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.
- 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.
- Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs, by Jennifer Finney Boylan. In this memoir, Boylan recounts her life through seven memorable dogs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.