16 books like Animals Strike Curious Poses

By Elena Passarello,

Here are 16 books that Animals Strike Curious Poses fans have personally recommended if you like Animals Strike Curious Poses. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Men We Reaped: A Memoir

Sarah L. Sanderson Author Of The Place We Make: Breaking the Legacy of Legalized Hate

From my list on memoirs to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I chose to study creative nonfiction during my MFA program so I could learn what makes great memoirs work, but I first fell in love with the genre as a teenager, when I picked up Angela’s Ashes off my mom’s bedside table. I’m grateful for the way memoir gives me a window into the lives of people of other races, religions, abilities, experiences, and even other centuries. While my book The Place We Make isn’t only a memoir—it’s a blend of memoir and historical biography—it was my desire to both understand the view through my research subject’s eyes, and analyze how I was seeing the world myself, that drove me to write it.

Sarah's book list on memoirs to see the world through someone else’s eyes

Sarah L. Sanderson Why did Sarah love this book?

Men We Reaped blew me away.

Not only does Ward provide an incredibly personal and achingly beautiful glimpse of a culture I was unfamiliar with—a rural, impoverished Black community in the Deep South—but she does so with an innovative structure that simply dazzled me.

One strand of the book opens at the beginning of Ward’s life, while the other strand picks up at the end of her tale, with the most recent of five harrowing deaths due to gun violence that she and her community have endured. Each part of the story then alternately proceeds toward the same point, forwards along her childhood and backwards through each death, until both strands wind up in the middle of the story. It’s brilliantly executed. 

By Jesmyn Ward,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Men We Reaped as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_______________ 'A brutal, moving memoir ... Anyone who emerges from America's black working-class youth with words as fine as Ward's deserves a hearing' - Guardian 'Raw, beautiful and dangerous' - New York Times Book Review 'Lavishly endowed with literary craft and hard-earned wisdom' - Time _______________ The beautiful, haunting memoir from Jesmyn Ward, the first woman to win the National Book Award twice 'And then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped' - Harriet Tubman Jesmyn Ward's acclaimed memoir shines…


Book cover of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

Matthew Gavin Frank Author Of Flight of the Diamond Smugglers: A Tale of Pigeons, Obsession, and Greed Along Coastal South Africa

From my list on nonfiction featuring amazing flying things.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like many who carry over childish curiosity into adulthood, I'm attracted to forbidden places. I trespass. When I heard that a portion of South Africa’s coast was owned by the De Beers conglomerate and closed to the public for nearly 80 years, plunging the local communities into mysterious isolation, I became obsessed with visiting the place. Afterward, I began studying carrier pigeons—the amazing flying things that folks use to smuggle diamonds out of the mines. I wrote a book about this, Flight of the Diamond Smugglers. I'm also the author of nonfiction books about the first-ever photograph of the giant squid, working on a medical marijuana farm, and American food culture.

Matthew's book list on nonfiction featuring amazing flying things

Matthew Gavin Frank Why did Matthew love this book?

There’s this rumor that poets look longer and harder at the ornaments of the world than do anyone else.  They keep looking, and looking, and looking, after most everyone else has long ago looked away, moved on. Here, in the wonderful world of poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s first book of nonfiction, whimsy and reverence twine like the DNA helices of the flora and fauna she examines. In her essay on the firefly, I adore the part when the insects “…lose their light rhythm for a few minutes after a single car’s headlights pass. Sometimes it takes hours for them to recalibrate their blinking patterns.”

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Fumi Nakamura (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked World of Wonders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Hands-down one of the most beautiful books of the year." -NPR

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.

As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted-no matter how awkward the fit…


Book cover of The Book of Delights: Essays

Matthew Gavin Frank Author Of Flight of the Diamond Smugglers: A Tale of Pigeons, Obsession, and Greed Along Coastal South Africa

From my list on nonfiction featuring amazing flying things.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like many who carry over childish curiosity into adulthood, I'm attracted to forbidden places. I trespass. When I heard that a portion of South Africa’s coast was owned by the De Beers conglomerate and closed to the public for nearly 80 years, plunging the local communities into mysterious isolation, I became obsessed with visiting the place. Afterward, I began studying carrier pigeons—the amazing flying things that folks use to smuggle diamonds out of the mines. I wrote a book about this, Flight of the Diamond Smugglers. I'm also the author of nonfiction books about the first-ever photograph of the giant squid, working on a medical marijuana farm, and American food culture.

Matthew's book list on nonfiction featuring amazing flying things

Matthew Gavin Frank Why did Matthew love this book?

In Ross Gay’s linked essay collection, The Book of Delights, the desire to record joyous observations, and to examine the complexities and “underbellies” of such quotidian moments—becomes, as the book progresses, an act of political commentary, and unexpected engagement of social justice. The essay, “Bird Feeding,” shows Gay obsessively watching a man feed a pigeon until their bodies—that of the man and that of the bird—seem to fuse together. “How often do you get to see someone slow dancing with a pigeon!” Gay exclaims, revealing the often-hidden tenderness that can exist between human beings and wild birds.   

By Ross Gay,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Book of Delights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
As Heard on NPR's This American Life
'The delights he extols here (music, laughter, generosity, poetry, lots of nature) are bulwarks against casual cruelties . . . contagious in their joy' New York Times

The winner of the NBCC Award for Poetry offers up a spirited collection of short lyric essays, written daily over a tumultuous year, reminding us of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling, and celebrating ordinary wonders.

Among Gay's funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend's unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an aeroplane, the silent nod of…


Book cover of Sidewalks

Matthew Gavin Frank Author Of Flight of the Diamond Smugglers: A Tale of Pigeons, Obsession, and Greed Along Coastal South Africa

From my list on nonfiction featuring amazing flying things.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like many who carry over childish curiosity into adulthood, I'm attracted to forbidden places. I trespass. When I heard that a portion of South Africa’s coast was owned by the De Beers conglomerate and closed to the public for nearly 80 years, plunging the local communities into mysterious isolation, I became obsessed with visiting the place. Afterward, I began studying carrier pigeons—the amazing flying things that folks use to smuggle diamonds out of the mines. I wrote a book about this, Flight of the Diamond Smugglers. I'm also the author of nonfiction books about the first-ever photograph of the giant squid, working on a medical marijuana farm, and American food culture.

Matthew's book list on nonfiction featuring amazing flying things

Matthew Gavin Frank Why did Matthew love this book?

Valeria Luiselli dissects the odd systems and networks of our world’s cities and reveals in their hidden corners and corridors strange and magical identities. Luiselli’s essays further interrogate a city’s relationship to the bodies, cultures, artifacts, and languages that inhabit its spaces. In the essay, “Flying Home,” Luiselli journeys to Mexico City, the place of her birth, and, staring out of her airplane window, considers the city’s layout from this great height. This act of “mapping” according to her extraordinary vantage (suspended in flight), allows for a greater, incantatory meditation on our various perceptions of “home,” and how said perceptions depend as much on the imagination and on ephemeral memories as they do on reality.   

By Valeria Luiselli, Christina Macsweeney (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sidewalks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Luiselli's essays (originally published in Mexico) have been released to great acclaim abroad and has been translated for and published in the UK, Italy, Germany, and The Netherlands
Alma Guillermoprieto called Luiselli "one of the most important new voices in Mexican writing" at BEA and Luiselli is similarly known to and beloved by Latin American writers and venues including PEN America, the Americas Society, and the Mexican Cultural Institute
Luiselli's work is well known to bilingual Spanish language readers (including invitations to appear at Instituto Cervantes in Chicago and the Spanish language bookclub at McNally Jackson)
Luiselli is an engaging…


Book cover of Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories

Jess Bowers Author Of Horse Show

From my list on animal lovers who are also history geeks.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a fiction writer and animal studies scholar, I’m always looking for strange historical anecdotes about human/animal relationships and literary works that help me view humanity’s complex historical relationship with our fellow creatures through fresh eyes. As these books show, whenever humans write about animals, we also write about personhood, bodily autonomy, coexistence, partnership, symbiosis, spectacle, sentience, and exploitation—themes perpetually relevant to what it means to be human!

Jess' book list on animal lovers who are also history geeks

Jess Bowers Why did Jess love this book?

For me, this book is a master class on using animals to write about humans without losing sight that animals aren’t human at all. It’s also laugh-out-loud hilarious because each story here is based on a real celebrity’s fateful encounter with an animal—and Millet uses a delightfully broad and irreverent definition of “celebrity.”

In this book, Noam Chomsky tries to sell a used gerbil habitat, Sharon Stone’s journalist husband is bitten and infected by a komodo dragon, and Madonna, in her British accent phase, shoots a pheasant badly. Millet’s precise prose satirically skewers our relationship with celebrities and creatures, inviting us to reconsider both.

By Lydia Millet,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Love in Infant Monkeys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Animals and celebrities share unusual relationships in these hilarious satirical stories by an award-winning contemporary writer.

  Lions, Komodo dragons, dogs, monkeys, and pheasants―all have shared spotlights and tabloid headlines with celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Thomas Edison, and David Hasselhoff. Millet hilariously tweaks these unholy communions to run a stake through the heart of our fascination with famous people and pop culture in a wildly inventive collection of stories that “evoke the spectrum of human feeling and also its limits” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review).

  While in so much fiction animals exist as symbols of good and evil or as author…


Book cover of Animal Quintet: A Southern Memoir

Jess Bowers Author Of Horse Show

From my list on animal lovers who are also history geeks.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a fiction writer and animal studies scholar, I’m always looking for strange historical anecdotes about human/animal relationships and literary works that help me view humanity’s complex historical relationship with our fellow creatures through fresh eyes. As these books show, whenever humans write about animals, we also write about personhood, bodily autonomy, coexistence, partnership, symbiosis, spectacle, sentience, and exploitation—themes perpetually relevant to what it means to be human!

Jess' book list on animal lovers who are also history geeks

Jess Bowers Why did Jess love this book?

Colin Dayan’s book is a memoir of her 1960s Southern childhood, so lushly described that I can smell the magnolias. Using the fauna of her youth as touchstones, Dayan’s interrogations of race, gender, and place illuminate how Americans treat animals and each other.

Her research into the song “The Old Gray Mare” becomes a meditation on female aging and filial tension. Photographs of the violent bullfights her parents enjoyed on their honeymoon seem prescient considering their doomed marriage.

Meanwhile, Lucille, Dayan’s African-American nanny, forms the book’s emotional core. She takes her young charge, Possum, hunting while teaching her how unfairly humankind excludes beings they deem “less-than.” 

By Dayan Colin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Animal Quintet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Colin Dayan meditates on the connection between her personal and family history and her relationship with animals in this lyrical memoir about her upbringing in the South. Unraveling memories alongside family documents and photographs, Animal Quintet takes
a raw look at racial tensions and relations in a region struggling to change while providing a disquieting picture of a childhood accessible only through accounts of the non-human, ranging from famed Southern war horses led by Civil War generals and doomed Spanish fighting bulls to the lowly possum hunted by generations of Southerners. Placing the reader in the mind's eye of a…


Book cover of Personhood

Jess Bowers Author Of Horse Show

From my list on animal lovers who are also history geeks.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a fiction writer and animal studies scholar, I’m always looking for strange historical anecdotes about human/animal relationships and literary works that help me view humanity’s complex historical relationship with our fellow creatures through fresh eyes. As these books show, whenever humans write about animals, we also write about personhood, bodily autonomy, coexistence, partnership, symbiosis, spectacle, sentience, and exploitation—themes perpetually relevant to what it means to be human!

Jess' book list on animal lovers who are also history geeks

Jess Bowers Why did Jess love this book?

Grounded in philosophy and law, Thalia Field’s book explores how human/animal relationships are codified by human systems. Like Field’s other ecocritical work, this one is formally bold, blurring the lines between lyric essay and poetry.

I am particularly intrigued by 'Happy/That You Have The Body (The Mirror Test),' where Field uses the legal concept of habeas corpus and the Mirror Self-Recognition test to discuss the rights of a captive elephant named Happy, isolated from her own kind for 40 years.

This book is exactly the kind of animal writing I love because each piece asks loudly why “some animals are more equal than others.”

By Thalia Field,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Personhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether investigating refugee parrots, indentured elephants, the pathetic fallacy, or the revolving absurdity of the human role in the "invasive species crisis," Personhood reveals how the unmistakable problem between humans and our nonhuman relatives is too often the derangement of our narratives and the resulting lack of situational awareness. Building on her previous collection, Bird Lovers, Backyard, Thalia Field's essayistic investigations invite us on a humorous, heartbroken journey into how people attempt to control the fragile complexities of a shared planet. The lived experiences of animals, and other historical actors, provide unique literary-ecological responses to the exigencies of injustice and…


Book cover of Animal Crackers: Stories

Jess Bowers Author Of Horse Show

From my list on animal lovers who are also history geeks.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a fiction writer and animal studies scholar, I’m always looking for strange historical anecdotes about human/animal relationships and literary works that help me view humanity’s complex historical relationship with our fellow creatures through fresh eyes. As these books show, whenever humans write about animals, we also write about personhood, bodily autonomy, coexistence, partnership, symbiosis, spectacle, sentience, and exploitation—themes perpetually relevant to what it means to be human!

Jess' book list on animal lovers who are also history geeks

Jess Bowers Why did Jess love this book?

Hannah Tinti’s debut collection is a darkly funny book of stories about how people coexist with animals. The stories are both harrowing and heartfelt. Her sense of humor is just the right level of disturbing for me.

Slim’s Last Ride, the bizarre tale of a little boy convinced his pet rabbit can fly, narrated by his equally unwell mother, realistically depicts mental illness and dysfunction.

How To Revitalize the Snake in Your Life is an icy revenge fable involving an ex-boyfriend’s abandoned snake, repurposed as dinner.

Unlike my other picks, many animals in this one are inconvenient, unwanted, or misunderstood by their human companions, leading to tension and danger. 

By Hannah Tinti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Animal Crackers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A zoo worker, cautiously washing down Marysue the elephant, thinks of the strange, grim stories his co-workers have told him about their lives. Giraffes in another zoo demand better living conditions and stage a mock group suicide to attract public notice. A girl escapes her repressive finishing school by running off with her lover to the African jungle but takes longer to give the slip to the private detectives hired by her father. Hannah Tinti s debut collection combines the virtues of traditional story-telling with utter freshness and modernity. Snake or dog, buffalo or turkey, the animals in her brilliant,…


Book cover of Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses: A Practical Workbook for Integrating Themes, Ideas, and Inspiration Into Your Class

Carol Krucoff Author Of Relax Into Yoga for Seniors: A Six-Week Program for Strength, Balance, Flexibility, and Pain Relief

From my list on for yoga teachers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a yoga therapist, health journalist, mother, and grandmother with a passion for helping people harness the powerful medicine of movement. Physical activity is essential to good health, and yoga can be particularly effective because it’s a holistic discipline that enhances all aspects of wellbeing—physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual. I started taking a weekly yoga class in my early 20s to stretch tight muscles and relieve stress from my busy job as a Washington Post reporter. Nearly 50 years later, yoga is central to my life, with practices that have helped me through several major health challenges, and kept me balanced, fit, and centered in our unpredictable world.  

Carol's book list on for yoga teachers

Carol Krucoff Why did Carol love this book?

Yoga is much more than a workout, and the difference between a good class and a great one often centers on the instructor’s ability to inspire students to make a deeper connectionwith themselves, with others, and with the world. In this practical and illuminating book, experienced instructors Sage Rountree and Alexandra Desiato offer a wealth of information designed to give yoga teachers essential tools to find their own, unique voice and take their classes to the next level. The book includes a section of 54 complete themes followed by blank temples and helpful prompts to create your own themes. Amidst bookshelves crowded with volumes on how to teach postures, this book stands out as a uniquely-helpful exploration of how to teach yoga.

By Sage Rountree, Alexandra DeSiato,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Create class themes with yoga philosophy, inspirational quotes, and simple concepts to inspire and motivate students
 
Experienced yoga instructors Sage Rountree and Alexandra DeSiato give yoga teachers the tools to find their voice and tap into innate wisdom. The authors offer ready-made, detailed themes to use in classes and provide flexible templates for building a toolkit of themes for future use. Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses offers guidance for both new and experienced teachers starting with a section on voice, authenticity, emulation, phrasing, practice, repetition, and finding inspiration. It continues with a second section that contains fifty-four complete themes that…


Book cover of Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body

Carol Krucoff Author Of Relax Into Yoga for Seniors: A Six-Week Program for Strength, Balance, Flexibility, and Pain Relief

From my list on for yoga teachers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a yoga therapist, health journalist, mother, and grandmother with a passion for helping people harness the powerful medicine of movement. Physical activity is essential to good health, and yoga can be particularly effective because it’s a holistic discipline that enhances all aspects of wellbeing—physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual. I started taking a weekly yoga class in my early 20s to stretch tight muscles and relieve stress from my busy job as a Washington Post reporter. Nearly 50 years later, yoga is central to my life, with practices that have helped me through several major health challenges, and kept me balanced, fit, and centered in our unpredictable world.  

Carol's book list on for yoga teachers

Carol Krucoff Why did Carol love this book?

In recent years, there’s been a growing appreciation that yoga is not just for slim, bendy, twentysomethings, but can offer profound physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits to people of all ages, sizes, and health conditions. Much of this increased awareness is due to the work of Jivana Heyman, director of the non-profit Accessible Yoga Association, whose mission statement proclaims that “all peopleregardless of ability or backgrounddeserve equal access to yoga.” Heyman has spent more than 20 years teaching yoga to people with disabilities, with an emphasis on community building and social engagement. In this book, he offers inspiring and practical guidance on how to break down complex yoga practices in ways that make them accessible, enjoyable, and healing for anyone—regardless of limitations or challenges.

By Jivana Heyman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Accessible Yoga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A treasure trove . . . what Yoga, capital Y, is all about.” —Donna Farhi
“Nothing less than a gem.” —Judith Lasater
“A vital tool.” —Book Riot

This daring, visionary book revolutionizes yoga practice, making it truly accessible to everyone—in every body, at any age, and in any state of health

Yoga practice has so much to offer us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. But many of us feel discouraged to practice because we see young, slim, flexible, well, and able-bodied people dominating yoga spaces. Yet, yoga is truly a practice for all—conferring enormous benefits to our overall well-being as…


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