September Book Club

I love a good animal themed book, and have done a few book reviews in the past. Instead of doing an individual book review for each, I decided to put two of my most recent reads into one post. It is always hard for me to write book reviews because for one, I am not an English major so cannot give you any good answers on how a book is written, and two, I don't want to give too much information away. I am still unsure of how much is too much to ruin a book, and how much is too little that it doesn't interest people. I hope I have found a medium, but I am really not sure. I also apologise in advance for my lack of personal photos. I did take them, but with the breakdown of my Macbook, I have been unable to get them off of my camera. Hopefully, i'll be able to get that fixed in time for my next post.

The Elephant Whisperer | Lawrence Anthony

I don't know if you know, but all my life I have wanted to travel to Africa. I wanted to travel to Africa before I even realised it wasn't a country, but was made up of many countries. I have always loved the idea of wildlife just free roaming across plains as far as the eye can see, and my favourite animal for the longest time has been the hippopotamus. I love Jane Goodall and the work she has done over there. I used to spend my hours watching documentaries about wild animals in Africa, so this book was kind of nostalgic in that way.

The book follows Lawrence as he recently purchases Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, and from there is asked to take on a herd of wild elephants that were anything but easy. As with any book that follows the life of creatures in the wild, it contains a lot of hair-raising moments, but also many happy and sad tales. I loved the mix of these throughout the book, and will admit to crying at a few moments, thankfully in the comfort of my own bed and not on the train where I often read this book.

I think anyone that works with any type of animal will really connect with this book, with Lawrence and with the herd of elephants. I think we can all grasp the concept of how these giant beasts will all have minds, feelings and memories of their own and why they were the way they were. The bond that Lawrence makes with these giants is unlike anything I have ever heard of, and something truly special. Enough so to make me want to urgently buy a plane ticket and go to Thula Thula myself!

This is probably one of my favourite books I have read all year, and one that I think many people would enjoy. Lawrence's writing was easy to follow along, and it was an enjoyable, easy read. Some books are hard to follow/read before bed, but I found this book the perfect way to relax after a long day. I love a book with a picture section as well, and often found myself going back to look at photos that relate to the current section I was reading to get a better idea of what was happening. 

A Wolf called Romeo | Nick Jans

This book was harder to get into than the first book. I found Nick's writing style to be harder to follow along, and more repetitive in what he was talking about. At points it felt like Nick was just writing for the sake of bulking the book out, instead of writing to give us more context. I think that is a shame though because the books topic is a great one.

About half way through the book I finally managed to get wrapped up in it, and learn to love the characters within the book. By the way, both of these books are biographies and 100% real. This book follows a wolf, affectionately dubbed Romeo by the town, that lived within a National Park. The difference about this wolf is that it loved dogs, and would spend many an hour playing with the local dogs that walked this park. The book centres around Romeo, but is written from Nick's point of view. Nick lived close to the National Park and became obsessed with the wolf, as you can imagine one would with a friendly wolf living so close.

I have to say that one of my favourite parts of this book was the amount of photos that were added in. This really gave me a feel for the story, and gave me something to compare the stories to. You could really see the size difference between Romeo and the dogs he interacted with, as well as take in the amazing Alaskan scenery that Romeo was amongst.

This story, like the Elephant story, contains both happy and sad moments, and near the end I felt myself more and more gripped by the tales. I personally didn't like Nick's writing style, and that prevented me from wholeheartedly loving this book. The storyline, and story of Romeo is fantastic and is what I think saved this book. If you have patience to read through more details than necessary, I believe you will enjoy this book and the lessens that can be learnt from it.

I would love to know your book recommendations, they can also be non-animal related as the next book I am reading is 'Hearts in Atlantis' by Stephen King. I love a bit of variety in my reading, but really do love sinking back into an animal related book to fuel my passion for them, but also inspire me to be a better person.


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