It’s Monday! What are you reading?

/ posted in: Reading

Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Dame Daphne Sheldrick

Daphne Sheldrick has worked with orphaned African wildlife for over 50 years. Her husband David was the first director of Tsavo National Park in Kenya. After his death she was allowed to continue living in the National Parks and developed an orphanage program for elephants and rhinos.

This book is the story of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The book gives great insights into the family nature of elephants and how that comes into play when attempting to rehab elephants for release into the wild. All of the orphans that come to the nursery eventually decide when to make the transition back into the wild. The wild elephant population of the area works closely with the nursery to gradually reintroduce youngsters back into local herds. The website lists options to sponsor babies and gives detailed summaries of all the elephants and rhinos and how they ended up there.

While this book was wonderfully insightful about elephants, it wasn’t so great with people. It covers the period of time of Kenya independence. The author did not seem to be in favor of that because she preferred British rule. She even refers to her father discussing the “travesty” of one man one vote. “White hunters” are spoken of less harshly than “poachers” who are generally black. There is one particularly confusing paragraph where she says that she will always be British because her grandparents were born in Britain and she doesn’t want to give up that status but that she doesn’t want to lose her family’s jobs to people loyal to the new government because after all she’s Kenyan too. Once you get through all the political turmoil in the 1960s and the book focuses more on the animals, the author becomes much more likeable.

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This was a week where I started a lot of books and didn’t get many finished. Here’s what I’m in the middle of right now.

Jasmine and Fire: A Bittersweet Year in Beirut by Salma Abdelnour

The author lived in Beirut Lebanon as a child until her family left during the civil war to move to Houston TX. All of her life she has felt drawn back to Lebanon. Now, at 38, she decides to spend a year in Beirut to see where her home truly is.

The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem by Ken Budd

After the sudden death of his father, the author worries that his life lacks meaning. He decides to start traveling and volunteering to help with environmental studies, teach English, build houses, or take care of children. He’s not qualified to do any of this and his quest for meaning may actually destroy the life he has in the United States.

There’s No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern (audio)

Sandy Short investigates missing people for a living. All of her life she has been bothered by the fact that things go missing. If she puts her socks in the washer and only one comes out, where did it go? On the way to meet a new client whose brother is missing, Sandy finds herself missing. She is in a land where all the missing things are – books, bowls, cups, and lots and lots of socks.