Steven Kotler

At 40, Steven Kotler was a jaded L.A. journalist whose philanthropy was limited to once having “had sex with a Peace Corps volunteer.” But that changes when he falls in love with a woman dedicated to animal rescue. Soon after, he sells his belongings and moves with her to New Mexico to start a dog sanctuary—a transition that serves as the premise of his charming memoir A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life (Bloomsbury, $24). Like most dog-related stories, Kotler’s tale is sweet and oftentimes heartbreaking. But Kotler doesn’t indulge in sentimental prose, and he’s a frequently hilarious writer. (“Salty is a three-pound Chihuahua, handsome, blonde, shell-shocked, and not too unlike Michael Caine near the ragged end of The Man Who Would Be King.”) Even so, it’s obvious from the number of furry photos in his book that he’s given his heart to the dogs. (Also: Elliott Bay Book Co., 7 p.m. Fri.) ERIKA HOBART

Thu., Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 8, 7 p.m., 2010

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