Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a character freebie, and since I’ve just gotten home from Anthrocon, I’m going with books I’ve read with anthropomorphic characters!
First a bit of explanation, if you’re unfamiliar. Anthrocon is one of the world’s largest furry conventions. A furry is often described as someone who likes anthropomorphic animals, or humanoid animals. Not just sentient talking animals, but usually bipedal and clothes-wearing. Often furries have a fursona, or an idea of what animal they’d be if anthros existed, and sometimes they have invested in full fursuits. It is a joyful, extremely accepting sub-culture, where gender and sexuality norms are thrown out the door. I generally call myself furry-adjacent; I’m not really a furry myself, but I work at Anthrocon for a dear friend who is, a lot of my friends are, and I love the culture. If you follow me on Twitter, I’ve probably been posting pictures of the con. I’ve scheduled this post ahead of time, because I’m going to be EXHAUSTED afterwards, but I usually post pictures, and on Sunday I will talk all about it, complete with lots of pictures!
So! Ten books I’ve read with anthropomorphic characters!
First off, the classic: Redwall. Brian Jacques’ iconic series is FULL of anthropomorphic characters. I read most of these when I was a kid, but I know there are several out there I haven’t read yet. Redwall, Mattimeo, Martin the Warrior, Mariel of Redwall, and Salamandastron are absolute classics and probably should have been on last week’s childhood favorites list as well.
Another classic childhood book is The Wind in the Willows. Mole, Toad, Ratty, and Badger are childhood institutions. So many people think furries are strange, but this is what we grew up on! (I’ve included a pic of one of the badgers we saw at the con!)
While Aslan might not be anthropomorphic by everyone’s standards, there are many anthropomorphic characters in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and its following books.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a Beverly Cleary book from 1965. This is not a new phenomenon, by any means!
Another book that most people don’t associate with furries is George Orwell’s Animal Farm. He’s relatively unclear throughout the book if these are actual animals or anthropomorphs, but if they’re running a farm, they kind of have to be able to use tools, right? I’m counting it.
One book I reviewed last year was The Complete Maus – which is a graphic novel about the Holocaust if people were mice.
Now we’re going to get into stuff a little more recent. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is about an anthropomorphic fish-man and the woman who loves him.
Mouse Guard is a roleplaying game and graphic novel series, and it’s GORGEOUS. It was slated to get a movie, but I read recently that that was no longer happening. Which is incredibly sad, given the clip they released. It would have been AMAZING.
The Eve of Redemption series is a series I read via Kindle Unlimited, about anthropomorphic dragons. It was quite good.
The last book might be reaching a bit, as they are demons, but they’re described as being part animal, part human, with references like “the deer-woman” so Girls of Paper and Fire is my last pick here. I never actually reviewed the book on the blog, because I was so blown away by it. It definitely needs a content warning for sexual assault, but it is absolutely amazing, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.
So. Ten books with anthropomorphic characters, in honor of Anthrocon and all my fuzzy friends! (Stay tuned for Sunday, where I will talk about my weekend, including my trip to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, complete with a picture dump of furries and birbs!)
Great twist on this week’s topic! Somehow the Redwall books completely passed me by when I was younger and I don’t know why – I loved books about animals when I was little, so I’m annoyed at my younger self for missing out. I need to cross Girls of Paper and Fire off my TBR soon!
Girls is sooooo good. It has some big sexual assault themes, and the trauma associated with that, so be aware of that, but I am very much looking forward to the sequel.
Cool post! I’m so curious about furries now, I didn’t even know this was a thing! I can’t wait to read your wrap up post😁
This is a brand new thing for me. Fascinating!