Lucy Cooke has a Master’s in Zoology from British New Collage, Oxford. She specializes in animal behavior and evolution. Among Lucy’s professors at Oxford was Richard Dawkins, who is a world-renowned Zoologist and author. Lucy is passionate about conservation as well as her love of all sloth kind. She is referred to as the next David Attenborough in some circles.
Her Curriculum Vitae includes a diverse range of skills including: television producer, director, award- winning documentary presenter, and filmmaker. Lucy has lecture at TED talks, was a New York Times best-selling author, and founded the Sloth Appreciation Society.
In May, 2015 at the age of 45, Lucy was diagnosed with breast cancer. She changed her lifestyle as a result of the diagnosis and has an increased appreciation of life and love.
Any adult would enjoy this funny sojourn into the private and strange lives of animals, reptiles, and birds. Some subjects included for your edification are: the link between pregnancy and toads, stories about storks and their journeys, and tales of necrophilia in penguin communities. These subjects are woven together in a dialogue filled with irony and humor.
The author’s style of writing reminds me of Gerard Durrell, author of My Family and Other Animals. If you enjoy well written prose, that are comprehensively researched, and delivered in an irreverent manner, then this could be your next favorite read.
The Truth About Animals is a collection of short stories about various creatures, and the different scientific approaches to the study of animals. Throughout the book your views may be challenged, concepts you had may be reversed or revised, as intricate details of the life of various creatures are revealed. You can expect to be introduced to the Sloth Appreciation Society, discover why Hippos leak, how slippery Eels really are, and how Bats aren’t as bad as you think. On the journey you will also meet the crazy scientists that used questionable methods to investigate animal senses, the scientist that took the Elephant phallus to the face, and the men who believed that Swifts sleep the entire winter under water.
The genuine love and affection that Lucy has for all animal kind is replete throughout the book and, at times, is almost palpable. The message is simple and clear, we must protect habitats and the animals will do the rest. This position is made clear when she discusses the plight of the Chinese Pandas.
I enjoyed the book because it was humorous and with each turn of a page, I learned something new. This book is immensely funny at times and subtly so at other times.
You will enjoy this book if you are looking for fun and learning. Very few authors can write in the way that Lucy Cooke writes. Whilst she isn’t unique, she is a huge talent. This book is: well written, intelligently delivered, beautifully researched, and infinitely humorous. The Truth About Animals is a must have for anyone who loves nature.
I would say that this work has a universal appeal.
Katherine Keith is epic and so is her manuscript. In a world where people breakdown or have a conniption-fit if their phone runs out of power there are others; extraordinary, resilient, talented, survivors that put the rest of us to shame. Whilst most of us consider we have had a bad day if we miss a phone call or a connection at the airport; this woman deals with exceptional challenges and never fails to meet them head on.
Katherine takes us on a journey from her most formative years as an adolescent and on to her 20’s. Partly forgotten memories emerge and create dissonance that she combats through the implementation of superhuman physical challenges. She tries to rein in her early experiences against the back drop of mountains, wild rivers, and valleys.
At 21 years old Katherine moved to Alaska and performed several jobs before finding her reason to remain. Happiness is fleeting, and an accident leads her to dig deep and change her circumstance. Coping with deep-seated loss, she seeks to drive away the overwhelming sadness with training; ultimately competing in the Iron Man Race and in several triathlons. Practical problems require practical solutions and we are there along for the ride as Keith uses academia to elevate herself substantially, economically, and psychologically. She endures through pilot training and engine malfunctions to earn her private pilot certificate.
One cannot help but feel inadequate for all that this woman achieves through sheer brute determination and personal application. Set against all the trials and tribulations is Keith’s passion for the wilderness and its solitude. In the wilds facing down the elements, living on the edge, and racing across the environment you feel she is the freest.
Interspersed through the book are Keith’s recollections of her Endurance Dog Sled Races. These races include: the Yukon Quest, the Iditarod, the Kobuk 400, and the Kuskokwim 300. They occurred during a period that spanned from 2012 to 2017 set against numerous and increasingly destructive personal experiences.
I am filled with admiration for Katherine Keith’s ability to get up again and again and continue fighting. She is all the more exceptional as she was also a single parent with all the responsibility that brings.
Her spiritual beliefs she found to be irreplaceable. When times were at their worst, she gained solace in their tenants. We are left in no doubt that without her core beliefs she would have had to struggle even harder to survive.
I have no reluctance in recommending this book to you. Katherine Keith’s tale is genuinely epic, as is the woman herself. After all the adversity, grief, heartache, misery and misfortune Katherine has never given up on her goals. She is currently working her way to climb 7 Summits in 3 years.
They are as follows:
Puncak Jaya [AKA Mt. Koscuiuszko]
When she isn’t planning the next adventure, she can be found working in her company with John Baker, owners of Remote Solutions, LLC based in the town of Kotzebue, Alaska. They provide the community with essential project management support and design tailored for remote communities.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
My sincere thanks go out to: NetGalley, the Author, Katherine Keith, Blackstone Publishing (2020) for affording me the opportunity to review; Epic Solitude.
Norah Myers grew up in Winnipeg and has lived in Toronto and London. Having returned to her hometown, she can most often be found on a Pilates machine.
Biography from Amber Books website.
Canada part of the Amber Books Explorer Guide series is fundamentally a visual atlas; set out in 200 ultra-high definition, color, full-page 6 by 4 inch spread photographs. Whilst diminutive for a book of its kind, Canada would be a perfect book suitable for displaying on your desk or library. It could just as easily be carried in your pocket or bag.
This illustrated gallery encompasses the width and breadth of the nation detailing its vast array of unique environments and wildlife habitats. The visuals include both natural and urban images. Presented in landscape format that provides a superior viewing experience. Each section has a short clearly transcribed description and brief additional historic information about the location of the presented plate to each province and territory.
Canada covers many aspects that make the country an extraordinary place to live or visit. Myers has included information about: the local culture, national history, wildlife, unique culture, and even that most Canadian of foods known as poutine.
The exterior visage of Myers illustrated book of Canada was simply breath-taking. It engenders a very real sense of anticipation and a genuine frisson of excitement as the prospective reader.
I found my initial expectations were not entirely met. My initial visceral anticipation that was engendered by the cover quickly became jaded. I expected there would be an abundance of wildlife images, but I was disappointed. Almost 80% of the images were of cities, architecture, bridges, and in one case an image of an apartment buildings post boxes. Whilst I was disappointed, I still adored the wildlife and nature photography.
I found the nature images together with the written narrative satisfying. I still enjoyed the overall viewing and reading experience. Amber Books are renowned for publications of this kind. They always produce memorable picture books and despite some small distractions, Canada is still a very memorable work.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
I would like to thank Norah Myers, NetGalley and Amber Books for affording me the opportunity to review Canada from their Explorer Guide Series.
Elephant: Stunning Photographs of the World’s Biggest Land Mammals
Nature, Science, Reference
224 Pages / 175 photos
Tom Jackson is a leading natural history writer based in the United Kingdom. As an author and contributor he has worked on more than 60 books. A zoology graduate from the University of Bristol, he has also worked as a zookeeper and in safari parks in Zimbabwe.
Tom Jackson is the author of Elephants. He created a bright, bold and resplendently illustrated gallery of the species Elephas Maximus. His work is a snap-shot of the worlds largest land mammal. It is bristling with a huge array of simply beguiling, double and single full page spreads. The photographs are full color, ultrahigh definition of the African and Indian Elephants in their natural habitats. Among the images are pictures of the animals at the various stages of maturation. Bulls, cows, and calfs are depicted alone and in family groups and herds.
The stunning photographs are accompanied by short informative passages relating to the photograph and the elephants. There are some interesting factoids scattered throughout the book in bite sized pieces for your entertainment. You can expect to increase your knowledge of the species and the subspecies; from the African bush Elephants to the Asian pygmy variety. You will learn how the elephants reproduce, feed, hunt, rear their calfs and defend their herds.
Elephants, by Tom Jackson is a breath taking collection of the very best nature photography you will see. The images have managed to capture the very soul of the animal. I found it profoundly touching knowing that they face such serious threats from poachers, who hunt them for their ivory.
Jackson managed to infect me with his passion for this subject. His work is thought provoking and challenging at times. He clearly has a great respect for these most majestic of all land animals. He is very concerned about their future. His short annotations compliment completely the 175 vivid images.
Although the concept of the book is simply delivered, the profundity of the contents will continue to fill your dreams long after you have closed the book.
My favorite images in the book were of the calfs. They have to be seen to be believed. They are so touching, as to warm even the coldest heart. They are the very definition of adorable.
Amber Books are the monarchs of nature photography publications. Elephants, by Tom Jackson is another stupendous offering from this esteemed publishing house. Quality comes as standard with Amber Books and they always produce a superior product. So it was no surprise to me, having reviewed several of their earlier publications, that Elephants continues their sterling work.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
I would like to thank Tom Jackson, NetGalley and Amber Booksfor affording me the opportunity to reviewElephants.