a crazy-avid reader, I devoured dozens of wolf books as I researched canis lupus and its history on our continent. though I learned from every tome–as an example, jim and jamie dutchers’ book living with wolves is not only informative but filled with breathtaking photography, and comeback wolves is a compelling literary collection–the following books made my top 5 list as a result of what lay beneath the words and pictures. a book that leaves you somehow different is the kind of book that resonates, and remains. the books I’ve listed below are powerful in not only the storytelling, but in the understandings both stated and alluded to.


of wolves and men, barry lopez. lopez is a master, so exceptionally talented and committed to his craft that reading anything of his will transport you. this book is the ultimate compilation of all things wolves, as experienced by mankind.

a society of wolves, rick mcintyre. beautiful photographs interspersed with facts and stories: reading mcintyre’s book will leave you not only feeling like you understand these wild creatures, but that you should quickly plan a trip to go see them.

among wolves, marybeth holleman. holleman shares wolf researcher gordon haber’s story, some of his findings, and his enthusiasm for canis lupus. beautifully told, this book brings back to life a fascinating man who lost his life doing the work he loved.

decade of the wolf, douglas smith & gary ferguson. place the top yellowstone wolf biologist together with an exceptionally thoughtful and elegant writer in a canoe, in the wilderness, and in the presence of wolves, and the result is this insightful glimpse into the lives of yellowstone’s wolves. together they point a lens on specific wolves, and widen the view to encompass man’s history with wolves.

howl: of woman and wolf, susan imhoff bird. (how could I not include this one?) returning balance to ecosystems requires perseverance, even when it is difficult.  as does life.   give it a read: maybe you, too, will see yourself in a wolf.

if your favorite wolf book isn’t on my list, let me know.