Featured favorites: Books about animals


“The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating” by Elisabeth Tova Bailey – Struck by a neurological disorder, the author is confined to a tiny apartment. When a friend brings her a potted violet, she discovers a snail living in the leaves. Living in near isolation, she begins watching the snail explore its environment. She is drawn into the snail’s peaceful world, soothing her and leaving her with the sense of how life always continues to evolve.

“Rin Tin Tin: The Life and The Legend” by Susan Orlean – Rin Tin Tin was a pup rescued from a bombed out kennel in France. Brought back to the U.S., he showed amazing talents and abilities that made him a movie star. Orlean follows the 11 generations of German shepherds that follow Rin Tin Tin and the American love affair with dogs.

“Kitty Cornered: How Frannie and Five Other Incorrigible Cats Seized Control of Our House and Made It Their Home” by Bob Tarte – The author opens this book with a cast of characters (cats) and a map of spaces that each rules. He humorously describes each cat’s personality and the chaos that often surrounds them. His four-legged family teaches Tarte the meaning of trust, patience, and contentment.

“The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation” by Elizabeth Letts – Henry de Leyer, an immigrant from war-torn Holland, arrives late to a horse auction, to discover that he has missed the sale. All that remains is a wagon full of horses on their way to the dog food factory. When one large gray plow horse catches his eye, Henry buys the horse and returns to his struggling farm. Seeing the potential in the horse, Henry trains the horse and the two rise to the top of the Madison Square Garden elite jumping world.

“Sophie: The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog” by Emma Pearse – Sophie, an Australian blue heeler, is swept off the family boat in rough water and is lost. She manages to swim six miles to a remote island. Here she manages to survive for five months before being discovered by visiting rangers, who return her to the mainland. Hearing about a castaway dog from friends, her owner rushed to see, fearing that it couldn’t be their dog or that she had become feral.