5 Books For Animal Lovers



Whether you are in high school, college, veterinary school, medical school, a vet tech, or just love animals these books for animal lovers will take you into another world, cause you to empathize like never before, and you won’t want to put them down. If you need some light reading in between studying for organic chemistry or immunology, these books will not disappoint you!


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Unsaid by Neil Abramson


This book for animal lovers will stay with you, haunting you for a long time. It might even cause you to sob uncontrollably, and will probably break your heart again and again. The book is about Helena, a veterinarian, her husband, an attorney, and all of the animals that touched their lives. Unsaid fully demonstrates the powerful effect that animals have on our lives.


I don’t want to say anything about the plot here in this review. Anything said could trivialize the book and this masterpiece does not deserve that. The story revolves around life, death, and getting things right. If you are an animal lover, please read this book.


“There’s a difference between unspoken and unsaid,” Jaycee says. “Just because chimpanzees cannot speak doesn’t mean they have nothing to say; the ability to vocalize thoughts is not the same as the ability to acquire and use language…Language is really just a systematic means of communication through symbols or sounds. Almost all animals use language. The problem is that when it comes to the issue of language, humans are incredibly narcissistic. Since we literally hold the key to their cages, our language is the only one that counts.”



Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon by Nick Trout


Nick Trout’s book conveys the everyday scenes that go with life at a busy, hectic veterinary hospital. It is also filled with insightful pearls of wisdom that will have you contemplating for days afterward. If you want to hear about real life things that go on behind the scenes at a vet clinic then Tell Me Where It Hurts is for you. If you are a student and wondering whether or not to go into veterinary medicine, then definitely read this book.

“It may be a cat, a bird, a ferret, or a guinea pig, but the chances are high that when someone close to you dies, a pet will be there to pick up the slack. Pets devour the loneliness. They give us purpose, responsibility, a reason for getting up in the morning, and a reason to look to the future. They ground us, help us escape the grief, make us laugh, and take full advantage of our weakness by exploiting our furniture, our beds, and our refrigerator. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Pets are our seat belts on the emotional roller coaster of life–they can be trusted, they keep us safe, and they sure do smooth out the ride.”





Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen


Water for Elephants has won many awards for best fiction, is on many books for animal lovers lists, and was on the New York Times Bestseller list. It is a fairly easy read that will get you involved in the story immediately. Water for Elephants is a dark book that does not glorify the circus but rather draws us into the lives of real-life depression era people and a veterinarian named Jacob. Definitely a book for animal lovers.


“I open the orangutan’s door and set a pan of fruits, vegetables, and nuts on the floor. As I close it, her long arm reaches through the bars. She points at an orange in another pan.
‘That? You want that?’
She continues to point, blinking at me with close-set eyes. Her features are concave, her face a wide platter fringed with red hair. She’s the most outrageous and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
‘Here,’ I say, handing her the orange. ‘You can have it.’
She takes it and sets it on the floor. Then she reaches out again. After several seconds of serious misgivings, I hold out my hand. She wraps her long fingers around it, then lets go. She sits on her haunches and peels her orange.
I stare in amazement. She was thanking me.”




Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence—and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene Pepperberg


This book walks us through the extraordinary relationship between Irene Pepperberg and Alex the African Grey parrot. Alex formed a deep bond with Irene Pepperberg and all of her graduate students that were working on the cognitive capabilities of African Grey parrots. The book also touches on the challenges of a professional researcher and the challenges to find funding. You will get a glimpse into how Irene Pepperberg and her students taught Alex and how incredibly intelligent these birds are. Of course as with most animal books, you may shed a tear or two as well.


“Clearly, animals know more than we think, and think a great deal more than we know.”



We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler


This book will have you thinking intensely about animal welfare and dysfunctional families. It starts out with Rosie a college student at UC Davis and shortly thereafter gets into the story of Fern. I won’t go into any detail here, anything more said will ruin the story. If you are an animal lover, want an easy, intense read that you won’t want to put down then this book for animal lovers will be right up your alley. This is a brilliant novel that allows us to feel an empathic connection with one of its non-human protagonists.

One memorable quotable passage is when she describes a “memory moving through like a weather system”.


“You know how everything seems so normal when you’re growing up,” she asked plaintively, “and then comes this moment when you realize your whole family is nuts?”


Do you have any other books for animal lovers that you think should be on this list? Leave a comment below!

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books for animal lovers