The most recommended Anthrozoology books

Who picked these books? Meet our 140 experts.

140 authors created a book list connected to Anthrozoology, and here are their favorite Anthrozoology books.
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Book cover of James Herriot's Dog Stories: Warm and Wonderful Stories about the Animals Herriot Loves Best

Emma Bland Smith Author Of Odin, Dog Hero of the Fires

From the list on children’s books about dogs.

Who am I?

I am a librarian and author living in San Francisco. Like many children, I grew up on dog books. I read and re-read Lassie Come Home and The Incredible Journey. James Herriot’s memoirs—many of which feature dogs—were my bedtime stories. Today, I often write about animals as a way to build empathy in child readers and teach the values of loyalty, kindness, and friendship. (My picture books include stories about dogs, alligators, wolves, and ducks!) Although I love a good cry over a book, I have chosen mostly happy books for this list of picture and middle-grade books about dogs. I hope the animal-loving child readers in your life enjoy them!

Emma's book list on children’s books about dogs

Why did Emma love this book?

When I was young, James Herriot’s hilarious, insightful, and touching memoirs about his experiences as a vet in rural 1930s and 1940s Yorkshire made me both a reader and a writer. Happily, he adapted some of his dog stories for children, gathered here in an appealing illustrated anthology. I’ve read them all to my own kids, many times. I love that they’re long enough to allow kids to settle in and focus (short and snappy picture books have their place. So do long and dense ones!). The writing is eloquent and entertaining, and the stories are absorbing. Good luck not tearing up at several of these—when you’re not laughing or wishing that you, too, lived in the scenic English countryside!

By James Herriot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked James Herriot's Dog Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

James Herriot's Dog Stories is a perfect gift that celebrates the unconditional, loving friendships between people and dogs.

In this very special, heart-warming collection of favorite stories about dogs great and small, James Herriot tells us about his own dogs and all the wonderful people and animals we have come to love so much.

Fifty memorable tales move us to both laughter and tears, and Herriot's personal introduction and notes make this tribute by a master storyteller to man's best friend a book to read, reread, and be treasured for years to come.


What's Michael?

By Makoto Kobayashi, Toren Smith (translator), Dana Lewis (translator)

Book cover of What's Michael?: Fatcat Collection Volume 1

Abby Denson Author Of Kitty Sweet Tooth

From the list on cat-themed graphic novels and manga.

Who am I?

I’m a cartoonist who often features cat characters in my books, including Cool Japan Guide, Cool Tokyo Guide, Dolltopia, and Kitty Sweet Tooth. As a life-long cat-lover, I enjoy drawing and writing about my beloved feline friends. I’m also an avid reader of manga and frequent visitor to Japan, where I studied in my college days, so I particularly love reading manga featuring cats and collecting Maneki Neko lucky cat figures as well. I hope you enjoy these books and consider adopting a cat!

Abby's book list on cat-themed graphic novels and manga

Why did Abby love this book?

This is a fantastic collection featuring humorous stories all centering around an orange cat named Michael and his interactions with different humans and animals. The humor is absurd and zany, and lampoons the behavior of cats and humans alike! I’m really happy to see that these Fatcat Collections are being released. All ages can enjoy this one, as the humor works for adult and child audiences.

By Makoto Kobayashi, Toren Smith (translator), Dana Lewis (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What's Michael? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

True-to-life daily cat scenarios and off-the-walls crazy feline fantasies combine in this epic manga collection. Makoto Kobayashi's hilarious New York Library Award and Parents' Choice Award Winning Series returns in a set of oversized collections.

What's Michael? FatCat Collection Volume 1 contains the out-of-print original What's Michael? Volumes 1 to 6. Over 500 pages of tumultuous fun, including the out-of-print volumes Michael's Album, Living Together, Off the Deep End, A Hard Day's Life, Michael's Favorite Spot, and Michael's Mambo.


Song for the Horse Nation

By National Museum of the American Indian,

Book cover of Song for the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Cultures

Jean O'Malley Halley Author Of Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses

From the list on human relationships with other animals.

Who am I?

Jean Halley is a professor of sociology at the Graduate Center and the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York (CUNY). She earned her doctorate in sociology at the Graduate Center of CUNY, and her master’s degree in theology at Harvard University. Halley's book with the University of Georgia Press about girls who love horses, Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses, came out in 2019. She and her horse grew up in the Rocky Mountains. Today she lives in New York City.

Jean's book list on human relationships with other animals

Why did Jean love this book?

A Song for the Horse Nation investigates the role and importance of horses in many Native American cultures historical and today. Most people believe that contemporary horses are not indigenous to the Americas but came with the Spanish literally carrying in the colonizers. In A Song for the Horse Nation, Herman J. Viola writes, “America’s Native peoples have little for which to thank Christopher Columbus except the horse.”

In the beginning, Native Americans were scared of the horses that came carrying white men on their backs. Viola explains, “They had never seen an animal that could carry a person. They called the horses, ‘sky dogs,’ believing that they were monsters or messengers from the heavens." The desire to have horses quickly replaced Native people’s fear. The colonizers, on horseback, stole land and life from the Native Americans whom they encountered. Native Americans stole horses from the colonizers to make…

By National Museum of the American Indian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Song for the Horse Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The tradition of horses in Native American culture, depicted through images, essays, and quotes. For many Native Americans, each animal and bird that surrounded them was part of a nation of its own, and none was more vital to both survival and culture than the horse.


The Soul of an Octopus

By Sy Montgomery,

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

Ginjer L. Clarke Author Of Animal Allies: Creatures Working Together

From the list on nonfiction about fascinating animal behavior.

Who am I?

I’m secretly eight years old inside. I love fascinating animal and science stuff, especially cool, weird, and gross facts. Readers of my children’s books see this passion in action. My best-selling and award-winning nonfiction animal books have sold more than 3 million copies worldwide since 2000. I focus particularly on reaching reluctant, struggling, and English-language-learning readers by packing my books with lots of action and high-interest topics to keep them turning pages. I’m recommending these top-five narrative nonfiction animal books for adults because these authors have influenced my research and thinking—and because they’re terrific stories!

Ginjer's book list on nonfiction about fascinating animal behavior

Why did Ginjer love this book?

If you watched and loved the movie My Octopus Teacher about the friendship between a filmmaker and a Pacific octopus, then this book will intrigue and inform you.

Sy Montgomery is a top-notch researcher and best-selling storyteller, and she makes her experience studying octopuses around the world personal and relatable. Both the movie and book brought me to tears at the beauty of these inter-species friendships.

Read this one to discover what we’re learning about the incredible intelligence and varied personalities of these astounding creatures.

By Sy Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

5 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 A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

Caraline Brown Author Of The Candlelit Menagerie

From the list on set in a post apocalyptic future.

Who am I?

I love writing historical fiction. I enjoy the research and creating long-lost worlds filled with little-known historical accuracies that intrigue my readers. It is no surprise then that I enjoy reading about the future - the other side of the coin. I always find it interesting to see how writers create a post-apocalyptic society. What was the catastrophic event? (TCE) What caused it and how do the different characters react to adversity when their old world is taken away from them? Inevitably they have to survive in the new system but will they have learned their lesson or will they return to their old ways?  

Caraline's book list on set in a post apocalyptic future

Why did Caraline love this book?

A generation or so after The Calamitous Event (TCE), our hero’s dog is stolen by an unexpected visitor to their remote home in the Outer Hebrides. This book is my definition of a cracking good read. It has adventure, surprises, and insights into the human condition that led to TCE in the first place. Above all, it features a boy and his overwhelming mission - to get his dog back. If, like me, you love dogs you are going to love this book.

By C.A. Fletcher,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE MOST POWERFUL STORY YOU'LL READ THIS YEAR.

'You'll remember A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World long after you finish reading'
Peng Shepherd, author of The Book Of M

'Fletcher's suspenseful, atmospheric tale imagines a near future in which our world is in ruins . . . an adventure saga punctured by a gut-punch twist'
Entertainment Weekly

'Truly engrossing . . . brings hope and humanity to a cold and scary world'
Keith Stuart, author of A Boy Made of Blocks

'I promise you're going to love it'
Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History…


The Circus Ship

By Chris Van Dusen,

Book cover of The Circus Ship

Christine J. Ko Author Of Sound Switch Wonder

From the list on promoting curiosity about our differences.

Who am I?

I love reading, partly because I believe in the power of books to feed curiosity, promoting understanding, inclusivity, and belonging. While growing up, my favorite books didn’t have anyone that looked like me. Through reading diverse books to my kids, I realized I’d missed out on this meaningful experience as a child. Even more, I wanted my son, who has bilateral cochlear implants, to be able to read a picture book with a main character with cochlear implants. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as, in unique ways, they all celebrate curiosity about our differences.

Christine's book list on promoting curiosity about our differences

Why did Christine love this book?

Oh, if just for the gorgeous and relatable illustrations, please pick up this book!

But even more, the catchy rhymes tell a story of pre-judging animals and how hearts become changed so that all can coexist in a vibrant community. Together, we are better!

As a bonus, the book has hidden pictures that my son and I enjoyed discovering each time we read the book.

By Chris Van Dusen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With stunning artwork and a rhyming text, the illustrator of the Mercy Watson books tells a tale of human-animal connection full of humor and heart.

When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the poor animals are left on their own to swim the chilly waters. Staggering onto a nearby island, they soon win over the wary townspeople with their kind, courageous ways. So well do the critters blend in that when the greedy circus owner returns to claim them, villagers of all species conspire to outsmart the bloated blowhard. With buoyant rhymes and brilliantly caricatured illustrations…


Unconditional

By Jane Klonsky,

Book cover of Unconditional: Older Dogs, Deeper Love

Laura T. Coffey Author Of My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts

From the list on people who love sweet old dogs.

Who am I?

I’m a dog nut who loves reflecting on the powerful life lessons we can learn as we watch our furry best friends age happily and gratefully by our sides. I’ve also been working as a journalist for more than 30 years now — so that makes me one of the oldest dogs in my own newsroom. I’m a senior writer and editor for the website of NBC’s TODAY show, and the My Old Dog book stemmed from a viral TODAY.com story I wrote about photographer Lori Fusaro’s efforts to change people’s perceptions of older shelter animals. Writing that story was one of the best things that ever happened to me!

Laura's book list on people who love sweet old dogs

Why did Laura love this book?

This National Geographic collection of photos and stories of sweet senior dogs is sure to make you swoon. Photographer Jane Sobel Klonsky loves animals and people, and her book is a celebration of the human-animal bond and all the endearing traits that make senior dogs so special. Unconditional is an excellent gift book for dog lovers. It’s also fun to follow Project Unconditional on Facebook and Instagram.

By Jane Klonsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This captivating collection of photographs and anecdotes is a one-of-a-kind celebration of humans' special bond with, and love for, dogs throughout their lifetime. Since 2012 photographer Jane Sobel Klonsky has travelled the United States with one mission: to capture images and stories that focus on the powerful relationship between man and their older canine. A book or any dog lover who appreciates the connection, unconditional love and bond that can only be provided by the lifelong canine companion.


The Puma Years

By Laura Coleman,

Book cover of The Puma Years: A Memoir

Ellen Dee Davidson Author Of Wild Path to the Sacred Heart

From the list on women’s true stories.

Who am I?

As a woman, I am passionate about valuing the voices of women equally with those of men. When we listen to each other, we will be able to come into a better balance that will help us restore ourselves and our Earth. We need the visions of women to help guide us through these challenging times! I’m also passionate about the wild beauty of nature, especially trees, and spend lots of time hiking and meditating in the ancient redwood forests near my home. This has helped me heal and expanded my perception. In a way, being in the forest has brought me home to myself. 

Ellen's book list on women’s true stories

Why did Ellen love this book?

After running into 5 mountain lions while hiking alone in the ancient redwood forests near my home, I was really blown away reading The Puma Years about Laura Coleman's relationships with the big cats. I cannot imagine getting as close to one of them as she does in her memoir about spending time in the middle of the jungle in Bolivia taking care of wild pumas. Set against a background of logging destruction of habitat and illegal wild animal poaching, the author valiantly tries to rehabilitate damaged pumas. The relationships she and her volunteer colleagues have with the big cats are astonishing. They take them out for walks! The author is so candid about how broken she feels in our environmentally and often socially broken world, and yet in the end still manages to leave me with hope and belief in the human spirit.

By Laura Coleman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this rapturous memoir, writer and activist Laura Coleman shares the story of her liberating journey in the Amazon jungle, where she fell in love with a magnificent cat who changed her life.

Laura was in her early twenties and directionless when she quit her job to backpack in Bolivia. Fate landed her at a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the Amazon jungle where she was assigned to a beautiful and complex puma named Wayra. Wide-eyed, inexperienced, and comically terrified, Laura made the scrappy, make-do camp her home. And in Wayra, she made a friend for life.

They weren't…


Wish

By Barbara O'Connor,

Book cover of Wish

Linda MacKillop Author Of Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

From the list on hard family circumstances for middle-grade readers.

Who am I?

For decades I have volunteered in different capacities, helping the hurting and those living on the margins by tutoring and teaching literacy to the formally incarcerated or homeless, teaching parenting in a maximum-security jail, and teaching ESL to resettled immigrants. Because my own suburban father fell into homelessness at the end of his life due to depression, job losses, divorce, and more, I feel tremendous compassion for anyone in this situation. And as the mother of four grown sons, we filled our home with books—especially books that taught compassion so our sons would grow into men with big hearts towards others. I believe we succeeded.

Linda's book list on hard family circumstances for middle-grade readers

Why did Linda love this book?

Brash eleven-year-old Charlie Reese battles her emotions, especially her anger, as a result of her parents’ inability to appropriately care for her.

When she is sent to Colby, North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, her anger bubbles over, spilling onto the new people in her life—people who have shown her nothing but kindness.

While I didn’t necessarily find Charlie’s tendency to blurt out cruel comments and call people “hillbillies” very endearing, the townsfolk moved me when they only showed this girl love and forgiveness in return. Wish inspires me to love difficult people with the same gusto as Gus, Bertha, and all the Odoms.  

By Barbara O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same silent wish since fourth grade, hoping that some day it j will come true. When her irresponsible parents send her to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family members she doesn't know, she needs that wish to come true more than ever. A stray dog, a great friend, and the love of a big-hearted aunt and uncle just might make it happen.


Going Home

By Jon Katz,

Book cover of Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die

Wendy Wahman Author Of Don't Lick the Dog: Making Friends with Dogs

From the list on dog books to tug on your heartstrings.

Who am I?

I’m passionate about animals. When I was starting out in my 20s, I worked as a vet tech and a dog trainer and fully intended to make a career in animals. But along the way my other love, art, joined the dance. It’s only natural I’ve found ways to combine my two loves, like, illustrating a veterinarian's advice column for Family Dog magazine, and writing, Don’t Lick the Dog, and Nanny Paws, both inspired by my own beloved dogs.

Wendy's book list on dog books to tug on your heartstrings

Why did Wendy love this book?

I love and grieve hard. Sometimes debilitatingly so. When I lost my first cat, Olif, I couldn’t go in my studio for a year. Without my best boy in there with me, just crossing the threshold triggered a kind of PTSD, and I’d buckle under the grief. I finally saw a therapist and got the help I needed to move forward.

Books can help us with our grief too, and Going Home is one that’s helped me. Glancing through it now, I see I’ve opened straight to the chapter, “Guilt.” Yea, that one’s insidious, isn’t it. Katz covers them all: All the thoughts that needle and jab, all the emotions that drown, then drain us. Maybe, Going Home will help you too. Hold it on your lap where your beloved once was. And I will too.

By Jon Katz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this invaluable guide and touchstone, New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz addresses the difficult but necessary topic of saying goodbye to a beloved pet. Drawing on personal experiences, stories from fellow pet owners, and philosophical reflections, Katz provides support for those in mourning. By allowing ourselves to grieve honestly and openly, he posits, we can in time celebrate the dogs, cats, and other creatures that have so enriched us. Katz compels us to consider if we gave our pets good lives, if we were their advocates in times of need, and if we used our best judgments in…