Best Animal Books of 2020

When I’m getting to know someone, a common icebreaker is the question, what’s your favorite animal? Everyone, even the meanest and grumpiest person, has a favorite. 

We find aspects of these nonhuman creatures enjoyable or intolerable, relatable and lovable. Being curious about animals is part of being human. Here’s a list of some of the best books for animal lovers published in 2020.

  1. Nala’s World: One Man, His Rescue Cat, and a Bike Ride around the World, by Dean Nicholson. Three months into a biking expedition, an explorer finds a stray kitten and brings her along for the journey.
  2. Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs, by Jennifer Finney Boylan. In this memoir, Boylan recounts her life through seven memorable dogs.
  3. Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers, by John Gierach. Gierach uses fish anecdotes to explore why the world is the way it is; great for people who enjoy fly-fishing.
  4. Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of Their Common Fate, by Mark Kurlansky. This beautiful and in-depth look at the life cycle of a species argues that as the salmon goes, so goes the planet.
  5. Thirty-Three Ways of Looking at an Elephant, by Dale Peterson. The pieces in this anthology build on each other to create a well-rounded portrait of a magnificent creature.

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