Books by Peter Zheutlin


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(Publication date: June 1, 2021 by Pegasus Books)

Who was Annie Londonderry? She captured the popular imagination with her daring ‘round the world trip on two wheels. It was, declared The New York World in October of 1895, “the most extraordinary journey ever undertaken by a woman.”

But beyond the headlines, Londonderry was really Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, a young, Jewish mother of three small children, who climbed onto a 42-pound Columbia bicycle and pedaled away into history.

Reportedly set in motion by a wager between two wealthy Boston merchants, the bet required Annie not only to circle the earth by bicycle in 15 months, but to earn $5,000 en route, as well. This was no mere test of a woman’s physical endurance and mental fortitude; it was a test of a woman’s ability to fend for herself in the world.

Often attired in a man’s riding suit, Annie turned every Victorian notion of female propriety on its head. Not only did she abandon, temporarily, her role of wife and mother (scandalous in the 1890s), she earned her way selling photographs of herself, appearing as an attraction in stores, and by turning herself into a mobile billboard.

Zheutlin, a descendent of Annie’s, brilliantly probes the inner life and seeming boundless courage of this outlandish, brash, and charismatic woman. In a time when women could not vote and few worked outside the home, Annie was a master of public relations, a consummate self-promoter, and a skillful creator of her own myth. Yet, for more than a century her remarkable story was lost to history. In SPIN, this remarkable heroine and her marvelous, stranger-than-fiction story is vividly brought to life for a new generation.

All of my books are available from your local independent bookseller or from these and other online retailers:


“Journalist Peter Zheutlin has completed lengthy journeys previously as an author and has also written about rescue dogs. In this new book, he builds on the 1960s renowned book ‘Travels With Charley’ by John Steinbeck to examine the United States of America that has changed drastically since Steinbeck’s trek. Rescue dog Albie has a distinct personality, and in some scenes steals the show. Zheutlin is a keen observer and a fluid stylist with words.”

~ Judges’ Commendation, Lowell Thomas Award, Society of American Travel Writers Foundation

“Fans of Zheutlin’s previous titles will find exactly what they expect here: a deep affection for dogs…a winsome curiosity about the folks he meets along the way, and a spirit of mature adventure. This is the territory of Bill Bryson: a wry, thoughtful look at the byways of America. Book clubs should certainly consider taking this delightful trip.”

~ Booklist

“An entertaining account of a man and his dog traveling along America’s highways…teen and adult fans of Bill Bryson’s travel books and stories of rescue animals will find this delightful.”

~ Library  Journal

“While the journey itself wasn’t always easy, [Zheutlin’s] easygoing writing style makes for comfortable reading…Your own next adventure might only be as far as the dog park, but reading The Dog Went Over the Mountain may inspire you, like Zheutlin, to end the trip with an ice cream cone and a hug for the dog who is part of your journey.”

~ BookPage

“A thought provoking read very much in the spirit of Travels with Charley. Every generation rediscovers America anew; Peter and Albie capture the magic and essence Steinbeck discovered with Charley.”

~ Michele Speich, Executive Director, National Steinbeck Center

“Zheutlin, author of the heartwarming Rescue Road (2015), returns with another uplifting look at the power of ‘second-chance’ dogs to change lives…[He] gives his fellow dog lovers exactly what they want, happily-ever-after stories that don’t sugarcoat the adoption process but nevertheless prove how these dogs positively change lives. With million of dogs waiting in shelters across the country…Zheutlin’s reportage remains important. Tell readers not to fear sad tales; they will enjoy every moment of this passionate book.” ~ Booklist

“A delightful read.” ~ Dean Koontz

In December 2020, Rescue Road joined some esteemed company when it was named one of Bark Magazine’s Best Books: The Who and Why of Dogs. Said Bark: “Have you ever wondered about the great migration of southern dogs to new homes in the north? Or who’s behind the long-distance transports, how they’re orchestrated or why they’re needed? Peter Zheutlin’s inspiring and riveting book, Rescue Road, has the answers. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn about the front lines of animal rescue.”

“Peter Zheutlin has written a lovely, moving, important book about a subject that is both heartbreaking and joyful. Greg Mahle, the central figure of this story, is now a hero of mine. Dogs are not just property. They are one way God tests our compassion.” ~ Dean Koontz

“If you’re looking for a great read, this truly heartwarming story about an extraordinary man helping to give thousands of dogs a second chance is it!” ~ Modern Dog

“Heartwarming doesn’t suffice to describe it: this tale of stray, unwanted, and abandoned dogs, and the people who devote their lives to saving them, restores faith in humanity.” ~ Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

“The exhaustive gathering process and continuous care of the dogs and the tender, unavoidable human-animal bonding experience that transpired ground the book with heart and immense compassion. Written with straightforward clarity, much of the book’s spirit is generated from chronicling Mahle’s honorable and humanitarian work with severely at-risk animals and the emotional investment of the [rescue] movement’s many contributors. An unabashedly sentimental and affecting portrait of a modern-day animal-loving hero.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Peter Zheutlin takes us on a dog lover’s ultimate road trip. Rescue Road is a canine caravan with heart and soul, sharing with the reader the bittersweet reality of dog rescue today. Even the most intrepid of dog rescuers will will find a new hero in Greg Mahle who is, without a doubt, dog’s best friend.” ~ Teresa Rhyne, author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Dog Lived (and So Will I)

“A tender, inspiring homage to the people – and one giant of a man in particular – who save dogs in need and deliver them to their forever homes. These heroes bring hope when there seems to be none, and Peter Zheutlin beautifully captures their great devotion and generosity.” ~ Matthew Gilbert, author of Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park and TV Critic forThe Boston Globe

“The author deftly gets to the heart of animal rescue: it’s a hard, dirty, expensive endeavor; saving one dog’s life can take a handful of people; and volunteers often struggle with both the public and municipal leaders in trying to accomplish this task. With a casually informative style, Zheutlin bluntly presents the gruesome conditions in which many of these dogs live (and die). He applies the same treatment to the positive stories of the dogs that head north and the people who help them get there.” ~ Library Journal

“If you think you love dogs, you’ll meet your match in Greg Mahle. This Ohio man has traveled more than a million miles, finding homes for tens of thousands of dogs from impoverished areas across the South. Learn how Mahle has embraced the unique bond between dogs and humans and brought immeasurable joy to everyone he encounters.” ~ Parade Magazine

“[I]nspiring and riveting…This revelatory and joyous story is sometimes heart-wrenching, particularly when the scale of the challenges and unmet needs of the dogs who are left behind are considered. But it has a vital message, one we hope will inspire many readers to join in however they can to help our country’s unwanted dogs no matter where they are from.” ~ The Bark

“[A] triumphant look at what can happen when good people make good deeds a priority.” ~ Best Friends Magazine

“[H]eartwarming…it’s a road trip like no other…Pet lovers and potential dog owners will find much to enjoy in this educational, touching tale.” ~ Booklist

“Well researched and written…this reclaimed true story illuminates family life, journalism, advertising, and recreation of that transitional era [the 1890s]. As for Annie, she was a remarkable woman and well worth getting to know.”
~ Booklist

“A pleasant, affectionate portrait of a free spirit who pedaled her way out of Victorian constraints.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“[A] lively portrayal of the cycling culture in the United States and France during the late 1800s and a well-researched depiction of cycling’s role in the women’s movement of Susan B. Anthony’s heyday.” ~ The Oregonian

On November 6, 2019, as part of its “Overlooked” series — obituaries of notable women and people of color who merited, but did not receive, recognition in a section dominated since 1851 by obituaries about white men — The New York Times honored Annie Londonderry.

“Against [the] generally lackluster collection of [physician turned patient] memoirs, Dr. Thomas Graboys’s stands out as a small wonder. Unsentimental and unpretentious, it manages to hit all its marks effortlessly, creating a version of the old fable as touching, educational and inspiring as if it had never been told before…” ~ The New York Times

“I was blown away…an eye opening read…a remarkable book.”
~ Dr. Timothy Johnson, ABC News Medical Correspondent

Life in the Balance is Graboys’ heartbreaking account of his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s. It is the story of a doctor turned patient, of unrelenting challenges and even more unrelenting strength; a story that is at once sad, honest and poignant, but ultimately—and against all odds—hopeful.”
~ Parade Magazine

Get to know New York the way the girls of Girls know it.

More than just a travel guide, The Unofficial Girls Guide to New York provides an insightful tour of Girls’ physical and cultural landscape.

It’s the best way to visit Girls’ New York without paying for a plane ticket or the perfect complement to a trip to the Big Apple and beyond.

“…border[s] on culinary anthropology. Just in time for the long-awaited start of the show’s fifth season…the cookbook offers an exhaustive history of New York dining in the 1960s, right down to the actual recipes used in Draper haunts like Sardi’s and The Grand Central Oyster Bar.” ~ Associated Press

“In a volume that’s equal parts cookbook and historical snapshot of 1960s New York, Mad Men fanatics Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin help readers savor nearly every sip and morsel swallowed by Don Draper and crew during the show’s first four seasons.” ~ The Boston Globe

“[A] gripping read [told] with a raconteur’s gusto…thrilling.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly

“This crackling good yarn about a high roller in the age of globalism will appeal to financial specialists and to general readers.” ~ ForeWord Magazine

“With his ear and eye for the telling detail, his vignettes have the stamp of authenticity and are often screamingly funny.” ~ Financial Post