READ! Top 5 Favorite Books, Curated by Los Angeles Zoo Staff

#1 Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking by Rachel Love Nuwer

Recommended by Dr. Jake Owens, Director of Conservation

(Nonfiction) “Poached is a good narrative-driven book about modern illegal wildlife trade,” says Jake. In it, journalist Rachel Nuwer shines a light on the underground of illegal wildlife trade and its toll on species across the planet.

#2 The Overstory by Richard Powers

Recommended by Tom Jacobson, President of Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association

(Fiction) This monumental novel about trees and people is authored by one of America’s most talented Pulitzer-Prize winning novelists.

#3 The Snow Leopard Project: And Other Adventures in Warzone Conservation by Alex Dehgan

Recommended by Drew Glucksman, Education Specialist, Learning & Engagement Team

(Nonfiction) This is a remarkable story of the heroic effort to save and preserve postwar Afghanistan's wildlife.

#4 Our Inner Ape: The Best and Worst of Human Nature by Frans De Waal

Recommended by Alexx Spada, Special Events Manager

(Nonfiction) In this compelling read, a leading primatologist explains why we are who we are, exploring human nature through our two closest cousins in the ape family.

#5 The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan

Recommended by Sandy Masuo, Associate Editor

(Nonfiction) In this utterly original narrative that blends history, memoir, and the best science writing, Pollan tells the story of four domesticated species from the point of view of the plants. All four species are deeply woven into the fabric of our everyday lives, and Pollan illustrates how each has evolved a survival strategy based on satisfying one of humankind's most basic desires.