8 Inspiring Books By Jane Goodall

The world-famous naturalist offers stirring life lessons on conservation, sustainability, and hope in these books.

Photo: Andrew Zuckerman

Dr. Jane Goodall is a world-renowned scientist, humanitarian, and activist with a career that spans more than six decades. Best known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees, Goodall is a lover of all forms of life and an advocate for a more sustainable planet. Here are nine inspiring Jane Goodall books that chronicle her breakthrough research with primates, her commitment to ecological activism, and her efforts to inspire hope around the world.

By Brandon Miller
The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall & Douglas Abrams

The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

By Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams

Goodall’s newest release offers steady and clear guidance in today’s troubling times. Cowritten with Douglas Abrams, The Book of Hope is the second entry in the Global Icons Series (after The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu) and is presented as an intimate conversation between the two authors. Goodall discusses her remarkable career as a conservationist and activist and shares the personal moments that transformed her into the messenger of hope she is today. She also offers new perspective to her readers, outlining the four reasons why she remains hopeful in the face of so much present-day uncertainty. Rich with inspirational calls to action and candid stories from her life’s journey — including her years in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park — Goodall’s latest is not just a guidebook to remaining optimistic about the future but a love letter to the human spirit and our capacity for goodness.

Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe

By Jane Goodall

In this celebrated narrative — a book that “ranks with the great scientific achievements of the 20th century” (Washington Post) — Goodall continues the riveting account of her life’s work with the chimpanzees of Gombe. Goodall had previously chronicled her first 10 years studying chimpanzees in In the Shadow of Man, an essential read for all those interested in her efforts. Through a Window expands on her epic scientific saga and captures the discoveries she made after that influential first report. Here, readers are invited to see the chimpanzee world through Goodall’s eyes, witnessing the rituals of the animal kingdom, the complexities of chimpanzee life, and the many ways in which chimps experience and express emotions such as anger, affection, and grief, much like their human counterparts.

The Ten Trusts by Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff

The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do to Care for the Animals We Love

By Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff

Goodall teamed up with fellow behavioral scientist Marc Bekoff to write this impassioned and necessary book. In The Ten Trusts, the coauthors situate human beings as but one of many species within the animal kingdom and call on people everywhere to act in ways that benefit their fellow inhabitants of planet Earth. Together Goodall and Bekoff outline 10 trusts that humanity must honor as responsible stewards of the natural world. By illustrating the wide-reaching impact of personal transformation, Goodall and Bekoff firmly commit to the idea that we, as humans, are responsible for so much more than just our own survival and success.

Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink

By Jane Goodall with Thane Maynard and Gail Hudson

Though we associate Goodall with chimpanzees, her passion for animals extends far beyond our primate relatives. Indeed, Goodall is an advocate for all creatures — and her passion shines through in Hope for Animals and Their World. Alongside Thane Maynard and Gail Hudson, Goodall shares the survival stories of formerly endangered species that have been brought back from the edge of extinction, such as the American crocodile, the California condor, and the black-footed ferret. In sharing their stories, Goodall champions the efforts of dedicated environmentalists and delivers a message of hope and action that is both encouraging and perceptive.

Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey

By Jane Goodall and Phillip Berman

Goodall chronicles her inner journey in this poignant and powerful memoir focused on spirituality and growth. Cowritten with Phillip Berman, Reason for Hope draws from Goodall’s excursions in the field and personal voyages with her closest family and friends to produce a wide-ranging meditation on compassion, hurt, healing, change, and fostering a relationship with the world around us.

Seeds of Hope by Jane Goodall

Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants

By Jane Goodall with Gail Hudson

In Seeds of Hope, Goodall examines the critical role the plant kingdom plays in our lives and in the existence of the planet itself. Written with the help of Gail Hudson, Goodall’s narrative shares stories from her time in the Gombe forest as well as the wisdom of botanists from around the globe. The result? An enchanting journey into the colorful world of flora and a vivid illustration of how humans can better respect plants to increase sustainability, healing, and overall health.

My Life with the Chimpanzees

By Jane Goodall

Goodall has devoted her life to the study of chimpanzees — which, as she explains in this book, was inspired by a stuffed toy she had as a child. In My Life with the Chimpanzees, Goodall chronicles her revolutionary primate research at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania and the lessons she learned on her expeditions. This deeply felt narrative is not her most science-driven book; it focuses more on her personal reflections than chimpanzee behavior. Nevertheless, it will help you understand the inner workings of a woman who has made lasting contributions to science, culture, and environmental advocacy.

Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall

Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating

By Jane Goodall with Gary McAvoy and Gail Hudson

Jane Goodall may not be the first person who springs to mind when you think of mindful eating. And yet, her commitment to the environment and the years she’s spent in the field make for an exquisite pairing. In Harvest for Hope, Goodall dives into the topic of food sustainability, offering actionable advice on changing our eating habits for the better and being more mindful of what we produce and consume. Given the critical state of human-caused climate change and our dwindling natural resources, this stirring narrative couldn’t be more timely.

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