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How to Be a Good Creature : A Memoir in Thirteen Animals
by Sy Montgomery and Rebecca Green


Overview -
National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animals—her friends—who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green.
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More About How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery; Rebecca Green
 
 
 
Overview

National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animals—her friends—who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green.

Understanding someone who belongs to another species can be transformative. No one knows this better than author, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery. To research her books, Sy has traveled the world and encountered some of the planet’s rarest and most beautiful animals. From tarantulas to tigers, Sy’s life continually intersects with and is informed by the creatures she meets.

This restorative memoir reflects on the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals—Sy’s friends—and the truths revealed by their grace. It also explores vast themes: the otherness and sameness of people and animals; the various ways we learn to love and become empathetic; how we find our passion; how we create our families; coping with loss and despair; gratitude; forgiveness; and most of all, how to be a good creature in the world.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780544938328
  • ISBN-10: 0544938321
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
  • Publish Date: September 2018
  • Page Count: 208
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.75 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Nature > Animals - General
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Pets > Essays & Narratives

 
BookPage Reviews

For the animal aficionado

Do you know someone who likes animals a lot more than they like people? We’ve rounded up a gaggle of delightful books that celebrate creatures great and small.

Award-winning naturalist and author Sy Montgomery has visited remote regions of the world to study some of nature’s most uncommon creatures. She looks back on what she’s learned from them about communication, sensitivity and kindness in How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals, beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Green. In this funny, moving book, Montgomery recounts transformative episodes with beasts both domesticated and exotic. “Being with any animal is edifying,” she writes, “for each has a knowing that surpasses human understanding.” From Clarabelle, a “pretty and elegant” tarantula, to the playful, 40-pound Pacific octopus Octavia, the animals in Montgomery’s book have unique dispositions that align them with humankind. Montgomery’s writing is rich and lyrical, her insights invaluable. And as all animal lovers know, “Knowing someone who belongs to another species can enlarge your soul in surprising ways.”

HONORING THE ANIMALS
A touching tribute to the creatures we let into our hearts and homes, Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals brings together contributions from a remarkable lineup of authors. Susan Orlean, Lalita Tademy, Rick Bass, Joyce Carol Oates, Alexander McCall Smith and Juan Felipe Herrera are among the 30 writers spotlighted in this excellent anthology. Standout selections include a moving essay by Delia Ephron about the bond between pets and humans; Dean Koontz’s remembrance of his golden retriever, Trixie; and an ingenious cat-inspired poem by Ursula K. Le Guin. Literature fans will love the photos of authors and their animal companions that accompany each piece. In keeping with the spirit of the season, proceeds from sales of the book will go to animal charities. This is a heartwarming, hopeful anthology.

PAMPERED POOCHES
In Puppy Styled: Japanese Dog Grooming: Before & After, Grace Chon celebrates dog grooming the Japanese way, with hand-scissoring techniques to create cuts that play up the personalities of canine clients. For this irresistible volume, Chon—an acclaimed pet photographer—snapped nearly 50 pups as they transitioned from scruffy to smart. She writes that Japanese dog grooming “has one objective: to make the dog as cute as possible!” Cuteness undoubtedly abounds in the book, along with fresh ideas for turning your frowzy mutt into a chic chien. Check out Rocco, a Yorkshire terrier whose bangs get lopped into an asymmetrical ’do, or Bowie, a bichon frise whose wayward tangles are trimmed to form a fluffy nimbus. From start to finish, Puppy Styled is crammed with tail-wagging glamour.

 

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews