100 books like The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

By Elisabeth Tova Bailey,

Here are 100 books that The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating fans have personally recommended if you like The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. 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 Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Alice McIlroy Author Of The Glass Woman

From my list on books featuring unreliable narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved unreliable narrators and how they place us as readers into the role of detectives, piecing the "truth" of a story together. The narrators I’ve picked below vary in their intent: some deliberately deceive, and others do so unconsciously or through omission. In several, the twist hinges on the use of an unreliable narrator, while in others, narrative unreliability poses a moral dilemma for the reader. In a few, an added layer of unreliability emerges: the narrator’s perception is distorted by technology. In an age of AI, simulations, and deep fakes, the unreliable narrator is arguably more needed than ever, holding a mirror up to the unreliability of our own world. 

Alice's book list on books featuring unreliable narrators

Alice McIlroy Why did Alice love this book?

This book features a brilliant narrative voice. The title paraphrases William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell. Protagonist Janina’s neighbour, nicknamed Big Foot, is found dead in the first of a number of local murders as hunters become the hunted. 65-year-old Janina has a greater affinity with the local deer than the victims and their love of hunting.

It is Janina’s perspective that makes the narrative so gripping. Set in a remote Polish village, it has the pace of a thriller, and her voice combines humour with deeply troubled questions about humanity’s place in the world. On watching a pregnant woman reading a newspaper, she wonders: "How could one possibly know all this and not miscarry?" Janina’s first-person narration enables us to see how far she is misjudged and overlooked by her community.

By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (translator),

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD, Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk returns with a subversive, entertaining noir novel. In a remote Polish village, Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. She is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she's unconventional, believing in the stars; and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, Duszejko becomes involved in the investigation. By…


Book cover of Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story)

Andrea Christenson Author Of How Sweet It Is: A Deep Haven Novel

From my list on when you’re in the mood for food.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an aspiring foodie and a huge lover of books with a great food subplot (or main plot!). I’ve been known to read cookbooks for fun and probably the most thumbed book in our house is my copy of The Joy of Cooking. I’m a firm believer in reading books at the lunch table and that no book should be read without a cup of coffee and a cookie (at the minimum) near one’s elbow. Hopefully you find these books to be as drool-worthy as I did!

Andrea's book list on when you’re in the mood for food

Andrea Christenson Why did Andrea love this book?

Okay, as a middle grade novel, this one may seem a little strange to have on this list, but bear with me.

The protagonist, Khosrou, tells the story of his Iranian family stretching back decades. Woven throughout the story are descriptions of the foods they enjoyed, many of which, as refugees to America, they cannot find anymore. Several times throughout this book I turned to the internet to tell me how to make something Daniel Naveri described.

A beautiful book that also contained more about using the bathroom than I ever expected!

By Daniel Nayeri,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls "Daniel") stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much.

But Khosrou's stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran in the middle of the night with the secret police moments behind them, back to the sad, cement refugee…


Book cover of Turtle Diary

Jean Ryan Author Of Survival Skills: Stories

From my list on the ways that animals redeem us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a child, sitting on fallen logs in the forest and making notes on the wildlife, I have been an admirer of animals and their mysteries. That animals feel pain, fear, and affection is obvious, and while we are warned against anthropomorphism, I think the greater mistake is in limiting them to the range of human feelings. I am especially intrigued with the subject of consciousness, believing that all creatures possess their own version of it. In studying the cognizance of other beings, we become better humans, more aware of the unity of all living things. While we have no idea how far we can go in our understanding of animal behavior, it is thrilling to consider the possibilities of this frontier.

Jean's book list on the ways that animals redeem us

Jean Ryan Why did Jean love this book?

Turtle Diary is one of my all-time favorite books. The intimate tone pulls the reader in immediately. Hoban alternates point of view between William and Neera, two lonely Londoners who accomplish a heroic feat and manage to rescue themselves in the process. The writing is spare and beautiful, peppered with delightful asides and observations: “She had a theatre programme in her hand, fresh air and perfume had come in with her. Her blonde hair and leopardskin coat looked as if they’d go out even if she stayed at home.”

By Russell Hoban,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two lonely Londoners bond over a plan to free the sea turtles at the city zoo in this touching novel from a cult-favorite author who has drawn comparisons to J.D. Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut.

A wise and touching classic that “crackles with witty detail, mordant intelligence and self-deprecating irony,” from the author of Riddley Walker (Time)

Life in a city can be atomizing, isolating. And it certainly is for William G. and Neaera H., the strangers at the center of Russell Hoban’s surprisingly heartwarming novel Turtle Diary.
 
William, a clerk at a used bookstore, lives in a rooming house after…


Book cover of Sightings: Extraordinary Encounters with Ordinary Birds

Jean Ryan Author Of Survival Skills: Stories

From my list on the ways that animals redeem us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a child, sitting on fallen logs in the forest and making notes on the wildlife, I have been an admirer of animals and their mysteries. That animals feel pain, fear, and affection is obvious, and while we are warned against anthropomorphism, I think the greater mistake is in limiting them to the range of human feelings. I am especially intrigued with the subject of consciousness, believing that all creatures possess their own version of it. In studying the cognizance of other beings, we become better humans, more aware of the unity of all living things. While we have no idea how far we can go in our understanding of animal behavior, it is thrilling to consider the possibilities of this frontier.

Jean's book list on the ways that animals redeem us

Jean Ryan Why did Jean love this book?

In Sightings, Sam Keen lays a gentle hand on your shoulder and invites you to share in his love affair with birds. From the Indigo Bunting to the Lord God bird, he describes his various encounters, weaving bits of his own history with illuminating glimpses into the avian realm. This slim volume is beautifully illustrated with paintings by Mary Woodin and venerable quotes, reminding us that the world, viewed up close, is a sacred place designed for those with open hearts.

By Sam Keen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In twelve interwoven essays, Sam Keen, the "New York Times" best-selling author of "Fire in the Belly", shares moments of spirituality and insight that he's experienced while bird watching. Keen has been blessed with moments of beauty that he interprets with wit, wisdom, and a bit of down-home philosophy. From his childhood ramblings in the Tennessee wilderness to a heartbreaking drive through Arizona to a stroll on the shore of Lake Michigan on his 70th birthday, here are meditations on such universal ideas as friendship, the nature of the soul, and the disappointment that comes with getting exactly what you…


Book cover of The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness

Deb Aronson Author Of How to Raise a Rhino

From my list on humans bonding with wild animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion is writing about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, rather than famous people or people with some unusual skill, like being a math genius or something. This passion led me to Anna Merz’s story and my growing appreciation of the power of the animal/human connection and how much communication can take place without language.

Deb's book list on humans bonding with wild animals

Deb Aronson Why did Deb love this book?

Montgomery is one of my favorite non-fiction authors. She has written about her family’s pet pig, and she’s written about every creature, from hummingbirds and snakes to condors and pink dolphins.

But this book is, for me, one of the most eye-opening books I’ve ever read. It’s not a friendship/relationship in the same way as my other book recommendations, but Montgomery writes about a single octopus and its exploits in an aquarium. We learn just how smart and funny! octopuses are.

Also, because of this book, I cannot eat calamari anymore.

By Sy Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Soul of an Octopus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald's H Is for Hawk did for raptors' New Statesman
'Charming and moving...with extraordinary scientific research' Guardian
'An engaging work of natural science... There is clearly something about the octopus's weird beauty that fires the imaginations of explorers, scientists, writers' Daily Mail

In 2011 Sy Montgomery wrote a feature for Orion magazine entitled 'Deep Intellect' about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death. It went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since…


Book cover of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel

Maddalena Bearzi Author Of Stranded: Finding Nature in Uncertain Times

From my list on what animals feel and think.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been passionate about nature since childhood. In my youth, I spent many summers on a pristine shore in Sardinia, snorkeling in a sea full of life. Later on, I became a scientist, conservationist, and author. My research on dolphins in California represents one of the longest studies worldwide. I co-wrote Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins, authored Dolphin Confidential, and Stranded, and written for many media, including National Geographic. My goal is to share my love for nature and what I have learned from it, with the hope to instill a deeper appreciation for wildlife and involve others in the protection of our planet.

Maddalena's book list on what animals feel and think

Maddalena Bearzi Why did Maddalena love this book?

This is another amazing nonfiction book by ecologist and New York Times bestselling author Carl Safina.

With his usual exquisite prose, the author delves deep into the lives and feelings of other beings, from elephants to dolphins. And once again, Safina does an outstanding job in uncovering the secrets of the natural world that surrounds us using many of his personal experiences in the wild and his wonderful ability to tell stories to the general public.

By Carl Safina,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

I wanted to know what they were experiencing, and why to us they feel so compelling, and so close. This time I allowed myself to ask them the question that for a scientist was forbidden fruit: Who are you?

Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina's landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and animals. Travelling to the threatened landscape of Kenya to witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then on to Yellowstone…


Book cover of The Perfect Gift

Charlotte Agell Author Of Maybe Tomorrow? (A Story about Loss, Healing, and Friendship)

From my list on the healing power of listening.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my teenage daughter was going through an excruciatingly hard time, she taught me something that has stayed with me forever. She said, "Don't try to fix it, just listen." Maybe Tomorrow? is about that superpower. I'm the author of many books for children and young adults, and one professional development book for fellow teachers. I'm originally from Sweden, but grew up in Canada and Hong Kong. I made my way to Maine, USA, where I have spent all of my adult life so far. I have an Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education but think some my most enduring lessons have come from the students in my public school classrooms.

Charlotte's book list on the healing power of listening

Charlotte Agell Why did Charlotte love this book?

Jamaican American author/illustrator Rohan Henry, in a deceptively simple sweet book, illustrates the gift of true understanding and friendship. I first met Rohan at a book fair here in Maine, when we traded books - one of my early picture books (Dancing Feet) for his self-published The Perfect Gift. I happened to be having lunch with my agent the next day. I showed her this book and she sold the rights almost immediately. It's now out in several languages and is, in my estimation, the perfect gift.

By Rohan Henry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the tradition of Shel Silverstein's beloved stories, Jamaican artist Rohan Henry presents a simple and touching story of love and friendship. Leo and Lisa are long-time best friends and Leo wants to give her that one special gift to show her how he feels. The first leaf of autumn, the most delicate snowflake ever, an exquisite spring butterfly - but none of them endures. So Leo sets off in search of the perfect gift.With charming black-and-white illustrations accented with a second colour, the book conveys its message with simplicity and grace. Rohan has created a timeless parable of friendship…


Book cover of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Bobby Palmer Author Of Small Hours

From my list on talking animals for grown ups.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a British author who has always had a fascination with magical realism and novels that blend the serious with the strange. For that reason, though I write literary fiction for adults, I take so much of my inspiration from children’s literature. There’s something so simple about how kids’ books stitch the extraordinary into the every day without having to overexplain things. I now live not far from the forest that inspired A. A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood, and my latest novel is set in and inspired by this part of rural England–with all the mystery and magic that a trip into the woods entails.

Bobby's book list on talking animals for grown ups

Bobby Palmer Why did Bobby love this book?

In this claustrophobic modern classic, a grieving father and Ted Hughes scholar finds himself haunted by an oily, unnerving, anthropomorphic crow.

I’m a fan of anything Porter writes, but his debut is deserving of the indelible mark it’s made upon the modern literary landscape. The crow is a character like no other, and Porter’s poetry brings this strange and beautiful bird to life.

By Max Porter,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Grief Is the Thing with Feathers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 NOVEL OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year award and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize.

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.

In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family…


Book cover of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology

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?

Becoming Animal changed the way I look at my habitat. I hope it does the same for you. In his philosophical musings, David Abram contemplates why nature is something we look at, not something we are. He suggests our calloused coldness and ordered separation from other species allows us to subdue the wild-ness, but it comes with a numbing feeling of solitude. I too believe our disconnect with natural systems fuels many human ailments (physical and psychological). I love Abram’s suggestion that we change the spelling of Earth to Eairth to acknowledge that we, and the air we breathe, are part of this planet, not separate from it. 

By David Abram,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

David Abram’s first book, The Spell of the Sensuous has become a classic of environmental literature. Now he returns with a startling exploration of our human entanglement with the rest of nature.
 
As the climate veers toward catastrophe, the innumerable losses cascading through the biosphere make vividly evident the need for a metamorphosis in our relation to the living land. For too long we’ve ignored the wild intelligence of our bodies, taking our primary truths from technologies that hold the living world at a distance. Abram’s writing subverts this distance, drawing readers ever closer to their animal senses in order…


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…


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