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“One of the pleasures of Brooks’ writing lies in watching his mind at work—questioning his anthropocentric assumptions and probing ethical and philosophical grey areas—as he seems to write a biography of his dog Charlie or comprehend the inner life of his sheep…By turns analytical, reflective and lyrical, The Grass Library quietly challenges the way we think about non-human beings.”
“One of the most beautifully written books about animals I have ever read. I know of nothing else like it published in this or any other country. Deep, sensitive, charming, instructive and above all, humble. I cannot imagine anyone reading it without coming away in some profound sense altered.”
“For those of us who love ‘non-human animals’… and believe deeply in animal rights, then you will be entranced and deeply moved by this beautiful memoir.”
“The Grass Library is one of the most beautifully written books about animals I have ever read.”
“By turns analytical, reflective and lyrical, The Grass Library quietly challenges the way we think about non-human beings.”
Originally published in Australia, The Grass Library is a philosophical and poetic journey by “one of Australia’s most skilled, unusual and versatile writers” (The Sydney Morning Herald). Both a memoir and an elegy for animal rights, The Grass Library portrays the author’s relationship with his dog, four sheep, and myriad other animals in the home he shares with his partner in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
This collection of essays—with its lyrical language, its honesty and vulnerability, its charm and wit—will delight and inspire all animal lovers, and especially those who rescue animals.
"… a wonderful book … I couldn't put it down once I began reading … beautiful prose … ”
"The Grass Library constitutes its own genre—a memoir of embodied humans and animals who write themselves not quite equally into the text—the nonhuman takes precedence…It is a book about writing ethically about animals, and what the process of writing reveals...The text seamlessly includes debates about animal being, rights, sensibilities, and human practices but these debates are filtered through the lives of animals whom we as readers come to know by name and character. Brooks’ writing is a treasure chest of ideas, images, anecdotes.”
"Brooks’ writing is poetic … The book itself is not only an exploration of animals and nature, but also a mission and exercise in living in the most ethical harmony with them … This book is excellent for anyone interested in animal rights, ethics, and nature writing at its most insightful. It will prompt the reader to turn inward and examine their own relationship with the living things all around them.”
"[An] engaging—and endearing—collection of interrelated essays … a book detailing one man’s ongoing effort to realign his values in accord with respect for animals. More importantly it is a lyrical philosophical tale of ‘discovery and wonder: wonder and wondering’ … And then, through it all, there is the beautiful, poetic prose.”
"The book is part-memoir, part-reflection…it challenges us to reconsider some fundamental perspectives and assumptions. However, it is not a difficult read, because not only is it generous, but it is also peppered with engaging stories about life in the mountains and the non-human animals with whom Brooks and T. live."
"[Brooks] knows how to locate and illuminate the ideologies that underpin daily life, in a way that blooms naturally from his own experiences…in true essayist style, Brooks tells the reader they’re in for more than what’s on the narrative surface—’this book isn’t about veganism, or guilt,’ he writes, ‘but ultimately and more simply it’s about discovery and wonder: wonder, and wondering."
"The book is breathtaking. A literary and morally compelling demonstration of what communion with non-human animals looks like, and in a manner that exposes the paucity and imaginative impoverishment of the usual ‘animal rights’ rhetoric."
"If you want a book to give to a dear friend, don’t look any further than The Grass Library by David Brooks…This is a delightful book which will certainly make you think about animals and the way we treat them."
“The Grass Library is a gorgeous book. Anyone who loves animals will be enchanted … but it’s a book that will challenge your thinking as well… Highly recommended.”