Sunday, September 30, 2007

in the nick of time

I did it! Hard to believe, but I actually finally finished a reading challenge on time! Just barely, I grant you, but on time none-the-less. Yep, today is the final day of the Non-Fiction Five Reading Challenge, and I just finished up my final selection.

I was fairly confident that I would enjoy The Trials of Life: A Natural History of Animal Behavior. It was an assumption that proved true. I'm a big fan of David Attenborough, so choosing this book wasn't going out on much of a limb. (My only complaint, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the book, was that I kept hearing Attenborough's voice as I read. Almost as if he were reading it to me inside my head. Drove me a bit crazy at times.)

The book ends "...animals, including ourselves, endure all kinds of hardships and overcome all kinds of difficulties. Predators are foiled, food is gathered, rivals are fought, mates selected and the complexities of copulation negotiated until at last the next generation is brought into existence. Then it is their turn to carry the genes through yet another cycle of the never-ending trials of life." Nice way to sum up his book. And it would also be a nice way to introduce it.

Each of the twelve chapters in this book discuss an aspect, or trial, of the life cycle of animals. Among others, there are chapters entitled "Arriving" and "Home-making" and "Continuing the Line". And each of these chapters is simply packed to capacity with the most incredible examples of animal behavior. I wonder how many times I said to someone in the family, "Oh my gosh, did you know...?" while reading this book. I should also mention that this book is also loaded with the most beautiful photography...nearly every other page is a full color photo. (Undoubtedly how I managed to finish in time.)

Though it wasn't my favorite read from the Non-Fiction Five Challenge, I definitely enjoyed it. I want to thank Joy for hosting this challenge! I have to admit that I don't generally read a lot of non-fiction, aside from the occasional true crime book. And the funny thing...I allowed myself one true crime book for this challenge, but made sure all of the others were not books I would normally read. And you know what, the true crime one was the one I enjoyed the least. So here's to broadening my horizons, and truly enjoying it!

(And I got another reward aside from finally being able to say "I did it!" Rich told me I ought to get right on Amazon and reward myself with a new book. Is it any wonder I love that man?!!)


Jean said...

Congrats! I look forward to hearing what you chose on I don't read a lot of nonfiction; it has to be something I'm really interested in. When I do pick up nonfiction, it's usually a science or otherwise geeky book.

Chris said...

I really should have done this challenge too, because it actually would have been a challenge! I rarely read any nonfiction. I think I read one non-fiction book this year and it was on writing...I really enjoyed it too! And I'm with Jean, i want to know what you got from Amazon ;)

Melody said...

Congrats, Debi!
I don't read a lot of nonfiction... and like the others, I can't wait to hear what you got from Amazon. ;)

Ginny said...

Glad you finished, I hate it when I can't finish a challenge :)

kreed said...

Hooray! meeting goals is always so satisfying! And a new book, too - what a deal!

tanabata said...

Congratulations on completing the challenge, and broadening your horizons! :)

Melissa said...

Congrats on the challenge. I should really consider doing one. My first choice is to first finish reading my new all time fav. Alex Webster and The Gods.