Dog Days of Summer

Diēs Caniculārēs
The Dog Days of Summer

What does the term ‘dog days of summer’ really mean? It’s one of those expressions we use but many may not know the origin of the phrase. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the term refers to the period of time in which the sun rises and sets in conjunction with the star, Sirius. Sirius is part of the constellation Canus Major, or the Greater Dog. Therefore, Sirius is often called the Dog Star.

Ancient Romans believed that Sirius also gave off heat because it is so bright. They attributed the sultry days that occur between July 3 and August 11 to this brightness. In reality, the increased heat is due to the tilt of the Earth during this time of the year that leads to the sun rays hitting more directly and for a longer portion of the day.

While you are staying in the air conditioning, consider one of these dog-inspired stories to keep you company!

David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter series. A sleuth and his golden retriever, Tara work together to solve mysteries. Start with Open and Shut, available in print and on audio through eLibraryNJ.

Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie mysteries. Piscataway owns Heart of Barkness and Of Mutts and Men in print. eLibraryNJ has his juvenile story, Woof, available on audiobook.

Biloxi, by Mary Miller. A recently divorced man adopts a dog and they help each other find life again. In print at the library.

Sara Driscoll’s FBI K-9 series featuring Meg and Hawk. Piscataway has Lone Wolf, Before It’s Too Late, and No Man’s Land in print.

The Dog I Loved, by Susan Wilson. A “tale of survival and a testament to the human spirit”.

Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose novels. A series for adults and another for children feature humorous canine points of view as the dogs help their human families. The audiobook of A Dog’s Purpose is also available on eLibraryNJ.

Margaret Mizushima, Timber Creek K-9 mysteries. Another K-9 dog and sleuth partnership. Piscataway has Killing Trail, Stalking Ground, Hunting Hour, and Tracking Game in print.

If those are not enough to get you started, or you prefer to get your books remotely right now, you can search our eLibraryNJ collection for canine-centered books you can download to your electronic reader or phone. Access to eLibraryNJ is available with a valid Piscataway Library card and PIN.

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