How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals

How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals


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A New York Times bestseller!

National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animals—her friends—who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green.

Understanding someone who belongs to another species can be transformative. No one knows this better than author, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery. To research her books, Sy has traveled the world and encountered some of the planet’s rarest and most beautiful animals. From tarantulas to tigers, Sy’s life continually intersects with and is informed by the creatures she meets.

This restorative memoir reflects on the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals—Sy’s friends—and the truths revealed by their grace. It also explores vast themes: the otherness and sameness of people and animals; the various ways we learn to love and become empathetic; how we find our passion; how we create our families; coping with loss and despair; gratitude; forgiveness; and most of all, how to be a good creature in the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544938328
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 18,583
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Researching films, articles, and over twenty books, Sy Montgomery has hiked the Altai Mountains of Mongolia looking for snow leopards, tracked tree kangaroos in Papua New Guinea, and more. A National Book Award finalist, she has also been honored with a Sibert Medal, three honorary degrees, and many other awards.


Hancock, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1958

Place of Birth:

Frankfurt, Germany


Syracuse University: B.A., Newhouse School of Public Communications, 1979; B.A., College of Arts and Sciences, 1979

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How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals (Signed Book) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ph665 More than 1 year ago
Every now and then along comes a book that is that is special. This is that book. I didn't devour this book. I savored it chapter by chapter, creature by creature,,,,much like I savor those tender, special moments with creatures I've know in my own life. Yes, there is loss included in the book but don't let that scare you aware from reading it. Sy Montgomery doesn't write about loss in the way that some writers do. Instead she celebrates the life and then describes how she heals from the loss (and as painful as it is, we all do). Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. Read for the magic of it. Read to know that all creatures: humans, dogs, pigs, octopus, spiders, birds...all creatures, have emotions and souls. Read this book. #netgalley #howtobeagoodcreature
CharJones2525 23 days ago
I loved this heart-tugging memoir by the naturalist, adventurer and National Book Award finalist, who shares poetically about the lives of creatures — from tigers to tarantulas — she considers friends. Rebecca Green’s illustrations add to the beauty of this profoundly moving book. 5 of 5 Stars. Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #HowToBeAgoodCreature #NetGalley. Pub Date 25 Sep 2018.