From Publishers Weekly
Not only has Katz written 16 books, he cohosts Dog Talk
on public radio, freelances for a variety of newspapers and magazines, and operates the eponymous Bedlam Farm in upstate New York—sometimes with his wife, but always with dogs and chickens and sheep and even a few donkeys and cows. Readers familiar only with Katz's suburban mystery novels will find that his farm memoirs set out to do basically the same thing, bring order to chaos. His goal in running Bedlam Farm is to find ways for his various animals and their humans to work together in harmonious synchronicity. Everything requires balance. He must be mindful of his own tendency to anthropomorphize, while remaining open to the emotional bonds his animals invite. He must remember that many awful things—flies, freezing weather, disease—are normal in the lives of animals, even as he struggles to give his animals the best life possible. He has to balance his focus on the farm with his relationship with his wife, who never particularly approved of the farm idea, even if she supported his need to do it. Anyone who loves animals or country life, but maybe can't have a pet or actually live in the country, will find Katz a perfect armchair companion. (June)
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"Trying to assemble a sort-of-heavenly city in West Hebron is not a casual thing." So Katz begins his latest collection of stories from upstate New York's Bedlam Farm, the saga of which began with A Dog Year
(2002). Bedlam Farm, a cross between a working and a hobby farm, is the home of the animals that are his inspiration. Jeanette the donkey, who everyone thought was overweight, presented Katz with a surprise foal. A local dairy farmer was embarrassed to admit that he couldn't send one of his Brown Swiss steers to market because he followed him around like a dog, and he persuaded Katz to take him, whereupon he was renamed Elvis. And the dogs: workaholic Rose, the border collie, who can be relied on in all instances for all kinds of work; the new border collie, Izzy, who comes from a troubled past; and the Labradors Clem, who loves everyone but needs one special person, and gentle Pearl, who knows instinctively what everyone needs. A must-read for all animal lovers. Nancy BentCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved