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Dogfight! Julie Klam vs. Jill Abramson, editor of the N.Y. Times

October 3, 2011 |  9:29 am


Two slender books written by women about the relationship between humans and dogs are coming to shelves. The first, "The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout," is by no less than Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times; it's out next week. Then a week later comes "Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself" by Julie Klam, whose previous book, the dog memoir "You Had Me at Woof," was a N.Y. Times bestseller.

How do the two match up?

Abramson/"Puppy": 256 pages
Klam/"Bark": 192 pages

Abramson/"Puppy," first line: "The truth about getting a new dog is that it makes you miss the old one."
Klam/"Bark," first line: "It was six forty-five a.m., and I was heading back to my apartment with my three dogs, Wisteria, Fiorello, and Beatrice."

Abramson/"Puppy": photos of Scout in the text
Klam/"Bark": photos of dogs on the end papers

Abramson/"Puppy," Page 70: "What happened next was a loopy canine version of O. Henry's famous short story, 'The Gift of the Magi.' On the same day and without telling each other, Henry and I both put in a distress call to the same dog trainer."
Klam/"Bark," Page 70: "I'm not taking her, but the group is trying to decide whether or not she should come in to foster. She has malabsorption syndrome and some neurological thing and she's 'fecally incontinent.' "

Abramson: 9,982 Twitter followers
Klam: 5,398 Twitter followers

Abramson/"Puppy," Pages 154-155: "I still yearned, of course, to return to my epicurean days of cooking a plat du jour for Buddy. But Henry was still insisting that we refrain from giving Scout human food at mealtimes, using it only for high-value treats."
Klam/"Bark," Page 155: "Would I wear dirty, wet clothes to save a dog? Definitely. Was I looking forward to it? Nope."

On Monday, Klam premiered her book trailer, which features Twitter buddy Timothy Hutton (playing  something like "evil Timothy Hutton") at New York Magazine. So far, Abramson does not have a book trailer, but you can hear her talking about  writing "The Puppy Diaries" on the book's website.


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New N.Y. Times executive editor Jill Abramson's upcoming puppy book

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Image credits: Riverhead Hardcover, left; Times Books