Animals Amongst Us

We share our planet with hundreds of thousands of living beings. How we relate to and respect/disrespect the animals we share the world with, and how they to adapt to sharing their environments with humans is a never-ending and fascinating discussion: it's actually a hugely important topic. This list is a selection of books I've found that literati carries about animals: how they fit with humans and how humans fit with them, proof that animals do have emotions and feelings, how we can be better neighbors and care-takers with the animals amongst us, and books to teach kids about the whys and hows to appreciate animals. — curator vick

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? By Frans de Waal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393353662
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 4th, 2017

Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition―in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos―to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long.

Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves By Frans de Waal Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780393635065
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 12th, 2019

Frans de Waal has spent four decades at the forefront of animal research. Following up on Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, Mama’s Last Hug delivers a fascinating exploration of the rich emotional lives of animals.

Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals By Laurie Zaleski Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250272836
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Published: St. Martin's Press - February 22nd, 2022

Laurie Zaleski never aspired to run an animal rescue; that was her mother Annie’s dream. But from girlhood, Laurie was determined to make the dream come true. Thirty years later as a successful businesswoman, she did it, buying a 15-acre farm deep in the Pinelands of South Jersey. She was planning to relocate Annie and her caravan of ragtag rescues ― horses and goats, dogs and cats, chickens and pigs ― when Annie died, just two weeks before moving day. In her heartbreak, Laurie resolved to make her mother's dream her own. In 2001, she established the Funny Farm Animal Rescue outside Mays Landing, New Jersey. Today, she carries on Annie’s mission to save abused and neglected animals.

On Animals By Susan Orlean Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982181536
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Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - October 12th, 2021

“How we interact with animals has preoccupied philosophers, poets, and naturalists for ages,” writes Susan Orlean. Since the age of six, when Orlean wrote and illustrated a book called Herbert the Near-Sighted Pigeon, she’s been drawn to stories about how we live with animals, and how they abide by us. In On Animals, she examines animal-human relationships through the compelling tales she has written over the course of her celebrated career.

How to Love Animals: In a Human-Shaped World By Henry Mance Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781984879653
Published: Viking - July 13th, 2021

Mance works in a slaughterhouse and on a pig farm to explore the reality of eating meat and dairy. He explores our dilemmas over hunting wild animals, over-fishing the seas, visiting zoos and saving wild spaces. What might happen if we extended the love we show to our pets to other sentient beings? In an age of extinction and pandemics, our relationship with animals has become unsustainable. Mance argues that there has never been a better time to become vegetarian or vegan, and that the conservation movement can flourish, if people in wealthy countries shrink their footprint.

The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion--Surprising Observations of a Hidden World By Peter Wohlleben, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Foreword by), Jane Billinghurst (Translator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781771648028
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Published: Greystone Books - May 18th, 2021

Through vivid stories of devoted pigs, two-timing magpies, and scheming roosters, The Inner Life of Animals weaves the latest scientific research into how animals interact with the world. We learn that horses feel shame, deer grieve, and goats discipline their kids. Ravens call their friends by name, rats regret bad choices, and butterflies choose the very best places for their children to grow up.

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World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments By Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Fumi Nakamura (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571313652
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Published: Milkweed Editions - September 8th, 2020

From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction, a collection of essays about the natural world and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us. “Hands-down one of the most beautiful books of the year.” - NPR

How To Be A Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals By Sy Montgomery, Rebecca Green (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Sy Montgomery, Rebecca Green (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780544938328
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Published: Mariner Books - September 25th, 2018

Understanding someone who belongs to another species can be transformative. No one knows this better than author, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery. To research her books, Sy has traveled the world and encountered some of the planet’s rarest and most beautiful animals. From tarantulas to tigers, Sy’s life continually intersects with and is informed by the creatures she meets.

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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness By Sy Montgomery Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451697728
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Published: Atria Books - April 5th, 2016

Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique and profound love story in which she reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.

Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace By Carl Safina Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250787613
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Published: Picador - April 6th, 2021

Becoming Wild brings readers into intimate proximity with various nonhuman individuals in their free-living communities. It presents a revelatory account of how animals function beyond our usual view. Safina shows that for non-humans and humans alike, culture comprises the answers to the question, “How do we live here?” It unites individuals within a group identity. But cultural groups often seek to avoid, or even be hostile toward, other factions. By showing that this is true across species, Safina illuminates why human cultural tensions remain maddeningly intractable despite the arbitrariness of many of our differences. Becoming Wild takes readers behind the curtain of life on Earth, to witness from a new vantage point the most world-saving of perceptions: how we are all connected.

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Hollow Kingdom By Kira Jane Buxton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538745830
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - July 7th, 2020

"The Secret Life of Pets meets The Walking Dead in this big-hearted, boundlessly beautiful romp through the Apocalypse, where a foul-mouthed crow is humanity's only chance to survive Seattle's zombie problem." - PEN/Faulkner Award-winning Karen Joy Fowler

Feral Creatures By Kira Jane Buxton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538735244
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - August 24th, 2021

"In this stunning follow-up to Hollow Kingdom and Seattle Times/Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association bestseller, the animal kingdom's "favorite apocalyptic hero" is back with a renewed sense of hope for humanity, ready to take on a world ravaged by a viral pandemic." - Helen Macdonald

Wolf Island: Discovering the Secrets of a Mythic Animal By L. David Mech, Greg Breining (Contributions by) Cover Image
By L. David Mech, Greg Breining (Contributions by)
ISBN: 9781517908256
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Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - October 13th, 2020

In the late 1940s, a small pack of wolves crossed the ice of Lake Superior to the island wilderness of Isle Royale, creating a perfect “laboratory” for a long-term study of predators and prey. As the wolves hunted and killed the island’s moose, a young graduate student named Dave Mech began research that would unlock the mystery of one of nature’s most revered (and reviled) animals—and eventually became an internationally renowned and respected wolf expert. This is the story of those early years. Written with science and outdoor writer Greg Breining, who recorded hours of interviews with Mech and had access to his journals and field notes from those years, the book captures the immediacy of scientific fieldwork in all its triumphs and frustrations. It takes us back to the beginning of a classic environmental study that continues today, spanning nearly sixty years — research and experiences that would transform one of the most despised creatures on Earth into an icon of wilderness and ecological health.  

The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions By Thomas McNamee Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316262903
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Published: Hachette Books - March 27th, 2018

McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives. Readers' relationships with their feline friends will be happier and more harmonious because of this book.

How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World's First Talking Dog By Christina Hunger Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063046849
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Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 17th, 2022

An incredible, revolutionary true story and surprisingly simple guide to teaching your dog to talk from speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger, who has taught her dog, Stella, to communicate using simple paw-sized buttons associated with different words.

And a Dog Called Fig: Solitude, Connection, the Writing Life By Helen Humphreys Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374603885
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 8th, 2022

The story of one writer’s life with dogs, how they are uniquely ideal companions for building a creative life, and some delightful tales about dogs and their famous writers, including Virginia Woolf and Grizzle, Gertrude Stein and Basket, Thomas Hardy and Wessex, and many more.

Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Read with Jenna Pick By Shelby Van Pelt Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063204157
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Published: Ecco - May 3rd, 2022

For fans of A Man Called Ove, a charming exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus. “Remarkably Bright Creatures is a beautiful examination of how loneliness can be transformed, cracked open, with the slightest touch from another living thing.” - Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here

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Unlikely Animals: A Novel By Annie Hartnett Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780593160220
Published: Ballantine Books - April 12th, 2022

A lost young woman returns to small-town New Hampshire under the strangest of circumstances in this one-of-a-kind novel of life, death, and whatever comes after from the acclaimed author of Rabbit Cake.

Perestroika in Paris: A novel By Jane Smiley Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780525520351
Published: Knopf - December 1st, 2020

A captivating, brilliantly imaginative story of three extraordinary animals and a young boy whose lives intersect in Paris in this "feel-good escape." - The New York Times

A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life of the World's Smartest Birds of Prey By Jonathan Meiburg Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101911549
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Published: Vintage - February 22nd, 2022

An enthralling account of a modern voyage of discovery as we meet the clever, social birds of prey called caracaras, which puzzled Darwin, fascinate modern-day falconers, and carry secrets of our planet's deep past in their family history.

Dog Songs: Poems By Mary Oliver Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143125839
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Published: Penguin Books - September 29th, 2015

A celebration of the special bond between human and dog, as understood through the poet’s relationships to the canines that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. Oliver’s poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers, but through her extraordinary vision, these observations become higher meditations on the world and our place in it.

Cat Poems By New Directions, Tynan Kogane (Editor) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811227506
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Published: New Directions - February 27th, 2018

Cat Poems offers a litter of odes to our beloved felines by Charles Baudelaire, Stevie Smith, Christopher Smart, Denise Levertov, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Rainer Maria Rilke, Muriel Spark, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, and many others. 

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold By Joyce Sidman, Rick Allen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Joyce Sidman, Rick Allen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780547906508
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Published: Clarion Books - November 4th, 2014

In this outstanding picture book collection of poems by Newberry Honor-winning poet, Joyce Sidmandiscover how animals stay alive in the wintertime and learn about their secret lives happening under the snow. Paired with stunning linoleum print illustrations by Rick Allen, that celebrate nature's beauty and power.

ANIMALS: Photographs That Make You Think By Henry Carroll Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781419751462
Published: Abrams Image - October 26th, 2021

An innovative and insightful look at our relationship with animals in the age of the Anthropocene from bestselling author Henry Carroll with original images from an innovative array of contemporary photographers.

Dog By Matthew Van Fleet, Brian Stanton (By (photographer)) Cover Image
By Matthew Van Fleet, Brian Stanton (By (photographer))
ISBN: 9781416941378
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Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - February 6th, 2007

In Matthew Van Fleet's captivating multiconcept book, twenty breeds of capering canines demonstrate action words, opposites, synonyms, and more. Cleverly designed pull tabs and flaps plus ten pettable textures provide interactive treats that will have the whole family arfing along from start to surprising finish.

Did You Know? Animals: Amazing answers to more than 200 awesome questions! (Why? Series) By Derek Harvey Cover Image
ISBN: 9780744039511
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Published: DK Children - December 7th, 2021

Ever wondered why ducks float or how a spider makes a web? This fascinating animal book reveals the answers to more than 200 intriguing questions children ask about their favorite animals.

Solitary Animals: Introverts of the Wild By Joshua David Stein, Dominique Ramsey (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593384435
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Published: Rise x Penguin Workshop - March 8th, 2022

This lyrical, nonfiction book honors animals who live in solitude, in contrast to others who live in groups. Against a backdrop of the specific names of various animal tribes (a parade of elephants, a tower of giraffes, a dazzle of zebras), Stein shines a spotlight on those animals who go through life on their own.

The Wolves of Yellowstone: A Rewilding Story By Catherine Barr Cover Image
ISBN: 9781547607983
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Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - April 5th, 2022

The fascinating true story of the wolves who restored the ecosystem at Yellowstone National Park.

Born to Be Wild By DK Cover Image
ISBN: 9780744051377
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Published: DK Children - May 3rd, 2022

Born to Be Wild explores the vast complexities of growing up in the animal kingdom, where everything feels like new. 

The Atlas of Migrating Plants and Animals By Megan Lee, Matt Sewell (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Megan Lee, Matt Sewell (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781648961168
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Published: Princeton Architectural Press - March 8th, 2022

Curious young readers will love learning about the migration patterns of plants and animals from all around the world in this colorful children's atlas. Featuring mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and plants from all continents and nearly all oceans, this informative collection will teach young nature lovers about migration in its many forms.

Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction By Michelle Nijhuis Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393882438
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 29th, 2022

"At once thoughtful and thought-provoking,” Beloved Beasts tells the story of the modern conservation movement through the lives and ideas of the people who built it, making “a crucial addition to the literature of our troubled time." - Elizabeth Kolbert

The Social Lives of Animals By Ashley Ward Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541600836
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Published: Basic Books - March 1st, 2022

In The Social Lives of Animals, biologist Ashley Ward takes us on a wild tour across the globe as he searches for a more accurate picture of how animals build societies. Ward drops in on a termite mating ritual, visits freelance baboon goatherds, and swims with a mixed family of whales and dolphins. Along the way, Ward shows that the social impulses we’ve long thought separated humans from other animals might actually be our strongest connection to them.  

Do You Know Where the Animals Live?: Discovering the Incredible Creatures All Around Us By Peter Wohlleben, Shelley Tanaka (Translator) Cover Image
By Peter Wohlleben, Shelley Tanaka (Translator)
ISBN: 9781771646598
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Published: Greystone Kids - May 3rd, 2021

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees and The Inner Life of Animals comes a book for kids ages 8-12 about animals at home and around the world. “I absolutely love this book.” - Jane Goodall 

Cat Problems (Animal Problems) By Jory John, Lane Smith (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jory John, Lane Smith (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780593302132
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Published: Random House Studio - August 3rd, 2021

What could a pampered house cat possibly have to complain about? This latest collaboration from picture book superstars and cat devotees Lane Smith and Jory John brings with it a hilarious set of feline problems.

Hello, World! Baby Animals By Jill McDonald Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593378700
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Published: Doubleday Books for Young Readers - September 7th, 2021

Babies and toddlers will love spotting all the baby animals in this adorable and informative board book series. Children can learn all about fascinating wildlife families, with easy-to-understand facts and bright pictures of nature's babies.

Let's Look at... Animals: Board Book By Marion Deuchars Cover Image
ISBN: 9781786277831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Laurence King Publishing - August 10th, 2021

With beautiful artwork from best-selling author and illustrator Marion Deuchars, this book is the perfect introduction to animals.

First 100 Animals By Roger Priddy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312510794
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Published: Priddy Books US - May 10th, 2011

100 animal photographs and animal names to teach children about animals.

Animals from A to Z: Exploring the Americas By Amelia Hepworth, Carolina Buzio (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Amelia Hepworth, Carolina Buzio (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9781680106947
Published: Tiger Tales - November 9th, 2021

Young readers can explore the amazing animals that are found all across the Americas. North America features a wide variety of creatures, including the alligator, chipmunk, eagle, and raccoon. Central America is home to the iguana, quetzal, toucan, and vampire bat. And in South America, you'll find the uakari monkey, x-ray fish, yellowlegs, and zebra longwing butterfly. Each page includes a key to which part or parts of the Americas a particular animal is found.

Animal Tracks of the Midwest Field Guide: Easy-To-Use Guide with 55 Track Illustrations By Jonathan Poppele Cover Image
ISBN: 9781591935742
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Published: Adventure Publications - November 30th, 2021

Animal Tracks of the Midwest Field Guide features the tracks of more than 95 species of mammals found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This new edition spotlights more species―including common birds and reptiles―as well as updated track illustrations, photographs, and information.

Animals (Multilingual Board Book) By Motomitsu Maehara Cover Image
ISBN: 9781736226445
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Published: Blue Dot Kids Press - October 19th, 2021

This beautiful board book pairs gorgeous collages of eighteen types of animals with their names across the six most popular languages worldwide: English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Chinese (Mandarin), and Arabic, as well as the language of universal friendship, Esperanto.