being a personal assistant to a Kardashian”) provide much of the book’s appeal. Though he admits that the premise is hardly original, Barry’s easy, conversational tone and sense of humor make for an effortless reading experience for dog lovers and Barry fans alike. (Apr.)