If you’ve been following Pigments by Liv for a while, you’ll know that the Orca Collection was very much inspired by the book “Voices in the Ocean” by Susan Casey. As someone who tends to skate around the non-fiction section of book shops, I was surprised at how much I adored this book. So, I wanted to find more books recommended by animal lovers.
So, I asked my lovely following of conservationists, nature-lovers, and sustainable living gurus, what books would you recommend for learning more about the natural world? And boy, did they deliver. There are some very niche books on this list, you may have heard of some but I also think there are other books on this list that only a handful of people have read! Perfect for animal lovers who have exhausted their current reading list.
5 Books Recommended by Animal Lovers for Animal Lovers
Without further ado, let’s jump into this “To Read” list… (a.k.a my Christmas list for this year.)
1. The Hidden Life of Trees
4.2/5 on Goodreads
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben is where biology meets sociology. Just like Voices in the Ocean, this book isn’t meant to be published as a scientific paper. It’s more about helping people to understand the beauty of nature that exists all around us.
In his book, Wohlleben reveals that forests are very much like our own societies. There are families of trees that communicate and help each other, even outliers that struggle to survive without this support system. You don’t have to be a tree hugger to appreciate this book.
The book also highlights that we, as humans, tend to overlook small and gradual changes and are much more interested in action. So if you ask me, this book recommended by animal lovers is the perfect book to add to your autumn reading list. Especially as now, as we get to witness the leaves change colour, you might appreciate it a whole lot more after reading this.
2. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
This book by Nathaniel Philbrick was recommended to me by an old school friend. I know what you’re thinking, how can a sinking whaleship be a tradegy. We cannot ignore this part of our history, or we will never learn from it. Based in the 1800s, we still had a lot to learn so will full of the magical myths and legends once told by Sailors about Whales.
The book is based on history and tells a real story and is the basis for the literary classic Moby Dick. One angry sperm whale’s attack on a whaling ship. Man vs. nature. It’s somewhat calming to know that each of us is just a spec on the Earth’s surface and that really, it gives you a real appreciation for the nature around us.
You might have already seen the film based on the book, In The Heart of the Sea. Who could blame you? It’s got Thor, Spider-Man, and even Tommy Shelby in it. However, if you’re the same as me, I can never read a book after I watch a film – it spoils the surprise! So I am going to try to read this before then.
3. Life in the Valley of Death
This was recommended to me by my lovely charity partners over at Tigers4ever.org. A story about one mans dedicated to protecting one of the most endangered animals on Earth, Bengal Tigers. Situated in what is now the largest tiger reserve, what used to be Burma is a treacherous and unforgiving place, particularly among victims of WW2.
A couple of months ago, I fell in love with an eye-opening book called The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh. That book was very much about perspectives, the difference between conservationists who fly in and visit animals such as tigers, and those who rely on the land and experience tiger encounters every day. I think Life in the Valley of Death is a much more factual recount of this phenomenon.
The author, Dr. Alan Robert Rabinowitz, is a heroin within big cat conservation. He was the founder of Panthera and was sadly lost to the world in 2018. I imagine this account gives you a great and unique insight into why he was so dedicated to these beautiful creatures. If I ever do a Snow Leopard collection, I’d love to partner with Panthera.
1. Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
This book recommended by animal lover, @natasha.soutar, who shared this book on her Instagram just over a month ago, I remember seeing this in Waterstones pre-lockdown and now I want to read it! In the book, Peter Godfrey-Smith shares his admiration for cephalopods, and in particular the Octopus.
5. Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
I’ve certainly never heard of this book by Carl Safina before. It shares essays about a herd of Elephants, a pack of wolves, and a pod of Killer Whales. Reading this, I can’t help but feel reminded of the BBC series Dynasty.
FUN FACT: did you know Shashi, one of the Tiger clubs in the documentary lives in Bandhavgarh Nature Reserve, India? Which is protected by Tigers4Ever, one of our charity partners? What a great claim to fame.
Cosy Autumn Reading
As we move into the colder months, I am slowly giving in to the temptation of spending my Sundays curled up with a cup of tea, a cosy sweatshirt, and a good book. Like many others, it’s my happy place, and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the week just passed and the one ahead.
So as you enjoy reading all these books, make sure you do it properly – huddled in a soft, sustainable and nature-inspired hoodie or sweatshirt. Check out the collections below.
‘Til next time!
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