cover image Talking to Animals: A New Approach to Living Alongside Animals

Talking to Animals: A New Approach to Living Alongside Animals

Jon Katz. Atria, $26 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4767-9547-8

Bestseller Katz (Saving Simon) fills his latest book with moving essays on what he has learned from different animals. Each story combines biographies of beloved animals with guidance on how humans can better communicate with them, conveying Katz’s message that humans must respect animals for what they are before real connections can be made. To begin a successful relationship, Katz urges readers to “consistently imagine and visualize the behavior [they] seek from [their] dog, and over time, the dog senses it, understands it, and then internalizes it.” Katz’s visualization process, based on the work by animal behaviorist Temple Grandin on how animals perceive the world, comes across as thought-sharing with animals. When Katz has to choose whether to permanently confine Orson, a border collie, or put him down, the communication between the two—and a visualization of Orson by a stream—allows Katz to release Orson. Katz is most successful when relating the sometimes heartbreaking stories of animals or urging readers to consider how animals perceive the world; he’s less skilled at providing concrete tools to learn to better interact with the animals in our own lives. [em](May) [/em]