The Best Memoirs of 2016
The inspiring real-life stories that changed the way we think—and read.
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Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself
234 pages; Penguin Random House
Available at:Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound
"I believe that when I was suffering most dearly, the universe sent me a healer in the form of a dog," Julie Barton writes in the prologue of her moving canine love tale. In her early twenties, Barton seemed like any twenty-something woman working in New York—until the depression building up under the surface engulfed her. In childhood, her older brother had bullied her incessantly; more recently, her boyfriend had cheated. But nothing was harsher than her own internalized judgments: "Ugly, Weird, Stupid, Fat, Unlikable." Paralyzed with despair, in the throes of a breakdown, she called her mother, who drove from Ohio to bring her home. Therapy and medication helped, but it was the unconditional love of a puppy named Bunker that made the biggest difference. "He didn't judge me; he simply saw me. So I told myself: Bunker understands. But this was a whole new kind of understanding," she writes. "It was wordless, and it let me be sad until an amazing thing happened: the sadness began to dissolve."
— Dawn Raffel