100 books like Becoming Animal

By David Abram,

Here are 100 books that Becoming Animal fans have personally recommended if you like Becoming Animal. 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 A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There

Greg M. Peters Author Of Our National Forests: Stories from America's Most Important Public Lands

From my list on people who love outdoors and want to learn more.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love being outdoors and I’ve been fortunate to spend much of life under the open sky, both professionally and personally. Learning about the landscapes I’ve visited on my outdoor adventures or helped protect through my professional conservation and writing work is both fulfilling and inspiring. Skilled writers deepen my understanding of the diverse, intricate, and complicated natural world. Whether I’m reading to better understand the policies and histories that have shaped our public lands or about the adventurers who inspire me to get out there, I always find immense value and enjoyment when reading about the landscapes we share. 

Greg's book list on people who love outdoors and want to learn more

Greg M. Peters Why did Greg love this book?

Aldo Leopold was a Forest Service ranger stationed in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest when he first began advocating for a new approach to managing national forests. Leopold’s visionary thinking and diligent advocacy resulted in the first-ever Wilderness Area in the U.S.—the Gila Wilderness Area, established in 1922—more than 40 years before the Wilderness Act was passed by Congress in 1964. A Sand County Almanac is Leopold’s best-known work and follows his efforts to restore a patch of cut-over farmland in Wisconsin while also articulating his vision of a land ethic where humans and nature are intertwined and care for people cannot be separated from care for the land. His beautiful writing resonated strongly with me when I first read A Sand County Almanac more than two decades ago, and his vision remains as important now as ever.

By Aldo Leopold,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Sand County Almanac as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac has enthralled generations of nature lovers and conservationists and is indeed revered by everyone seriously interested in protecting the natural world. Hailed for prose that is "full of beauty and vigor and bite" (The New York Times), it is perhaps the finest example of nature writing since Thoreau's Walden.
Now this classic work is available in a completely redesigned and lavishly illustrated gift edition, featuring over one hundred beautiful full-color pictures by Michael Sewell, one of the country's leading nature photographers. Sewell, whose work has graced the pages of Audubon and Sierra magazines, walked…


Book cover of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Jessica Pierce Author Of The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the End of Their Lives

From my list on thinking differently on human-animal relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

What does it mean to live a good life in a world shared with a multitude of other beings? I’ve spent my career exploring this question, in both my personal and my professional life. In my work as a bioethicist, I’ve researched and written about how to integrate environmental values into health care and medical research; how to think through (and survive) caring for a companion animal who is nearing the end of life; and why keeping pets is ethically problematic. My most current project—in collaboration with my canine companion Bella—is about ethics in human-dog relationships.  

Jessica's book list on thinking differently on human-animal relationships

Jessica Pierce Why did Jessica love this book?

Bailey’s book is about a friendship (one-sided perhaps) between a woman and a snail. She describes her growing affection for a woodland snail who is trapped inside with her during a long illness. Although Bailey isn’t offering commentary on pet-keeping, her book suggests a compelling alternative to loving animals—especially creatures we bring in from the wild—by making them into our pets. She shows us how to encounter another creature with curiosity, wonder, and respect.

By Elisabeth Tova Bailey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Elisabeth Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence in a terrarium alongside her bed. She enters the rhythm of life of this mysterious creature, and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined place in the world. In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, she shares the inspiring and intimate story of her close encounter with Neohelix albolabris - a common woodland snail.

Intrigued by the snail's world - from its strange anatomy to its mysterious courtship activities - she becomes a fascinated and amused…


Book cover of In the Shadow of Man

Sarah R. Pye Author Of Saving Sun Bears: One man's quest to save a species

From my list on improving your connection with nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

My parents took my brother and me out of school on April Fool’s Day 1979 (when I was 13). We spent the next eight years sailing from the UK to the Americas. Our ‘boat-schooling’ was informed by the world around us: trying to plot our position with sextant taught me mathematics; squinting at a scooped bucket of seaweed taught me about biodiversity; hunkering down in horrendous storms made me realise my insignificance; and finding a way to communicate in local markets took away my fear of difference. April 1st is my most significant anniversary. I'm indebted to my courageous parents for helping me understand I'm a small part of of an incredible planet.

Sarah's book list on improving your connection with nature

Sarah R. Pye Why did Sarah love this book?

I must admit, I am in awe of Dr. Jane Goodall, who travelled deep into the jungle of Tanzania at the unfazed age of 26 (accompanied by her mum) to see what she could learn from chimpanzees. Her research undermined scientific thought as she watched chimps using tools and lived through a four-year primate war. I loved the way I learnt to differentiate and empathise with individual animals in this book. I introduced individual sun bears in my own book with the aim to bridge the species divide in the same way. After all, as Jane herself says, "Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, will we help."

By Jane Goodall,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked In the Shadow of Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of history's most impressive field studies; an instant animal classic' TIME

Jane Goodall's classic account of primate research provides an impressively detailed and absorbing account of the early years of her field study of, and adventures with, chimpanzees in Tanzania, Africa. It is a landmark for everyone to enjoy.


Book cover of Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals

Friederike Otto Author Of Angry Weather: Heat Waves, Floods, Storms, and the New Science of Climate Change

From my list on starting to think about the much abused idea of freedom.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a physicist who ended up doing their PhD in philosophy, because the “so what” question for me always was more interesting to answer than finding out how the physical world is changing. Working as a climate scientist I see how climate change and extreme weather devastate livelihoods on a daily basis. It makes me very aware I know nothing, but also that the philosophical and humanist ideas we build our societies upon are much more important to solve the climate crisis than physics and technology. One of the most important ones is to reclaim freedom and actually allow people to live good lives.

Friederike's book list on starting to think about the much abused idea of freedom

Friederike Otto Why did Friederike love this book?

Reading Straw Dogs made me not only appreciate my dog (& the cat) even more but realize a lot of the ideas of what I thought made me human are not that uniquely human.

I don’t think I agree with everything in the book, but exactly because of that it’s a great read and humbling in the face of how much we take freedom from the non-humans and other humans away.  

By John Gray,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Straw Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world. Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism think of humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the Earth. Even in the present day, despite Darwin's discoveries, nearly all schools of thought take as their starting point the belief that humans are radically different…


Book cover of The Grass Library

Jessica Pierce Author Of The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the End of Their Lives

From my list on thinking differently on human-animal relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

What does it mean to live a good life in a world shared with a multitude of other beings? I’ve spent my career exploring this question, in both my personal and my professional life. In my work as a bioethicist, I’ve researched and written about how to integrate environmental values into health care and medical research; how to think through (and survive) caring for a companion animal who is nearing the end of life; and why keeping pets is ethically problematic. My most current project—in collaboration with my canine companion Bella—is about ethics in human-dog relationships.  

Jessica's book list on thinking differently on human-animal relationships

Jessica Pierce Why did Jessica love this book?

Brooks’ collection of essays is a vivid example of how to talk without rancor or judgmentalism about the painful failings of humans in their treatment of other animals. He writes “small,” focusing on everyday interactions with animals on his farm and in his neighborhood, and through his narratives touches on and helps nurture a well of empathy. 

By David G. Brooks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originally published in Australia, The Grass Library is a philosophical and poetic journey by "one of Australia's most skilled, unusual and versatile writers" (Sydney Morning Herald). Both a memoir and an elegy for animal rights, The Grass Library portrays the author's relationship with his dog, four sheep, and myriad other animals in the home he shares with his partner in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.

This collection of essays--with its lyrical language, its honesty and vulnerability, its charm and wit--will delight and inspire all animal lovers, and especially those who rescue animals.


Book cover of Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

Carl F. Nathan Author Of An Arrow's ARC: Journey of a Physician-Scientist

From my list on a life in science or medicine.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I experienced “otherness.” My family was hard up amidst affluence. Typecast as Jewish, where that was a rarity, we were met with suspicion and unease. Being a woman held my mother back from her preferred profession. Racism was rampant; my growing appreciation of it and efforts to intervene added to “otherness.”  My childhood was shadowed by illness, including my mother’s cancer. These influences drew me to medicine and science. Both are a way to overcome “otherness” and to protect one’s family, even as my sense of family expanded. Medicine forges extraordinary bonds between doctor and patient. Science brings people together from diverse backgrounds to share goals. These connections make meaningful stories. 

Carl's book list on a life in science or medicine

Carl F. Nathan Why did Carl love this book?

I love how Simard weaves her life story together with the story of what she discovered.

I empathize with her standing up to rejection, even ridicule, to overcome being an “outsider,” both for her discoveries and for being a woman in science. I admire that she is equally attuned to the details of how trees and the fungi beneath them collaborate and communicate as she is to the industrial, societal, and climatological implications.

Through it all, she expresses the message that life is sustained and shaped by a web of interactions within species and among them.

By Suzanne Simard,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Finding the Mother Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the world's leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest—a moving, deeply personal journey of discovery

“Finding the Mother Tree reminds us that the world is a web of stories, connecting us to one another. [The book] carries the stories of trees, fungi, soil and bears--and of a human being listening in on the conversation. The interplay of personal narrative, scientific insights and the amazing revelations about the life of the forest make a compelling story.”—Robin Wall…


Book cover of The Last Migration

Sarah R. Pye Author Of Saving Sun Bears: One man's quest to save a species

From my list on improving your connection with nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

My parents took my brother and me out of school on April Fool’s Day 1979 (when I was 13). We spent the next eight years sailing from the UK to the Americas. Our ‘boat-schooling’ was informed by the world around us: trying to plot our position with sextant taught me mathematics; squinting at a scooped bucket of seaweed taught me about biodiversity; hunkering down in horrendous storms made me realise my insignificance; and finding a way to communicate in local markets took away my fear of difference. April 1st is my most significant anniversary. I'm indebted to my courageous parents for helping me understand I'm a small part of of an incredible planet.

Sarah's book list on improving your connection with nature

Sarah R. Pye Why did Sarah love this book?

We are living through what some scientists have termed the ‘sixth mass extinction'. No matter if species belong in tropical rainforests of which I write, or the desolate arctic deserts Charlotte McConaghy describes so well, they are disappearing fast. This dystopic climate change story, which follows one deeply troubled young woman as she tracks a feathered migratory species, has the power to wake us from our slumber before it is too late. What I love the most are the rich and complex characters, who fall outside stereotypical boxes, and incredibly evocative descriptions of wild places. This really is a page-turner that left me wanting to sign petitions and join picket lines.

By Charlotte McConaghy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"An extraordinary novel... as beautiful and as wrenching as anything I've ever read" Emily St. John Mandel

"An adventure of a wilder sort" Vogue US

A dark past. An impossible journey. The will to survive.

How far you would you go for love? Franny Stone is determined to go to the end of the earth, following the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antarctica.

As animal populations plummet and commercial fishing faces prohibition, Franny talks her way onto one of the few remaining boats heading south. But as she and the eccentric crew…


Book cover of Nest

Sarah R. Pye Author Of Saving Sun Bears: One man's quest to save a species

From my list on improving your connection with nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

My parents took my brother and me out of school on April Fool’s Day 1979 (when I was 13). We spent the next eight years sailing from the UK to the Americas. Our ‘boat-schooling’ was informed by the world around us: trying to plot our position with sextant taught me mathematics; squinting at a scooped bucket of seaweed taught me about biodiversity; hunkering down in horrendous storms made me realise my insignificance; and finding a way to communicate in local markets took away my fear of difference. April 1st is my most significant anniversary. I'm indebted to my courageous parents for helping me understand I'm a small part of of an incredible planet.

Sarah's book list on improving your connection with nature

Sarah R. Pye Why did Sarah love this book?

In my living room, I have a shelf of discarded birds’ nests, and my sofa is a beachy aqua colour. It’s no wonder then, that I was initially drawn to this book’s cover. The story itself was a pleasant surprise. I can best describe this novel as a nature meditation because, when I started reading, Inga Simpson’s prose seemed to slow time. I became less interested in achieving my daily tasks and paid minute attention to the birds and trees outside my window. Although a story of loss and heartache is weaved through this Nest, it is less important than the gaps between the plot. I am convinced this delightful novel about an art teacher and her garden added a year or two to my life! 

By Inga Simpson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'[a] truly rich novel' SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Once an artist and teacher, Jen now spends her time watching the birds around her house and tending her lush sub-tropical garden near the small town where she grew up. The only person she sees regularly is Henry, who comes after school for drawing lessons.

When a girl in Henry's class goes missing, Jen is pulled back into the depths of her own past. When she was Henry's age she lost her father and her best friend Michael - both within a week. The whole town talked about it then, and now, nearly…


Book cover of A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves

Lewis Dartnell Author Of Origins: How Earth's History Shaped Human History

From my list on big history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a science researcher and writer living in London. My research field is astrobiology and the possibility of life on other planets – it brings together lots of different areas of science with engineering and space exploration and so is deeply ‘interdisciplinary’. And as a science writer, I try to bring this same broad perspective and unifying approach to other profound questions. My fascination with understanding our own origins was sparked by my childhood growing up in East Africa, the cradle of humanity. In Origins I explored different ways that planet Earth has influenced our human story across the millennia - it’s an example of ‘Big History’.

Lewis' book list on big history

Lewis Dartnell Why did Lewis love this book?

This is a much lesser-known book than the others I’ve picked, and I feel it deserves a load more attention. Walter Alvarez was instrumental to the development of the theory that the dinosaurs were wiped-out by an asteroid impact. Here, he casts his professor-of-geology eye across the whole of Earth’s history to show us the astonishing ways that our world – and the cosmos around us – have nurtured life on the planet and influenced the human story.

By Walter Alvarez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Most Improbable Journey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Big History, the field that integrates traditional historical scholarship with scientific insights to study the full sweep of our universe, has so far been the domain of historians. Famed geologist Walter Alvarez-best known for the "Impact Theory" explaining dinosaur extinction-has instead championed a science-first approach to Big History. Here he wields his unique expertise to give us a new appreciation for the incredible occurrences-from the Big Bang to the formation of supercontinents, the dawn of the Bronze Age, and beyond-that have led to our improbable place in the universe.


Book cover of Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health

Thomas Leo Ogren Author Of The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping

From my list on allergy-friendly landscapes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am now considered by many as the expert on creating allergy-free and allergy-friendly gardens and landscapes. I have lectured on the subject all across the US and Canada, and also in Israel, Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. For 30+ years now I’ve been researching the connections between urban landscaping and allergies and asthma. My articles have appeared in dozens of fine publications, including The New York Times, The London Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Atlas Obscura, Scientific American, Der Spiegel, and The New Scientist. I have owned two nurseries and taught horticulture for twenty years. 

Thomas' book list on allergy-friendly landscapes

Thomas Leo Ogren Why did Thomas love this book?

Edited by Matilda van den Bosch and William Bird, Nature and Public Health. Each chapter was written by several top experts in the field. There were more than a hundred different experts chosen to write sections of this fine book, selected from all around the world of health, botany, horticulture, urban forestry, urban affairs, and the environment. Nature (or the lack of it) is closely aligned with human health, and this wonderful book explores the subject like no other.

By Matilda van den Bosch (editor), William Bird (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Human beings have always been affected by their surroundings. There are various health benefits linked to being able to access to nature; including increased physical activity, stress recovery, and the stimulation of child cognitive development. The Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health provides a broad and inclusive picture of the relationship between our own health and the natural environment. All aspects of this unique relationship are covered,
ranging from disease prevention through physical activity in green spaces to innovative ecosystem services, such as climate change adaptation by urban trees. Potential hazardous consequences are also discussed including natural disasters, vector-borne…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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