Finished up "Merle's Door" last night. I didn't know anything about the book other than the cover pictures and from reading the jacket notes, so I wasn't really sure what kind of book to expect. I read this one differently than I usually do other books; instead of immersing myself completely and spending all of my time reading, I took my time with it. I read a chapter or two here and there, or in 15-20 minute blocks. I think doing it differently helped give me a different perspective on the book and it seemed to be the best way for me to absorb it.
I liked the book quite a bit, and I can safely say that this is the first Canine Biography I've ever read. I'm sure Shelbe being near the end of her time helped the story to resonate with me a bit more than it might for people who have never had a dog be a big part of their lives.
I've decided to put the Stephen Donaldson book ("The Runes of the Earth: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant") on hold for a bit. I've read the first 80 pages or so, and like it so far, but I don't think I'm ready to commit myself to reading it right now. When I read a book like this, I have to let myself fall into the book's world. In order to get what I want to from it, I try to experience everything from the perspective of an invisible observer inside the book's universe. I visualize myself as an unseen character that follows alongside the main characters so I can feel and try to understand what they're going through. And I'm not in the right place to do that right now. Maybe next week.