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As an avid animal lover, I was keen to read “My Family and Other Animals” as soon as I could. But, what I realized once I read it, is that you don’t have to be an animal lover to love this book. All you have to do is read!

“My Family and Other Animals” is the first of several heart-warming memoirs written by zoologist Gerald Durrell. “My Family and Other Animals” tells the story of a young boy who loves to explore and discover the natural world. Gerald Durrell, born in 1925, spent his youth on the beautiful island of Corfu, Greece. With little education and a crazy but loving family, Gerald spent five years on the idyllic island wandering about, learning about the natural world simply by using his senses. Mr. Durrell observes and describes his hilarious family and the wonderful place around him with such humor, respect, and passion that it is impossible not to find this book engaging.

But if you are an animal lover, Mr. Durrell goes into in-depth detail about the creatures he collects and stores in his room (to the irritation of his mother and, even more, siblings). From the pigeon named Quasimodo to the scorpions that get onto the lunch table, Mr. Durrell recounts his memories of the animals as if they were his long lost friends.

Whether you are an animal lover or not, Mr. Durrell’s family and characters are peculiar but lovable enough to make anyone laugh out loud. The first chapter begins with the family in London, and most unhappy about it. The oldest and quite brassy brother demands that they leave London at once. Mrs. Durrell, a single mother, insists they are not moving and that is the most ridiculous thing she has ever heard. Come next chapter, they have moved to an island in Greece!

Mr. Durrell went on to do inspiring and life-saving work for many endangered species. Even after he died in 1995, his tireless work and passion for the natural world lingers on through the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. However, the best way to keep his motivational spirit and passion alive is by reading his books!