Looking for a new book to read?

World Book Day 2024


Throughout his life, our founder Gerald Durrell aimed to bring readers closer to the natural world with stories of his adventures. 


As described in his much-loved book 'My Family and Other Animals’, his childhood in Corfu was a magical time spent exploring in nature. It was these formative years that truly ignited his fascination with animals and led the boy naturalist to start working with zoos, which he chronicled in many popular books. 

Gerry’s books helped to generate sufficient income to create his own zoo, with a clear mission of saving species from extinction. His stories would go on to inspire generations across the globe to help save species from extinction, including many of the incredible people who work for Durrell today. 

Looking for a new book to read this World Book Day? Check out some of our team's suggestions! 

118946409 10157101833667041 7767450531784889976 N
Luke Jones, Caribbean Programme Manager

Favourite book: 'A Zoo in My Luggage' by Gerald Durrell 
Genre: Memoir / Autobiography 

A light-hearted comedic snapshot of a time gone by that captures the turning point of a young Gerald Durrell from a naïve, hugely passionate wildlife collector into a man with a vision to conserve the beautiful world around him.  

This book was gifted to me by my Nana one Christmas, and it was my first introduction to Gerald Durrell and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. As a child, it opened my eyes to the power an individual can hold if they are brave enough to pursue their beliefs and passions, go against the grain and social norms, and preserve a better world.

If one man can stimulate the revolution of zoos into bastions of wildlife conservation, science, and education whilst inspiring generations of like-minded professionals, then we can all take that as an inspiration to our power to generate positive change.   

This book is why, as a child, I learned to ignore those who told me something wasn’t possible or that I couldn’t do it. I had proof! Gerald Durrell created a zoo from nothing, believed he could save animals from extinction, and that he could change the world! We all have that power, and this book is an excellent reminder. Listen and learn from others, but believe in yourself, and you will achieve incredible things. 

131930273 10157309366577041 4923965831987518208 N
Parag Deka, Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme Director

Favourite books: 'The Diary of Anne Frank' by Anne Frank and 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' by Richard Bach
Genre: Autobiography and Fiction Novella

'The Diary of Anne Frank' is two years' worth of notes that Anne Frank wrote about her life and thoughts when she, her family, and others were hiding in the attic of a building in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. 

'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' is a short, illustrated novel written in a poetic style about the attempt of a young bird who is learning to fly beyond the limit recognised by others. 

From Anne Frank, I learned the values of humanity and the need for “Ahimsa”, which is the ethical principle of not causing harm to others. The world would be a much better place if mankind followed a path of love and compassion. Jonathan Livingston, the seagull, taught me to think about my own abilities and keep on challenging myself to reach excellence without thinking about what others will say about me. These two books help me continue my journey to fulfil my life's purpose.

Rosie Kipps World Book Day
Rosie Kipps-Meredith, Mammal Keeper

Favourite book: 'Song of Achilles' by Madeline Miller
Genre: Historical fantasy / Greek mythology retelling

A deeply romantic (and tragic) retelling of the story of Achilles.

I first read it on the recommendation of my sister, who told me this would be the most beautiful book I ever read but it would also devastate me. She was absolutely right, and it doesn't matter how many times I have read it since, I still find myself hoping that maybe this time it can end differently. The language used is beautiful and will have anyone who reads the book thinking about it for days afterwards!

Screenshot 2024 03 05 At 15.23.30
Noeli Ramamonjisoa, Madagascar Head of Species Conservation and Research

Favourite book: 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***' by Mark Manson
Genre: Self-development

This book argues that individuals should only engage in matters and values that they can control.

I discovered this book and loved it; it was fun to read! It is about seeing life from a different perspective. There are many things you cannot control that can drain your energy and ruin your day. I find the book helpful in avoiding the trap of being a perfectionist and thinking too much. I highly recommend it.

Nadja Lane, Sustainability and Energy Officer

Favourite book: 'Lessons in Chemistry' by Bonnie Garmus
Genre: Historical fiction

A novel that delves into women’s lives, careers, and the struggle for empowerment in the late 1950s and early 1960s America. 

I read this book on holiday last summer and I could not put it down for 3 days straight – I was gripped! Bonnie Garmus takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, following the life of chemist, turned cooking show host, Elizabeth Zott. Through a modern-day lens, this book gives you an insight into the realities of women’s lives in late 1950s and early 1960s America, their expected place and role in society, and their struggle to have a career or be taken seriously. It made me appreciate the reality of being a woman with a career in the 21st Century, however there’s still a long way to go to achieving gender equality – a very apt book to read around International Women’s Day. 

Rebecca Brewer
Becky Brewer, CEO

Favourite book: 'The Elephant Whisperer' by Lawrence Anthony
Genre: Non-Fiction wildlife, nature and conservation

A story about the bond between animals and humans and Lawrence Anthony’s commitment to save a herd of elephants.

I read it whilst I was volunteering on a conservation project in Botswana. We used to get elephants coming into and past our camp frequently which was magical, and so this book takes me back to a special time in my life. It is a book filled with all the emotions – laughter, tears, hope, admiration – and, for me, gave me an insight into the emotional intelligence of elephants and what can be achieved when there is trust and respect between animals and humans.

Torie Millar, Head of Fundraising

Favourite book: 'The History of Bees’ by Maja Lunde
Genre: Historical fiction

A scary, thought-provoking story of the fragile nature and mankind’s influence on its demise.

This is a thoroughly thought-provoking book which follows the intertwined stories of three generations of beekeepers from the past, present and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees – and to their children and to one another – against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.