12 books like The Dodo and its Kindred

By Hugh Edwin Strickland, Alexander Gordon Melville,

Here are 12 books that The Dodo and its Kindred fans have personally recommended if you like The Dodo and its Kindred. 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 The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

Benjamin von Brackel Author Of Nowhere Left to Go: How Climate Change Is Driving Species to the Ends of the Earth

From my list on that help you understand the biodiversity crisis.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a science journalist I have concentrated on the consequences of climate change. It´s the most frightening as fascinating experiment, we conduct with our planet. In 2018 I wrote a book on extreme weather together with climate scientist Freddy Otto from the University of Oxford (Angry Weather). After this I got immersed in a different climate consequence: How it is affecting biodiversity and with it the foundation of our societies. But what I also love is good storytelling. I quickly get bored with texts that have no dramaturgy or that don't give the reader any pleasure—unlike the fantastic and highly relevant books on this list.

Benjamin's book list on that help you understand the biodiversity crisis

Benjamin von Brackel Why did Benjamin love this book?

Not many can manage the task of mastering a complicated subject and turn it into life—which means storytelling—as good as David Quammen. In his books he writes long passages on scientific discourses that sometimes come close to textbooks. But I enjoy reading them, because I learn so much and because he alternates these sections with (often very funny) stories. Stories of people that shape their scientific field, which reads like a good novel. Like in “The song of the Dodo”—a portrait of the scientific field of “Island Biogeography,” which explains why animal and plant species are where they are and why they become extinct when their habitat becomes too small.

By David Quammen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Compulsively readable—a masterpiece, maybe the masterpiece of science journalism.” —Bill McKibben, Audubon

A brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope and far-reaching in its message, The Song of the Dodo is a crucial book in precarious times. Through personal observation, scientific theory, and history, David Quammen examines the mysteries of evolution and extinction and radically alters our understanding of the natural world and our place within it.

In this landmark of science writing, we learn how the isolation of islands makes them natural laboratories of evolutionary extravagance, as seen in the dragons of Komodo, the elephant birds of Madagascar, the…


Book cover of Prehistoric Animals

Errol Fuller Author Of The Great Auk

From my list on conservation and extinction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a painter who specializes mostly in sleazy sports (boxing, snooker, etc. – nothing really healthy!) who happens to have written and designed 18 books. Obviously, producing books has become something of a habit. These books are about curiosities of natural history and also about art – but they have little to do with my paintings. Anyone who is interested in either the books or the paintings can see them on my website. I suppose the book that I’m best known for is Drawn from Paradise, a book that I did with David Attenborough on one of our two mutual obsessions – birds of paradise. Apart from books and paintings, my life is fairly humdrum; in fact, there isn’t a lot of time for much else, although I’ve been married more than once and have children. I’ve now reached an age when I should start slowing down but I’ve no intention of stopping what I do until either bad health or death finish me off!

Errol's book list on conservation and extinction

Errol Fuller Why did Errol love this book?

This is the book that brought me into the subject of extinction and specifically, as the title suggests, prehistoric creatures.

Published in 1960 at a time when colour printing was in the doldrums, this is the book that broke new ground. And it needed to because it contains reproductions of a wonderful series of paintings by the Czech artist Zdenek Burian, all shown in a large-scale format.

An argument could be made that Burian’s pictures are the most iconic and influential of all images of prehistoric animals, perhaps the only rivals being those created by the American artist Charles R. Knight. This is not to say that many more recent painters (both Burian and Knight were working in the early and middle years of the twentieth century) have failed in their efforts. They certainly have not, but it seems true to say that the painterly quality of Burian and the…

By J. Augusta, Z. Burian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This text defines the role and scope of nuclear medicine imaging techniques (gamma scintigraphy) in pharmaceutical research, giving information from clinical trial data.


Book cover of Extinct Birds

Errol Fuller Author Of The Great Auk

From my list on conservation and extinction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a painter who specializes mostly in sleazy sports (boxing, snooker, etc. – nothing really healthy!) who happens to have written and designed 18 books. Obviously, producing books has become something of a habit. These books are about curiosities of natural history and also about art – but they have little to do with my paintings. Anyone who is interested in either the books or the paintings can see them on my website. I suppose the book that I’m best known for is Drawn from Paradise, a book that I did with David Attenborough on one of our two mutual obsessions – birds of paradise. Apart from books and paintings, my life is fairly humdrum; in fact, there isn’t a lot of time for much else, although I’ve been married more than once and have children. I’ve now reached an age when I should start slowing down but I’ve no intention of stopping what I do until either bad health or death finish me off!

Errol's book list on conservation and extinction

Errol Fuller Why did Errol love this book?

This book is an encyclopedia of recently extinct birds, and anyone who is interested in this subject should get it. My own book on this matter (also titled Extinct Birds) is a romantic ramble through the subject – accurate and informative in its own way, but serving a rather different purpose to the volume under consideration here.

Julian Hume’s book contains everything that you might wish to know about any recently extinct avian species; indeed it contains virtually everything significant that is actually known! Sometimes the accounts are lengthy, sometimes they are more meagre but in this latter case, it is simply because so little is known about the bird in question.

By Julian Hume,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Extinct Birds was the first comprehensive review of the hundreds of the bird species and subspecies that have become extinct over the last 1,000 years of habitat degradation, over-hunting and rat introduction. It has become the standard text on this subject, covering both familiar icons of extinction as well as more obscure birds, some known from just one specimen or from travellers' tales. This second edition is expanded to include dozens of new species, as more are constantly added to the list, either through extinction or through new subfossil discoveries.

Extinct Birds is the result of decades of research into…


Book cover of The End of the Game: The Last Word from Paradise

Errol Fuller Author Of The Great Auk

From my list on conservation and extinction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a painter who specializes mostly in sleazy sports (boxing, snooker, etc. – nothing really healthy!) who happens to have written and designed 18 books. Obviously, producing books has become something of a habit. These books are about curiosities of natural history and also about art – but they have little to do with my paintings. Anyone who is interested in either the books or the paintings can see them on my website. I suppose the book that I’m best known for is Drawn from Paradise, a book that I did with David Attenborough on one of our two mutual obsessions – birds of paradise. Apart from books and paintings, my life is fairly humdrum; in fact, there isn’t a lot of time for much else, although I’ve been married more than once and have children. I’ve now reached an age when I should start slowing down but I’ve no intention of stopping what I do until either bad health or death finish me off!

Errol's book list on conservation and extinction

Errol Fuller Why did Errol love this book?

Peter Beard settled in Kenya in the late 1950s and became obsessed with the plight of wildlife in Africa. The book is full of evocative photos that he took over a period of some 20 years – some of them absolutely tragic. It is not a book for the faint-hearted; but it tells with truth the stories of explorers, entrepreneurs, big game hunters, and missionaries.

It has been published in several editions and formats. The copy I have is a large paperback that dates from 1989, but there are editions that were produced before that time and many that have been published since.

This book is certainly not an attempt to be gently persuasive, and the author’s position can be summed up in these words that he wrote:

When I first escaped to East Africa in August 1955…it was one of the heaviest wildlife areas…in the world…No one then could…

By Peter Beard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book describes the origins, history, and prospects of big game in Africa.Researched, photographed, and compiled over 20 years, Peter Beard's "End of the Game" tells the tale of the enterprisers, explorers, missionaries, and big-game hunters whose quests for adventure and "progress" were to change the face of Africa in the 20th century. This landmark volume is assembled from hundreds of historical photographs and writings, starting with the building of the Mombasa Railroad ("The Lunatic Line") and the opening-up of darkest Africa. The stories behind the heroic figures in Beard's work - Theodore Roosevelt, Frederick Courtney Selous, Karen Blixen (Isak…


Book cover of Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons

Simon Michael Prior Author Of The Coconut Wireless

From my list on remote tropical islands.

Why am I passionate about this?

Simon Michael Prior loves small islands, and has travelled to remote countries in search of unique island experiences. He inflicts all aspects of life on himself so that readers can enjoy learning about his latest exploits. During his forty-year adolescence, he’s lived on two boats, sunk one of them; sold houses, street signs, Indian food, and paper bags; visited fifty countries, lived in three; qualified as a scuba diving instructor; learnt to wakeboard; trained as a Marine Rescue skipper, and built his own house without the benefit of an instruction manual.

Simon's book list on remote tropical islands

Simon Michael Prior Why did Simon love this book?

I’ve been a Durrell fan since I was 13, and I’ve collected all his books. This one opened my eyes to a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius and its nearby neighbour Round Island. Durrell’s books are focused on conservation of the animal world, but his books are as much about the human animal, and his adventures and descriptions of the people he meets and the locations he travels to bring his books to life. Highly recommended for anyone interested in travel, conservation and humour.

By Gerald Durrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On this speck of volcanic soil in the middle of a vast sea, a complete, unique and peaceful world was created slowly and carefully. It waited there for hundreds of thousands of years for an annihilating invasion of voracious animals for which it was totally unprepared, a cohort of rapacious beasts led by the worst predator in the world, Homo sapiens...In an incredibly short space of time, a number of unique species had vanished...Mauritius, the green and mountainous island in the Indian Ocean that was once the home of the ill-fated dodo, still had among its fauna many unique but…


Book cover of A Game of You

Eric Grissom Author Of Goblin

From my list on adventure and strange mystery fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been drawn to the woods. There’s something strange and mysterious about the trees. It’s a place where true magic feels possible. I enjoy stories that recreate this feeling. That keep that sense of mystery. That don’t feel the need to explain every detail or every strange occurrence within their pages. Stories that build deep worlds over time, but maintain a sense of wonder. I love stories that are funny, that aren’t afraid to be weird or dark, and that have a strong heart. They are the type of stories I try to tell in my own work and the ones I most love to get lost in.

Eric's book list on adventure and strange mystery fantasy

Eric Grissom Why did Eric love this book?

I could have put the entire Sandman series on this list and called it a day, so if you are unfamiliar with it, then please consider this an invitation to start with the first volume and go from there. Sandman is one of those special things that feel like a threshold into a much larger world. A strange and mysterious realm of dreams and magic, but whose doorway remains a secret to all but those who’ve cracked its cover. 

As I was limiting myself to only one collection in the series, I chose “A Game of You” as it’s very much a fantasy tale. It follows a princess named Barbie who navigates a dreamworld with a talking rat, a monkey in a suit, and a dodo bird while her friends in the “real” world contend with hurricanes, falling moons, and a dismembered talking head. Despite the Narnia-like feel, this is…

By Neil Gaiman, Shawn McManus (illustrator), Colleen Doran (illustrator) , Bryan Talbot (illustrator) , Stan Woch (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Volume five of New York Times best selling author Neil Gaiman's acclaimed creation The Sandman collects one of the series' most beloved storylines. Take an apartment house, add in a drag queen, a lesbian couple, some talking animals, a talking severed head, a confused heroine and the deadly Cuckoo. Stir vigorously with a hurricane and Morpheus himself and you get this fifth instalment of The Sandman series. This story stars Barbie, who first makes an appearance in The Doll's House and now finds herself a princess in a vivid dreamworld. Collects The Sandman #32-37.


Book cover of Lottie's New Friend (Lottie's World)

Jacky Davis and Giselle Potter Author Of Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks

From my list on unlikely friendships.

Why are we passionate about this?

The subject of friendship can be explored endlessly, as every friendship is unique. I am especially drawn to stories of unlikely friendships that look at the surprising and interesting ways that we show up for one another. One of the things that I see in all of the stories that Giselle and I have chosen, is that these unusual friendships make a difficult, awkward, or downright scary world a better place to be. 

Jacky's book list on unlikely friendships

Jacky Davis and Giselle Potter Why did Jacky love this book?

Lottie is a wise, steady chicken and Herbie is a silly, insecure duck, but their strong friendship is at the core of all the stories in this five-book series. Herbie is extremely jealous of Lottie’s new friend, Dodo. While Lottie is away, Dodo gets stuck on her roof, overcome with a fear of heights, and Herbie comes to her rescue. Herbie feels much better when Dodo says, Now I know…why Lottie says you can always count on Herbie…and that you are ze apple of her eye.” Our whole family is very attached to the endearing personalities of Lottie and Herbie and the stained, worn pages of our copies show how frequently they have been read.

By Petra Mathers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lottie's New Friend (Lottie's World) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who does Lottie like best? Her old friend Herbie asks himself this question when an exotic new neighbour befriends her. That question - familiar to children everywhere - is answered with warmth, humour, and insight.


Book cover of A History of Birdwatching in 100 Objects

Lesley Adkins Author Of When There Were Birds

From my list on the history of British birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having grown up on the south coast of Hampshire, I love both the countryside and the sea. After studying ancient history, archaeology, and Latin at the University of Bristol, I worked for many years as a field archaeologist and met my husband Roy on an excavation of a Roman villa at Milton Keynes. We have worked together ever since, as archaeologists and as authors of books on archaeology, ancient history, naval history, and social history. Our wide-ranging interests proved invaluable when writing our book When There Were Birds.

Lesley's book list on the history of British birds

Lesley Adkins Why did Lesley love this book?

The author was one of the earliest (if not the earliest) to write a history of a subject using a specific number of objects. In this book, he describes the development of observing birds through the medium of 100 objects, of which a surprising selection is presented, all well illustrated, from prehistoric paintings to more recent technology.  Possibly the most curious is a stuffed extinct dodo at the Horniman Museum in London. It was actually a deceptive piece made by a leading taxidermist using plaster casts, chicken wings, and swan, goose, and ostrich feathers.

By David Callahan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of Birdwatching in 100 Objects as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book looks at 100 items that have profoundly shaped how people watched, studied and engaged with the avian world. Each item contains around 500 words on a double-page spread and include an illustration of the object in question. The book includes the objects listed below as well as many more.The range of items is international and cross-cultural. Subjects include:

An Egyptian 'field guide' [early tomb decorations of birds, identifiable as species]
Ornithologiae libri tres: the first British bird guide [a 1676 publication that attempted to itemise all British birds known at the time]
The Dodo specimen held at the…


Book cover of Dodo

José Pimienta Author Of Twin Cities

From my list on being in a new place (physical or emotional).

Why am I passionate about this?

Coming-of-age stories have always appealed to me because of their focus on an internal struggle. They’re usually juxtaposed with a changing landscape or moving to a new place. In broad strokes, coming-of-age stories focus on personal identity and our place in our day-to-day world. As someone who’s born in the US but grew up on the Mexican side but currently lives in California, the questions of what aspects of me are American and which are Mexican have been ongoing. With that in mind, these five books speak to me in a profound way, and I'm happy they exist as comics. 

José's book list on being in a new place (physical or emotional)

José Pimienta Why did José love this book?

This is a story about someone going through something difficult and not having the words to verbalize why it is having a drastic impact. The premise is simple: Laila’s parents are going through a separation and she has to stay home. One day, she sees a giant bird across the street and allows him to enter her house. Laila tries to keep him a secret, but this bird has other plans. To me, this book is about visualizing a difficult or unnamed emotion. It shows how messy such a process can be. Also, the illustrations are delightful.  

By Felipe Nunes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

DODO is a graphic novel for all ages that explores emotional alienation within families.

Laila is six years old and she's been taken out of school following her parents' divorce. She doesn't understand why she can't go to school with the rest of her friends or why her dad never comes by anymore. Laila comes across a mysterious bird, a dodo named Ralph, and befriends the creature that has been living in the part near her house. Through her friendship with Ralph, Laila starts to notice things, things she never wanted to understand.


Book cover of The Eyre Affair

J.J. Cagney Author Of A Pilgrimage to Death

From my list on mystery for Agatha Christie readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading mysteries in elementary school: Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King fed my thirst for story, puzzles, and the “super-psychological.” There’s so much about the mind we don’t understand—including our relationships with animals (like an octopus detective)—or the bond between twins (like the one in my Cici series). When I worked with Irene Webb as an associate literary agent in the 2000s, my fascination with the written word and “super-psychological” blossomed. I enjoy connecting motivations, secrets, and passions into a tapestry of humanity. At their core, stories teach us how to be more human, and I want to be part of that lesson. Please enjoy this book list I’ve curated for you.

J.J.'s book list on mystery for Agatha Christie readers

J.J. Cagney Why did J.J. love this book?

A friend recommended this series to me and, because we both enjoy British literature, I knew I’d give it a go.

What I didn’t expect was to be so utterly charmed, not just by the Britishism, but by the premise: literary detectives must stop her former professor before he can murder Jane Eyre…and have the heroine disappear from literature forever.

The alternative reality is a surreal, quirky 1985 that I reveled in (who wouldn’t want a pet dodo, airships, literary detectors, or a Prose Portal?), but it’s Thursday Next’s insights into her own mistakes, human motivation, and the beauty of the written word that gripped me until I’d finished the last page.

By Jasper Fforde,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Eyre Affair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend

Jasper Fforde's beloved New York Times bestselling novel introduces literary detective Thursday Next and her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England-from the author of The Constant Rabbit

Fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse will love visiting Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, when time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously: it's a bibliophile's dream. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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