Where the Wild Things Are?
I have been accused of having no discernment in my ratings of books -- everything I tend to review has completely captivated me, and thus I praise the thing to death -- but this is because I work really hard to find books that I like; recently I tried to read Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth and Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq . . . and though I can't speak poorly about either book, as I certainly learned something from each, they didn't fully engage me, and so I dumped Jesus in the library book slot, half read, and barely made it through the first chapter of Overthrow, because I had to keep reading the name Queen Liliuokalani . . . and I must say that I do this quite often: take books out of the library because I want to have read them, not because I want to read them (I actually have a book in my house called The History of the Vikings . . . I've never opened it) but I am now fully in the grip of a wonderful book that I will certainly finish in a day or two, it's called Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About People Looking at People Looking at Animals in America and it's got everything I love in it: mega-fauna, meta-media, and monomania; I am currently reading a section about photographing polar bears, and the trickery necessary for a photographer to shoot "an image of nature that's already lodged in our heads" . . . the footnote in this section points out that lemmings don't actually run off cliffs -- the folks at Disney propagated this in the film White Wilderness, where they paid a bunch of Inuit kids to round up lemmings, then forced the lemmings to run on a treadmill covered in snow, and then threw the lemmings into the water, and created the sequence that created the stereotype . . . but Chris Palmer, famous wildlife photographer explains that these folks aren't "evil or malicious . . . you're just trying to get the damn shot so you can go home and have dinner with your family . . . so you put the monkey and the boa constrictor in the same enclosure."