Book Recommendations For Summer Reading!

Veterinarians Tell Us Which Books They LOVE!

During each interview, I ask the veterinarian or vet student if there are any books that they would recommend. During this exceptionally trying time with a worldwide pandemic going on (COVID-19), many people have a little more time on their hands. Do you need a book to distract your mind from the stress of living through this SARS-CoV-2 pandemic? This is a great list for gift giving too! Maybe a graduate gift?

Some of these books are veterinary related but most are not. Each book inspired the person being interviewed so much that they wanted to mention it in the interview! So keep that in mind! I would say you can’t go wrong with any book on this list! Each one can provide a much-needed distraction from the news. 

*Any book that you purchase through the Amazon links provided in this post will earn a few cents for this blog to keep running. It will also help us to keep the yearly scholarship going. Which you can find info about in our resources tab up top.*

A Great Book For A Pre-Vet Student!


Dr. Christine Bobula loves the book Bite Me: Tell-All Tales from an Emergency Veterinarian. Dr. Bobula said, “it was a great book that every veterinarian, vet student, or pre-vet should read.” This book will drive home the fact that veterinarians go into this field because they deeply care about your animals.

Bite Me: Tell-All Tales of an Emergency Veterinarian
  • Lefkowitz DVM, Laura C (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 259 Pages - 12/20/2015 (Publication Date) - Laura C Lefkowitz (Publisher)

A Must-Read for Anyone Thinking About Going Into Vet Med


Dr. Gardner who started and owns Lap of Love Veterinary Practice recommends:

      Being Mortal – Atul Gawande. The author Gawande is a practicing surgeon this book might be a difficult read for some. It deals with painful topics, like death, mortality, and quality of life. It is not written by a veterinarian but a human surgeon. This book demystifies death and more importantly can help us understand the decisions we will have to make when helping to age (whether it be humans or pets). 

As veterinarians, we will have to assist clients when their dying pets are in our care. This book will guide you to do this compassionately as well as help improve the well-being of the aging animals that will be in our care.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
  • In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending
  • Hardcover Book
  • Gawande, Atul (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 10/07/2014 (Publication Date) - Metropolitan Books (Publisher)


 Dr. Im who has a career as a veterinarian in the army reserves as well as working at an animal hospital said: “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall -this was an amazing book!”.

This is a beautiful story that starts out as an adventure. A guy reads about a tribe of Mexican Indians called the Tarahumara, who was said to be able to run for days at a time. The author in a quest to get his own foot to stop hurting sets out on a journey to find these people. You do not have to be a runner to have this book impact you deeply. Many people state that this single book has changed their life.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
  • Author: Christopher McDougall
  • ISBN: 9780307266309
  • Hardcover Book
  • Christopher McDougall (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)


Dr. Farrely is an oncologist in NYC for Blue Pearl. His recommendation is The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer  (– regarding cancer-) by Siddhartha Mukherjee. This book is a Pulitzer Prize winner and is now a documentary on PBS. The author is not only a renowned oncologist but he also knows how to tell a captivating story. You will not be able to put this book down! I do not think you will find a more intelligent, empathetic, or sympathetic book on the subject of cancer. Even though the topic is gut-wrenching, if anyone has lived with an animal or person who has been diagnosed with cancer, then this book is a must-read. The 600 pages will fly by and you will be sad once the book is over.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
  • The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.
  • Hardcover Book
  • Mukherjee, Siddhartha (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 592 Pages - 11/16/2010 (Publication Date) - Scribner (Publisher)

A book has to be pretty amazing to get so much praise and recognition from oncologists as well as common people. Just read the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. 

In one review you get an MD saying she tore through this book and could not put it down. Then the very next review is from a common person whose dog was diagnosed with cancer. He said reading this book helped him understand what his dog was going through. Then he went on further to explain how this book helped him process the diagnosis in a  way that no one else could.

If you don’t pick up any other book on this list, at least check this one out.


 Dr. Brown-Bury loves historical fiction. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain is on the top of Dr. Brown-Bury’s list. “It’s an excellent WWI memoir.”

[Testament of Youth] [By: Brittain, Vera] [March, 2014]
  • Hardcover Book
  • Orion Publishing Co (Publisher)
Book recommendations during the lock down


Dr. Miller got into vet school with an undergrad GPA of 2.92. This book has helped her overcome her shyness! Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. “It will help you out in practice, especially if you are a little shy like I am!” Those interested in becoming veterinarians are many times highly empathetic. Sometimes, not always this can go hand in hand with being more introverted. This book will help the shyest person gain confidence and become a leader within their work environment. Which can be a highly desired skill within any vet clinic. Don’t let the title fool you, it is not about how to make friends. What it is about is how to become an effective leader.

How to Win Friends & Influence People
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie 1998 Paperback New
  • Brand New
  • Officially Licensed
  • Dale Carnegie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)


Caitlin Holly attends the University of Florida Veterinary College. We interviewed Caitlin this year. Caitlin had 2 books that she highly recommends. 

Zoobiquity – Barbara Natterson-Horowitz & Kathryn Bowers

A short book on the parallels between human and animal health, and a great read.

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic – David Quammen

Zoobiquity details historical emergent zoonotic diseases. It discusses the processes of isolating reservoir species and identifying the point of ‘spillover’ into human populations. Wow! It reads like fiction- very captivating. This one is very relevant during this COVID-19 pandemic currently going on worldwide.

Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health
  • Vintage Books
  • Natterson-Horowitz, Barbara (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 04/09/2013 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)


Lauren Kiebler, who attends the veterinary college at SGU recommends this one! If you are thinking about attending vet school or are already enrolled and want to get a feel for what life will be like once you are a practicing DVM then read All Dogs Go To Kevin by Dr. Jessica Voselang.

Definitely a MUST READ for any future vet student!


Kim, who attends the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine says “I  highly recommend reading John O’Leary’s book- On Fire The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life before school starts. Do you want to read a book that will change your life?  Do you want to look at life with a whole new perspective? How about waking up with a new attitude in life? If any of this sounds intriguing pick up On Fire!

To see what it’s like to attend the University of Georgia check out our interview with Kim.

On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life
  • New, HardCover
  • Hardcover Book
  • O'Leary, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 03/15/2016 (Publication Date) - Gallery Books (Publisher)


Dr. Amy Wilkinson who is a nontraditional student said “I really like the book, Wild by Cheryl Strayed (yes, it was turned into a movie that doesn’t do it justice).  I found her perseverance throughout the story to be inspiring.” Dr. Wilkinson started vet school at the age of 35 years. Dr. Wilkinson received an acceptance letter from 3 vet schools!

You can read the original interview with Dr. Amy Wilkinson a nontraditional student here.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • 102812 Has limited quantity available
  • Strayed, Cheryl (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 315 Pages - 03/26/2013 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)


Colleen went to SGU on the island of Grenada. Colleen said, “ Tell Me Where It Hurts by Dr. Nick Trout is one of my favorite veterinary-related books.” If you want to read first hand about the struggles that a veterinarian faces, absolutely get this! This book will make you laugh and cry, clearly, this makes sense, especially with books having to do with animals. They always seem to be tearjerkers.

Read our interview with Colleen who attends St. George’s University College of veterinary medicine.

Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Trout, Nick (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 03/03/2009 (Publication Date) - Crown (Publisher)


 Dr. Dani McVety is one of the founders of Lap of Love. Dr. Dani is a successful entrepreneur so its no wonder she chose books that are about communication, leadership, and how companies grow!  When we interviewed Dr. Dani McVety back in June of 2018 she said  “I read anything I can about communication and body language (and by ‘read’, I mean I listen to them on!).  I also LOVE reading about business and how companies grow.  The Secret Language of Leadership is a recent favorite, as is Tribe of Mentors.

If you are thinking about opening your own practice one day, whether that be as an MD or DVM, take some advice from Dr. Dani and check out one of her recommended books!

The Secret Language of Leadership
  • 6 x 9 inches 279 pages
  • Hardcover Book
  • Denning, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 09/26/2007 (Publication Date) - Jossey-Bass (Publisher)


Kate Alucard, who is a dual-degree student (DVM-MPH) within Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine said  “I love the book A Dog’s Life by Ann M. Martin.” I think it is a fantastic book for those looking to read an autobiographical perspective of what a stray dog goes through.” Kate said this was a very important book in her life!

A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray
  • Scholastic Paperbacks
  • Ann M. Martin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 01/01/2007 (Publication Date) - Scholastic Paperbacks (Publisher)

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