New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz—“a Thoreau for modern times” (San Antonio Express-News)—offers us a deeper understanding of the inner lives of animals and teaches us how we can more effectively communicate with them, made real by his own remarkable experiences with a wide array of creatures great and small.
In Talking to Animals, journalist Jon Katz—who left his Manhattan life behind two decades ago for life on a farm where he is surrounded by dogs, cats, sheep, horses, cows, goats, and chickens—marshals his experience to offer us a deeper insight into animals and the tools needed for effectively communicating with them.
Devoting each chapter to a specific animal from his life, Katz tells funny and illuminating stories about his profound experiences with them, showing us how healthy engagement with animals falls into five key areas: Food, Movement, Visualization, Language, and Instincts. Along the way, we meet Simon the donkey who arrives at Katz’s farm near death and now serves as his Tai Chi partner. We meet Red the dog who started out antisocial and untrained and is now a therapy dog working with veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. And we meet Winston, the dignified and brave rooster who was injured defending his hens from a hawk and who has better interpersonal skills than most humans.
Thoughtful and intelligent, lively and powerful, this book will completely change the way you think about and interact with animals. Katz’s “honest, straightforward, and sometimes searing prose will speak to those who love animals, and might well convert some who do not” (Booklist).
Jon Katz has written over twenty books, including Talking to Animals, Soul of a Dog, Izzy & Lenore, Dog Days, A Good Dog, and The Dogs of Bedlam Farm. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Rolling Stone, Wired, and the AKC Gazette. He has worked for CBS News, The Boston Globe, Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Katz is also a photographer and the author of a children’s book, Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm. He lives on Bedlam Farm in upstate New York with the artist Maria Heinrich; his dogs Izzy, Lenore, and Frieda; and his barn cats, Mother and Minnie.
“Katz tells illuminating stories about why hechose each animal and what that animal taught him… [his] honest, straightforward, and sometimes searing prosewill speak to those who love animals, and might well convert some who do not.”
“Bestseller Katz (Saving Simon) fills his latest book with moving essays on what he has learned from different animals… Katz is at his most successful when relating the sometimes heartbreaking stories of animals or urging readers to consider how animals perceive the world.”
– Publishers Weekly
“A soft-hearted, warm advocate for animals of all kinds...[the book] chronicles many affecting encounters with animals.”