animals

Famous Authors and Their Pets

There’s nothing cozier than curling up with a good book and your furry companion. People have always had a special relationship with their pets; they offer us friendship and unconditional love, after all. Both classic and modern authors have had beloved pets that inspired their works and provided them with companionship. Here are a few.

 

1. STEPHEN KING’S CORGI MOLLY, THE THING OF EVIL

Image via Toronto Star

Renowned horror writer Stephen King loves his Pembroke Welsh corgi, Molly, who he refers to as “The Thing of Evil.” On Twitter, he likes to chronicle all the devious things she likes to do, such as enjoying (tearing up) boxes of tissues and raisin bran, relaxing after committing atrocious deeds, and hunting down the Purple Dinosaur of Decency (pictured above).

 

2. CHESTER HIMES’ SIAMESE CAT GRIOT

Image via LitHub

Crime fiction author Chester Himes, the creator of the Harlem Detective series, has had many cats. Griot, a blue point Siamese, was his favorite. Griot, Himes explained, was “named after the magicians in the courts of West African kings.” Himes would take Griot with him everywhere. If he didn’t, he would come home to find Griot had destroyed everything.

3. FLANNERY O’CONNOR’S PEACOCKS

Image via PBS

Author and essayist Flannery O’Connor, known for the thrilling and chilling short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” loved birds, peacocks especially. On her estate in Georgia, she raised over 100 peafowls, who she referred to in essays as “Kings of the Birds.”  She kept ducks, emu, ostriches, and possibly toucans as well.

 

4. LORD BYRON’S actual, literal bear

Image via The Paris Review

If there’s one thing you could always count on Romantic poet Lord Byron, it’s to be flamboyantly petty. Lord Byron attended Trinity College in the early 1800’s and hoped to bring his dog Boatswain with him. When he was told that his beloved dog could not come with him, Lord Byron purchased a tamed bear and tried to bring it to school with him instead. He wrote to his friend Elizabeth Prigot, “I have got a new friend, the finest in the world, a tame bear. When I brought him here, they asked me what to do with him, and my reply was, ‘he should sit for a fellowship.'”

5. GEORGE R.R. MARTIN’S TORTOISES GAMERA AND MORLA

Image via GRRM’s Twitter

Fantasy writer George R.R. Martin has always loved turtles. As a child, they were the only pet he was allowed to keep. They lived in a castle, and Martin would pretend that they were kings and knights, fighting in battles. He cites this as where he got his inspiration for Game of Thrones, and their deaths inspired the more gruesome moments in the series. He currently has two tortoises, Morla and her “younger brother” Gamera.

 

6. KURT VONNEGUT’S DOG PUMPKIN

Image Via NYT

Pumpkin was a little shaggy dog and Sci-fi writer Kurt Vonnegut’s near-constant companion. On his affection for Pumpkin and dogs in general, Vonnegut had this to say, “I cannot distinguish between the love I have for people and the love I have for dogs.”

 

7. Charles Dickens’s Raven Grip

Image via Brain Pickings

Grip was the pet Raven of famed English author Charles Dickens. Grip apparently had a very extensive vocabulary for a bird, and Dickens wrote him into one of his lesser known works, Barnaby Rudge. When Edgar Allen Poe, still only a critic at the time, read it and was inspired by the fictional Grip to write his poem “The Raven.” Grip ate a paintchip in 1841, and passed away a few months later. A brokenhearted Charles Dickens had the bird taxidermied, and Grip now resides in the Philidelphia Free Library.

 

8. The Hemingway cats

Image via The Humane Society of Broward County

No list of author pets would be complete without mentioning Ernest Hemingway’s cats. Hemingway was gifted a little six-toed kitten named Snow White. Soon after, he began to adopt more cats, which led to even more kittens being born, around half of them having the same genetic mutation as Snow White. Now the descendants of these cats roam Hemingway’s house turned museum in Key West, Florida.

 

Take a little time to appreciate your own pet today. You never know, they might just inspire the next great work!

Featured image via Florida weekly

 

9 Books with Animal Sidekicks for National Pet Day

Don’t have a pet to celebrate National Pet Day with? Not to worry—we’ve got plenty! These nine reads, all complete with a furry friend or two, will make you feel a little less lonely this National Pet Day.

1. Fleetfoot – Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass

via amazon

If you’ve read Sarah J. Maas’ bestselling series, Throne of Glass, you’re familiar with Celaena’s dog, Fleetfoot. The series follows Celaena Sardothien, an 18-year-old assassin currently a slave in the Endovier salt mines. Dorian Havilliard, the Crown Prince, offers her freedom, but only if she competes to become the new royal assassin. If she wins, she’ll serve the king for three years, before earning her freedom. 

Fleetfoot is not only a fan favorite of the book, but is a cornerstone of friendships in the book; not only is she a gift from Dorian, but she’s also looked after by those in Celaena’s circle. If you’re looking for yet another reason to read Maas’ debut series, Fleetfoot is it!

2. Winn-Dixie – Because of Winn-Dixie

'Because of Winn-Dixie'

via amazon

Because of Winn-Dixie is a classic children’s book many of us have either read or watched the 2005 movie version. If you love dogs, and are looking for some nostalgic feels, this book is for you. Winn-Dixie is not only a friendly companion for ten-year-old Opal Buloni, but also teaches her to be brave and to face life’s challenges head-on. The book might be for kids, but its lessons about companionship and being a kid are timeless.

 

3. Hedwig – Harry Potter

via amazon

Naturally, we had to add Hedwig to the list. Gifted to Harry by Hagrid, Hedwig is a snowy owl that not only delivers mail for Harry, but serves as his faithful companion through thick and thin, and even fights in the Second Wizarding War. This is an owl with a lot of personality, and is probably one of the best characters of the series. Yes, Harry Potter is full of magic, good and evil forces, and a deeply-developed world that exists alongside our own—but Hedwig is the frosting on the cake!

4. Barf – The Merciful Crow

The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow Series Book 1) by [Margaret Owen]

via amazon

Don’t let his name fool you; Barf is actually a very lovable cat. 
The Merciful Crow follows Fie, a future chieftain of the Crows. Considered the lowest caste, the Crows are looked down upon, even as they are expected to remove the bodies of those who’ve died from the plague. After faking their deaths, Prince Jasmir makes a deal with Crow’s chief: if they help him take the throne from his power hungry stepmother, he’ll protect the Crows when he becomes king. After removing the supposedly-dead bodies of Prince Jasmir and his Hawk guard, Fie decides to take the royal family’s cat as payment for her work, thus naming him Barf. Considered to be a part of the family, Barf is viciously protected by Fie in the midst of finding themselves hunted by the Oleanders, their brutal enemies.

5. Shiloh – Shiloh

'Shiloh'

via amazon

Shiloh is a heartwarming children’s book and Newberry Medal winner centered around Marty Preston, who falls in love with a beagle near his home. When he discovers that the dog belongs to someone else—Judd Travers, a drunk who likes to abuse his dog—Marty decides to protect Shiloh at all costs.
Who can resist a story about friendship between a boy and his dog? If you’re looking for a book about loyalty, a dog, and a young boy’s golden heart, this one’s for you, whether you’re revisiting your childhood or reading Shiloh for the very first time.

6. Buttercup – The Hunger Games

via amazon

Everyone knows Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, but do you remember her sister’s furry companion? While there’s animosity between Katniss and Buttercup, Prim lovingly cares for him over the course of the series. In a series focused on the brutal Hunger Games—a competition where two teenagers from every district fight to the death—it’s a wonder Buttercup manages to stay alive. By the end of Mockingjay, Katniss even manages to accept and get along with the cat, if only for Prim’s sake. 
If you’re eager to see Buttercup in action, you can read about him in The Hunger Games or watch him in the movies!

 

7. Patrick – Gone

via amazon

Patrick is Lana Arwen Lazar’s beloved yellow lab, the only prominent pet mentioned in the Gone series.
When everyone over eighteen suddenly vanishes, the children and teens of Perdido Beach are left to fend for themselves. As the kids struggle to maintain order and determine the cause of what they colloquially refer to as the “FAYZ,” some discover they have powers that grow stronger by the day. 

Lana is often suspicious of others and tends to keep to herself, with only Patrick for company. While many of the dogs in Perdido Beach are eaten when the kids start to go hungry, Patrick is left alive, if only for fear of Lana’s wrath. He is the first one that Lana uses her newfound healing powers on after he protects her from a mountain lion, and remains by her side for the rest of the series.

 

8. Starlight, Belle – The Saddle Club

Horse Crazy (Saddle Club series Book 1) by [Bonnie Bryant]

via amazon

If you were a ‘horse girl’ back in the day, you might remember reading The Saddle Club, a widely popular children’s series centered around three middle-school friends who ride at Pine Hollow Stables. When main characters Carole and Lisa help Stevie with a math project, it not only solidifies their friendship, but prompts them to start their very own club—The Saddle Club. 

Though the girls ride numerous horses, Carole eventually gets her very own horse, Starlight, for Christmas, while Stevie buys Belle. The series focuses on friendship, a love of horses, and juggling riding with school, continuing with Pine Hollow, which follows the girls into high school.

9. Total – Maximum Ride

via amazon

Despite being a dog, Total is as much a part of the Flock as anyone else. In a series centered around six mutant kids, all left with wings and various superpowers after being experimented upon, it’s only natural that their dog is as abnormal as they are. In The Angel Experiment, Angel saves Total from the Institute and brings him into the Flock. While Total might not have wings (at least not at first), he does talk, making him a fun and quirky character that provides some lighthearted relief to the trouble the Flock gets into over the course of the series.

Featured Image via wizarding world

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5 Books to Celebrate World Wildlife Day

Why not take a walk on the wild side? In honor of World Wildlife Day, here are 5 books that celebrate all things wild.

 

 

1. The Jungle Book by rudyard kipling

A classic tale beloved by many, The Jungle Book tells the tale of young Mowgli, a child lost in the jungles of India, who is raised by a pack of wolves. He must learn from the animals how to abide by the laws of the wild jungle in order to survive. This is a classic tale that shows us animals and humans can get along.

 

image via amazon

 

2. The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence anthony

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild follows conservationist Lawrence Anthony as he is asked to accept a herd of wild elephants on his reserve in Zululand. Anthony takes the elephants in, though his gut feeling tells him not to, in an effort to save their lives. This book is a heartwarming, humorous tale that follows Anthony’s experiences with this herd of wild elephants.

 

 

image via amazon

 

3. Cry of the kalahari by delia and mark owens

Cry of the Kalahari is an autobiographical book following two young, American zoologists, Mark and Delia Owens. It details their experience studying the wildlife in the Kalahari desert in Botswana in the mid-1970s.

 

image via amazon

 

 

4. The Soul of an octopus by syd montgomery

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness details author Syd Montgomery’s fascination and connection with octopuses. It discusses the recent acceptance of the intelligence of octopuses and what they can teach us about consciousness when two different minds meet. 

image via amazon

 

5. Of wolves and men by barry lopez

In Of Wolves and Men, Barry Lopez guides us through the world of the wolf and corrects our often mistaken-perception of their place among our shared planet. This book details the wolf’s relationship to man throughout the years and gives us a wonderful insight into this powerful and fascinating species. Lopez paints a compelling portrait of the wolf in this insightful and captivating read.

 

image via amazon

 

Featured Image via The United Nations

 

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5 Wildlife Books Cooler Than National Geographic

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most—just so we can ensure consistent, high quality recommendations. This week’s picks are wildlife recommendations to immerse yourself in the natural world. Dig in!

 

5. Sleep: How nature gets its rest by Kate Prendergast 

 

 

Sleep: How Nature Gets Its Rest by Kate Prendergast is all about educating you on how animals of the world get their rest. Some animals sleep alone. Others sleep in packs. Some slumber at night, and others prefer the daytime for getting some z’s. Whether large or small, familiar or unusual, all animals must find a way to get some rest. Did you know that giraffes sleep standing up? That sloths sleep upside down? Or that fish sleep with their eyes open? Take a close look at the sleeping habits of meerkats, bats, horses, birds, and other animals around the world in a book for young nature enthusiasts that is certain to spark a sense of wonder.

 

4. the Breath of a whale by Leigh Calvez

 

 

The Breath Of a Whale by Leigh Calvez tells the story about the world’s most remarkable creatures: the whales. Leigh Calvez has spent a dozen years researching, observing, and probing the lives of the giants of the deep. Here, she relates the stories of nature’s most remarkable creatures, including the familial orcas in the waters of Washington State and British Columbia; the migratory humpbacks; the ancient, deep-diving blue whales, the largest animals on the planet. The lives of these whales are conveyed through the work of dedicated researchers who have spent decades tracking them along their secretive routes that extend for thousands of miles, gleaning their habits and sounds and distinguishing peculiarities. The author invites the reader onto a small research catamaran maneuvering among 100-foot long blue whales off the coast of California; or to join the task of monitoring patterns of humpback whale movements at the ocean surface: tail throw, flipper slap, fluke up, or blow. To experience whales is breathtaking.

 

3. being Caribou Karsten Heuer 

 

Being Caribou by Karsen Heuer conveys the magnificent world of caribou in an incredible journey, up close and personal. Determined to convey both the enormity of the caribous’ migration and the delicacy of their habitat, Karsten Heuer and his wife spent their honeymoon following the herd. For five months, they traveled an uncharted course on foot over mountains, through snow, and across frozen rivers, with only three semi-scheduled food drops for support. As with the caribou, Heuer and his wife faced dwindling fat reserves and stalking by ravenous grizzlies and wolves just awakened from hibernation. Both a rousing adventure story and a sober ecological meditation, Being Caribou vividly conveys this magnificent animal’s world.

 

2. Death at Sea World by David Kirby 

 

 

Death At SeaWorld by David Kirby centers on the battle with the multimillion-dollar marine park industry over the controversial and even lethal ramifications of keeping killer whales in captivity. Following the story of marine biologist and animal advocate at the Humane Society of the US, Naomi Rose, Kirby tells the gripping story of the two-decade fight against PR-savvy SeaWorld, which came to a head with the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Death at SeaWorld introduces real people taking part in this debate, from former trainers turned animal rights activists to the men and women that champion SeaWorld and the captivity of whales. In section two the orcas act out. And as the story progresses and orca attacks on trainers become increasingly violent, the warnings of Naomi Rose and other scientists fall on deaf ears, only to be realized with the death of Dawn Brancheau. Finally he covers the media backlash, the eyewitnesses who come forward to challenge SeaWorld’s glossy image, and the groundbreaking OSHA case that challenges the very idea of keeping killer whales in captivity and may spell the end of having trainers in the water with the ocean’s top predators.

 

1. When the Whales Walked by Dougal Dixon

 

 

When the Whales Walked by Douglas Dixon is all about evolution! Since evolution has become a popular primary school topic in the UK, a fleet of books on the subject has hit the shelves. Most opt for the all-too-familiar tale of the intrepid Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle and finches in the Galápagos, or the peppered moths that would follow. Here, the authors opt for something else, offering 13 stories about the early experimentation of animal forms in a bid to help younger readers understand how we got here. Besides the eponymous whale, there are chapters on early dinosaur flight and warm-blooded crocodiles, alongside more familiar stories of snakes with legs and fish with feet.

All in-text images via Amazon

Featured Image Via Amazon

Explore The Natural World With These Wildlife Recommendations!

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most—just so we can ensure consistent, high quality recommendations. This week’s picks are wildlife recommendations to immerse yourself in the natural world. Dig in!

 

 

5. ‘Texas Reptiles and Amphibians’ by James Kavanagh

 

image via amazon

 

Texas Reptiles & Amphibians by James Kavanagh is a handy new guide for reptile lovers in Texas. The diverse habitats of Texas—swamps, marshes, pine forests, rocky hills, mountains, deserts and prairies—combined with its central location where species from the east, west and Mexico converge, make it a prime destination to find and study reptiles and amphibians. This portable folding guide includes illustrations and descriptions of 140 species and a back-panel map featuring some of the state’s top nature viewing hot spots. A handy field reference and the perfect take-along guide for visitors and nature enthusiasts of all ages.

 

4. ‘Wildling’ by Isabelle Tree

 

image via Amazon

 

Wildling by Isabelle Tree chronicles what happens when 3,500 acres of farmland are returned to nature and what happens when the wilder world overtakes the farm. For years Charlie Burrell and his wife, Isabella Tree, farmed Knepp Castle Estate and struggled to turn a profit. By 2000, with the farm facing bankruptcy, they decided to try something radical. They would restore Knepp’s 3,500 acres to the wild. Using herds of free-roaming animals to mimic the actions of the megafauna of the past, they hoped to bring nature back to their depleted land.

 

3. ‘Make a Home for Wildlife’ by Charles Fergus 

 

image via Amazon

 

Make a Home for Wildlife helps you see your property in new ways and is the resource you need to take the sometimes daunting steps to improve the quality of your land. Focusing on the eastern US from Canada to Florida and west to the Great Plains, this book describes basic habitat types—forest, shrublands, grasslands, and wetlands—and highlights over 150 select native and introduced trees, shrubs, and plants, explaining how they are used—or not—by wildlife. The book includes more than 100 profiles of prominent and interesting species of insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals with information on animals and their habitat needs. Large and small mammals, resident and migratory birds, and insects are covered. Fergus relates stories of landowners who have made habitat in different states and regions in different ways.

 

2. ‘Ohio Wildlife’ by Amalia Celeste Fernand 

 

image via amazon

 

Ohio Wildlife by Amalia Celeste Fernand is a great fun book for kids and adults. Have you ever wondered where frogs go in the winter or how to identify a bird? Do you enjoy taking walks in the woods and want to learn more about the wildlife in your backyard? Then kids and adults, this book is for you! Unique coloring pages feature Ohio wildlife with information that is formatted like a guide book. Find out about animal tracks and scat, life cycles, diet, and habitat. Increase your nature knowledge with fun facts, an extensive dictionary, art, science, games, and more. Calling all Ohio Nature Explorers, this is your go-to guide for discovering more about your favorite animals!

 

1. ‘A Field Guide to the Natural World of the Twin Cities’ John j. Moriarty 

 

Image via Amazon

 

A Natural World of the Twin Citieby John J. Moriarty is a handy guide to the wildlife of Minneapolis and St. Paul. John J. Moriarty is a congenial expert on the remarkable diversity of plants and animals in the region’s habitats, from prairies and savannas to woods and wetlands such as swamps and marshes, to fens and bogs, lakes and rivers, and urban and suburban spots. Featuring Siah L. St. Clair’s remarkable photographs, maps, and commentary on natural history, this field guide invites readers to investigate the Twin Cities’ wildlife—familiar and obscure, sun-loving or nocturnal, shy or easily observed. Here are snapping turtles, otters, and Cooper’s hawks, the wild lupines, white water lilies, and sprawling white oaks, among hundreds of species found in the wild, the park, or even the backyard. Including notes on invasive species and a list of references and organizations, this book is a perfect companion and an unparalleled resource for anyone interested in discovering the rich natural world of the Twin Cities.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon