Will You Read: Animal Wise by Virginia Morell?
Will You Read: Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures by Virginia Morell; Crown, February 26, 2013; 352 pages
Genre: Animal Psychology
Synopsis: Morell, a long-time science writer, takes us into the minds and hearts of “lower” animals, showing us that even the humble rat feels and laughs in the same way we do. New technology and better studies are making this knowledge more accessible and accurate. It turns out that parrots, ants, rats and other overlooked species have a lot to say, to each other, and about ourselves.
Books Like This: Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds by Bernd Heinrich, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals by Marc Bekoff, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals by Jeffrey Masson
What the Critics Say: Readers anticipating the traditional high-IQ dog/monkey/elephant examples will receive a jolt in the first chapter, which reveals that ants are no slouches in the brain department. –Kirkus Reviews
My Gut Reaction: I am probably biased here, because I like any psychology book. I especially like animal psychology, such as the kind that challenges the popular notion that animals don’t “do” emotion. If we share a majority of our genetic code with most animals (and 98% of this code with chimps) how different are we? This will be a welcome read.