Announcing the Vettobe.com book club! This is a project I’ve wanted to do for a while, and as you can see listed below, I have curated a list of animal themed books. The list includes everything from comedy to memoirs, and even animal science and psychology, so if there is anything that interests you, join me in reading and reviewing them!
To give you an idea of what the different books are about, I’ve included excerpts from the book descriptions from Amazon.com and Goodreads.com below, as well as links to the various books.
Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte
“When Bob Tarte bought a house in rural Michigan, he was counting on a tranquil haven. Then Bob married Linda. She wanted a rabbit, which seemed innocuous enough until the bunny chewed through their electrical wiring. And that was just the beginning. Before long, Bob found himself constructing cages, buying feed, clearing duck waste, and spoon-feeding a menagerie of furry and feathery residents. His life of quiet serenity vanished, and he unwittingly became a servant to a relentlessly demanding family. "They dumbfounded him, controlled and teased him, took their share of his flesh, stole his heart" (Kirkus Reviews). Whether commiserating with Bob over the fate of those who are slaves to their animals or regarding his story as a cautionary tale about the rigors of animal ownership, readers on both sides of the fence have found Tarte's story of his chaotic squawking household irresistible--and irresistibly funny.”
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
“In All Creatures Great and Small, we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. Some visits are heart-wrenchingly difficult, such as one to an old man in the village whose very ill dog is his only friend and companion, some are lighthearted and fun, such as Herriot's periodic visits to the overfed and pampered Pekinese Tricki Woo who throws parties and has his own stationery, and yet others are inspirational and enlightening, such as Herriot's recollections of poor farmers who will scrape their meager earnings together to be able to get proper care for their working animals. From seeing to his patients in the depths of winter on the remotest homesteads to dealing with uncooperative owners and critically ill animals, Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth.”
“Combining the intellect of Malcolm Gladwell with the irreverent humor of Mary Roach and the paradigm-shifting analysis of Jared Diamond, a leading social scientist offers an unprecedented look inside our complex and often paradoxical relationships with animals.
Does living with a pet really make people happier and healthier? What can we learn from biomedical research with mice? Who enjoyed a better quality of life—the chicken on a dinner plate or the rooster who died in a Saturday-night cockfight? Why is it wrong to eat the family dog? Drawing on more than two decades of research in the emerging field of anthrozoology, the science of human–animal relations, Hal Herzog offers surprising answers to these and other questions related to the moral conundrums we face day in and day out regarding the creatures with whom we share our world.”
Animal Wise by Virginia Morell
“Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a fish? Or a parrot, dolphin, or an elephant? Do they experience thoughts that are similar to ours, or have feelings of grief and love? These are tough questions, but scientists are answering them. They know that ants teach and rats love to be tickled. They’ve discovered that dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practice their songs in their sleep. But how do scientists know these things?
Animal Wise takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals and among the pioneering researchers who are leading the way into once-uncharted territory: the animal mind. Morell uses her formidable gifts as a storyteller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to animal-cognition scientists and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects."
I’ll be posting the reviews as I read the books, throughout the semester, so there’s no set posting schedule. I’ll be reading them on my Kindle, but you can listen to them via audio books on Audible for instance, while you do your dishes, or work out, or borrow them from your local library for free.
Leave a comment if any of these sound interesting to you, or if you’ve read any of them before! You don’t have to read all of them to join the book club, just as many as you’d like!