January 14, 2014

Welcome to a new year of reading!!

For my first entry in the new year, I am pleased to review a book by one of my heroes, Jane Goodall. In The Shadow of Man is the story of a young girl studying wild chimpanzees. When I first learned of Goodall's work I was at college and trying to figure out exactly what I would do with a Bachelor's in Anthropology. After that particular Primatology lecture I was convinced I had found my path. Clearly I didn't follow in her footsteps but that doesn't mean that I'm not still fascinated by these magnificent creatures. I think that's one of the greatest things about her (and this book). She shares her enthusiasm and her passion for chimpanzees on every single page and invites the reader to get a glimpse of what it was like on those first days when she couldn't get within a hundred feet of the animals she was meant to study. She takes you through several years of her work at Gombe in Tanzania and details what she learned in that time. For example, she witnessed chimps not only using tools but making them which is something that most scientists were convinced only humans could do. You come to know these chimps which she named (it was easier to remember and therefore easier for taking notes) and by the end you're sad to say goodbye to them. Also, she didn't skimp on the pictures which were fantastic or on the endnotes which were packed with appendices (stages of development, facial expression and calls, weapon and tool use, diet, chimpanzee and human behavior) replete with drawings, a bibliography, index, and information on the Jane Goodall Institute. I could talk a lot more about this book (and indeed I ran on a bit more than I meant) but I want to leave some for you!

Now here is where my geek begins to show. Some of you may be aware that last year marked the 50th anniversary of the British sci-fi show Doctor Who. What you may not know is that I LOVE THIS SHOW. Therefore, it wasn't a hard decision when I saw a 50th anniversary special featuring David Tennant's Doctor I had to pick it up. The title is (aptly) Beautiful Chaos and was penned by Gary Russell. Ugh the back cover has something written there which I must share:

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection.
Eleven Classic Adventures.
Eleven brilliant writers. One incredible Doctor.

And that pretty much sums up why I'm a Whovian. *sigh* Okay back to the book. This is a Donna Noble (and Wilf!) special which means it's going to be packed full of laughs and most likely missteps. However, after reading the short description it wouldn't seem that's the case. There's an ancient evil heading toward Earth and it is not happy. UH OH. I can't wait to review this one for you all!!

Since I haven't reiterated this in awhile I'll say it here. If you want me to review a book that you were thinking of reading OR if you want a recommendation please don't hesitate to comment. Your feedback is ALWAYS appreciated (and greatly looked forward to I promise!). Have a great one!!

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