Everybody loves a good book and animal lovers are no different. It’s always easier to get into a book that interests you and shares your passions in life. With the help from Buzzfeed, we have named 10 amazing books that all animal lovers should read, not to mention feedback from actual readers too. Lions and tigers and books, oh my! Give our list a look and tell us any others we should add to our list.
1. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of the rare books about animals that does not come across as twee or written for little children (which is an art form in its own right). It’s about the life of a man and his dog, narrated from the dog’s point of view. Enzo, named for the F-1 racer, is the kind of dog that we all imagine that we own: wise, mordant, genuine, loving, kind, comical. Enzo makes a gentle critic of our foibles, and as we fall in love with the narrator’s voice, we get back in touch with the gentler sides of ourselves.
2. Animal Farm by George Orwell
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Orwell’s twisted, political farmyard fable remains riveting and relevant 70 after its first publication. I stayed up ’til one in the morning finishing this one.
3. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
Fast-paced nonfiction sounds like an oxymoron, but Seabiscuit is *it* — a literal dark horse story of one of the unlikeliest sports heroes in American history. I’m probably the last person you’d expect to take interest in horse racing, but Hillenbrand had me hooked. She brings a unique period of history to life and makes you really understand Seabiscuit and his sport from an insider’s perspective.
4. Watership Down by Richard Adams
Taking advice from his prescient brother Fiver, Hazel leads a group of rabbits on an adventure to find a new home. Along the way they make friends and enemies, and manage to get themselves into (and out of) some pretty sticky situations. These aren’t your typical meek and skittish rabbits, and the novel forces you to consider some pretty weighty themes: what is the true cost of safety, and how do our human actions actually effect the complex ecosystems around us?
5. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
I just reread Winn-Dixie for the first time with my son after teaching it in the classroom almost fifteen years ago and fell in love with the story all over again. It’s a timeless coming-of-age tale with something for everyone — a cast of quirky characters, a young girl trying to understand her broken family, and a big, goofy dog to help bring everyone together. If you’re looking for a heartwarming read, this is it.
6. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Any self-respecting animal lover has to have read Black Beauty. It was one of — if not the — first book written directly from an animal’s point of view. It is by turns heart-wrenching and cheerful, and shows that animals, just like people, deserve to be happy and to be loved.
7. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Oh my god, H Is for Hawk left me *wrecked*. In the wake of her father’s sudden death, Macdonald, an experienced falconer, set out to train one of her sport’s most vicious predators. Her relationship with the bird develops so extraordinarily, and her account of grief and growth is so unflinching and rich — this book is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered.
8. The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony
What’s it like to live among and learn to communicate with a herd of wild elephants? Lawrence Anthony has done it and lived to tell the tale. His memoir draws together incredible stories and the lessons he learned from these majestic beasts. I was so moved by his recollections and insights, and have a new respect for animal conservation work being done around the globe.
9. A Beautiful Truth by Colin McAdam
A Beautiful Truth is a beautiful trip. The juxtaposition of perspectives — alternating between a Vermont family that adopts a chimp as their surrogate son, and a group of chimps housed in a Florida research institute — completely blew me away. And then when those worlds collide, you’re just left reeling. I really just can’t express how deeply this book moved me.
10. Marley and Me by John Grogan
I finished this book on a long redeye flight in high school. Everyone else around me was fitfully sleeping and I was crying my eyes out over Marley the badly behaved, lovable lab. I felt like I went on a journey with this family and Marley, and haven’t forgotten it since.
This is journalist John Grogan’s autobiographical account of the 13 years he and his family spent with their yellow Labrador Retriever, Marley. It is a journey filled with excitement, joy, and sadness, which I guarantee will blow your mind. Treasure the moment with it and, afterward, you’ll find life is just so much more beautiful and meaningful.