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ON ANIMALS, by Susan Orlean

This review’s going to be short.

For sheer delight, read this book, especially if you have any feeling for the concept that all living beings are connected. It has been my observation that people in Western cultures don’t spend enough time contemplating this concept.

Susan Orlean introduces the reader to a host of new friends, beginning with chickens, sailing through tigers, mules and donkeys, homing pigeons, whales, oxen, lions, rabbits, pandas, dogs (of course), with sidebars on cockroaches, guinea fowl, deer, porcupines, turtles, ticks, goats, and Black Angus cattle, among others.

Whatever you expected her to say about all these creatures is not what she says. It is a bubbling, delicious, and informative tale. For all its one-story-after-another nature, it has a narrative arc; that is, a beginning, a middle, and an end.

This book will make you smile and hug your dog (or cat, or chicken, or pigeon, or goat, or tiger….whatever).