I’m one of those animal lovers who is more of the “lover” part than the “animal” part. You know, the one who gushes about how much she loves horses and then refuses to feed one when her dad takes her to a farm; the one who stares at her friend’s cat awkwardly but is secretly imploding at how OMG CUTE AND FLUFFY he is; the one who hoards the Air Bud movies but wants to run away when a real dog prances her way.
Yup, I’m an animal lover. (And no one can tell me otherwise!) I’ve been reading animal fiction since forever ago, but animal nonfiction books are a new and exciting find for me. I actually got interested in animal nonfiction back in college when I attended a talk by primatologist Frans de Waal to get some extra credit for a psychology class. (I highly recommend watching his TED talk about morality in animals – it’s so funny and heart-warming!) Then I added one of his books, The Age of Empathy, to my to-read list… and I still haven’t read it yet, oops. But de Waal’s talk really sparked my interest in books about animal psychology and the role animals play in the lives of humans. I’ve started my collection with the following books (with links to Goodreads):
- Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan. I understand that this is like THE animal book of animal books since it got made into a movie and everything. I thought the movie version was hilarious, but haven’t gotten around to reading the book yet.
- The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth Letts. (My review) I love horses, and this book lived up to my expectations!
- Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves by Laurel Braitman. This looks incredibly interesting – animal psychology is a field that’s been growing steadily over the last few years, so I’m looking forward to reading about these “human” emotions in animals.
- Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron. I judged this book by its cover and picked it up immediately. Look at that kitty! 🐱
- Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand. HORSE BOOK, enough said!
I know this is only a very small piece of the pie though, so I want to ask all the (nonfiction) animal experts out there…
What are your favorite nonfiction books about animals?