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Forbidden Creatures: Inside the World of Animal Smuggling and Exotic Pets
I am extremely torn on this book. On the one hand, I have to give Laufer credit for interviewing many private exotic animal owners who are generally o...more
Jun 2011
Sep 08, 2010
Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals
This is essentially the book that most people expect when they pick up "Don't Shoot the Dog!". Pryor gets away from trying to apply clicker training t...more
Jun 2012
Jun 25, 2010
The Lady and Her Tiger
This was one of the most traumatizing books I've read in a long time. I wanted to get a peek into the head of the woman who currently runs the PAWS Sa...more
Dec 2012
Jan 19, 2013
Behemoth: The History of the Elephant in America
This is an exhaustively-researched history of elephants in the US, and I applaud the authors endurance in compiling it. It's a fascinating read, full...more
Feb 2014
May 04, 2014
Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums
Coming from a zoo history background, this book was a lot of fun. It is amusing how natural history museums and zoos face basically the same challenge...more
Oct 2009
Oct 30, 2009
Beyond The Bars: The Zoo Dilemma
This book is decidedly dated at this point, but it provides a snapshot of zoos in the 70s and 80s which is invaluable to understanding where many anti...more
May 2010
Jun 25, 2010
The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos: Past, Present, and Future
How has this book not come up more often in zoo discussions? Another book that should be required reading for zookeepers. The specific ground it cover...more
Jun 2010
Jun 25, 2010
My Life in the Wild
It felt appropriate to round out my Helfer and Derby books with one written by the man who produced the shows that involved their animals. And wow, I...more
Jan 2013
Jan 19, 2013
Behind the Scenes with Wild Animals (1906)
Oh, this one is great fun! This is worth a read if only for the image of a proper Victorian lady wandering around behind the scenes of zoos and circus...more
May 2010
May 31, 2010
Wild Animal Man
Short biography of an animal trainer who worked for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey in the 40s (and 50s?) timeframe. It follows the basic form...more
Oct 2009
Nov 18, 2009
The Log from the Sea of Cortez
And with classes winding down, I have time to READ again!

Started in preparation for my own mini adventure sailing on the Sea of Cortez, finished on re...more
Apr 2010
Apr 21, 2010
Ethics on the Ark: Zoos, Animal Welfare, and Wildlife Conservation
Bravo to the editors for compiling essays covering the extremes of both the pro- and anti-zoo perspectives (and managing a few middle-ground compromis...more
Jan 2009
Jan 07, 2009
The Training of Wild Animals
It's hard to rate this one; as a training resources, it is not particularly detailed or practical (and focuses almost exclusively on large cats), but...more
Aug 2009
Aug 05, 2009
Noah's Choice: The Future of Endangered Species
"'The perfect society to which we aspire in theory may become a powerful enemy of the good society we can become in fact.'" -- Mark Sagoff, philosophe...more
Sep 2009
Aug 25, 2009
Zoo Culture
This turned out not to be what I'd expected. I'd hoped for an exploration of people who visit zoos and their perceptions. Instead, we have a poorly ex...more
Jul 2009
Jun 20, 2009
One Dog at a Time: Saving the Strays of Afghanistan
Where oh where was this man's editor? This is such a cool story, but the writing is so painful it was hard to get through. The tone is clearly targete...more
Sep 2011
Sep 16, 2011
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
I was expecting an excessive pro-vegetarian rant, and instead found a heavily researched exploration of our current food systems. In fact, a major poi...more
Dec 2009
Nov 18, 2009
Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy
For a peek into the world of taxidermy and the history of natural history museum exhibits, this isn't a bad place to start.

However, I'm losing patien...more
Jul 2011
Jul 20, 2011
The Killers
This one caught my eye because it was written by the author of the Fox and the Hound (which I admit I have never read, but it was a favorite movie of...more
Dec 2009
Dec 12, 2009
Elephants on Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments
As a collection of classic bizarre experiments, this book holds up well. I had read about most of the included studies before, and it would have been...more
Jul 2009
Jul 16, 2009
The Greatest Circus Stories Ever Told: Amazing Stories of Life Under the Big Top
An interesting collection of stories, but I always have issue with "excerpt books" where the "stories" are just chapters removed from larger works (an...more
Aug 2007
Mar 20, 2009
Animal Underworld: Inside America's Black Market for Rare & Exotic Species
I am in awe of the vast amount of effort, energy, and determination the author applied in putting together this book. This is an incredible compilatio...more
Apr 2008
Apr 09, 2008
The Zoo on the Road to Nablus: A Story of Survival from the West Bank
This book was...incredible. Something in it truly struck a chord. At first, I really didn't know what to make of it, with its sad descriptions of anim...more
Aug 2008
Aug 27, 2008
Water for Elephants
As one of my friends noted, "Hey, this could totally be your life!". It was a decent book, clearly well-researched. I'm not sure why it has the hype,...more
Jan 2007
Feb 13, 2008
Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives
I caught myself constantly wanting to shout "Yes! You sooo get it!" throughout this book. It manages to capture all of the ethical quandaries and esse...more
Mar 2011
Sep 08, 2010
Wild Animals in Captivity: An Outline of the Biology of Zoological Gardens
Hediger is cited by virtually every book on zoos and exotic animal care, so I figured it was about time to start reading some of this original groundb...more
Dec 2010
Sep 08, 2010
Jamrach's Menagerie
This one grabbed me several times at Borders, so I finally took it home. It's kind of hard to nail down what this book is about beyond "boy goes off a...more
Jul 2013
Jul 20, 2011
I am more than a little disappointed by this book. I've slowly read my way through all the stories of Africa USA over the years (it would not be a str...more
Nov 2008
Aug 27, 2008
War Elephants
An overview, mostly chronological, of the use of elephants in combat. Clearly, there was an enormous amount of information sifting that went into this...more
Nov 2009
Jun 07, 2009
Listed: Dispatches from America's Endangered Species Act
This is the summarized history of the Endangered Species Act and its evolution to present time. I was actually surprised at how much it has changed, h...more
Sep 2011
Jul 24, 2011
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