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Cold Noses, Warm Hearts

Get your fix of creature comfort in these lesser-known but just-as-satisfying examples of animals in literature. 

By Laurel Tacoma, Thomas Jefferson Library Branch Manager

While classic literature featuring animal protagonists often ends up on classroom reading lists, FCPL’s collection includes many more books that capture the special bond between animal and human. The options range from comedies and intriguing, cozy mysteries to stirring literary fiction. 

3 book covers: The Art of Racing in the Rain, Still Life with Elephant, and Cat in a Vegas Gold VendettaXenofiction: Fiction From a Nonhuman Viewpoint

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
One pet crow fights to save humanity froman apocalypse.

Timothy, or, Notes of an Abject Reptile by Verlyn Klinkenborg
The story of a tortoise whose real life was observed by the eighteenth-century English curate Gilbert White.

The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar
A rabbi, his daughter and their philosophical talking cat.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
A captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life as narrated by a dog.

Fiction With Animals as Important Characters

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Meet a middle-class American family that is ordinary in every way but one.

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
A man embarks on a highly provocative intellectual adventure with a gorilla.

Still Life with Elephant by Judy Reene Singer
The way to a cheating man's heart is through … an elephant?

Mystery Series With Clever Cats

The Cat Who... by Lilian Jackson Braun

Mrs. Murphy Mysteries by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

The Midnight Louie Mysteries by Carole Nelson Douglas

Joe Grey Mysteries by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

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