10 books like Gorillas in the Mist

By Dian Fossey,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Gorillas in the Mist. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Outermost House

By Henry Beston,

Book cover of The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod

I love Cape Cod and I was fortunate to live on the edge of the sea between 1997-2003. Skillfully written by one of America’s greatest writers of the natural habitat, it transports you to a place. It reminds me of what it felt like to live far out in Cape Cod on the North Atlantic at its furthest reach on the east coast of the United States. Living there for several years and spending time in nature with the sea, beach, dunes, and my bicycle, I learned to love its moods, wildlife, and great sense of mystery. I totally identified with this man’s extraordinary experience and how it was years ago. A wonderfully descriptive book that helps you experience with all your senses what it’s like to live next to the sea alone. 

The Outermost House

By Henry Beston,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Outermost House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The seventy-fifth anniversary edition of the classic book about Cape Cod, "written with simplicity, sympathy, and beauty" (New York Herald Tribune)

A chronicle of a solitary year spent on a Cape Cod beach, The Outermost House has long been recognized as a classic of American nature writing. Henry Beston had originally planned to spend just two weeks in his seaside home, but was so possessed by the mysterious beauty of his surroundings that he found he "could not go."

Instead, he sat down to try and capture in words the wonders of the magical landscape he found himself in thrall…


Never Cry Wolf

By Farley Mowat,

Book cover of Never Cry Wolf

Farley Mowat once declared: “I never let facts get in the way of a good story.” I have read Never Cry Wolf as fiction many times, even though its author pretended it was factual. As a writer interested in Canada’s north, Mowat’s universe is an obvious choice for me. The inclusion of Inuit characters is also quite appealing. In this book, a naturalist studies Arctic wolves in a makeshift camp in northern Manitoba and deals with the ridiculous expectations of the bureaucrats who sent him out there to fend for himself. He discovers that contrary to public opinion, wolves are not responsible for the decimation of caribou herds, humans are. Some elements are exaggerated for comic effect, and as one of Canada’s best storytellers, Mowat delivers on laughs. 

Never Cry Wolf

By Farley Mowat,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Never Cry Wolf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Maxim Gorky, born Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov in 1868 to the low stratum of Russian society, rose to prominence early in life as a writer and publicist. Gorky, who did not have a formal education, became famous in his country and abroad. Writing could not satisfy the rebellious Gorky who soon became involved in revolutionary movements. After a short period with the populist/narodnik movement, Gorky became disillusioned with the peasant class, and, instead, he chose the nascent class of workers as the vehicle for change. It is as if Gorky and capitalism arrived in Russia together. In his view the intelligentsia…


King Solomon's Ring

By Konrad Lorenz,

Book cover of King Solomon's Ring: New Light on Animal Ways

This is a classic account of animal behavior by the man who founded the modern field of ethology. His careful and detailed accounts of his time living with graylag geese, crow-like jackdaws, and even cichlid fish are not only scientifically fascinating but filled with wonder and love for each animal as an individual—a creature who loves his or her life as much as we love ours.

King Solomon's Ring

By Konrad Lorenz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked King Solomon's Ring as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2020 Reprint of the 1952 Edition.  Exact facsimile of the original edition and not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software.  The book's title refers to the legendary Seal of Solomon, a ring that supposedly gave King Solomon the power to speak to animals.  Lorenz claims that he likewise achieved this feat of communication with several species. He accomplished this by raising them in and around his home and observing their behavior. King Solomon's Ring describes the methods of his investigation, and his resulting findings about animal psychology. Lorenz's findings include the surprisingly refined social system of the common Eurasian jackdaw, the…


Of Wolves and Men

By Barry Lopez,

Book cover of Of Wolves and Men

Lyrical and personal, this breathtaking book leads you on a journey to discover sides of the wolf you might never have expected would exist. The way a deer signals to the wolf that it will give in to the chase, to become the wolf’s prey, and the wolf’s ‘reply.’ Lopez gets into the head of wolves and the social systems of wolf packs. Years ago, travelling through rural Washington State, USA, I met the endangered buffalo timberwolves close-up. I carried Lopez’s thoughts in my head to calm my nerves. After reading this book, I longed to learn as much about killer whales such that we could have this same intimate relationship with them, learning about their ways, understanding their signs. It took time but eventually, we did just that.

Of Wolves and Men

By Barry Lopez,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Of Wolves and Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Ishmael

By Daniel Quinn,

Book cover of Ishmael

Ishmael is one of the most unique novels I have read. Years after reading it, I still think about it. I’m sure it is one reason I am concerned about the impact of our choices on the people who come after us. Hard to imagine that a book about a gorilla who teaches a human using the Socratic Method could have such an impact on me. But it did. The gorilla wants to help humans understand why things are the way they are. (This is something I want to understand too.) All of this sounds philosophical, and it is. At the same time, the book was a page-turner for me. I read it one day. It entertained me and made me think.

Ishmael

By Daniel Quinn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the most beloved and bestselling novels of spiritual adventure ever published, Ishmael has earned a passionate following. This special twenty-fifth anniversary edition features a new foreword and afterword by the author.

“A thoughtful, fearlessly low-key novel about the role of our species on the planet . . . laid out for us with an originality and a clarity that few would deny.”—The New York Times Book Review

Teacher Seeks Pupil.
Must have an earnest desire to save the world.
Apply in person.

It was just a three-line ad in the personals section, but it launched the adventure of…


Between Man and Beast

By Monte Reel,

Book cover of Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer and the African Adventure the Victorian World by Storm

I love nonfiction adventure books that immerse you in the details of an adventure while providing enough background information to understand the historical, cultural, and scientific perspectives of an era. In the mid-19th century, Paul du Chaillu spent years in Western Africa tracking down the njena, the mythical beast. This book makes for interesting reading as the author weaves the true-life adventure story of the discovery of the gorilla with Darwin’s evolutionary debate, and the challenges a Victorian-era scientist faced to prove his credibility. 

Between Man and Beast

By Monte Reel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1856, Paul Du Chaillu ventured into the African jungle in search of a mythic beast, the gorilla. After wild encounters with vicious cannibals, deadly snakes, and tribal kings, Du Chaillu emerged with 20 preserved gorilla skins—two of which were stuffed and brought on tour—and walked smack dab into the biggest scientific debate of the time: Darwin's theory of evolution. Quickly, Du Chaillu's trophies went from objects of wonder to key pieces in an all-out intellectual war. With a wide range of characters, including Abraham Lincoln, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.T Barnum, Thackeray, and of course, Charles Darwin, this is a…


The Murderer's Ape

By Jakob Wegelius,

Book cover of The Murderer's Ape

A real tour de force that for me was reminiscent of Phileas Fogg's adventures in Around the World in 80 Days. The story follows the life of an intelligent gorilla who although lacking the power of speech is an extraordinary, loveable protagonist. It is accompanied by black and white illustrations that feel like etchings and that only enhance the wistful and nostalgic window through which we observe this gorilla’s world and life experience. It's a lengthy book and so at first may seem like a big commitment especially as it is aimed at children (it also have some grown-up themes) but once you begin the journey I defy anyone to try and get off as the mystery and magic unfold alongside a powerful story of friendship and love. Another brilliant example of how to escape the reality of the every day and be whisked into a world of mystery,…

The Murderer's Ape

By Jakob Wegelius,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Murderer's Ape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she's an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja's turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder.

For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.


The One and Only Ivan

By Katherine Applegate, Patricia Castelao (illustrator),

Book cover of The One and Only Ivan

Do not say I didn’t warn you: this book requires a box of tissues. It’s told from the perspective of a gorilla named Ivan, who is stuck in a glass enclosure in a shopping mall. Stay with me on this; I can feel you doubting me. When Ivan befriends a baby elephant named Ruby, who is taken from the wild, he begins to see his circumstances in a whole new way, and discovers that art might be a ticket to freedom. Okay, I know what you are thinking: I am a grown up. I do not read books told from the perspective of gorillas, nor do I read the book equivalent of cute YouTube videos of weird animal friendships. All I can say is: trust me. It’s brilliant. 

The One and Only Ivan

By Katherine Applegate, Patricia Castelao (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture available on Disney+!

Inspired by a true story, this is the beautifully written tale of how a mighty gorilla wins his freedom. A winning blend of humour and poignancy that will appeal to fans of Michael Morpurgo.

This #1 New York Times bestselling and Newbery Award-winning novel is coming to the big screen this summer, with a star-studded cast including Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren, Bryan Cranston, and more!

Ivan is an easy-going gorilla who has spent his life performing for the crowds at the Exit 8 shopping mall. He rarely misses…


Spider School

By Francesca Simon, Peta Coplans (illustrator),

Book cover of Spider School

One of my daughter’s perennial favourites, I read this so often I had it memorized, and found it great to tell even without the hilarious pictures. In this story, Kate is facing her first day of school. So miserable is she at the very idea, she gets out on the wrong side of the bed. So of course, everything goes wrong! Her school is a dungeon, her teacher is a gorilla, and the dinner lady serves spiders, snails, and snakes for lunch. Brave Kate fights back, runs home, and saves her own day when she gets up all over again, on the right side of the bed. This is, underneath, a story about attitude, and reassures kids about the reality of school by comically exaggerating one child’s fears. But it’s also great fun to tell, with silly voices, unexpected developments, and a fine arc of tension till Kate decides to…

Spider School

By Francesca Simon, Peta Coplans (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Every child's worst nightmare is brought to life by Fancesca Simon's enchanting and witty text and by Peta Coplans' bright, bold and quirky illustations. This funny, original book is full of charm and humour - and it has a happy ending!


Little Beauty

By Anthony Browne,

Book cover of Little Beauty

A sad gorilla who can use sign language asks the keepers for a friend. He’s given a kitten, and a wonderful cross-species friendship is born. I especially enjoyed the line “they did everything together,” which is accompanied by a humorous illustration showing the gorilla on a toilet and Beauty, the cat, in a litter box.

The artwork expressively captures the gorilla’s sadness, joy, worry, and anger. When a movie makes the gorilla so upset that he smashes the television, the keepers think they should take the cat away for her safety. However, Beauty hilariously changes their minds by signing that she broke the TV. This is a great story of loyalty and unlikely friendships.

Little Beauty

By Anthony Browne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"No one renders primates with more faithful detail or surreal humanity than Browne." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A USBBY Outstanding International Book
An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner
Three starred reviews (Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal)

Once there was a very special gorilla who had almost everything he needed. There was only one thing he didn’t have: a friend. With no other gorillas at the zoo, the keepers try something new. Will the gigantic ape strike a bond with another sort of creature, one as tiny and innocent as a kitten? Sparked by the story of a…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in gorillas, friendships, and zoos?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about gorillas, friendships, and zoos.

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