Wednesday, December 26, 2018

How To Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals; Sy Montgomery

TITLE: How To Be A Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals
AUTHOR: Sy Montgomery (illustrated by Rebecca Green
PUBLISHER: Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt
PUB. YEAR: 2018
FORMAT:  - library/eGalley
RATING: 3.5/5 stars

How To Be a Good Creature is a different type of memoir.  The author has traveled the world to study animals. Her memoir reflects her interactions with some (13) different animals: (4) dogs of her own, pigs, an octopus, a tree kangaroo, a trio of emu, a tarantula, an elephant and more.  Each chapter is a personal essay of sorts about her interactions with the animal, observations and what the experience meant to her.

A slim book with a larger print for aging eyes and lovely illustrations, it might make a nice gift for the animal lover in your life.  

Honestly, this book was not all what I was expecting. It's more of an intimate look into the author's life, her travels around the globe and how the animals she encountered along her life journey affected her.  The author writes about love and loss, an abusive childhood, her struggles with depression and the way animals helped her to cope.


  1. This sounds a bit like a book that couldn't quite decide what it wanted to be. I think I'd be expecting animal interactions and surprised to find the personal side of things.

    1. The array of animals was what surprised me the most I think.

  2. I sure wouldn't have guessed it was about that either!

  3. This book sounds wonderful, illustrations and memoir.

  4. What an interesting idea for a memoir!

  5. I enjoyed one of her books - The Soul of the Octopus (which, coincidentally, I reviewed today!) - and will look for this one at the library!


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