My Favorite Books

Yeah, most of my favorite novels could be called furry, or at least have animals in them. So sue me. As with my other favorite lists, this is based more on how much I enjoyed reading a particular book, rather than it’s artistic merit. (which is not to say some of these books are not very high quality writing)


Xenogenesis Trilogy

Octavia Butler

Recently re-released as a single volume, called Lilith’s Brood. A series about aliens ‘rescuing’ the remnants of humanity after a nuclear war. The price of their aid is interbreeding with, and eventually causing the extinction of, the human species. These are really alien aliens, not Star Trek type aliens. Octavia Butler is a multiple-award winning author, and probably one of the best SF authors currently working in the field. Any of her other books are worth reading. Available


A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

One of the very best future dystopia novels ever written. A challenge to read due to the "Nasdat" dialogue, but well worth the effort. Available


Watership Down

Richard Adams

If you don’t know why this is here, then go out and read it! Sadly, the only decent book the guy ever wrote; the Plague Dogs had some serious problems, and Tales From Watership Down lacked any kind of cohesive story. Available


Alien Chronicles Trilogy

Deborah Chester

Subtitled LucasFilm’s Alien Chronicles, this is basically a secular retelling of the story of Moses, with a lot of Sparticus thrown in for good measure. All the characters are furry (or scaled), with not a human to be seen. The story of an Aaroun (a lion-like creature) slave, raised as a pampered pet by a princess, who later becomes a leader of all the slave species. Not high literature, but an extremely entertaining read. Available


The Abandoned

Paul Gallico

A young boy in post WWII Britain is transformed into a white cat. A street-wise female cat takes him under her wing and teaches him how to live like a cat. One of the few books to make me cry. Paul Gallico also wrote The Silent Meow. Out of Print


The Borribles trilogy

Michael deLarrabeti

In an indeterminate future London, delinquent children sometimes grow pointed ears and turn into Borribles. They will remain eternally children, unless they’re caught and ‘clipped’ (ear points cut off), in which case they’ll start to grow again. The Borribles fight wars with mutated rats called Rumbles, hostile Borrible tribes, and the police. Out of Print


The Wolfen

Whitely Strieber

What if the werewolf legends were based on fact? What if there was a species of super-intelligent wolf preying on homeless people, and others who wouldn’t be missed, in all of humanity’s cities? Forget the crappy movie they made, and read the original book.

Out of Print


The Haven, Lady of the Haven

Graham Diamond

The first two volumes in a series called The Empire Princess. About mankind in a grim medieval future, battling for survival against intelligent wild dogs. Wolves and birds ally themselves with the humans, and much blood is shed. The other volumes in the series follow the daughter of one of the characters from the first book (the Empire Princess of the series title) and her adventures with talking wolf companions. Not great literature by any stretch, but I hugely enjoyed these books as a teen. The Haven was later rewritten and published as Forest Wars, in the mid 90’s. Out of Print

 

The Gaia trilogy

John Varley

Series titles: Titan, Wizard and Demon. A great trilogy about a female spaceship captain, Cirocco Jones, who, along with her crew, discover a giant entity around Saturn that holds an entire world inside.  The books are particularly notable for the centauroid Titanides, which are centaurs with 3 sex organs, created long before furry ever hit the scene.  There is graphic violence and some very disturbing http images, particularly in the last book.  There are also some major continuity problems in the last volume, where Varley contradicts some things he set forth as fact in the previous two books, but overall this is an excellent series.  Just don't read the last book if you have a weak stomach.  Available.


The Fox and the Hound, The Wolves of Paris

Daniel P. Mannix

A couple of the finest true-life animal stories ever written. Ignore the Disney movie—the book The Fox and the Hound is a gritty, adult story that pulls no punches about life and death in the wild.

 The Wolves of Paris is based on a true story of man-eating wolves in medieval France, from the point of view of the wolves! An extremely gory story, not for the weak-of-stomach, realistically describing medieval warfare and death. Out of Print

His Dark Materials trilogy

Philip Pullman

Another series that is theoretically written for children, but works just as well as an adult book.  The world Lyra lives in is like ours, but unlike it each person has an animal companions, called a daemon, which is the physical manifestation of their soul.  The series story is very complex, and has garnered much criticism for it's supposed anti-religious message, but if you don't mind that it is a fascinating read.  Giant talking polar bears, aliens that move on wheels, a pair of gay male angels and little people on giant dragonflies are just some of the things you'll meet in the series. Series titles: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber SpyglassAvailable.


Duncton Wood, Callanish

William Horwood

Two of the best Watership Down type stories. Duncton Wood is a generational epic about battles for power and spiritual rebirth in a colony of moles. Although there were eventually 5 other books in the series, the first one is far and away the best. Callanish is about eagles in a zoo striving for freedom. Both are excellent novels.Out of Print (in USA) available in UK


Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile

Stephen King

King has written a number of excellent books, but these two are probably my favorite. Shawshank was a novella included in the collection Different Seasons, and The Green Mile was originally published as a serial with 6 different parts, later collected into one volume. Both are prison stories, but very different in tone and outcome. I considered the movies of both to be draggy and overly long—the books are far superior.  Available


Hunter’s Moon

Garry Kilworth

Probably the best of the Watership Down genre books. The story of an British urban fox, her mate (an American fox escaped from a zoo) and the Rhodesian ridgeback hound that pursues them. The American title of this book was Foxes of Firstdark. Out of Print

 

The Deptford Mice series

Robin Jarvis

Don't let the cutesie-poo series title or illustrations fool you-- this is one of the grimmest, most gruesome talking-animal stories I've ever read.  The first three books, The Dark Portal, The Crystal Prison and The Final Reckoning follow the adventures of a mouse brother and sister as they battle a giant, immortal cat.  The next three titles, The Alchemist's Cat, The Oaken Throne and Thomas, follow the back stories of three of the first trilogy's characters.  These are supposedly children's books, but even I was grossed out or horrified by some of the things that happened, particularly in The Alchemist's Cat.  If you want to read about horrible things happening to cute mice, these are the books for you! The first 3 books are available in the US, the other three have only been published in the UK so far.


Call of the Wild, White Fang

Jack London

Considered classics for a very good reason….Available


 

 

Animal Farm

George Orwell

Dittoavailable

 

 

 


The Queen’s Gambit

Walter Tevis

An orphan girl discovers a talent for chess, eventually becoming an international grandmaster, while battling personal problems and drug addiction. The author also wrote The Man Who Fell to Earth and The Hustler. Tevis was such a good writer any of his books are a joy to read, regardless of the subject.Out of Print


Marathon Man

William Goldman

A fairly standard spy-vs.-Nazi story, framed by Goldman’s excellent writing style. A very influential book that I read while in my teens. Out of Print


The Moreau trilogy

S. Andrew Swann

An exciting, hard-boiled series about genetically engineered animals and humans in the near future.

Available