Best-Selling Animal Themed Books from 2015

Since it’s the New Year, chances are you have made a resolution or two (for you and your pet!). Research firm Nielsen found that in 2015, “read more” made the United States’ top 10 resolution list. If reading more is on your resolution list, then Brilliant Energy knows just what you should add to your book list.

We’ve browsed the digital shelves from The New York Times’ bestselling animal-themed books from 2015 to bring you the No. 1 bestseller from each month. You may be surprised to learn that in 2015, only four books reached the No. 1 spot in bestselling animal books. In the mix, there’s a humorous tale about plotting felines, a memoir about a woman overcoming grief with the aid of a bird, tips on how to speak various kinds of “animal-ese,” and a look at humanity’s darkest interactions with dolphins.

Here are the top four books of 2015.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You,” is a hilarious series of cat comics from the genius behind, Matthew Inman. The whimsical mix of stories, comics and quizzes tells you the truth about your furry companion. For example, if your cat is kneading you, that’s not a sign of affection. Your cat is actually looking for weaknesses in your internal organs. And if your cat brings you a dead bird, well, that’s not a gift. It’s a warning. Other gems include “Having a baby vs. having a cat” and “How kittens are plotting to take over the world.” Once you flip through the pages you’ll see why this brilliant mix of humor and truth was on The New York Times’ animals bestseller list. Make sure you add this book to your coffee table in 2016.

New York Times bestseller in January - February 2015


H is for Hawk,” by Helen Macdonald, tells the story of Macdonald’s experience raising a predatory bird while coming to terms with the death of her beloved father. Macdonald, a professional falconer, has assisted with raptor conservation projects across Eurasia. She’s no novice when it comes to birds of prey, and has decided to undergo the difficult task of raising and training a notoriously difficult breed of raptor. It’s her way of cutting through the fog grief has blinded her with. Her goshawk Mabel’s temperament mirrors her own as she navigates her grief, and vice versa: “I’d turned myself into a hawk—taken all the traits of goshawks in the books and made them my own. I was nervous, highly strung, paranoid, prone to fits of terror and rage; I ate greedily or didn’t eat at all; I fled from society, hid from everything; found myself drifting into strange states where I wasn’t certain who or what I was.”  Only when Macdonald ventures outdoors to train Mabel does she step away from the home that chokes her in her mourning. After a few escape attempts and some trial and error, Mabel learns how to fly back to Macdonald’s fist when she hears a whistle shriek. Eventually, the two bond and learn from one another the tools they need to survive in a harsh world. “H is for Hawk” is also a winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Book Award, and on The New York Times’ Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year list.

New York Times bestseller in March 2015 - August 2015, October 2015


Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins,” by Susan Casey, is a two-year pilgrimage of the nature of dolphins and complex relationships with the human race. Already a bestselling author, Casey wrote about sharks in “The Devil’s Teeth” and rogue waves in “The Wave,” so this dolphin tale falls right into her wheelhouse. The author was infatuated with the marine mammals after a pod of spinner dolphins swam alongside her in Honolua Bay, Hawaii. At that time, her marriage had ended and her father had died, and the dolphins lifted her spirits like no one had been able to do before then. Thus, leading her on an epic, dolphin-filled journey. In “Voices in the Ocean,” Casey visits various locations, including Ireland, where dolphins are revered for their loyalty and spiritual essence. She then travels to Solomon Islands, a landmark in the dolphin captivity trade, and the Japanese town of Taiji, depicted in the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove,” and chronicles the butcher of these friendly beasts. Casey uses elegant prose, journalistic reporting and archival research to bring a thrilling (and sometimes heart-wrenching) look at these intelligent creatures beneath the sea.

New York Times bestseller in September 2015


Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better,” by Tracey Stewart, shows everyone how to better the lives of animals with beautiful illustrations, a series of homemade projects and a humorous look at the world around us. Stewart, a former veterinary technician, teaches readers how to speak “dog-ese” and “cat-ese,” why pet stores are a bad thing, how to plan a virtual adoption, how to make a backyard frog sanctuary, and all about the superpowers of farm pigs. As Stewart says, “If you’re an animal lover of any age, there is no end to the easy and fun ways you can bring animals into your life. While giving of yourself, you will most likely find you’re getting a lot more back in return.” “Do Unto Animals” is both a guide and memoir rolled into one helpful book that will teach you the power of giving back to the animal kingdom, making it a great addition to any animal lover’s personal library.

New York Times bestseller in November 2015 - December 2015


If you are an animal lover and want an easy way to help animals in the shelter, sign up for our Brilliant PetLovers plan. We donate a portion of the proceeds from this plan to shelters every month - all at no extra cost to you! Learn more about the Brilliant PetLovers Plan here.