Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Walks With Sam: A Man, a Dog, and a Season of Awakening

Rate this book
A man, his dog, and a long walk can lead to unexpected discoveries. In the tradition of many literary walkers, David W. Berner sets out on foot hoping to reexamine his life, look back and forward, and most importantly, through the help of his young dog, Sam, try to find harmony in new beginnings and the uncertainties of the present.

In a series of chapters, each dedicated to one walk during a summer of hiking, the author finds that it is his beloved pet that allows him to awaken to a new spirit of mindfulness, finding beauty, wonder, and comfort in the ordinary, and to see a life, a neighborhood, and even a country with brand new eyes.

176 pages, Paperback

Published September 1, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

David W. Berner

19 books93 followers
David W. Berner is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, author, and teacher. As a writer, he has been the recipient of awards from the prestigious Society of Midland Authors and the Chicago Writers Association. David has more than forty years experience in broadcast journalism as a reporter, anchor, news director, and program director. He regularly contributes to the CBS Radio Network and has contributed to public radio stations around the country, including NPR’s Weekend edition.

David has also performed live literature readings at 2nd Story, Essay Fiesta, Waterline Writers, and Sunday Salon. And regularly conducts workshops on writing and memoir.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
26 (34%)
4 stars
26 (34%)
3 stars
18 (23%)
2 stars
5 (6%)
1 star
1 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,446 reviews7,062 followers
July 6, 2020
*3.5 Stars *

My little old dog
a heart-beat
at my feet”
― Edith Wharton

Amongst the mayhem and madness that is Covid-19, comes a little respite, in the form of this delightful novel about author David Berner and his labradoodle Sam, relating the contemplative walks that they share around their neighbourhood, finding meaning in the smallest of things, along with David’s attempts at conversation with Sam, and him imagining her replies.

This novel clearly demonstrates the beauty, healing, and redemptive power of a leisurely walk, especially in the company of that devoted creature, better known as man’s best friend. The sheer ordinary ness of their daily encounters, lends a charm that is often lacking today.

If you have, or have had a dog, you’ll recognise in this book, the special bond that is shared with your four legged friend - it defies all reason - take the way that your dog seems to know if you’re feeling sad, and acts accordingly, just as you learn all of their little quirks and needs. As a former dog owner (who still adores dogs) I am privileged to know how it feels to receive unconditional love from a furry friend, and each and every one of those special animals who have shared my life, will forever have a place in my heart. Split into walks rather than chapters, this novel is sure to appeal to dog lovers around the world.

* I was invited to read ‘Walks With Sam’ by the publisher and have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,906 reviews1,642 followers
August 26, 2020
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

This book is written in a series of short chapters dedicated to one walk during a summer of hiking, the author finds that it's his beloved pet that allows him to awaken to a new spirit of mindfulness, finding beauty, winder abd comfort. Seeing his neighbour with brand new eyes.

David W Berner has a labradoodle called Sam and this is a series of short stories about their walks. This is a light and refreshing quick book to read. There's less than 180 pages to read. It's also an interesting book to read.. It's well written and Sam (who is a bìtch) is adorable. Sn enjoyable read for dog lovers everywhere.

I would like to thank NetGalley, John Hunt Publishing and the author David W Berner for my ARC in exchange for am honest review.
Profile Image for Literary Redhead.
1,733 reviews515 followers
August 26, 2020
I loved this simple but profound book on the author’s walks with his “doodle” puppy, Sam.

The author has turned 60 and is in a reflective mood, looking back but also trying to stay mindful in the present. Sam teaches him how to live in the moment.

Each chapter details a different walk around nearby blocks where they meet neighbors and their dogs, and take the pulse of their quiet community. It felt as if I strolled with them, enjoying Sam’s vibrant energy and David’s wise musings — a lovely pastime!

5 of 5 Stars

Pub Date 28 Aug 2020

Thanks to the author, John Hunt Publishing Ltd, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

#WalksWithSam #NetGalley
Profile Image for Sheena.
614 reviews277 followers
June 16, 2020
If I see a dog on the cover, I immediately request it. I don't even read the summary or look at any possible reviews - I just request it and hope for the best. Walks With Sam is about walks that David W. Berner takes with his labradoodle Sam and the adventures that await them. I had a golden doodle once so that was a wonderful surprise to me. Sam reminded me so much of my own dog and it made me happy. I loved that Berner often talks to his dog and wonder what her thoughts are about certain things because I do the same thing, as I'm sure most people with dogs do. Throughout the walks, there are random thoughts and musings about life such as growing into adulthood, signs of aging, death, and that change is inevitable. I really loved this one and it made me feel both happy and sad.

Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy!
Profile Image for Samuel.
249 reviews38 followers
September 9, 2020
This was a pleasant listen on the whole. Not particularly revelatory or incredibly insightful, but soothing and containing some thoughtful observations on life and the world we live in. Berner references and quotes some interesting writers, philosophers and poets in the book that I will be looking up for future reading. The narration by the author himself is doable, but does feel rather rushed and monotonous at times. I think I would’ve enjoyed the book more had the narration been a bit better. The last chapters in which the author sums up his thoughts about his walks with Sam resonated most with me.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,800 reviews296 followers
September 30, 2020
thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for an open and honest review

this book reminds me of marley but with more warmth as the dog teaches the man about life reawakening
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 5 books1,890 followers
September 14, 2020
Rarely does a book talk about Thoreau and walk like Thoreau. The musings of the author as he walks his dog are really enjoyable to read. You don't know where the book is going to go as it is literally dog-driven. I am known as someone who loves the writings of Danny The Dog by Andrew Joyce. Danny really needs to meet Sam. For Sam, he is ghostwritten by David. This is Danny the Dog from Andrew's perspective.

The musings range from weather to age to mortality to politics. They include the idiosyncratic occurrences that are found within a block of one's home. This was a great read. It is possible if you are a hardline right-wing, you might be offended by this book. To be fair, you are probably offended by any life outside of 1930's Germany.

This book just flows. You have no idea what the next page will bring. I loved the random nature. The only constant is that Sam needed to walk and David wrote what he thought the walk was about. Funny, entertaining, thought-provoking, this book is the best work this author has ever done. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

I recommend this book to every dog owner in the world. I also recommend this book to every armchair philosopher. You may be challenged by this book but in a good way. A terrific read.

My Rating: 5+ stars

Reviewed by: Mr. N

This review first appeared: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/po...
Profile Image for Bonnye Reed.
4,235 reviews72 followers
September 1, 2020
I received a free electronic ARC of this self-help/memoir from Netgalley, David W. Berner, and John Hunt Publishing - Roundfire Books. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read Walks with Sam of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I enjoy anything written by David W. Berner. He is an author I am pleased to recommend to friends and family. His works are always food for thought.

Walks with Sam is a series of life lessons shared with us by David Berner - thoughts and patterns noticed by 60-year-old Berner as he walks his young dog, Sam, through his neighborhood and beyond. No preaching here, just casual bits of human interest and life lessons pointed out by the reactions of Sam or David's reaction to Sam's reactions. A quick, enlightening read.

pub date September 1, 2020
John Hunt Publishing - Roundfire Books

Reviewed on Goodreads and Netgalley on August 20, 2020. Reviewed on September 1, 2020, at AmazonSmile, Barnes&Noble, BookBub, Kobo, and GooglePlay.
Profile Image for Kelly Long.
603 reviews24 followers
June 17, 2020
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
I admit I judged this book by its cover but I usually can't resist a book that has a dog on the front. I enjoyed this book. It's a light read, which I needed. I like that he based each chapter about a different but simple walk, usually through their neighborhood. I have two dogs with very different personalities so I really related to his attempt to walk two dogs at once. It definitely doesn't work well with my two. And I admit that my husband and I talk to our dogs like they're humans.
As a dog owner and lover, I recommend this book to anyone who likes dogs.
Profile Image for David W.  Berner.
Author 19 books93 followers
July 2, 2022
I wrote it, so I kind of like it. Hope you do, too.

Some background on how the book came about. It started as a blog, one that I simply used to chronicle the walks, walks that came after the tragic death of my sister, my turning the chapter on a milestone age, and bringing a new dog into my life. What would be next? How to process what was and what would be? Take a walk, many of them, with one of the most mindfulness creatures on earth, the dog.

Each of the walks happened as they are portrayed. Some of the walks that Sam and I embarked on did not make the book. There were approximately fifteen chronicled walks that did not end up in the final manuscript. The idea was to choose the ones that most revealed both myself and Sam, and portrayed what we both were discovering along the way.

The book was a joy to write, much of it edited with Sam by my side.

Thanks for reading!

Profile Image for Holly Reynolds.
345 reviews10 followers
August 19, 2020
What a sweet book!

I requested this book because I’m a dog-lover and I was keen to get a little bit of insight into a fellow dog-lovers musings... the fact that a dog was featured so prominently was an added bonus.

I found the author’s thoughts and the conversations with Sam to be endearing and sometimes even thought-provoking.

I enjoyed the details of the walks and Sam’s encounters with other dogs as well as her carefree attitude to life and everything she finds along the way.
Profile Image for Annarella.
11.7k reviews133 followers
August 21, 2020
A book that made smile and think. I loved the reflections and I liked the style of writing.
It's an interesting read.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Profile Image for Lynda Stevens.
247 reviews7 followers
August 10, 2020
When David C Berner gets a new dog from the shelter, then it is axiomatic that said dog will need to go for walkies.

The narrator is 61 and has lived with dogs all his life. Sam, despite the name, is a bitch and so-called doodle - half poodle. She seems to be a very athletic, personable dog that likes to roll in mud, sniff a great deal, and indulge in most doggy pleasures..

More to the point, as with all animals, she lives totally in the present. It is perhaps this gift that she, along with all animals, she can bring to her human. The owner, too, gets to live in a kind of meditative present as he shares his observations on the neighbourhood, other dogs and their owners and their idiosyncrasies, aloud with his pooch.

Occasionally there are power struggles, Sam does not always want to do everything his owner asks. Any animal owner though will probably be able to relate to what this book has to say about walking an animal - any animal, actually - sometimes the creature walked may be a ferret, even a cat.

Glad to not to have to read of any subsequent tragedies regarding the pet! There is no need here for that kind of drama, though for some this might seem that much more literally pedestrian in the telling. Dog and owner are presumably still enjoying their daily excursions.

Living with an animal can bring so much more into an owner's life, and perhaps nothing penned here will be any greater a surprise.
Profile Image for Natalie.
142 reviews9 followers
June 21, 2020
Walks with Sam initially appealed to me for 2 reasons: walking in, and communing with, nature, and dogs. I myself love taking walks as a way to soothe, get away from distractions or stress, to refocus. As for dogs, I love them, and I was in search of a short, cute book to help with a reading slump, and Walks with Sam seemed perfect. I will say I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought. I couldn’t focus on it for a long period of time (although that could be attributed to the slump, not the book itself), so the under-200 reflection took longer to read than normal, and it sometimes felt like a chore. The author’s insights weren’t particularly profound or original, but he did emphasize taking joy and finding meaning in the simple, small, basic things we don’t normally notice, which he did do consistently throughout his journey. His discussions of Sam were sweet, endearing, and often humorous as he imagines what’s going on in his dog’s mind. It was a nice read for the time, and I do believe it will make me pay attention more and be more present during my future walks.
Profile Image for Kathy.
1,713 reviews23 followers
August 20, 2020
Engaging, endearing, humorous and wise, Walks with Sam is full of musings and observations on life as the author takes his beloved dog on daily neighborhood walks and wanderings.

On sabbatical from being a professor, Berner reconnects with the meditative and therapeutic benefits of walking, and finds that walking with Sam, his dog, slows him down enough to be more mindful of the world around him. Some of the observations are poignant, some pensive, some laugh out loud funny. I loved the "conversations" between the two! Perfect for anyone who has ever loved a dog and understands that they help us see all things through new, curious eyes and a larger, more open and loving heart!

My thanks to NetGalley and John Hunt Publishing - Roundfire Books for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Profile Image for Rianna.
365 reviews49 followers
October 20, 2020
31/55 books read in 2020.
Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

31 insights gained by walking 31 times with Sam.
This is what I would call a glass of calm, refreshing water to offset all of the sad and bad news we are bombarded with this 2020.
Berner had written 31 chapters in which one of his walks with Sam are laid out. He describes the neighbours he meets or seeks out, the decorations put up around the neighbourhood, the animals he and Sam encounter, his conversations with Sam, and Sam's different moods and behaviours.
To be honest it was extremely cute, homely, and comforting. I'm glad I've read this.
Profile Image for Philippa Mckenna.
394 reviews7 followers
August 14, 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely, light hearted book about the author's daily walks with his dog, Sam. Each chapter is about a different walk, and the people and situations they come across each day. I loved the way David communicates with Sam. He is a real dog lover and that comes across so well. He does a brilliant job of interpreting Sam's behaviour, and trying to put into words what she could be thinking and feeling. It's a short book too, just perfect for dipping in and out of as there's no complicated plot to have to keep up with. A very refreshing read.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
1,270 reviews23 followers
August 15, 2020
Thanks to John Hunt Publishing for the DRC!

Nice book to dog lovers. In each chapter, the author reflects upon a different situation, analyzing his life and enjoying some great moments with his beloved dog, Sam. He wonders what life means to her and how much we're alike, despite the obvious differences.

He and his wife had other dogs before, but still, he learns something new with Sam every day. I know how that feels and it's beautiful. Even when we're doing the most ordinary things, they can still surprise us.

It's a short book, but very inspiring. I really liked it. :)
Profile Image for Marie (UK).
3,186 reviews46 followers
October 18, 2020
I received an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. This book is a simple tale of how one man's mind goes through its cogitations whilst walking and caring for his dog - Sam - a dog with almost audible thought processes of her own. I can see why this book might be a bog hit for dog lovers as there is a real relationship between dog and owner. It is a gentle narrative which does open the reader to deeper thought. However It was not one that really grabbed me and my rating probably reflects me more than the overall appeal of the book
Profile Image for Cozy Reviews.
1,751 reviews5 followers
September 11, 2020
This book is a delight. This is a series of short chapters by the author about a summer he spent mindfully walking with his dog Sam . Once only focused on his career he takes time to get know his dog and communicate with him on their series of daily enriching walks. I loved the sweet relationship between the author and his Sam and how he learned to be in the moment with what is truly important in life.

Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley. This book I highly recommend.
Profile Image for Esther.
104 reviews25 followers
September 4, 2020
Crossposted from Cozy with Books


Slow paced and an easy read, I found myself feeling “bored” but not really. Maybe the word I’m looking for is tranquil or meditative. A page turner in its own way, I quite enjoyed reading this book because of how different it is to my usual reads. I think with so much rushing around in life, we tend to forget about the smaller things. This is a nonfiction book about a man, his dog and their walks. A beautiful concoction that mixes the daily mundane task of walking the dog and rediscovering yourself, Walks with Sam sparked a warmth in me that left me craving adopting a dog of my own an attempt to slow down and just muse about the wonders of life. I don’t have a dog of my own, but I do commute to and from work via walking and both journeys I tend to power walk to the destination, on auto mode, with nothing in mind except for my day ahead and the day gone past.

For some of us, walking the dog (or commuting from point A to B), even with an abundance of time, maybe a bullet point, a check box, a line off your daily to-do list. When your brain goes into auto mode, it’s no harder or different of a task than getting your coffee, climbing into your car, and heading to work. Walking the dog is part of [a dog owner’s] life. It’s not something we think about. The task just gets done.

Walks with Sam is written from the viewpoint of the author, David. Having turned 60 and taking a break from teaching, David begins to document his walks with Sam looking for new meanings in life along with the little older ones hidden by the fog of the hustle and bustle of youth and work. We rush to the coffee shop to find the long line there so you end up rushing to the train that [now] you’ve just missed, and then rushing 5 minutes late into work with half the coffee already consumed. Of course you’re not going to take a moment to smell the flowers. But when you’re 60, and taking a sabbatical from work, you had a lot of time to think about a lot of things.

The chapters in this book are broken down into walks around the block such as Walk 4 revolving around David’s interaction with a neighbor that he, at first, deemed as a little off or Walk 22 revolving around training Sam via the goodness of bacon (😩 🥓) or Walk 26 as David contemplates about the concept of Aloneness.

Filled with the muses of one man, inspired by his dog and the world around him (and books!), each chapter is full of thoughts or little philosophical moments. He started documenting these walks with the purpose of rediscovering himself, what he loved and held close to him, who he was before and who he is now. The entire tone and mood of the book is calm, quiet, and soothing and it’s definitely a book to reread every now and then when you’re looking for things to think about.

I absolutely adorned the book, author and his dog. Sam has the playful energy of any puppy turning into an adolescent. Exploration and discovery comes in all forms from the grass to that rustle up there in the tree. Trains are scary. People are exciting. Bacon is delicious. Catch me if you can. The conversations between David and Sam are endearing and adorable. He’s having whole conversations with Sam, with the assumption that hopefully Sam actually understands a good portion of it. There’s even a chapter/walk in there where David, himself, muses about how there are some owners, like his wife Leslie, that speak to their dogs with words that most dog owners say: phrases, discipline, and announcements and then there are those that speak of whole stories with their dogs.

There was a lovely moment in the book where David is pretty much talking and musing out loud to Sam who is just being a dog, taking in the environment and not really paying attention. I loved that scene the most because it reminds me of the times I have lived with dogs myself and sometimes it’s better to just have someone listening to you, even if they aren’t particularly paying attention or even understanding what you are saying. It’s nice to have someone just lay there (or walking) and listening to you ramble on and on and not judge you.

A lovely read with plenty of things to learn off of, this is a book that I could honestly reread again or at least flag certain walks to glimpse through on during bad days.

147 reviews2 followers
July 27, 2020
When David Berner took a sabbatical from teaching, he decided it was a good opportunity to enjoy his daily walks with his dog, Sam. Walking a dog was not a new experience to him, but he decided to walk in a more mindful way. He noticed that in general he wanted to pace on vigorously whereas Sam wanted to nose around, smell things and take her time. So he decided to slow his pace and give Sam the time she needed. And as a result he started to notice little things around him.

‘Walks with Sam’ is a very gentle book. Each 'chapter' covers a day’s walk and the author’s ruminations for the day – maybe triggered by someone he met, something he saw or musings about what Sam is thinking. He finds inspiration on his doorstep. There are some lovely light-hearted moments and the bond between the author and Sam shines through.

I was surprised that I didn’t find myself wanting a dog having read the book. Maybe the sections about grooming and dogs splashing in the mud put me off! However I did find myself walking just a little slower when I went out and taking things in rather than rushing from A to B.

For me, the joy of the book wasn’t particularly in anything the author said, but that it is a good reminder to take time with the things we are doing and to be present in our lives.

My thanks to NetGalley and John Hunt Publishing for a review copy of this book.
Profile Image for Sanskriti Nagar.
24 reviews21 followers
August 17, 2020
The everyday occurrences of life and the everyday observations - made infinitely better with a walk and dog for company. David W. Berner decides to use four months of his walks with his 2-year old dog Sam and simply look at what is. The outside world becomes a great way to introspect into his own life, value systems and belief. With Sam tagging along, it also is a journey to understanding the bond we share with other living species, especially our lovely dogs. The very fears and joys of being a pet parent is a part of this journey. Changes we go through because of our external environment, even in that short a time, is also a part of this journey.

Overall, a quick and simple read, one that makes you smile throughout as you contemplate your own relationship with your pets and the therapeutic joys of walking.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this book.
42 reviews
September 8, 2020
Walking with Sam is a very pleasant reading, one of those books that you love from the first pages. David’s season of walks with his dog is the perfect occasion to reflect and meditate during his sabbatical year. These occasions gave him the opportunity to contemplate on deep thoughts and to notice things and people he would have never noticed in his regularly and chaotic life. What I really liked is the strong relationship that develops throughout the walks between David and his dog, a special bond that helped him to see things fresh and to rediscover himself.
Profile Image for Kristine L..
377 reviews25 followers
July 1, 2020
He had me at “dog” and “walk.” But the rest of this book is so absorbing and delightful, it's like wading into eddies of grace and riding 'em into deep water.

Walks With Sam isn’t another “dog book.” It’s more of a journey of self-discovery. Or maybe re-discovery. The author, age 60, is on sabbatical from Columbia College, Chicago. He begins his regular “mini adventures” in neighborhood walks with his beloved dog, Sam. Along the way Berner asks, “What might we learn from each other, find out about ourselves, and when this season of walking is behind us, who will we be?”

Walks With Sam unveils the answer.

With great skill and literary dexterity, the author eloquently captures “the beauty and redemptive power of a contemplative walk, and especially a walk with one’s dog.” You feel as if you’re at their side, tagging along.

Lucid and lithe, the text glides effortlessly from one walk and setting to the next. The writing is top-notch, brimming with warmth and full-bodied flavor. It’s as crisp and clear as an October night sky.

The author tosses out narrative bait at the beginning of each “walk” or chapter. A pungent statement or musing. An aromatic observation or interrogatory. Then he skillfully reels us in, rounding out each chapter with relevant reflections from his walks and interactions with Sam.

Two favorite chapters are Walks 14 and 15, “Rain” and “Summer,” respectively. In rich, lyrical prose the author offers gentle insights into a wide variety of experiences and observations. A steaming summer in Chicago. (Does anyone run through sprinklers anymore?) Patience. Mindfulness. Reunions and remembering. Wanting what’s out of reach. Joy. Forgiveness. Woodstock and Watergate and walks in the rain. Jacques Cousteau. The difference between alone and lonely. In-the-moment-ness that dogs know so thoroughly and do so well.

The final chapter is Walk 31 – And Now We Rest. The author’s sabbatical is at an end. He peers over the observations and lessons of the past four months of walks with Sam and pens a galaxy of glittering word pictures while ruminating on art, aging, relationships, and nature. Much more. Indeed, the final chapter is wistful and bittersweet. Candid, poignant, and thoughtful. “You are what you do.” I didn’t want it to end. Will someone kindly pass the tissue?

P.S.: Be sure to read the Acknowledgements. They’re golden.
P.S.S.: Walks With Sam strays into PCville a little too often. However, I loved the bulk of this book so much, I’m willing to overlook the occasional detour. Just don’t make it a habit, okay?

1,383 reviews18 followers
August 27, 2020
We live in a crazy, hectic world. This book takes us out of there, even if just for a short time. The author, having reached the age of 60, takes time to look back on his life while staying in the present, while walking with his faithful dog, Sam, around his neighborhood. The author does not spend a lot of time telling us what to do or how to cure or end all the chaos we may encounter; he just notes items of interest as well as lessons brought out by his dog Sam, or his reactions to Sam’s reactions. Each chapter follows a simple walk, generally through his neighborhood, with his and Sam’s reactions and thoughts about what is going on or about to go on. The interactions come across as genuine. The insights and ideas put forth, while not always earth-shattering, lead one to ruminate on things that may never have come up otherwise. This a good book for the busy, busy person in a very harried world, as it shows that we can all settle back and “smell the roses” every now and then. I thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity of the book, as well as the closeness between the author and Sam, as it is and has always been between me and my dogs. Definitely a must read for the busy person in today’s hectic world. I received this from NetGalley to read and review.
Profile Image for Jacque Stengel.
285 reviews59 followers
July 19, 2020
A feel good read in this time of troubles. One man's journey of walks with his dog and his ruminations on life. The good, the bad and even the ugly. It was great! The book read so fast as each chapter was each individual walk and what was learned that day! This book is good for anyone that loves dogs and life lessons. Thank you NetGalley for the arc!
2 reviews
July 9, 2020
A strong evocative tale about a man and his dog. As David is on his walks with Sam you realize the truest outlook of life should be enjoying the little things. The little handprints left in the sidewalk curbs, the meeting of a glancing neighbor and the light exploration of one's neighborhood with their best friend. Also, Sam's assumed outlook of our human life is quirky and generously funny. I would recommend this book for everyone from someone on the cusp of entering a new phase of life or living out their days in the sunny afterglow of a life well-lived.
82 reviews1 follower
June 27, 2020
I welcomed the chance to read this book as I'm using extra lockdown time gained to read things that I would probably not usually try. I'm not a dog-lover but I do enjoy a good, solitary, contemplative walk and so I felt that there was a potential commonality to be shared.

The book is split into relatively short "walks" rather than chapters. Having read the first few I wasn't really being drawn in and I felt that, although the premise was good, much more could have been made of the observations that were noted by Berner. Perhaps this was due to the fact that my previous read was a more academic, psychological text? However, a comfortable chair and tree-dappled sunlight meant that I persisted and, in part, I'm glad I did.

The read was easy which meant that there was space in the text for thought and further personal exploration of the ideas. Berner’s insights didn't strike me as particularly profound or original, but there was more than a nod to the practice of mindfulness and finding meaning and joy in the simple and everyday. Projecting some of these thoughts and observations onto the dog, Sam, perhaps allowed me a greater space to understand what it is to be human, to emote and to live as, stripped of the human cloak, it was possible to be free of traditional constraints.

I'd have loved for the author to have expanded on some of the ideas, and be less repetitive with others but, overall I'm glad that I found this text (and the "September" playlist contained therein) and will enjoy pondering some of the ideas when next I walk.

With thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
Profile Image for Tea & Cake for the Soul.
297 reviews12 followers
October 28, 2020
This book is a collection of thoughts and observations from a 60 year old American man as he walks his dog Sam, a poodle/golden retriever mix. He talks about the people and other dogs they meet, along with the things he notices in his community during the changing seasons.

It’s a short pleasant read that would last about 2 hours but probably best enjoyed a few “walks” at a time, maybe during breakfast, or just before bed. The thing I most took away from this book was to take the time to be mindful as you walk, you may just notice more than you thought. This might make a nice little stocking filler for a dog lover for Christmas.

Released August 2020 on Kindle, Audiobook and paperback.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.