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

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In this “little gem” ( Washington Independent Review of Books), Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and New York Times bestselling author Dave Barry learns how to age happily from his old but joyful dog, Lucy. As Dave Barry turns seventy—not happily—he realizes that his dog, Lucy, is dealing with old age far better than he is. She has more friends, fewer worries, and way mo In this “little gem” ( Washington Independent Review of Books), Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and New York Times bestselling author Dave Barry learns how to age happily from his old but joyful dog, Lucy. As Dave Barry turns seventy—not happily—he realizes that his dog, Lucy, is dealing with old age far better than he is. She has more friends, fewer worries, and way more fun. So Dave decides to figure out how Lucy manages to stay so happy, to see if he can make his own life happier by doing the things she does (except for drinking from the toilet). He reconnects with old friends and tries to make new ones—which turns out to be a struggle, because Lucy likes people a lot more than he does. And he gets back in touch with two ridiculous but fun groups from his past: the Lawn Rangers, a group of guys who march in parades pushing lawnmowers and twirling brooms (alcohol is involved), and the Rock Bottom Remainders, the world’s oldest and least-talented all-author band. With each new lesson, Dave riffs hilariously on dogs, people, and life in general, while also pondering Deep Questions, such as when it’s okay to lie. (Answer: when scallops are involved.) Lessons from Lucy shows readers a new side to Dave Barry that’s “touching and sentimental, but there’s still a laugh on every page” (Sacramento Bee). The master humorist has written a witty and affable guide to joyous living at any age.


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In this “little gem” ( Washington Independent Review of Books), Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and New York Times bestselling author Dave Barry learns how to age happily from his old but joyful dog, Lucy. As Dave Barry turns seventy—not happily—he realizes that his dog, Lucy, is dealing with old age far better than he is. She has more friends, fewer worries, and way mo In this “little gem” ( Washington Independent Review of Books), Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and New York Times bestselling author Dave Barry learns how to age happily from his old but joyful dog, Lucy. As Dave Barry turns seventy—not happily—he realizes that his dog, Lucy, is dealing with old age far better than he is. She has more friends, fewer worries, and way more fun. So Dave decides to figure out how Lucy manages to stay so happy, to see if he can make his own life happier by doing the things she does (except for drinking from the toilet). He reconnects with old friends and tries to make new ones—which turns out to be a struggle, because Lucy likes people a lot more than he does. And he gets back in touch with two ridiculous but fun groups from his past: the Lawn Rangers, a group of guys who march in parades pushing lawnmowers and twirling brooms (alcohol is involved), and the Rock Bottom Remainders, the world’s oldest and least-talented all-author band. With each new lesson, Dave riffs hilariously on dogs, people, and life in general, while also pondering Deep Questions, such as when it’s okay to lie. (Answer: when scallops are involved.) Lessons from Lucy shows readers a new side to Dave Barry that’s “touching and sentimental, but there’s still a laugh on every page” (Sacramento Bee). The master humorist has written a witty and affable guide to joyous living at any age.

30 review for Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog

  1. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    3.5 stars Humorist Dave Barry wrote a syndicated humor column for the Miami Herald for more than two decades and is the author of many amusing memoirs. In this book, Barry relates seven life lessons he learned from his beloved dog Lucy. The lessons are largely common sense, but the anecdotes from Barry's life provide a nice personal touch. Dave Barry The book is uneven, with some stories that are laugh out loud funny and some that are rather mundane. ***** Barry has always been a 'dog person' and s 3.5 stars Humorist Dave Barry wrote a syndicated humor column for the Miami Herald for more than two decades and is the author of many amusing memoirs. In this book, Barry relates seven life lessons he learned from his beloved dog Lucy. The lessons are largely common sense, but the anecdotes from Barry's life provide a nice personal touch. Dave Barry The book is uneven, with some stories that are laugh out loud funny and some that are rather mundane. ***** Barry has always been a 'dog person' and starts the book with amusing stories about his previous canines: Mistral, Earnest, and Zippy. About ten years ago, Barry's family adopted a new dog, Lucy, from a rescue agency, and Lucy proved to be beautiful inside and out. Lucy knows how to be happy, and that's the idea behind Barry's 'Lessons from Lucy.' Dave Barry and Lucy ***** Lesson 1: Make New Friends, And Keep The Ones You Have Lucy greets almost everyone she meets, both people and dogs, with her tail wagging. Lucy loves everyone and therefore has loads of friends. Barry on the other hand, has fallen out of touch with old friends and rarely makes new ones. So he's made a vow: "When I meet new people, I'm going to make an effort to not hide behind my humor barrier, not to use my age (70) as an excuse. I'm going to think about Lucy and be open to new friendships and stay in better touch with my old friends." ***** Lesson 2: Have Some Fun Lucy has fun all the time. She loves to play with her family, her toys, and other dogs. Barry fears that he's stopped having fun now that he's older, and wants to remedy that by reviving his involvement with two organizations that he found enjoyable in the past: 'The World Famous Lawn Rangers' and the 'Rock Bottom Remainders.' The World Famous Lawn Rangers are a marching unit that performs precision lawn mower-and-broom routines in parades (by precision, he means not even remotely precise). Each Ranger, wearing a cowboy hat, marches holding a broom in one hand and pushing a lawn mower with the other. At the 'brooms up' command, the Rangers raise their brooms and either 'walk the dog' (run around in small circles turning the mowers 360 degrees) or 'cross and toss' (switch places with other Rangers and toss their brooms to each other). The Lawn Rangers have marched in parades all over the country, including the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, and President Obama's inauguration parade. Dave hasn't marched with the Rangers in a while, but hopes to rejoin them soon. ______ The Rock Bottom Remainders are a rock band composed of authors. Some of the original members were Amy Tan, Stephen King, Ridley Pearson, Roy Blount Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, and others. The Rock Bottom Remainders - who perform at book-related or benefit events - were always terrible (musically speaking), and Roy Blount Jr. described their musical genre as 'hard listening.' However, the group developed a repertoire of onstage shtick and hijinks that was very entertaining. The band sometimes has 'guest musicians', and when Carl Hiaasen performed with the band he was so nervous that he brought his guitar teacher onstage with him. 😄 Dave hasn't played with the band recently, and is looking to remedy that. ***** Lesson 3: Be Mindful: Pay AttentionTo The People You Love (Not Later, Right Now). Lucy is always fully present in the moment. She doesn't second guess the past or fret about the future (she's a dog, after all). For instance, when the trash man comes to collect the garbage, Lucy strenuously objects (by barking).....but the instant the man is gone, Lucy forgets about him. Barry, on the other hand, is often not 'in the moment.' Like many other people, Barry is constantly checking his phone or thinking about other things - even when he's with family and/or friends. He hopes to change that. ***** Lesson 4: Let Go Of Your Anger, Unless It's About Something Really Important, Which It Almost Never Is. Lucy doesn't hold on to anger. She gets mad sometimes: at the garbage man, the Goodyear blimp, and sometimes at dogs that (for some unknown reason) she decides are assholes. But as soon as the cause of her anger is gone, Lucy is over it. Barry gets angry much more often than Lucy, at lots of things, such as: - People who sample too many flavors at the ice cream shop when there's a big line behind them. He sometimes thinks to himself: "If everyone else in line hated you as much as I do, your body would burst into flames from the hate rays being beamed at it." - People who stop at a red light and immediately look down at their phone, not paying attention to when the light turns green again. - People who repeatedly stand up at a sports event, so the spectators behind them can't see. - People who litter. - People who don't say thank you when you hold the door for them. - And lots more. Barry gets especially angry at Comcast customer service and tells a hilarious story about this. But, taking an example from Lucy, Barry is trying to let things go a little more. ***** Lesson 5: Try Not To Judge People By Their Looks, And Don't Obsess Over Your Own. Lucy doesn't judge other dogs by their appearance. Unlike dogs, humans are obsessed with looks, a trait that's hard-wired into human biology. In prehistoric times - for reasons related to natural selection - women were attracted to men who could provide food and protection (that is, guys who were strong and aggressive) and men were attracted to women who were fertile (that is gals who looked attractive....which is indicative of good health). In modern times, physical traits are less important for human survival but men and women are still attracted to a certain kind of look. Barry notes that he never resembled the man who - in caveman days - would have helped with the mastodon hunt. Instead, Dave always looked like the guy who would have stayed a safe distance away and cracked jokes. As a result, teenage Dave had a hard time attracting girls....especially the pretty girls he liked. When Barry got older, he learned to appreciate qualities other than looks, like intelligence, sense of humor, honesty, wisdom, courage, generosity, etc. The moral is, you shouldn't judge people by their appearance. There are exceptions of course.....and you can be legitimately put off by folks who have a swastika tattooed on their forehead. ***** Lesson 6: Don't Let Your Happiness Depend On Things; They Don't Make You Truly Happy, And You'll Never Have Enough Anyway. Lucy doesn't worry about hurricanes....which tend to mess with our things. She doesn't get nervous because she doesn't know a storm is coming. 🐶 Humans, however, become frantic when a hurricane is approaching, and Barry tells a long story about this. I'll cite some brief excerpts. Barry's family, which lives in Florida, sees a lot of big storms. One thing Barry and his wife do when a storm approaches is buy supplies, like food....."sandwich makings, canned soup, Spam, candy, chips....and enough granola bars and peanut-butter crackers to supply a cruise ship for six months at sea." After the hurricane, when there's no electricity - and people are left without internet/phone/cable - the restoration of power becomes an all-consuming obsession. People "would sacrifice a goat if they thought it would bring their power back, and they had a goat." In large part, this is because people can't tolerate the loss of technological conveniences and diversions: computers, internet, big screen TVs, etc. Barry writes about how happy he was when, in 1955, his family got their first television - even though it was tiny and had horrible reception. Now, like many people, Barry has a ton of 'stuff'.....and it's not enough. He's always buying more. Having learned simplicity from Lucy, Barry plans to divest himself of superfluous belongings. ***** Lesson 7: Don't Lie Unless You Have A Really Good Reason, Which You Probably Don't. Lucy and other dogs are honest to a fault. You always know when dogs have done a bad thing because they 'confess' by whimpering and looking guilty. Cats on the other hand, have no remorse and have the morals of Hannibal Lecter. Barry writes: "If you come home and find your cat inside your parakeet's cage, holding your dead parakeet in its jaws, your cat will be like 'Obviously this parakeet committed suicide'." People are more like cats than dogs. They lie all the time. Sometimes folks tell little white lies - like when a six-year-old, watching a commercial, asks 'What is Viagra'; or a friend texts something meant to be funny and you text back LOL when you're really OMA (Only Mildly Amused). But often, people tell serious untruths - especially politicians. Barry believes it's almost always better to be honest with people. Act like Lucy, "if you mess up, fess up." ***** At the end of the book Dave assesses the changes he's been trying to make in his life and his (self-assessed) grades for the seven lessons are: C, A, C+, B-, B-, B+, B. Not too bad. This isn't one of Dave Barry's best books (IMO) but it's still worth reading if you need a smile. Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Dave Barry), and the publisher (Simon & Schuster) for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  2. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I loved Dave Barry’s newspaper column back in the day, especially when he wrote about Earnest and Zippy. So, I jumped at the chance to read his latest book, Lessons from Lucy, combining as it did his trademark wit and stories about a dog. Like Dave, I am the parent of an older large dog. I’m reading this book, at the point where Dave writes that “when we say her name or reach down to pet her, her tail thumps the floor in a drumbeat of joy”, at the same time that I’m petting Cooper, whose tail is I loved Dave Barry’s newspaper column back in the day, especially when he wrote about Earnest and Zippy. So, I jumped at the chance to read his latest book, Lessons from Lucy, combining as it did his trademark wit and stories about a dog. Like Dave, I am the parent of an older large dog. I’m reading this book, at the point where Dave writes that “when we say her name or reach down to pet her, her tail thumps the floor in a drumbeat of joy”, at the same time that I’m petting Cooper, whose tail is thumping the floor in the same drumbeat. There’s no new ground covered here. You could write out all the lessons without reading the book. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a fun book or that I didn’t laugh. I did. Sometimes out loud. So many of his stories hit home for me. “Whenever you see the word “motivational” used in a corporate training context, you should just substitute the word “stupid”.” Yup. Or when he recounts his fun with Comcast because I swear I’ve had the exact same conversation with those idiots. It’s an extremely easy read and is perfect when you need an escape from the heavy dramas or psychological thrillers. And it reminds us of the most important lesson of all, that time is fleeting and we should enjoy it with our two and four legged loved ones. My thanks to netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an advance copy of this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! Yesterday morning I began reading Dave Barry’s Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog and laughed out loud and was glad that, for me, it was a dog-oriented day, and happy that these two coincided by happenstance. With a few exceptions, I’ve had a dog (or two) most of the years of my life. When I was an infant, my mother used to put me down for my naps on our Irish Setter, and he would watch over me, like “Nana” in Peter Pan. When I began to try to walk, he wo !! NOW AVAILABLE !! Yesterday morning I began reading Dave Barry’s Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog and laughed out loud and was glad that, for me, it was a dog-oriented day, and happy that these two coincided by happenstance. With a few exceptions, I’ve had a dog (or two) most of the years of my life. When I was an infant, my mother used to put me down for my naps on our Irish Setter, and he would watch over me, like “Nana” in Peter Pan. When I began to try to walk, he would knock me back down on all fours, so certain was he that I belonged on all fours, as I belonged to him. As I write this, I have two dogs sleeping beside me. Inside this collection of Barry’s musings are seven chapters, each one a “Lesson from Lucy,” all of which are based on struggles that Dave Barry might have, and the wisdom he gains, the perspective he receives when he sees how Lucy responds when faced with challenges. From topics like the 1954-1973 TV show“Lassie,” to how routine oriented dogs can be, to some of the things they seem to have conquered – the state of being happy seems to be what dogs do best. And so he examines their methods of achieving happiness (or avoiding unhappiness), by observing how they deal with life, in general. There are also stories that include friends of his, both here and gone, that are incredibly touching stories. His stories of his years with The Rock Bottom Remainders,a band comprised of Barry and other authors, including Amy Tan, Stephen King, Roy Blount, Jr. Robert Fulghum, Ridley Pearson, Barbara Kingsolver, Matt Groening and others, a band that was meant to disband after a single performance, but as time went by added more as others left, including occasionally actual “big-time”musicians such as Judy Collins, Springsteen and Warren Zevon. Sweet and humorous, this made me (and Stephen King) laugh out loud. His observations on our need for such platforms as Facebook, the frustrations of dealing with Comcast, AARP, and preparing for a hurricane is not something I’d associate with humour, but even this one had me laughing. While this may not have answers to the larger questions of life, and reading it will not cure any major health issues, it is full of the medicine of laughter, and as they say – laughter is the best medicine. I say, laughter - and a dog - are the best medicine. Pub Date: 02 Apr 2019 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Simon & Schuster

  4. 5 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This book is so full of warmth, love, tenderness, humor, insight, and just good old common sense! His writing flows with wit and wisdom, love and memories, hope and a canine spirit. He gives lessons he has, and is learning from his elderly dog Lucy. Each lesson is something we all could work on. They each are heavily sprinkled with humor and common sense. Some ar Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This book is so full of warmth, love, tenderness, humor, insight, and just good old common sense! His writing flows with wit and wisdom, love and memories, hope and a canine spirit. He gives lessons he has, and is learning from his elderly dog Lucy. Each lesson is something we all could work on. They each are heavily sprinkled with humor and common sense. Some are more emotional than others. This is a must buy book for yourself, for dog lovers, for those getting older, for those that think they have everything! Terrific book!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Dave Barry fans will not be disappointed! In Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog, Barry shares all the humor, perspective, and life lessons he has been gifted during his time with his dog Lucy. With seven chapters in total, each chapter shares a new lesson but Barry tends to go the long way around in revealing it. That's a good thing though. Laugh-out-loud funny and sometimes deeply thought-provoking, the lessons touch on the following subjects: -be friendly -find opportunities Dave Barry fans will not be disappointed! In Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog, Barry shares all the humor, perspective, and life lessons he has been gifted during his time with his dog Lucy. With seven chapters in total, each chapter shares a new lesson but Barry tends to go the long way around in revealing it. That's a good thing though. Laugh-out-loud funny and sometimes deeply thought-provoking, the lessons touch on the following subjects: -be friendly -find opportunities to have fun -give priority time to loved ones -let go of anger -don't judge people by appearances -material items won't make you happy -be honest As you can see, quality stuff inspired by the playfulness, love, and loyalty of man's (and woman's) best friend. Check it out! Thank you to goodreads and Simon & Schuster! I was a Giveaways winner of a paperback ARC (advance reader's copy) of Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    In Lessons from Lucy, Dave Barry looks to his dog for ways to be a happier human. Lucy loves everyone and adjusts to whatever circumstances come her way. She’s friends with everyone, and so Dave puts more efforts into existing friendships and develop new ones. I chuckled out loud many times over the course of this book. In the course of laughing, he also reminds you of stuff like pay less attention to your phone and more to the people you love. Yes, every self-help book ever written talks about t In Lessons from Lucy, Dave Barry looks to his dog for ways to be a happier human. Lucy loves everyone and adjusts to whatever circumstances come her way. She’s friends with everyone, and so Dave puts more efforts into existing friendships and develop new ones. I chuckled out loud many times over the course of this book. In the course of laughing, he also reminds you of stuff like pay less attention to your phone and more to the people you love. Yes, every self-help book ever written talks about that, but it’s an important reminder nonetheless. As self-help books go, this one is more fun than most. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    You're only young once, but you can always be immature. Another laugh-out-loud collection from Barry; this time the focus is on aging gracefully . . . like a dog. Actually, Lucy's lessons are great for any age group: live in the moment, don't forget how to have fun, looks aren't important, etc. It's just that, as Bonnie Raitt once reminded us - time gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste - so we readers-of-a-certain-age need to start paying more attention to what we're doing with wh You're only young once, but you can always be immature. Another laugh-out-loud collection from Barry; this time the focus is on aging gracefully . . . like a dog. Actually, Lucy's lessons are great for any age group: live in the moment, don't forget how to have fun, looks aren't important, etc. It's just that, as Bonnie Raitt once reminded us - time gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste - so we readers-of-a-certain-age need to start paying more attention to what we're doing with what's left of our lives. Though there are bits here that will appeal strongly to pet owners, you really don't need to be a dog lover to enjoy this book. Likewise, if, like me, you love dogs so much that the sight of that dear, elderly, canine face on the cover gives you pause because you don't want to read yet another book where the dog dies . . . (view spoiler)[relax. As of April 4th of this year, Lucy is still alive, and dispensing wisdom. (hide spoiler)] A great read for those times when you want a both a laugh, and a warm, sort of pensive feeling.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    Okay, so we've got Dave Barry, who can always be counted on to elicit the "snort milk from your nose" kind of laughter when you least expect it. And we've got Lucy, his old dog, who lives a good, character driven life, because she's a dog, and that's what they do. And Lucy does not die in the end. So what's not to love about this one? Absolutely nothing. Dave tries to be more like his dog, giving us lessons he learned and grading his successes. It mostly works out. The last chapter, though, gets m Okay, so we've got Dave Barry, who can always be counted on to elicit the "snort milk from your nose" kind of laughter when you least expect it. And we've got Lucy, his old dog, who lives a good, character driven life, because she's a dog, and that's what they do. And Lucy does not die in the end. So what's not to love about this one? Absolutely nothing. Dave tries to be more like his dog, giving us lessons he learned and grading his successes. It mostly works out. The last chapter, though, gets much more serious, as his family has to work through an unexpected illness, but he, and we, learn even more appreciation for how good our lives truly are.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I'm a sucker for a dog on the cover of a book and I'm so glad I read Lessons From Lucy. This book is funny, thoughtful and made me think about how I am living my life and what I can do to make it better. I literally had a smile plastered on my face the whole time. Best book I've read all year and I highly recommend it for dog lovers and anyone that needs a to stop and reflect on life for just a minute or two. Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for an advance e-copy in exchange for an h I'm a sucker for a dog on the cover of a book and I'm so glad I read Lessons From Lucy. This book is funny, thoughtful and made me think about how I am living my life and what I can do to make it better. I literally had a smile plastered on my face the whole time. Best book I've read all year and I highly recommend it for dog lovers and anyone that needs a to stop and reflect on life for just a minute or two. Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for an advance e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Dave Barry’s trademark wit combined with poignant thoughts about aging and what we can learn from our canine companions made for a wonderful audio experience! As a native Floridian, I grew up with Dave’s column in The Miami Herald and Tropic Sunday magazine. So when I saw that my friend Cheri gave this the nod, this Dave & Dog lover knew she had to listen. The lessons are simple enough, self-evident wisdom really, but it’s the way Dave has of reminding us that aging doesn’t mean we can’t find the Dave Barry’s trademark wit combined with poignant thoughts about aging and what we can learn from our canine companions made for a wonderful audio experience! As a native Floridian, I grew up with Dave’s column in The Miami Herald and Tropic Sunday magazine. So when I saw that my friend Cheri gave this the nod, this Dave & Dog lover knew she had to listen. The lessons are simple enough, self-evident wisdom really, but it’s the way Dave has of reminding us that aging doesn’t mean we can’t find the humor and joyful simplicity in our everyday lives. It also means it's never too late to be better. Each lesson is filled with anecdotes and personal nuggets and all throughout Lucy permeates the book, her sugared muzzle in every word. As another author recently wrote…I think the magic of everybody’s dog, or any pet, is that they will save you from an existential crisis at any moment. And it seems Dave is going through a bit of a crisis as he ages, but then aren’t we all to some degree? On a personal note, I can say that my beautiful Avedon taught me what it was to be noble; my soul mate, Tallulah, showed me what true loyalty looked like; Harper Lee constantly reminds me to be true to yourself; and my goofy boy, Winston, makes me remember that there is joy to be found in every moment. Highly recommended if you like Dave’s brand of humor or if you love dogs or if you need a little reminder to be your best self. This hit every one of my buttons and I will likely listen to this a dozen more times over the years.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cathrine ☯️

    4 🐕 🐕 🐕 🐕 I have my friend Diane Barnes to thank for pointing the way to this one 😘. I had to wait quite a while for the audio read by Dave himself and it was worth it. This is so funny it had me laughing out loud in public, and sadly, I don’t even do that in private very often but after this book I will try harder. You do not need to be a dog lover to appreciate this one and the lessons from Lucy are not complex, rather along the lines of I want to be the kind of person my dogs thinks I am; very 4 🐕 🐕 🐕 🐕 I have my friend Diane Barnes to thank for pointing the way to this one 😘. I had to wait quite a while for the audio read by Dave himself and it was worth it. This is so funny it had me laughing out loud in public, and sadly, I don’t even do that in private very often but after this book I will try harder. You do not need to be a dog lover to appreciate this one and the lessons from Lucy are not complex, rather along the lines of I want to be the kind of person my dogs thinks I am; very wise and worth embracing and put into action by all of us. The final epilogue chapter which was added after the book was complete is more serious and lovingly, and very emotionally read, by a very grateful author, and the perfect denouement.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Renee (itsbooktalk)

    4.5 stars This is my first Dave Barry book but it won't be my last. I have to admit, I wanted to read this based on the fact that I have an older black lab so that title immediately drew me in. What I was surprised about, however, is that this isn't entirely a book about a dog which came as a pleasant surprise. Barry uses Lucy and his relationship with her in her aging years...and his as well as he just turned 70....to lay out many pieces of advice and rules for living he'd like to accomplish in 4.5 stars This is my first Dave Barry book but it won't be my last. I have to admit, I wanted to read this based on the fact that I have an older black lab so that title immediately drew me in. What I was surprised about, however, is that this isn't entirely a book about a dog which came as a pleasant surprise. Barry uses Lucy and his relationship with her in her aging years...and his as well as he just turned 70....to lay out many pieces of advice and rules for living he'd like to accomplish in his remaining years. He has a chapter about anger that's absolutely hysterical because it's so true. I was laughing out loud while reading at a restaurant waiting on a friend. The story is played out as if he's a friend talking to you, it's very conversational, tongue in cheek , and sarcastic in the best possible way. What he does say about dogs and living with them is so spot on, funny, and sentimental that I loved those parts as well. Overall, this was a wonderful feel good book that made me laugh and appreciate by best furry friend.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    What could be better than combing Dave Barry's humor and the love of a dog? Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog was a perfect read to refresh my mental health and adjust my attitude. I laughed out loud and I felt warm and squishy inside. Barry admits he's always been a 'dog person,' as have I. My childhood mutt Pepper and I loved each other. She followed me to school, sometimes even got into the school to show up at my classroom door. I would lay on the floor to color and Pep What could be better than combing Dave Barry's humor and the love of a dog? Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog was a perfect read to refresh my mental health and adjust my attitude. I laughed out loud and I felt warm and squishy inside. Barry admits he's always been a 'dog person,' as have I. My childhood mutt Pepper and I loved each other. She followed me to school, sometimes even got into the school to show up at my classroom door. I would lay on the floor to color and Pepper would place her chin on the small of my back. I loved to stroke her long, soft, floppy ears. For Barry, his childhood dog surpassed Lassie in heroism, for Mistral would eat the Brussels Sprouts Barry slipped to him during dinner! Barry shares his dog stories and stories from his family life to illustrate the lessons Lucy has taught him about how to live. I cracked up over so many things. He takes on Facebook and electronic devices, the horror of shellfish as "Phlegms of the Sea," white lies, hurricane preparation, teenage angst over appearance, and the difference between dogs and cats. Dogs feel guilt, even if they haven't done anything wrong; cats "have the morals of Hannibal Lecter." The seven lessons are not profound or unexpected, but essential and wise. Barry even scores himself on how he has been progressing in trying to put the lessons into practice! It's worth a try. I sure envy the happiness of old dogs. Our Shibas in their golden years impressed me with the smiles on their faces just enjoying the comfort of a thick foam bed. I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Like Dave Barry, I’m a dog person. I’ve had dogs for most of my life and cannot conceive of living without one. They are truly creatures of joy and are always a delight, except when they chew one of your prized books or pee in the house. But these are small prices to pay for such a happy, sweet and loving friend. Dave takes us through seven lessons he has learned from his 11 year old dog Lucy. Interspersed throughout and between these lessons are related and unrelated observations on life plus so Like Dave Barry, I’m a dog person. I’ve had dogs for most of my life and cannot conceive of living without one. They are truly creatures of joy and are always a delight, except when they chew one of your prized books or pee in the house. But these are small prices to pay for such a happy, sweet and loving friend. Dave takes us through seven lessons he has learned from his 11 year old dog Lucy. Interspersed throughout and between these lessons are related and unrelated observations on life plus some amusing anecdotes. You will get Dave’s thoughts on such diverse topics as diversity training, Comcast (which Dave lovingly calls Bomcast) customer service, hurricane preparedness, when lying is permissible, and more. Dave Barry is funny — no question about it and you will chuckle, snicker and laugh out loud while reading this book. But hidden among the fun and hilarity are nuggets of wisdom that have the potential to improve our lives. Lessons from Lucy is a fun quick read that will make you laugh and then laugh some more plus learn some invaluable life advice from a mixed-breed dog. Dave Barry is a very talented writer, having won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988. For twenty-two years, Barry wrote a nationally syndicated humor column for the Miami Herald. He is the author of more than 30 books with the bulk of them being humorous non-fiction works. Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This started out, and actually ended, as a very sweet, funny look at seven lessons we can learn from Barry's dog Lucy, a ten-year-old mutt who lives life to the fullest. She loves food and walks and treats and being petted. Barry's advice is quite solid: let go of anger and grudges, hang on to friends, look for things to do that are fun and bring you joy. He talks about Hurricane Irma, which derails some of his plans to emulate Lucy by being more outgoing, and finishes with a report card describ This started out, and actually ended, as a very sweet, funny look at seven lessons we can learn from Barry's dog Lucy, a ten-year-old mutt who lives life to the fullest. She loves food and walks and treats and being petted. Barry's advice is quite solid: let go of anger and grudges, hang on to friends, look for things to do that are fun and bring you joy. He talks about Hurricane Irma, which derails some of his plans to emulate Lucy by being more outgoing, and finishes with a report card describing how he's doing with these lessons and the goals that he has set. And then the book keeps going. Suddenly at the end, past the epilogue, there's more. Just days after turning in the final manuscript, which was ready to go to print, a medical emergency hit their family. With audible tears (and I do recommend the audiobook for this very reason), Barry tells about what his family went through, speaking with love and gratitude of family and friends and medical professionals who helped them through it. It is not only some of his finest writing (he actually manages to tie some of it back to Lucy!) but also simultaneously one of the loveliest and most intense stories that I have ever heard him relate. The book is worth it just for that finale.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I read this as an audiobook for my book club’s holiday selection for December. It was supposed to be a light read and inspiring. It was narrated by the author/comedic columnist. From the title and summary on Goodreads, I had been assuming it would be about Mr. Barry’s dog, Lucy, who taught him life lessons in her old age as he was simultaneously entering his own old age, having turned 70 at that time. But what I got from this book was very little of Lucy and her wisdom, and plenty about Mr. Barr I read this as an audiobook for my book club’s holiday selection for December. It was supposed to be a light read and inspiring. It was narrated by the author/comedic columnist. From the title and summary on Goodreads, I had been assuming it would be about Mr. Barry’s dog, Lucy, who taught him life lessons in her old age as he was simultaneously entering his own old age, having turned 70 at that time. But what I got from this book was very little of Lucy and her wisdom, and plenty about Mr. Barry as he rambled in circles around whatever it was he was trying to say, to the point that I couldn’t even remember where each story he was telling began or how it connected to a Lucy lesson. I admit Mr. Barry had me laughing out loud maybe half a dozen times over the course of this 4 hour audiobook, though more often I cringed at his jokes, some of them mean-spirited and showing what a curmudgeonly guy he could be. At least he spent a final chapter reviewing the lessons he wanted to impart so I could remember them, while he admitted they weren’t anything we didn’t already know from our own experience. I was ready to throw my hands in the air at this, despite driving at the time, just when there was a surprise chapter after that one, the subject being one I won’t spoil, but it provided a change of tone and some substance worth the wait. So if you’re looking for a heartwarming book about an old dog, look elsewhere, since Lucy grows up in a flash within the first few minutes of this book and barely makes any appearances later on that aren’t overshadowed by her master who seems to need to talk about himself nonstop, except for the last surprise chapter. And no, that chapter is not about Lucy. But if you’re a fan of Mr. Barry and want to know more about his life and family, and you don’t mind equal parts corniness and crankiness, this might be a book you can enjoy. Favorite lesson from this book: “Be grateful for what you have.”

  17. 5 out of 5

    John of Canada

    Dave Barry never fails to make me laugh.I am a big fan of lists and these are included.I was expecting a tearjerker and it was but not for the reasons I expected.This book is a keeper and a nice gift idea.Read it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    It’s all in the delivery! If you shudder at the thought of another self-help book, relax, Dave Barry has made it fairly painless, thanks to Lucy, his life-lessons guru and aging dog. LESSONS FROM LUCY is filled with humorous one-liners, chuckle-worthy scenarios and heart-felt reasons to embrace life just for the joy of it! If readers take nothing else away from this humorous look at life and its many foibles, it is the simple joy in living for the moment, loving with all you have, unconditionally It’s all in the delivery! If you shudder at the thought of another self-help book, relax, Dave Barry has made it fairly painless, thanks to Lucy, his life-lessons guru and aging dog. LESSONS FROM LUCY is filled with humorous one-liners, chuckle-worthy scenarios and heart-felt reasons to embrace life just for the joy of it! If readers take nothing else away from this humorous look at life and its many foibles, it is the simple joy in living for the moment, loving with all you have, unconditionally and taking time for those around you without ulterior motives. Fresh, fun reading with a ton of heart and beautiful lessons that are so often far easier to act on than holding a grudge or getting caught up in “society’s acceptables,” live, love and give of yourself! Dog lovers can relate to Lucy's attitude about life, maybe dogs are smarter than we give them credit for! I received a complimentary ARC edition from Simon & Schuster! Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 2, 2019) Publication Date: April 2, 2019 Genre: Humor | Self-help Print Length: 208 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  19. 5 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    I have been a fan of Dave Barry since the 80's and his weekly syndicated column appeared in our Sunday Chicago Tribune magazine. His sarcastic, snarky humor always gets me bursting out loud in laughter. So I have been trying to get my hands on this book for over a year; finally the wait list on Overdrive is manageable. A book about his love for his old dog Lucy and what we might learn from our pet dogs to live our golden years with more patience, friends, and fun, something we could all use. I t I have been a fan of Dave Barry since the 80's and his weekly syndicated column appeared in our Sunday Chicago Tribune magazine. His sarcastic, snarky humor always gets me bursting out loud in laughter. So I have been trying to get my hands on this book for over a year; finally the wait list on Overdrive is manageable. A book about his love for his old dog Lucy and what we might learn from our pet dogs to live our golden years with more patience, friends, and fun, something we could all use. I tried to see any such parallel lessons from my deeply disturbed rescue cat, but it didn't work as well as it does for Dave and Lucy. It seems many or most dog books end with the death of the dog so I was happy to not have to have endured that here. The last chapter was heartbreaking in another way, though. You will never guess and I'm not saying. Dave Barry is an excellent narrator of his own words and at the end, true emotion broke through. It felt very honest.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lani

    You should read this book if you're getting older, like sarcasm, didn't know that Dave Barry plays in a band with Stephen King, live or have lived in Florida (especially in Hurricane season), or even if you own a dog. Any of these are good enough reasons to read this book. I have read a few books and countless articles from Dave Barry. While his humor is not always on mark, I do find him entertaining and sometimes I actually learn something. This book was no different. I found myself nodding and You should read this book if you're getting older, like sarcasm, didn't know that Dave Barry plays in a band with Stephen King, live or have lived in Florida (especially in Hurricane season), or even if you own a dog. Any of these are good enough reasons to read this book. I have read a few books and countless articles from Dave Barry. While his humor is not always on mark, I do find him entertaining and sometimes I actually learn something. This book was no different. I found myself nodding and relating to him even though I am still a few decades younger than him. While his lessons are not amazing or even original, as he tells us several times, it is always good to have a gentle reminder of basically just be a good person and do the right thing. It seems there is a lot to learn about life from my dog. *ARC Provided by Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an honest review. Thank you!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This is a sweet, amusing, touching book - a good reminder to appreciate what you have and be positive. It wasn't a laugh-out-loud kind of book. Maybe it's funnier for Dave Barry fans, dog owners, and people who live in Florida. This is a sweet, amusing, touching book - a good reminder to appreciate what you have and be positive. It wasn't a laugh-out-loud kind of book. Maybe it's funnier for Dave Barry fans, dog owners, and people who live in Florida.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Peterson

    18 April 2019 - Finished the book about 12:30 am last night - could not put it down. Such a gas - loved it. The whole book was so funny, entertaining, insightful and precious... till the last chapter, which was very different: personal (to the max), revelatory, emotional, heartbreaking and heartwarming and also thoughtful. What a total package. Dave Barry is one of my very favorite authors. He has such a great mix of totally irreverent, off the wall, humor, yet sticks in many incisive observations t 18 April 2019 - Finished the book about 12:30 am last night - could not put it down. Such a gas - loved it. The whole book was so funny, entertaining, insightful and precious... till the last chapter, which was very different: personal (to the max), revelatory, emotional, heartbreaking and heartwarming and also thoughtful. What a total package. Dave Barry is one of my very favorite authors. He has such a great mix of totally irreverent, off the wall, humor, yet sticks in many incisive observations that stand the test of time and human nature. Though I would dare say that the vast majority of his fans do not think of themselves as libertarian - he is one and shares many of those insights in his books. Perhaps they are too undercover for most readers to care or worry about? Or possibly they just come across as being another wild ranting that is more funny than true? He certainly backpedals sometimes (when he thinks he may have gone too far?). And he poo-poos wild statements often enough. Of self deprecation, he is a master. But here are a few statements that I wish more people took more seriously - laughing at them is fine- but in a bitterly sarcastic way, that means you understand the underlying truth. Loved the scenes where he describes Lucy, his dog, the hero of the book, and her "stuffed chew toys, including dolls representing John McCain and Hillary Clinton." (pp. 51-2) "Diversity training - This is a process whereby a corporation makes a group of employees sit in a room with a professional diversity trainer, who subjects them to lectures, videos and role-playing exercises about the importance of respecting each other until the employees finally come to the realization that they hate the diversity trainer and want to do the diametrical opposite of whatever he or she is telling them." "There is no American institution more monumentally incompetent than the federal government." "So don't be like our political leadership. Be like Lucy." (his dog, who he has shown throughout the book to be an incredibly admirable creature, eminently worth emulating) (lying) "It's wrong because even if a lie helps you, it deceives somebody else, and it undermines the trust that holds us all together. If we can't trust each other, we can't work with each other, learn from each other, enjoy each other, love each other. Lying makes the world a dodgier, crapier place." - And that is about the greatest statement anyone can make. "I almost never argue about politics anymore, and I have pretty much stopped watching the nonstop freakout-a-thon that is cable-TV news. I am a far happier person for it." ---- The book is a very fast, enjoyable read. I made it all the way through in about 6 hours or so. At 225 pages total, that is a really rapid page rate for me of about 37 pages/hr. My normal, for most any book is more like 10-15 pp/hr - really, for a pulp fiction book all the way to Human Action.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    Not as funny as unusual, but I suppose that was to be expected considering it's a book about making the most of your life before your inevitable death. I was especially touched by the epilogue, where Barry talks about his daughter's paralysis. Sophie and I are the same age, and sometimes I sort of feel like I know her just from how much I've read about her in her father's books. Weird, I know. [Blog] - [Bookstagram] Not as funny as unusual, but I suppose that was to be expected considering it's a book about making the most of your life before your inevitable death. I was especially touched by the epilogue, where Barry talks about his daughter's paralysis. Sophie and I are the same age, and sometimes I sort of feel like I know her just from how much I've read about her in her father's books. Weird, I know. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]

  24. 5 out of 5

    Yodamom

    While I liked the lessons from Lucy, she is a wise girl, I didn't get much from the inbetween stories. Dave Barry has something to say, there was inspiration and some chuckling moments there but they were dulled by filler stories. I don't know him, have never heard of him before, perhaps it I had a history with him I would have gotten more out of it. For a short book it felt long to me. While I liked the lessons from Lucy, she is a wise girl, I didn't get much from the inbetween stories. Dave Barry has something to say, there was inspiration and some chuckling moments there but they were dulled by filler stories. I don't know him, have never heard of him before, perhaps it I had a history with him I would have gotten more out of it. For a short book it felt long to me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    3.5 rounded up; thanks go to Net Galley and Simon and Schuster for the review copy. This memoir will be available to the public April 2, 2019. Dave is seventy, and his dog Lucy is up there in years as well. Unlike most of Barry’s essays and books, this one has a reflective aspect and a bit of advice for those nearing or entering their senior years. There’s still a great deal of humor, but there’s a gently philosophical self-help thrust not present in his earlier work. As a 60-year-old retired re 3.5 rounded up; thanks go to Net Galley and Simon and Schuster for the review copy. This memoir will be available to the public April 2, 2019. Dave is seventy, and his dog Lucy is up there in years as well. Unlike most of Barry’s essays and books, this one has a reflective aspect and a bit of advice for those nearing or entering their senior years. There’s still a great deal of humor, but there’s a gently philosophical self-help thrust not present in his earlier work. As a 60-year-old retired reader that loves her dog, I represent his target demographic. And I also have to say—his demographic is clearly Caucasian, and this made me a mite uncomfortable. I’ll get back to that in a minute. I have to, since apparently no other reviewer anywhere is going to address it. * Dave breaks his advice down into seven suggestions, all of which are in some way inspired by Lucy. None of his points are especially new or profound, but because he is so capable in describing and explaining them, he makes old tired advice seem worthy of my attention. A number of his observations left me nodding my head, and he includes liberal humorous anecdotes that in some cases, made me laugh out loud. And here I will put on my teacher hat and tell you that brain studies reveal that learning is easier when there is positive emotion that goes with it. Dave wants senior citizens to stop merely being content—which is exactly what I am—and take the occasional trip out of our comfort zones. He describes a family trip to a wildlife preserve in Africa to illustrate his point, and his story is so hysterical that it leaves me gasping for air. I can never imagine myself participating, as Dave has, in a parade involving decorated lawnmowers, but I love reading about it. And he reminds senior men to find their friends and tell them how important they are. A great many men have friends that are very important, and that they haven’t talked to in person or even by phone for years. What are you waiting for? At some point, one of you will be dead, and then the survivor will realize his mistake. Barry argues for seizing the moment. (He also makes me glad I am female. My friends hear from me all the damn time, and when I leave the planet, they will know what they meant to me.) I began reading Barry’s work in the 1980s, and during the ‘90s and ‘00s, I used one of his columns, “How to Play with a Dog,” to teach middle school students expository writing. Step by step, he told us how to do it, and in the most enjoyable way; and that’s what expository writing is. Kids that didn’t like to write sat up and listened to this. It is a genius piece of work, and because of this, and because of the long period during which I loved each and every thing he wrote, this book receives a favorable rating from me. Because there’s also a big problem with it. Keep reading. I loved the way Barry skewers the whole ‘mindfulness’ shtick even as he also advocates for some of its better aspects. When he digs into the topic of the diversity workshop, I feel a little hitch in my breathing, a twinge of anxiety. I read Dave Barry Does Japan, and the things he said about the Japanese demonstrated that his understanding of other races and cultures needs an upgrade. Here he tells us that his wife is half Cuban, half Jewish, so we know he’s probably not an alt-right white supremacist, but at the same time, some of the jokes he makes are cringe-worthy at best. When he tells us that if he was ever forced to sit through another diversity workshop (as was required by the Miami Herald,) he would join the Klan and the Black staff members would go with him, I slumped. Aw, shit. Dave, statements like this are why diversity training even exists. If there’s a training and you are invited, run there and get you a real good seat. In fact, there’s a chance that other staffers had to go to a workshop that was mostly aimed at you! I have had a similar experience with 3 or 4 other books I’ve reviewed, and there’s always someone out there that will leave a comment saying it’s ridiculous to fuss over one little sentence in the book. In anticipation, I have an analogy just for those people, and here it is: Imagine you have been invited to a potluck supper. You hand your contribution--maybe a bowl of potato salad--to the host to add to the collection of food, and you grab a plate. There are three long tables, and you move down the row selecting from among the crispy fried chicken, the smoky ribs, watermelon, three-alarm chili, coleslaw, nachos, garden salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, a bowl of human excrement, baked squash with cinnamon, homemade cherry pie, key lime pie, shrimp salad, pesto salad, deviled eggs, and of course, your own contribution, the potato salad. But once you sit down, your appetite has fled, hasn’t it? You came in feeling hungry. You skipped a meal before this thing, cause you knew there’d be a lot of good things to eat. And of course, when you passed that bowl of human shit, you didn’t take any of it, and like everyone else, you politely diverted your eyes away from it once you were satisfied that it was exactly what it looked like. What the hell…? After a glance around the room to see whether a joke is about to be sprung, or at least a conversation had about this inappropriate addition, you edge toward the garbage, where you quietly deposit your uneaten meal, and then you edge toward the door…all because of that one thing. Why would you toss a plateful of delicious food merely because there was one distasteful thing on the table? Because neither you nor your food could be close to that mess for even a minute. So that’s how I see the Klan reference. It’s hard to chuckle after a bomb like that has been included, and he even includes a snarky remark after it about the fact that some will be offended, which comes off like an extended middle finger to anyone that doesn’t like a Klan-friendly joke. And maybe that’s how it rolls with him; he has all the money he needs, and he doesn’t care if there are people that don’t like what he wrote. But I cannot for the life of me understand why someone would write a memoir like this, one intended to provide an excellent philosophy for his aging readers, one which will also be a part of his legacy after he’s gone, and then include something that will hurt some of the people that read it. I don’t get it. Do I recommend this book to you? From where I sit, if you want it, don’t pay full price for it. I wouldn’t buy it for anyone I like, but now you have my take on it, so the as always, the decision rests with you. *Sigh!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    4.5 stars I can usually count on Dave Barry to give me a good belly laugh (for one of his funniest columns, Google "Hotel Shmotel Dave Barry") but I avoided his latest book as I really didn't want to read about a dog (not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just a little burned out of canine stories) and I certainly didn't want to read about the end of a dog's life. But I decided to try it and turned out it was a lovely book that while a bit more personally introspective of Barry's life an 4.5 stars I can usually count on Dave Barry to give me a good belly laugh (for one of his funniest columns, Google "Hotel Shmotel Dave Barry") but I avoided his latest book as I really didn't want to read about a dog (not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just a little burned out of canine stories) and I certainly didn't want to read about the end of a dog's life. But I decided to try it and turned out it was a lovely book that while a bit more personally introspective of Barry's life and at times a little "self-help-y," still managed to make me guffaw and snort a number of times. Many of the lessons are simple but it's always good to be reminded of how we can make what time we have left pleasurable. And the dog didn't die. Note: As I get older, my morning make-up routine has been pretty much reduced to slapping on sunscreen and plucking various hairs have sprouted on my face overnight. That's why my favorite part was when he talked about aging and not obsessing over how we all look: "I've reached the point where I think I'm looking pretty sharp if all my nose hairs are approximately the same length."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Monnie

    How do I love thee? One of the ways is making me laugh. And nobody does that better than this author, who has been a favorite of mine ever since somewhere in the early 1980s (if memory serves me well) when I began reading - and giggling my way through - his syndicated newspaper columns. Several books have crossed my reading path as well, the latest being this one. It's a bit more introspective than others have been - after all, he's getting older like the rest of us (for the record, he's about s How do I love thee? One of the ways is making me laugh. And nobody does that better than this author, who has been a favorite of mine ever since somewhere in the early 1980s (if memory serves me well) when I began reading - and giggling my way through - his syndicated newspaper columns. Several books have crossed my reading path as well, the latest being this one. It's a bit more introspective than others have been - after all, he's getting older like the rest of us (for the record, he's about seven years younger than I am). Nonetheless I chuckled, chortled and, on occasion, belly laughed my way from beginning to end. Subtitled "The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog," the center of attention here is Barry's aging dog Lucy. From watching (and clearly loving) her, he has derived seven "lessons" that everyone - not just those of us for whom the years ahead are far fewer than those we've left behind - would do well to consider. That's largely because Lucy has always known how to be happy; if we follow her examples, we, too, can live out the rest of our years as happier individuals with fewer regrets. Each chapter presents a new lesson (No. 1: Make New Friends (And Keep the Ones You Have), followed by his observations of Lucy's behavior and his conclusions as to why we humans would do well to be copycats. Did I mention cats? That reminds me to mention Barry's often wry humor runs rampant throughout the book, including a reference to cats, who he claims "have the morals of Hannibal Lecter." My personal favorite is his take on the burden of Social Security costs that is being passed to younger generations: "I view this as payback for what the younger generations have done to music." Both amusing, yes; but the "no spleen" story had me - quite literally - doubled over and in tears (you'll just have to read it for yourself). Now that I've finished the book, I'll offer one of my own life lessons: Never underestimate the importance of laughter. It will - trust me on this - serve you well through the best of times and the worst of times. This book provides a wonderful reminder of that - and I thank the publisher (via NetGalley) for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy. It's rare that I say this, but I really, really didn't want this one to end.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy "the book-bat"

    I love Dave Barry's humor. Lucy is a great dog. The final chapter (extra lesson after the epilogue) showed Barry's serious side and the situation was suspenseful. I really liked this book. I love Dave Barry's humor. Lucy is a great dog. The final chapter (extra lesson after the epilogue) showed Barry's serious side and the situation was suspenseful. I really liked this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shan

    Laugh-out-loud funny. I'm sure there are people who saw me walking my dog while listening to this and who now think of me as "that crazy lady." Dave Barry narrates the audio book himself, so we hear it all in his own voice. The story in the intro about the two dogs he used to have and the patio door that didn't blow down in the hurricane is priceless. For dog lovers who worry about reading something with an old dog in it: Lucy was still going strong at the end of the book. Seven lessons for living Laugh-out-loud funny. I'm sure there are people who saw me walking my dog while listening to this and who now think of me as "that crazy lady." Dave Barry narrates the audio book himself, so we hear it all in his own voice. The story in the intro about the two dogs he used to have and the patio door that didn't blow down in the hurricane is priceless. For dog lovers who worry about reading something with an old dog in it: Lucy was still going strong at the end of the book. Seven lessons for living a happier life. It's not that there's anything new--anything we don't all already know--it's that we need to apply the lessons to our lives. It's good stuff, packaged in Dave Barry's stories about himself and his family and his good old dog. I don't think it's a spoiler to list them here but just in case, I'll hide them after the spoiler tag. (view spoiler)[ 1. Make new friends and keep the ones you have 2. Don't stop having fun, and if you've stopped, start having fun 3. Pay attention to the people you love, not later, but now 4. Let go of your anger unless it's about something really important, which it hardly ever is 5. Try not to judge people by their looks, and don't obsess over your own 6. Don't let your happiness depend on things. They don't make you truly happy, and you'll never have enough. 7. Don't lie unless you have a really good reason, which you probably don't And then a touching, emotional chapter after the epilogue, in which life deals out another Lucy lesson: Be grateful for what you have. (hide spoiler)]

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Challis

    3.5 stars rounded up because of the addendum. Don’t get me wrong; this is a good book. It has funny parts, touching parts, and really meaningful points to make. But I thought I was getting a dog book, and this is not really a book about a dog. Dave Barry uses his dog’s personality as a framework with which to talk about his own life. There is nothing inherently wrong with that- it is just that I went in expecting something much different. I listened to the audio and I thought Barry’s delivery of 3.5 stars rounded up because of the addendum. Don’t get me wrong; this is a good book. It has funny parts, touching parts, and really meaningful points to make. But I thought I was getting a dog book, and this is not really a book about a dog. Dave Barry uses his dog’s personality as a framework with which to talk about his own life. There is nothing inherently wrong with that- it is just that I went in expecting something much different. I listened to the audio and I thought Barry’s delivery of his own lines could be a bit off at times. The addendum really touched me, however, and I could hear the fear and pain in Barry’s voice as he read. I am not sure how he got through it. It made him seem more empathetic and human. And it made me like his book more. Overall, this was a very quick read and I do not regret reading it. Now, however, I am going to have to find a book that is really and truly about dogs. I am in the mood.

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