We book readers came across a nice challenge in our socially active years, THE BOOK BUCKET challenge in the month of August-September 2014. A nice initiative by One Library Per Village (OLPV), an NGO based in Kerala who are working to promote Digital Literacy in villages. According to some, it was an answer to the Ice bucket Challenge more popular in US. Post it’s popularity; there were statistics on the “showy reader” who are manipulating their book lists. But seriously (like majority of optimistic book-lovers), I don’t see the point of criticizing people and the initiative; as long as it has a positivity of increasing people proclivity towards books.
We in the fast pace of our lives; usually miss out discussing about our work (read passion). Especially our wildlife and environmental clique, staying on field sites, reading & writing papers, hardly give us a breath to stay connected to our social network. So just to increase our knowledge about books related to our field, I thought of asking friends of mine and their friends to list me at least 3 favorite books of theirs. Though book-list request were send in July, but my pending works procrastinated this list to be forwarded by the end of the year. This list is not only to reminisce about our journey into wildlife readings, but to update us with books. We can encourage our friends and families who are not reading /starting to read to check these books.
So all in all I got just 14 responses from our friends. Maybe I didn’t forward it more (to wildlifers in different organizations). So here is the list I am sharing with you guys for the time being (coz this is few responses). Jim Corbett seemed to be a favorite amongst us and also a sign of nostalgia of the childhood. Guess he was the first one to attract us to tigers by his writings; though I wonder why none of us mentioned about Panchtantra). The other story books are by Jack London and Gerald Durrell. Fall of a sparrow and Walden are also the ones which we can enjoy as a bit light reading (so some of our friends who are not much into reading, please promote them to start their interest in books by these). Blind watchmaker by Richard Dawkins seems to be more read than his other creations. Also “A naturalists and other beasts” is amongst more than one response list. Aldo Leopold collection of essays as “A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There” also made in two readers list. Paul Colinvaux’s “Why big fierce animals are rare” is a very simple & interesting book explaining ecology, a must read if you want to explain why predators (top of trophic) are few in number. Witness of extinction appeared maximum times in the list, the story of baiji seems to be very recognizable.
Evolution and extinction is a topic which seems to attract the readers more. The simple way of writers explaining the complex topics helps us to be glued to the pages. So enjoy the list, till I bring up a more explicit summary of these books and more suggestions.
Jim Corbett Man-eater leopard of Rudraprayag, Jungle lore, My India
Jack London White-Fang
Gerald Durrell My Family and Other Animals
Henry David Thoreau Walden
Jared Diamond Evolution of Third Chimpanzee
Richard Dawkins Selfish gene, Blind Watchmaker
David Quammen Monster of God, Song of Dodo
Aldo Leopold A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There
G.B.Schaller A Naturalist and Other Beasts
Desmond Morris Naked Ape
Jane Goodall Hope for animals and their world
Samuel Turvey Witness to extinction
Salim Ali Fall of a sparrow
Peter Matthiessen The Snow Leopard
Jonathan Weiner Beak of a finch
Frans de Waal Primates and Philosophers
James Lovelock Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth
Sanjoy Hazorika Strangers of the mist
Masanovu Fukuoka Straw revolution
Diane Fossey Gorillas in the Mist
Carl Segan Dragons of Eden
Carl Safina Eye of the Albatross
Vasant K. Saberwal Battles over Nature
Paul Colinvaux Why big fierce animals are rare
Kenneth Anderson Omnibus by Kenneth Anderson
G.N.Dandekar Machivarala Budha (माचीवरला बुधा; Marathi novel)
Raghavendra Gadagkar Survival Strategies: Cooperation and Conflict in Animal Societies
Graham Spence The Elephant Whisperer