being-with-animals-coverIn Being with Animals, Barbara J. King explores why we are fascinated by the animals around us.

King begins with the dawn of time in the Chaudet Cave, where prehistoric humans painted images of aurouchs, mammoth, and deer on the walls. Dogs likely walked over the Bering Strait with the first Americans; 10,000 year old canine and human bones in were discovered in Utah’s Danger Cave. King discusses modern times with animals that populate our homes and our landscapes, from Mister Ed the Talking Horse to the bison of Yellowstone National Park. Included is an extensive index and bibliography. King is an anthropologist at William and Mary; Being with Animals gives an academic slant on a popular topic.

Need more time with critters? Try these from the collections of the John Tyler Libraries:

Marley and Me by John Grogan.

Adventures with the world’s worst dog? You decide!

Dewey, the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron.

A tiny kitten is pushed through a Midwestern library’s bookdrop on the coldest day of the year. Dewey Readmore Books becomes the library’s mascot and the community’s glue during hard times.

Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin.

Grandin, who is autistic, describes the internal life of animals with her unique brand of insight.

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson. CEO loses his job, his wife and his home, but finds a homeless dog and learns to really live. Nice dog photo on cover!

Alice Fantastic by Maggie Estep.

Two daughters-one an artist, one a professional gambler-are forced to care for their ailing bohemian mother and her 20 rescue dogs. The human and animal characterizations are excellent.

A Year of Cats and Dogs by Margaret Hawkins (staff favorite!)

When her longtime boyfriend moves out, Maryanne decides to withdraw from life, take a career break, and just be. In the quiet of this life, she realizes she can hear her cat Clement and dog Bob thinking. Magical realism is handled expertly by this first time novelist.

Charlottesville resident Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown have collaborated on multiple mysteries. Try Puss ‘n Cahoots or The Purrrfect Murder.

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. The story of the famous racehorse and the men who trained him; also made into a movie.

Dogs that Changed the World (audiobook narrated by F. Murray Abraham). Download the tale of how indispensable dogs have been to humans throughout history.

Dogtown:  tales of rescue, rehabilitation, and redemption by Stefan Bechtel. Dogtown chronicles the lives of the veterinarians, trainers, volunteers and dogs of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. (This is the companion book to the National Geographic Series.)

Written by Suzanne

Suzanne has loved books from an early age, and remembers reading her 24 volume World Book Encyclopedia set when she ran out of novels. Now that she works in a library, she will never run out of reading material again! Suzanne is a recent MLS graduate who loves working with students and technology.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Heather

    I hope you can soon add “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein to this list! It’s great story about family, love, sacrifice and the dancing zebra – all told from the perspective of a philosopher dog. It’s tough to get through the first few pages, but it’s so worth it. Go Enzo!

  2. Parking Permits

    I tend to agree – I mean, sure, it’s intrinsically interesting to find out what parts of your brain light up when you read Middlemarch, but what’s more interesting to me is how people turn all that neural firing back into language. I don’t think that linguistic phenomenon has run out of appeal.I enjoyed it.

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