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The life and times of a girl who has always loved animals, or how I went from dreaming about Rin Tin Tin to having dogs, cats, chickens, fish, cattle, turkeys, and guinea fowl, with guest appearances by horses, lions, and canaries.

17 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 19, 2011

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About the author

Susan Orlean

53 books3,987 followers
I'm the product of a happy and uneventful childhood in the suburbs of Cleveland, followed by a happy and pretty eventful four years as a student at University of Michigan. From there, I wandered to the West Coast, landing in Portland, Oregon, where I managed (somehow) to get a job as a writer. This had been my dream, of course, but I had no experience and no credentials. What I did have, in spades, was an abiding passion for storytelling and sentence-making. I fell in love with the experience of writing, and I've never stopped. From Portland, I moved to Boston, where I wrote for the Phoenix and the Globe, and then to New York, where I began writing for magazines, and, in 1987, published my first piece in The New Yorker. I've been a staff writer there since 1992.

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Community Reviews

5 stars
39 (22%)
4 stars
60 (35%)
3 stars
51 (30%)
2 stars
14 (8%)
1 star
6 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,735 reviews1,469 followers
February 7, 2019
I like this. It is funny. It is about Susan Orlean's pets. It quite simply does not have enough in it though to give it more stars.

The author reads her audiobook and reads it well.

*Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend 4 stars
*The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession 3 stars
*Animalish 3 stars
*The Library Book TBR soon
*A Gentle Reign TBR
*My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere TBR

I would also like to recommend the twelfth essay in Life Stories: Profiles from The New Yorker edited by David Remnick. The essay is by Susan Orlean too. It was my first encounter with Orlean and since then I have wanted to read all that I could get by her. The essay is entitled Show Dog and it is about Biff Truesdale, a boxer. I mean the dog type. I don’t know if I was supposed to laugh from start to finish, but I did. It is about dog trainers, dog breeders and dog showing. Read it if you want a good laugh.
Profile Image for Mimi.
575 reviews
December 20, 2011
Filled with dogs, chickens, goats, cows, horses and other members of the animal kingdom, this is a very cute autobiographical account by Susan Orlean about the role that animals have played in her life. The line I like the most - Animals "have no real purpose other than to give a warm, wonderful, unpredictable texture to my life every day. I wouldn't have it any other way." I couldn't agree more!
Profile Image for Holly.
9 reviews
July 13, 2017
A quick-read for animal lovers

A quick-read on the animal-centered life of the author. Parts were amusing, but I had expected a deeper discussion, more insight into her relationships with the animals.
January 15, 2019
Animal lovers Dream on

Ready for more than dogs and cats and enjoy country life? Animals and their chaos and closeness can grow on you. Opening up to raising whatever has its benefits. Enjoyed the positive energy of the story.
Profile Image for Carrie Duvall.
8 reviews
April 24, 2019
Cute, sweet, motivational

I envy her choices. I’ve read this story twice now, a great way to put me in a good mood.
Profile Image for Michele.
1,190 reviews64 followers
January 25, 2023
Definitely a sweet, short story about the author’s love of and for animals. Susan Orlean does a great job narrating her own book and writing about how she came to “collect” the animals she has.
Profile Image for Aradhya.
90 reviews4 followers
February 3, 2022
This supershort e-book is like a summary of the animals in the author's life. If you love animals as much as me, you are most probably gonna like it for the simple reason that it talks about animals. I have always said that I would love to live in a zoo and it just made me think about that again.

Also, if you are looking for more detailed heart-warming animal stories, try Mahadevi Verma's stories. I read those as a child and still remember the animals fondly. :)
809 reviews8 followers
December 19, 2011
This is one of these Kindle/Essay books and I am growing quite fond of the format. Long reads but not book length and available at a reasonable price. In this Susan orlean explores her love of and need for animals in her life. She is wild and whacy about how this developed and manifestied itself over time. It's a fun read from a good writer.
757 reviews
April 3, 2012
Not really a book, more like a short essay about the author's love of animals. Regardless, it was enjoyable. I got this from Kindle because I heard the author on NPR and I liked her interview. I thought this would be a good way to test her as a writer. She passed, I will read more of Susan Orlean.
Profile Image for Regina.
57 reviews15 followers
July 13, 2012
A brief yet sweet look into a woman's early interest in animals that developed into a lifetime love of creatures big and small and the rural way of life resulted from it. A simple look at how appreciation for other species can be extremely rewarding, regardless of whether one lives in a major metropolitan area or out in farm country. For a quick read, I enjoyed this.
Profile Image for Cathy.
896 reviews21 followers
May 26, 2011
This was advertised as a "Kindle Single." I thought novella or short story but what I got (for $1.99) was an essay. I've written longer emails than this tale of a woman who loved animals, moved to the country, and got more animals. Don't bother getting it. It's over in 15 minutes.
29 reviews
May 13, 2016
this was a super short book-like thing. i liked the story the author tells, but i feel like she put a lot of story without a lot of purpose. nonetheless, i felt a strong sense of connection with the author's desire and fascination for animals. need goats
Profile Image for Bryan Fuhr.
7 reviews8 followers
July 28, 2011
I devoured this really lively essay about our connections to animals, and how they deepen our connections to ourselves. I think you'll enjoy the read.
Profile Image for Angela.
Author 3 books37 followers
January 13, 2014
This wasn't much of a story. It felt more like a brief animal-lover bio and it didn't really stay with me. Not terrible, but not really worth the time it took to read it.
Profile Image for Caroline Niziol.
162 reviews29 followers
March 27, 2012
Contrary to the reviews, this wasn't amazing. Maybe I just don't like animals enough, but it didn't strike my fancy.
Profile Image for Jenna Scribbles.
499 reviews31 followers
August 5, 2012
I borrowed this one using a Kindle ebook lending site. It was pretty good.

If you want to read something similar and a bit better - I suggest Homer's Odyssey. The story of a blind cat in NYC.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
53 reviews7 followers
January 5, 2013
On my friend's kindle already, it was a nice way to spend some time on an airplane. *shrugs*
Profile Image for Malkah.
24 reviews2 followers
January 16, 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love her writing. I love the humor and how animalish it is. I love phrases like decant chickens into their coop. I want more.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews

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