100 books like The Animals in That Country

By Laura Jean McKay,

Here are 100 books that The Animals in That Country fans have personally recommended if you like The Animals in That Country. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Susan Emshwiller Author Of Thar She Blows

From my list on first-person narrators navigating screwed-up lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by first-person points of view. In writing plays and screenplays, I couldn’t write the inner thoughts of my characters. Now, in novels and short stories, I do that almost exclusively, even if the stories contain multiple narrators. I love the Unreliable Narrator—whether it is someone too young to understand what they are witnessing, someone who is in denial, or mentally ill, or a non-human experiencing the world in an odd way—the discrepancy between their view and mine delights me. I love discovering all those inner thoughts, fears, anxieties, and desires. These first-person stories let me into another’s experience and allow me to empathize with a whole new perspective.  

Susan's book list on first-person narrators navigating screwed-up lives

Susan Emshwiller Why did Susan love this book?

I was stunned by this book. So much is unexpected as we follow Rosemary in trying to make sense of her very unusual upbringing. I was laughing and crying and furious following the heartbreaking story of the sisters.

This book explores things I wouldn’t have suspected I could find interesting— but Wow! I was wrong. The journey of this narrator is unforgettable.

By Karen Joy Fowler,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club introduces a middle-class American family that is ordinary in every way but one in this novel that won the PEN/Faulkner Award and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize.
 
Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. “I was raised with a chimpanzee,” she explains. “I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern’s expulsion...she was my twin, my funhouse…


Book cover of Dyschronia

Jane Rawson Author Of From the Wreck

From my list on Australian novels for nature and climate.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing about climate change for the past 14 years. I have been the Environment and Energy Editor for the news website, The Conversation, and worked for the government in renewable energy and reducing emissions from transport. Now I work for a conservation organisation, protecting land for nature. My first novel, A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists, was set in a climate-changed Melbourne and an idyllic past San Francisco. My most recent novel, From the Wreck, is historical fiction set in the 1870s but is also about modern humans’ history of ecocide. I have also written essays and a non-fiction guide The Handbook: Surviving & Living with Climate Change

Jane's book list on Australian novels for nature and climate

Jane Rawson Why did Jane love this book?

Dyschronia is strange, complicated, overwhelming, frightening, and occasionally enervating – just like climate change. Jen Mills tells the story of a young woman in a small, dying town who can’t stop seeing horrible futures; or, perhaps, the story of a young woman who compulsively lies. You won’t forget the compelling and sickening scene of a town waking up to find the ocean has disappeared. This one is worth wrapping your brain around.

By Jennifer Mills,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MILES FRANKLIN LITERARY AWARD 2019

"There is a poetry in Mills's writing that shimmers like desert air - and in her storytelling, in the way she captures the moods of time, there is something mystical. Daring, original and ambitious." The Australian

An electrifying novel about an oracle. A small town. And the end of the world as we know it...

One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake to discover the sea has disappeared. One among them has been plagued by troubling visions of this cataclysm for years. Is she a prophet?…


Book cover of Flames

Danielle Clode Author Of Killers In Eden: The True Story of Killer Whales and their Remarkable Partnership with the Whalers of Twofold Bay

From my list on Australian animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a passion for animals since I was nine years old and wrote my first ‘book’ on animals for a school library competition. I went on to study animal behavior at university and complete a doctorate in conservation biology and seabirds in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. I’ve worked in zoos and museums, written twelve books on animals as various as killer whales and koalas, extinct megafauna, and marine reptiles. Learning more about the natural world, the people who study it, and the importance of protecting it, has been the driving force behind all of my books and a joy to share with readers. 

Danielle's book list on Australian animals

Danielle Clode Why did Danielle love this book?

This genre-busting debut novel by Tasmanian writer Robbie Arnott defies all attempts to describe or classify it. The writing is vibrant and beautiful. It’s a book that fills your lungs with a blast of fresh air, the scents of the cool southern rainforests and dazzles you with clouds and sun and rain and fire. It seamlessly blends realism with a spirit world, binding the human to the animal in an evocatively magical and disturbing story that brings Australian nature and animals into focus in an entirely new literary landscape. I defy anyone to read this book and not fall in love with the Rakali and weep a little the next time it rains. Quite the most remarkable book I’ve read.

By Robbie Arnott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A strange and joyous marvel" Richard Flanagan

Robbie Arnott's mad, wild debut novel is rough-hewn from the Tasmanian landscape and imbued with the folkloric magic of the oldest fireside storytellers.

A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte-who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire.

The answers to these riddles are to be found in this tale of grief and love and the bonds…


Book cover of Wolfe Island

Jane Rawson Author Of From the Wreck

From my list on Australian novels for nature and climate.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing about climate change for the past 14 years. I have been the Environment and Energy Editor for the news website, The Conversation, and worked for the government in renewable energy and reducing emissions from transport. Now I work for a conservation organisation, protecting land for nature. My first novel, A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists, was set in a climate-changed Melbourne and an idyllic past San Francisco. My most recent novel, From the Wreck, is historical fiction set in the 1870s but is also about modern humans’ history of ecocide. I have also written essays and a non-fiction guide The Handbook: Surviving & Living with Climate Change

Jane's book list on Australian novels for nature and climate

Jane Rawson Why did Jane love this book?

Lucy is an Australian writer but her second novel, Wolfe Island, is set in the US in a time that might be the very recent past or the very near future. Kitty Hawke and her large, loyal dog are the last inhabitants of a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay; Kitty values her solitude, but when her estranged family is targeted by the US government, she has to decide whether to stand up for what she believes in. Most climate change novels tend toward future dystopias – Wolfe Island is special because it is a firmly realist novel that looks more closely at our current world and reveals all the ways the dystopia is here and now.

By Lucy Treloar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kitty Hawke, the last inhabitant of a dying island sinking into the wind-lashed Chesapeake Bay, has resigned herself to annihilation...

Until one night her granddaughter rows ashore in the midst of a storm, desperate, begging for sanctuary. For years, Kitty has kept to herself – with only the company of her wolfdog, Girl – unconcerned by the world outside, or perhaps avoiding its worst excesses. But blood cannot be turned away in times like these. And when trouble comes following her granddaughter, no one is more surprised than Kitty to find she will fight to save her as fiercely as…


Book cover of Echolalia

Jane Rawson Author Of From the Wreck

From my list on Australian novels for nature and climate.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing about climate change for the past 14 years. I have been the Environment and Energy Editor for the news website, The Conversation, and worked for the government in renewable energy and reducing emissions from transport. Now I work for a conservation organisation, protecting land for nature. My first novel, A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists, was set in a climate-changed Melbourne and an idyllic past San Francisco. My most recent novel, From the Wreck, is historical fiction set in the 1870s but is also about modern humans’ history of ecocide. I have also written essays and a non-fiction guide The Handbook: Surviving & Living with Climate Change

Jane's book list on Australian novels for nature and climate

Jane Rawson Why did Jane love this book?

Doyle’s first novel, The Island Will Sink, was a wild ride into a technology-obsessed, nature-depleted future society. Echolalia is situated firmly in present-day, suburban Australia and unlike most climate change novels it recognises that environmental crisis is part of a deeper web: the novel looks at how class, money, and white dispossession of Australia’s first nations people all complicate the way we deal with heat, drought and a frightening future. A compelling portrait of a woman falling to pieces.

By Briohny Doyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What could drive a mother to do the unthinkable?

Before: Emma Cormac married into a perfect life but now she's barely coping. Inside a brand new, palatial home, her three young children need more than she can give. Clem, a wilful four year old, is intent on mimicking her grandmother; the formidable matriarch Pat Cormac. Arthur is almost three and still won't speak. At least baby Robbie is perfect. He's the future of the family. So why can't Emma hold him without wanting to scream?
Beyond their gleaming windows, a lake vista is evaporating. The birds have mostly disappeared, too.…


Book cover of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

Kevin J. Fellows Author Of At the End of the World

From my list on fabulist fiction books where the real and unreal collide, leaving us questioning both.

Why am I passionate about this?

After reading The Enormous Egg as a child, I’ve been devoted to stories where the strange, the uncanny, and the magical are all elements of the worlds characters must negotiate. I’m most drawn to fiction containing seemingly unreal elements because, in my experience, that is reality. Those moments when the past suddenly feels present, or when you glimpse something at the edge of your vision that feels significant, but you can’t quite catch it. Moments when anything is possible. No surprise that I write fiction that explores those moments of uncertainty and leaves the reader unmoored, thinking about the people and their experiences long after they’ve left the book.

Kevin's book list on fabulist fiction books where the real and unreal collide, leaving us questioning both

Kevin J. Fellows Why did Kevin love this book?

I’m always impressed by how Karen Russell pulls the reader into her stories with no warning about what we’re getting into. No easing into strange situations. She places her characters in what we publicly claim can’t be real but privately know to be true.

To make a fabulist story work, images must cling to the reader’s mind like golden treacle. Each one either grounding us in the familiar or firmly establishing the unfamiliar as quotidian. Russel is a master at this. Her stories flow so easily, and her characters’ unforgettable voices hit the reader in the first paragraph.

By Karen Russell,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Charting loss, love, and the difficult art of growing up, these stories unfurl with wicked humour and insight. Two young boys make midnight trips to a boat graveyard in search of their dead sister, who set sail in the exoskeleton of a giant crab; a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tragedies is sent to 'Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers' (Cabin 1, Narcoleptics; Cabin 2, Insomniacs; Cabin 3, Somnambulists. . . ); a Minotaur leads his family on the trail out West, and finally, in the collection's poignant and hilarious title story, fifteen girls raised by wolves are painstakingly re-civilised by…


Book cover of The House of the Spirits

Kevin Chen Author Of Ghost Town

From my list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have 7 sisters and 1 brother. I was the 9th child in my family. To get a son who would carry on the family heritage, my parents tried 7 times without any success. After 7 unwanted daughters, my brother finally arrived. Then they had me as the second boy in the family. The plot twist was: I am gay. I turned out to be the 8th unwanted daughter because of my sexuality. Coming from this small-town big family full of superstitions and secrets, I am naturally drawn to dramatic family stories with many dark and psychological twists.

Kevin's book list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets

Kevin Chen Why did Kevin love this book?

This novel is a graphic and passionate family saga. I came from a big family and could totally relate to the story of many generations.

I read it in one math class in high school and got punished by the teacher. I clearly remember the teacher’s distorted face when he threw my book out of the window. “Could this crap be more important than math?” I said YES. Yes. Yes. Yes. A thousand yeses.

He failed me, which was fine. Allende’s magical realism allowed me to aspire to become a novelist. I did become a writer, and I would still say YES to my math teacher.

By Isabel Allende,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Spectacular...An absorbing and distinguished work...The House of the Spirits with its all-informing, generous, and humane sensibility, is a unique achievement, both personal witness and possible allegory of the past, present, and future of Latin America.” —The New York Times Book Review

Our Shared Shelf, Emma Watson Goodreads Book Club Pick November/December 2020!

The House of the Spirits, the unforgettable first novel that established Isabel Allende as one of the world’s most gifted storytellers, brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political…


Book cover of A Tale for the Time Being

Victoria Costello Author Of Orchid Child

From my list on realist that use magic to say hard things.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most children growing up with fairy tales and Bible instruction, I believed in miracles and magic. But it was the death of my father at age eight, then having his spirit return to my childhood bedroom to comfort and reassure me, that planted in me a core belief in dimensions beyond material reality. Other influences, including living as a neurodiverse woman and raising a neurodiverse son, working as a science journalist, and reading quantum physics, helped me re-embrace the liminal as part of my adult worldview. The most interesting novels to me often carry subtle messages and bring awareness to underrepresented people and issues, and many do this using magic and the fantastic.

Victoria's book list on realist that use magic to say hard things

Victoria Costello Why did Victoria love this book?

On a remote island in the Pacific Northwest, a Hello Kitty lunchbox washes up on a beach.

Tucked inside is the diary of a sixteen-year-old Japanese girl. Ruth, the auto-fictional protagonist of this novel, is a writer who finds the lunchbox and suspects it’s debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami. Thus ensues a dual storyline in which each of these characters seeks out the other and, in the process, reckons with family, fate, and ancestral heritage.

I chose this National Book Award finalist from 2014 for its subtle use of the two main characters liminal realities to wrestle with the possibility of how two people living at a vast distance apart and even in different times might be connected to each other.

As a writer I was blown away by this passage which comes late in the novel. “[Ruth] thought back to the mystery of the missing words. Had she somehow…

By Ruth Ozeki,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Tale for the Time Being as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki, author of The Book of Form and Emptiness

Finalist for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

"A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be."

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a…


Book cover of Plague Town

Stacy Kingsley Author Of Zombies Are People Too!

From my list on zombies that stick with you and give you nightmares.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read over 50 zombie novels and watched pretty much every zombie movie available to me. I write horror and a lot doesn’t really scare me anymore. The books I’ve listed are some of the ones that have stuck with me and gave me nightmares. My favorite zombie movies are the Norwegian film Dead Snow, Train to Busan, and REC (so scary as it added religion to the mix). I read a lot of zombie novels as research for my own zombie novels as I want my books to present new ideas that aren’t readily available, or overused.

Stacy's book list on zombies that stick with you and give you nightmares

Stacy Kingsley Why did Stacy love this book?

I loved that the main character was a kickass female. Ashley is a fabulous character who is more than what people think she is, which is how I often feel. The fun thing is that Ashley is just like everyone else, a woman trying to get through a very rough day. Ashley felt like she could be any of us or all of us. In fact, I hope that I can be Ashley if there is a zombie apocalypse, a strong female who doesn’t let anyone cause me to die (except me). 

By Dana Fredsti,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down.

A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse. Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a 'Wild-Card' -- immune to the virus -- and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak.

It's Buffy meets the Walking Dead in a rapid-fire zombie adventure!


Book cover of The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

Robert O. Schneider Author Of An Unmitigated Disaster: America's Response to COVID-19

From my list on the “war” between politics and science.

Why am I passionate about this?

My research and writing in the field of emergency or disaster management has been focused on the concept of hazard mitigation. This means reducing the impact of disasters, the creation of hazard resilient and sustainable communities, and the application of scientific and technical expertise to the task. We all live in a world where it has become more important than ever to make intelligent decisions driven by a comprehension of the properties of the physical universe. It is also a world in which economic self-interest and political interests may impede that idealistic goal. I have a sense of urgency about reducing the efficacy of such impediments.      

Robert's book list on the “war” between politics and science

Robert O. Schneider Why did Robert love this book?

Barry’s dramatic historical account of the 1918 influenza pandemic has been called “fascinating,” “brilliant,” “sobering,” and “terrifying” by numerous reviewers.

It is a piece of history, the worst public health disaster in the century before COVID-19, that should have helped succeeding generations to take pandemic preparedness more seriously. It should have enhanced our understanding that during such a crisis, science must lead the way. Despite all that we did learn from the great influenza of 1918, we were unable to avoid many of the mistakes made when our leaders too often shunned the advice of science and made the COVID-19 pandemic political.

This book informed and influenced me greatly. It inspired me to see the need for and the importance of recording and learning from our experiences a century later.

By John M. Barry,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Great Influenza as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the height of WWI, history's most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, "The Great Influenza"…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in influenza, epidemics, and human animal relationships?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about influenza, epidemics, and human animal relationships.

Influenza Explore 13 books about influenza
Epidemics Explore 44 books about epidemics
Human Animal Relationships Explore 45 books about human animal relationships