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

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and bestselling author of Dave Barry Turns 40 now shows how to age gracefully, taking cues from his beloved and highly intelligent dog, Lucy.

Faced with the obstacles and challenges of life after middle age, Dave Barry turns to his best dog, Lucy, to learn how to live his best life. From “Make New Friends” (an unfortunate fail when he can’t
ebook, 240 pages
Expected publication: April 2nd 2019 by Simon Schuster (first published October 23rd 2018)
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4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  124 reviews

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Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, nonfiction

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
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it

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
Montzalee Wittmann
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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

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 do
Theresa Alan
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Renee (
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 lay out many pieces of advice and rules for living he'd like to accomplish in
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
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
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Bonnye Reed
GN As always, Dave Berry shares with us the laments of humanity with enough laughter to ease the pain. I love Lessons From Lucy - as only another old dog can. Lucy is everyman. And mostly we are all as shy as Dave.

pub date April 2, 2019
Simon and Schuster
Angie Boyter
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Doggoned good lessons!
Dave Barry recently turned seventy, a sobering milestone that makes many of us think about life and just what it means to lead a good one. Fortunately, Barry has Lucy, his ten-year-old (equivalent to 70 man-years) boxer-dalmatian-chow chow-retriever rescue dog, to show him. In Lessons from Lucy, Dave Barry uses what he has seen and experienced with his canine companion to give us lessons on how to live a happy, fulfilling, and good life. There are seven chapters, each devot
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been a huge Dave Barry fan for years. I tend to like humor that is taken from real life and comes from experiences that humans share and can relate to. Like talking to the people from the cable company, for example (in his case, Comcast, in my case Charter/ATT/DirecTV). So I am happy to give an honest review of Barry’s latest book Lessons From Lucy in return for my honest review (thanks, Simon & Schuster and NetGalley). The book is categorized as “Humor-Self-help” which I found interest ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher (I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it)---

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and bestselling author of Dave Barry Turns 40 now shows how to age gracefully, taking cues from his beloved and highly intelligent dog, Lucy.

Faced with the obstacles and challenges of life after middle age, Dave Barry turns to his best dog, Lucy, to learn ho
Dave Barry’s “Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog” gives us a kinder, gentler Dave…no, scratch that…a grumpier, even more sarcastic – and hilarious – Dave Barry.

Offering his unique version of a self-help book, Barry looks to his happy, stress-free dog Lucy for hints about improving his quality of life. In fact, Lucy’s approach to life seems to be working better than her master’s – as he reports, Lucy knows how to be happy, while he doesn’t.

Barry organizes his insights into
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Humorist Dave Barry (on turning 70, relates that he's the same age as Lucy in dog years) offers 7 lessons that he/we could learn from his aging dog Lucy. For anyone who's ever known or loved a dog, none of these lessons will come as a'll be able to relate to them all! Barry expounds on these ideas, sometimes seems to go off on a tangent......but he is able to bring it all together. I had several 'laugh out loud' moments on reading this, so I like Barry's sense of humor.....this w ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dave Barry's Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog was a very sweet simplistic humorous book of life lessons. The lessons learned were genuine motivations for a happy healthy life. Would definitely recommend this book.
Kevin Hogan
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book via NetGalley ARC.

Good advice, Lucy! Presented in typically humorous Dave Barry fashion. My favorite part is at the end when he grades himself on how well he is following his own advice.
Lee Ellen
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
I don't like self-help books, and, though I love animals, I avoid books written by pet owners as if they will spontaneously spawn plague-infested fleas. I presume without experience that they will be mawkish, self-absorbed, and assume that the reader finds cutesy puns to be the highest form of humor. They will also write from the perspective that their animal is THE BEST ANIMAL EVER. I know this is inaccurate, because that animal is, of course, my cat.

However, I will read anything written by Dav
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, funny, and delightful! I burst out laughing a few times reading this! The portrayal of a dog as an example to follow for a simple and happier life certainly isn't a new concept. But here it's handled with some great humor on the obvious impracticalities as well. (Make new friends, but maybe don't try to catch a whiff of their nether regions.. 😉)

The length was perfect for a fun, quick read and there are now quite a few people in my life I want to share this with, especially my grandparents
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to win a galley copy of this book. I had, of course, read the occasional Dave Barry column over the years & always enjoyed his gentle humor & spot-on observations of human behavior. This book is no different. Though the animal lover in me of course loved his connection to his dog Lucy, this book is actually a little primer in mindfulness. It's a quick read & well worth the time. The lessons are solids & ones that most of us could stand to work on.
Nan Williams
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is no greater delight than reading the writings of Dave Barry! Well, possibly hearing him speak. I do miss his column which we used to have in our local paper.

Lessons from Lucy is not only delightful, but heart warming and poignant. Barry has taken the life of his dog to give us all serious life lessons. This is a far cry from his usual books that produce “rolling on the floor laughing” reactions. However, true to himself, this one has plenty of ROFL moments!

It’s easy to give this one 5 st
Carol Kean
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What happens when a cynical, retired, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who hates self-help books starts taking notes on his old but happy dog--and realizes he's written a self-help book?

He taps into the wry and intelligent sense of humor that launched his career, and we get to enjoy Dave Barry’s “Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog.”

Keep this book on hand in case someone near you needs a good laugh.

Dave Barry is seventy (I can say that now that shock has worn off), but thi
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
Before I say anything else, Barry has set up an Instagram page (well, probably not him, actually -- he states in the book he doesn't understand Instagram) for his dog, Lucy. You should absolutely check it out and then come back to read what I have to say about the book. Dog Pictures > my blog. Pretty near always.

With that out of the way . . . Dave Barry has been a dog person for most of his life, one of the many reasons I like him. I di
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, self-help, dogs
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Dave Barry is a well-known humorist. He has authored many books, both fiction and non-fiction. His accolades are sung throughout the land and rightly so. He has a Pulitzer Prize, is a NYT Best Selling Author, and even had a sitcom based on a couple of his books. As a columnist his funny takes on life and whatever else was in his head at
James Knight
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I should first confess to being a huge fan of Dave Barry for the entirety of his long career. I have read and laughed at hundreds of his newspaper columns and most of his published books (non-fiction and fiction). We are approximately the same age and share an appreciation of the wisdom, happiness and attitudes of our canine companions. We also share similar musical interests, things that annoy us, a frustration with aging, and a need to apply the seven lessons from Lucy humorously but wisely de ...more
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Dave Barry is a humor columnist. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened.
Dave has also written a total of 30 books, although virtually none of them contain useful information. Two of his books were used as