Good Dog. Stay.
Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and novelist Quindlen has recently met with tremendous success in the realm of short nonfiction with an inspirational and motivational bent. Recounting the life and death of her beloved Labrador retriever, Beau, she follows the same pattern. Quindlen masters a calm, thoughtful radio-essay style of delivery that nicely fits the introspective nature of her material, which includes some powerful ruminations on aging and mortality. Yet as a 45-minute stand-alone offering, the recording lacks the weight of a dramatic center, since Quindlen devotes such a large chunk of the fleeting allotment of time to setting the stage on the front end and offering reflection in conclusion. Somehow, it seems as though a two-for-one arrangement similar to the 2005 audiobook release pairing Quindlen's Being Perfect and A Short Guide to a Happy Life might have allowed for a broader and more fully realized sense of her unique gift for deeply personalized narrative. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover. (Nov.)