10 books like Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

By Frans de Waal,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Eighty-Dollar Champion

By Elizabeth Letts,

Book cover of The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

I’m breaking the rules by recommending two books by the same author, but I just had to. These are the two ultimate nonfiction books for horse lovers, though you really don’t need to be a horse person to love this book. Guy buys an old plow horse off the kill wagon and the horse goes on the win the national championship in jumping two years in a row. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? Plus his whole family really loves the horse. There are pictures of his many children all lined up on the horse’s back. This is one of those feel-good books that you will remember. Even if you don’t remember specific details, you will remember the way it made you feel. 

The Eighty-Dollar Champion

By Elizabeth Letts,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Eighty-Dollar Champion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The dramatic and inspiring story of a man and his horse, an unlikely duo whose rise to stardom in the sport of show jumping captivated the nation  

Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry’s modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. One show…


Intelligence and How to Get It

By Richard E. Nisbett,

Book cover of Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count

Richard Nisbett is one of the most influential social psychologists in the world, and we collaborated on the 1987 book Induction. His book on intelligence gives a good introduction to the psychology of intelligence and an incisive critique of attempts to use dubious research on a genetic basis for intelligence to explain racial inequality.

Intelligence and How to Get It

By Richard E. Nisbett,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Intelligence and How to Get It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who are smarter, Asians or Westerners? Are there genetic explanations for group differences in test scores? From the damning research of The Bell Curve to the more recent controversy surrounding geneticist James Watson's statements, one factor has been consistently left out of the equation: culture. In the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man, world-class social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett takes on the idea of intelligence as biologically determined and impervious to culture with vast implications for the role of education as it relates to social and economic development. Intelligence and How to Get It asserts that intellect…


The Nature of Human Intelligence

By Robert J. Sternberg,

Book cover of The Nature of Human Intelligence

This collection of essays gives a good overview of current psychological research on human intelligence, ranging from traditional IQ research to criticisms of it by Robert Sternberg and Howard Gardner. It also includes overviews of research on cultural and brain aspects of intelligence. One startling observation is how little psychologists agree on a definition of intelligence.

The Nature of Human Intelligence

By Robert J. Sternberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nature of Human Intelligence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The study of human intelligence features many points of consensus, but there are also many different perspectives. In this unique book Robert J. Sternberg invites the nineteen most highly cited psychological scientists in the leading textbooks on human intelligence to share their research programs and findings. Each chapter answers a standardized set of questions on the measurement, investigation, and development of intelligence - and the outcome represents a wide range of substantive and methodological emphases including psychometric, cognitive, expertise-based, developmental, neuropsychological, genetic, cultural, systems, and group-difference approaches. This is an exciting and valuable course book for upper-level students to learn…


Architects of Intelligence

By Martin Ford,

Book cover of Architects of Intelligence: The truth about AI from the people building it

This book provides a good introduction to the current state of machine intelligence through interviews with many leading practitioners including Geoffrey Hinton, Yann LeCun, Stuart Russell, and Demis Hassabis (DeepMind). You will get a sense of both of AI’s recent accomplishments and how far it falls short of full human intelligence.

Architects of Intelligence

By Martin Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Financial Times Best Books of the Year 2018

TechRepublic Top Books Every Techie Should Read

Book Description

How will AI evolve and what major innovations are on the horizon? What will its impact be on the job market, economy, and society? What is the path toward human-level machine intelligence? What should we be concerned about as artificial intelligence advances?

Architects of Intelligence contains a series of in-depth, one-to-one interviews where New York Times bestselling author, Martin Ford, uncovers the truth behind these questions from some of the brightest minds in the Artificial Intelligence community.

Martin has wide-ranging conversations with twenty-three…


How We Learn

By Stanislas Dehaene,

Book cover of How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now

Stanislas Dehaene is one of the leading European cognitive scientists and this book provides a deep discussion of the neuroscience of learning, a key component of intelligence. He makes a strong case that current machine learning techniques are inferior to the processes that operate in human brains even in the womb. He draws out important implications for education concerning how people learn best.

How We Learn

By Stanislas Dehaene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"There are words that are so familiar they obscure rather than illuminate the thing they mean, and 'learning' is such a word. It seems so ordinary, everyone does it. Actually it's more of a black box, which Dehaene cracks open to reveal the awesome secrets within."--The New York Times Book Review

An illuminating dive into the latest science on our brain's remarkable learning abilities and the potential of the machines we program to imitate them

The human brain is an extraordinary learning machine. Its ability to reprogram itself is unparalleled, and it remains the best source of inspiration for recent…


Endangered

By Eliot Schrefer,

Book cover of Endangered

This is my only other fiction pick. I read this many years ago, when it was new, but it stayed with me. We see a lot of relationships between people and dogs or people and horses, but this is a novel about a girl and a group of bonobos. That’s an interesting twist on the human/animal relationship, because other primates are so similar to us in their intelligence and approach to the world. They are mostly helpless against human forces, but then again so are young girls. The bonds formed in this book are worth the price of admission, and the suspense is high throughout.

Endangered

By Eliot Schrefer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From National Book Award Finalist Eliot Schrefer comes the compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos -- and herself -- from a violent coup.

Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.When Sophie has to visit her mother at her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. Then Otto, an infant bonobo, comes into her life, and for the first time she feels responsible for another creature.But peace does not last long for Sophie and Otto. When an armed revolution breaks out in the country, the sanctuary…


Theft

By BK Loren,

Book cover of Theft

This is a stunning debut novel about a woman who is a master wildlife tracker out to help save the Mexican wolf from extinction. There’s a lot more to the plot than that, but her relationship to animals and to the natural world is deeply satisfying. She allows them to “people” each scene, not only the wolf but her ranch animals, and her respect for other species shines through. This is a far cry from my pet peeve, which is a book with a dog, but the dog is a cardboard cutout who just holds up the end of the leash and makes us think his owner is nice. This is the opposite of that stereotype.

Theft

By BK Loren,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A master wildlife tracker's life is thrown into upheaval when she is tapped to hunt not the animals of America's Southwestern terrain, but her own troubled brother. 

Willa Robbins is a master tracker working to reintroduce the Mexican wolf, North America's most endangered mammal, to the American Southwest. But when Colorado police recruit her to find her own brother, Zeb, a confessed murderer, she knows skill alone will not sustain her. Willa is thrown back into the past, surfacing memories of a childhood full of intense love, desperate mistakes, and gentle remorse. Trekking through exquisite New Mexico and Colorado landscapes,…


The Perfect Horse

By Elizabeth Letts,

Book cover of The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

This is quite possibly the best nonfiction book I’ve read. I loved it so much that I traveled to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to see the Lipizzaner horses in person, and listened to the audiobook for a second time while traveling. This one has it all: History, suspense, people who care about horses, horses. As a plus, if you’re into audiobooks, the narrator of The Perfect Horse, Paul Boehmer, is the perfect voice. I would listen to this guy read a laundry list all day long. Put him to the task of reading a truly important story like this one and you will be educated and entertained. I can’t say enough good things about this book.

The Perfect Horse

By Elizabeth Letts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II

WINNER OF THE PEN AWARD FOR RESEARCH NONFICTION

In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an…


Fifteen Dogs

By André Alexis,

Book cover of Fifteen Dogs

Imagine a bet between the Greek gods Hermes and Apollo who both agree to grant human intelligence to a group of dogs staying overnight in a veterinary clinic. The wager? If the dogs end up more unhappy than humans with their newfound consciousness, then Hermes must bow to a year of servitude to Apollo. The catch? When the dogs find they’re more capable of complex thought, the pack is split between the old ‘dog’ ways, and those who embrace the change. Not used to human thoughts and feelings, the dogs become divided while struggling between their old familiar world and a strange new one. Though I found this fantasy novel disturbing at times, Alexis proves that you can indeed teach an old genre new tricks.

Fifteen Dogs

By André Alexis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize

Finalist for the 2015 Toronto Book Awards

Winner of the 2015 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize

"[Alexis] devises an inventive romp through the nature of humanity in this beautiful, entertaining read ... A clever exploration of our essence, communication, and how our societies are organized." - Kirkus Reviews

"This might be the best set-up of the spring." - The Globe & Mail

"Andre Alexis has established himself as one of our preeminent voices." - Toronto Star

- I wonder, said Hermes, what it would be like if animals had human intelligence.
- I'll…


The Mind of the Horse

By Michel-Antoine Leblanc, Giselle Weiss (translator),

Book cover of The Mind of the Horse: An Introduction to Equine Cognition

This book surveys and explores the facts behind how horses perceive and think. Leblanc was the first to collect equine research that explores the horse’s mentality. It’s one of the academic references that helped me create, test, and apply my ideas for my own book. I like the way he pulls research together and presents it with care and accuracy. 

The Mind of the Horse

By Michel-Antoine Leblanc, Giselle Weiss (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mind of the Horse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Horses were first domesticated about 6,000 years ago on the vast Eurasian steppe extending from Mongolia to the Carpathian Mountains. Yet only in the last two decades have scientists begun to explore the specific mental capacities of these animals. Responding to a surge of interest in fields from ethology to comparative psychology and evolutionary biology, Michel-Antoine Leblanc presents an encyclopedic synthesis of scientific knowledge about equine behavior and cognition. The Mind of the Horse provides experts and enthusiasts alike with an up-to-date understanding of how horses perceive, think about, and adapt to their physical and social worlds.

Much of what…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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