The most recommended behavior books

Who picked these books? Meet our 66 experts.

66 authors created a book list connected to behavior, and here are their favorite behavior books.
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Book cover of Swifts and Us: The Life of the Bird that Sleeps in the Sky

Celia Haddon Author Of Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

From Celia's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Mad cat lady Love study Kitten rehabber

Celia's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Celia Haddon Why did Celia love this book?

I wanted to know more about these birds. I love the sound of swifts as they circle high in the sky in summer. The book inspired me to put up two swift nest boxes and to try to persuade all builders to include a swift brick in every new house.

I loved this book because it took me into the strange world of the swift. My three passions are cats, animal welfare, and nature. Swifts are amazing and incredible birds, and we need to know more about them so we can help them survive in the modern world.

By Sarah Gibson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Swifts live almost entirely in the air. They eat, drink, sleep, mate and gather their nesting materials on the wing, fly thousands of miles across the world, navigating their way around storms, never lighting on tree, cliff or ground, until they return home with the summer.

Sarah Gibson has written a fascinating story of discovery, exploring what is known about these mysterious birds, their ancient ancestry and how they have been regarded through history. But the swifts are in real danger: often unintentionally, we are sealing our homes against wildlife of any kind. Cracks, gaps and crevices which for thousands…


Book cover of Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl

Tove Danovich Author Of Under the Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them

From my list on animals helping us understand ourselves.

Who am I?

I am a freelance journalist who started writing about animals after getting and falling in love with a flock of chickens. Animals are fascinating in their own right but the way we talk about them, and our relationships, shine a fascinating light on humans and what we value. My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Country Living, and many others. 

Tove's book list on animals helping us understand ourselves

Tove Danovich Why did Tove love this book?

Researchers don’t know much about barn owls so Stacey O’Brien, a biologist, and owl researcher, takes on the chance to raise one as a research assignment. Wesley quickly becomes so much more than that.

This memoir opens the door on owl intelligence and behavior while including unforgettable details like that baby barn owls smell “like maple syrup.” You’ll love the friendship between Wesley and his human.

A book that’s over far too quickly. 

By Stacey O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On Valentine’s Day 1985, biologist Stacey O’Brien adopted Wesley, a baby barn owl with an injured wing who could not have survived in the wild. Over the next nineteen years, O’Brien studied Wesley’s strange habits with both a tender heart and a scientist’s eye—and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl’s lifetime). She watched him turn from a helpless fluff ball into an avid com­municator with whom she developed a language all their own. Eventually he became a gorgeous, gold-and-white macho adult with a heart-shaped face who preened in the…


Book cover of What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins

Emma Marris Author Of Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World

From my list on what it is like to be a wild animal.

Who am I?

I have written about the environment as a journalist since 2005, for magazines and newspapers including National Geographic, The New York Times, and Outside. For my last book, I wanted to write about animals as individuals—not just as units in a species, the way they are often thought of by conservationists. Diving into research about animal selfhood was an amazing journey. It helped shape my book, but it also changed the way I see the world around me—and who and what I think of as “people”! 

Emma's book list on what it is like to be a wild animal

Emma Marris Why did Emma love this book?

To research my book I read lots of books about new findings in animal cognition.

Animals are smarter than science used to give them credit for, more emotional than science ever dared believe, and they even have personalities. But for me, the most mind-blowing of the many books I read on this topic was this book about the inner lives of fish.

Like so many others, I had assumed they were pretty dim-witted, and even believed they didn’t feel pain. Not so! This book explains the new science of what fish lives are like and it is truly amazing how much they are like us—and we like them.

By Jonathan Balcombe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What a Fish Knows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AS FEATURED IN SEASPIRACY

An Observer Book of the Year 2017

A Sunday Times must read

A New York Times Bestseller

Endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama - 'Balcombe vividly shows that fish have feelings and deserve consideration and protection like other sentient beings'

What's the truth behind the old adage that goldfish have a three-second memory? Do fishes think? Can they recognize the humans who peer back at them from above the surface of the water? Myth-busting biologist and animal behaviour expert Jonathan Balcombe takes us under the sea, through streams and estuaries to the other side of…


Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

By Celia Haddon, Daniel Mills,

Book cover of Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

Celia Haddon Author Of Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Mad cat lady Love study Kitten rehabber

Celia's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Being Your Cat takes you inside the mind and body of your feline. See what your cat sees. Feel how your cat runs or leaps high to get into the armchair. Discover how your cat feels and thinks.

What is it like to be rescued and put in a cat pen? How does your cat cope with the human lifestyle? What do they like? What do they hate?

Being Your Cat: What's really going on in your feline's mind

By Celia Haddon, Daniel Mills,

What is this book about?

Ever wondered why your cat won't sit on your lap? Why she would suddenly watch the football on television, how she sees the world and what she thinks of you and your family?

Prepare to enter the mind of your cat and revolutionise the way you see the world and your enigmatic pet.

Bestselling cat author Celia Haddon and veterinary expert Dr Daniel Mills take you into the mind of your feline and, drawing on the latest scientific research, describe how your cat experiences the world. This is a unique book drawing on a wealth of veterinary science and studies,…


Book cover of No!

Kim T.S. Author Of Feeling All My Feelings Book

From my list on kids with big feelings.

Who am I?

I’m just a normal parent who has gone through the ups and downs of helping her little boy with his exceptionally big feelings. Anger is the main emotion we continue to struggle with, but we’ve come such a long way! The smallest things used to set him off, and he could go from annoyance to rage in minutes. Sometimes it would take us up to an hour to completely calm down. I tried my best to stay patient, help him work through his feelings, and redirect his anger towards non-harmful modes of expression. When he was calm, then we would talk about what happened, and think of ways we can both do better next time.

Kim's book list on kids with big feelings

Kim T.S. Why did Kim love this book?

I found this set of books (No!, Why?, Now!, and More!) at a book sale, and I can’t count the times my son asked me to read them with him when he was a toddler. These were so relatable when my son was 3 years old, because he was talking so much and asserting his independence! “No!” was his favorite word, so we could relate to the adorable scenes in the book. The pencil and watercolor cartoon sketches feel very British and add charm to the story.

By Tracey Corderoy, Tim Warnes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Archie was adorable. Everybody said so. Until one day he learned a new word... "No!"

Archie says "No!" at mealtimes, bath times, and every single bedtime... A hilarious tale that's perfect for parents whose toddler may be over-using the word "No!" and finding themselves suddenly tackling tantrums. The cheeky, charming Archie will win the hearts of children and parents alike. From the award-winning author Tracey Corderoy (The Grunt and The Grouch, Monty and Milli) and illustrated by the best-selling Tim Warnes (I Love You as Big as the World, I Don't Want to Go to Bed!), No! is set to…


Book cover of I Promise

LaTasha Reynolds Author Of Bryla's Amazing Imagination: Bryla Visits the Moon

From LaTasha's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Children’s book author Blogger Creator Advocate for childhood literacy Entrepreneur

LaTasha's 3 favorite reads in 2023

LaTasha Reynolds Why did LaTasha love this book?

While compiling my list, I must adhere to the children’s book genre…

I Promise by LeBron James is a heartwarming children's book that resonates deeply with me as a children's book author and a mother. I love this book because it beautifully captures the essence of positive reinforcement and affirmations, which are values I strive to instill in my own daughter.

With its inspiring messages of perseverance, teamwork, and giving back to the community, the book encourages young readers to dream big and believe in themselves. The beautiful illustrations and relatable characters make the story engaging and captivating for children of all ages.

Through the pages of I Promise, LeBron James imparts valuable life lessons that empower children to embrace their unique talents and make a positive impact in the world around them. This book is a true treasure that fosters a sense of self-confidence and compassion in young…

By LeBron James, Nina Mata (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Promise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

An Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller! An Instant Indie Bestseller! 

*An Amazon Best Book of the Year * A B&N Best Book of the Year*

A great gift for tiny go-getters and big dreamers, including for back to school!

NBA champion and superstar LeBron James pens a slam-dunk picture book inspired by his foundation’s I PROMISE program that motivates children everywhere to always #StriveForGreatness.

Just a kid from Akron, Ohio, who is dedicated to uplifting youth everywhere, LeBron James knows the key to a better future is to excel in school, do your best, and keep your family close.…


Book cover of Dogs Demystified: An A-Z Guide to All Things Canine

Michelle Waitzman Author Of Be as Happy as Your Dog: 16 Dog-Tested Ways to Be Happier Using Pawsitive Psychology

From my list on understanding what your dog is thinking.

Who am I?

I'm a lifelong dog lover and the author of four nonfiction books. I currently live with two rescue dogs, Marlowe and Nuka (the unofficial co-authors of my book). I decided to write a self-help book after noticing two trends during the recent pandemic: people were struggling to feel happy and optimistic, and people were adding a dog to their household, many for the first time. We all marvel at how our dogs find it so easy to enjoy life, and I was determined to find out what we could learn from them! During my research, I learned so much about how dogs think and feel, and I love sharing this information with other dog lovers.

Michelle's book list on understanding what your dog is thinking

Michelle Waitzman Why did Michelle love this book?

“A dog’s feelings matter to them, and they should also matter to us.” This quote from Dr. Marc Bekoff’s new book, Dogs Demystified, sums up his longtime advocacy for dogs and other animals.

He respects them as thoughtful beings with full emotional lives, and strongly believes that every individual animal matters, whether a household pet or a wild predator. 

Bekoff has been writing about animals for a long time, and this book on dogs is an effort to whittle down his vast knowledge into a manageable read. If you feel a lot of empathy toward dogs and other animals, you will definitely enjoy reading Marc Bekoff’s books, including Dogs Demystified.

The book also features a foreword from the incredible Jane Goodall and illustrations by 1960s folk music icon Joan Baez.

By Marc Bekoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An all-encompassing and fun reference from an award-winning scientist and dog lover

Dr. Marc Bekoff is an expert at turning cutting-edge science into practical, reader-friendly information. The encyclopedic entries in this book cover everything related to dog care, dog-human relationships, and dog behavior, cognition, and emotions, making this the accessible book that every dog lover should have. In concise, readable A-through-Z entries, Bekoff covers it all, from aggression to pack formation to zoomies, and explores why dogs do what they do; exactly how to meet any dog eye-to-eye, nose-to-nose, and ear-to-ear to understand their world better; and how tuning in…


Book cover of Coyote Settles the South

Bruce Hunt Author Of Visiting Small-Town Florida

From Bruce's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Photographer Traveler

Bruce's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Bruce Hunt Why did Bruce love this book?

I bought Coyote Settles the South a couple of years ago and decided to reread it again this year. The author, John Lane (an English professor at Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina), became intrigued by coyotes when he encountered them living near his home.

He eventually begins seeking them out during hikes from his home and begins observing and chronicling their habits. This book tells his story of studying coyotes and figuring out what these very intelligent and mostly misunderstood creatures are all about.

John Lane is an engaging writer, and this is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

By John Lane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Coyote Settles the South as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One night, poet and environmental writer John Lane tuned in to a sound from behind his house that he had never heard before: the nearby eerie and captivating howls of coyote. Since this was Spartanburg, South Carolina, and not Missoula, Montana, Lane set out to discover all he could about his new and unexpected neighbors.

Coyote Settles the South is the story of his journey through the Southeast, where he visits coyote territories: swamps, nature preserves, old farm fields, suburbs, a tannery, and even city streets. On his travels he meets, interrogates, and observes those who interact with the animals-trappers,…


Book cover of Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds

Emma Marris Author Of Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World

From my list on what it is like to be a wild animal.

Who am I?

I have written about the environment as a journalist since 2005, for magazines and newspapers including National Geographic, The New York Times, and Outside. For my last book, I wanted to write about animals as individuals—not just as units in a species, the way they are often thought of by conservationists. Diving into research about animal selfhood was an amazing journey. It helped shape my book, but it also changed the way I see the world around me—and who and what I think of as “people”! 

Emma's book list on what it is like to be a wild animal

Emma Marris Why did Emma love this book?

This book tells the true story of an African couple who adopted a lion cub, raised her to adulthood, and then eventually returned her to the wild.

In my reporting on wild pets and reintroductions of captive animals, I learned that Elsa’s story was a bit of a miracle. Such successful reintroductions are very rare. The Adamsons were complex people and their story has an ambiguous legacy, especially given that it may have inspired people who were not really able to care for big cats to try to keep them as pets.

However, there’s no denying that their experience makes for a fascinating read. And by living so closely with her, they were able to see and describe Elsa as an individual, not just “a lioness” interchangeable with any other.

By Joy Adamson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Born Free as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14.

What is this book about?

There have been many accounts of the return to the wild of tame animals, but since its original publication in 1960, when The New York Times hailed it as a “fascinating and remarkable book,” Born Free has stood alone in its power to move us.

Joy Adamson's story of a lion cub in transition between the captivity in which she is raised and the fearsome wild to which she is returned captures the abilities of both humans and animals to cross the seemingly unbridgeable gap between their radically different worlds. Especially now, at a time when the sanctity of the…


Book cover of Nibbles: The Book Monster

Jackie Huang Author Of Picky Panda (With Fun Flaps to Lift)

From my list on interactive picture books for kids.

Who am I?

I’m an artist with an analytical mind. I love art and stories but I also love systems and processes. Ever since taking a class at art school about making pop-ups, I’ve been in love with paper engineering. It’s been the perfect synthesis of all my loves. There’s something fascinating about transforming an everyday object (paper) into something unexpected. Combined that with a great story and you have a magical experience! I like focusing my work on books for young readers (board books - picture books) because it gives adults and kids an opportunity to interact with each other and build memories.

Jackie's book list on interactive picture books for kids

Jackie Huang Why did Jackie love this book?

Lots of books use die cuts but this book cleverly uses die cuts to have Nibbles, the book monster, look like he’s eating his way through the book!

Not only that, I love how there are books within this book. Like, literally—there are three additional books with their own pages on top of the actual book pages. This book is absolutely inventive and full of fun!

By Emma Yarlett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nibbles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Nibbles the Book Monster is on the loose, and he's chomping through all of your favorite fairy tales! Will anything or anyone be able to stop him?

With books within the book, Emma Yarlett's utterly appealing artwork, and lots and lots of nibbled holes, this laugh-out-loud funny and ferocious charmer's unstoppable appetite for the printed page will nibble a hole right through your heart.


Book cover of The Nature of Horses: Exploring Equine Evolution, Intelligence, and Behavior by Stephen Budiansky

Ann Greene Author Of Horses at Work: Harnessing Power in Industrial America

From my list on horses in history.

Who am I?

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I was crazy about both horses and books, so it’s not surprising that in grad school I became a horse historian. I found that writing about work horses linked my love of horses with my interests in technology and nature. The books I’ve chosen show how humans and horses shaped each other, society, the environment, and built the modern world. I hope readers browse (graze?) these books at their leisure and pleasure.

Ann's book list on horses in history

Ann Greene Why did Ann love this book?

Horses are central to human history, but they have a history of their own. Budiansky explores equine history using biological science, animal behavior, and evolutionary history. How did horses evolve? How did horses and humans come together to co-evolve? Why do horses and humans get along so well? What are horses like? How do horses do what they do? After setting horses in historical context Budiansky takes up issues of communication, social behaviors, intelligence, the senses, the mechanics of movement, and the production of power and speed. This book shows that horses are not magical or mystical creatures, but serious fellow beings who have co-evolved with us through biology and history.

By Stephen Budiansky,

Why should I read it?

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