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Old 03-01-2020, 11:25 AM   #1
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Nominations for April 2020 • Tales of Tails, Birds or Beasts

Good morning, and welcome to the New Leaf Book Club's April Book Nomination thread (and my first attempt at getting this right) where we select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read in April, 2020. The theme is Tales of Tails, Birds or Beasts .

Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination. Also, don't sweat the links. It's helpful to check availability and prices before nominating in order to eliminate anything that's out of the question, but ultimately our global members with different gadgets and preferences will have to check for themselves.

The nominations will run through 9 AM PST, March 7, 2020. Each nomination requires a second to make it to the poll, which will remain open for three days. The discussion of the selection will start on April 15, 2020.

Any questions? See the FAQ below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with two nominations:


Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs [gmw,CRussel]
Spoiler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodreads
John Clayton III, an orphan boy, comes of age in the western coastal jungles of Africa following the tragic deaths of his aristocratic parents. Raised in the ways of the apes by his adoptive mother, Kala, he is renamed Tarzan and ascends to king through feats of revenge and courage.

When a group of explorers brings the beautiful Jane Porter to the jungle, a lovelorn Tarzan decides to follow her to the United States to win her love. On his journey back into human society, Tarzan must decide whether to return to the jungle or reclaim his past.
Fast-paced and suspenseful, Tarzan of the Apes was wildly successful and generated two dozen sequels; and many film, radio, and comic-book adaptations.
Project Gutenberg
304 pp.

My Family and Other Animals (The Corfu Trilogy Book 1) by Gerald Durrell. [Bookworm_Girl,gmw]
Spoiler:
Quote:
The inspiration for The Durrells in Corfu, a Masterpiece production on public television: A naturalist’s account of his childhood on the exotic Greek island.

When the Durrells could no longer endure the gray English climate, they did what any sensible family would do: sold their house and relocated to the sun-soaked island of Corfu.

As they settled into their new home, hilarious mishaps ensued as a ten-year-old Gerald Durrell pursued his interest in natural history and explored the island’s fauna. Soon, toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies—as well as scorpions, geckos, ladybugs, praying mantises, octopuses, pigeons, and gulls—became a common sight in the Durrell villa.

Uproarious tales of the island’s animals and Durrell’s fond reflections on his family bring this delightful memoir to life. Capturing the joyous chaos of growing up in an unconventional household, My Family and Other Animals will transport you to a place you won’t want to leave.
AmazonUS
292 pp.

Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. [CRussel,Victoria]
Spoiler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodreads
More than a half-century ago the naturalist Farley Mowat was sent to investigate why wolves were killing arctic caribou. Mowat's account of the summer he lived in the frozen tundra alone—studying the wolf population and developing a deep affection for the wolves (who were of no threat to caribou or man)—is today celebrated as a classic of nature writing, at once a tale of remarkable adventures and indelible record of myths and magic of wolves.
AmazonUS . AmazonCA . Audible . Internet Archive
258 pp.


Call of the Wild by Jack London.[Victoria,Bookworm_Girl]
Spoiler:
Quote:
The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London, published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck. The story opens at a ranch in Santa Clara Valley, California, when Buck is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska. He becomes progressively feral in the harsh environment, where he is forced to fight to survive and dominate other dogs. By the end, he sheds the veneer of civilization, and relies on primordial instinct and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild.
public domain.
90 pp.

Adventures of a Young Naturalist by David Attenborough.[gmw,fantasyfan]
From Goodreads:
Spoiler:

Quote:
In 1954, a young television presenter named David Attenborough was offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to travel the world finding rare and elusive animals for London Zoo's collection, and to film the expeditions for the BBC.

Now 'the greatest living advocate of the global ecosystem' this is the story of the voyages that started it all. Staying with local tribes while trekking in search of giant anteaters in Guyana, Komodo dragons in Indonesia and armadillos in Paraguay, he and the rest of the team battled with cannibal fish, aggressive tree porcupines and escape-artist wild pigs, as well as treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather, to record the incredible beauty and biodiversity of these regions. The methods may be outdated now, but the fascination and respect for the wildlife, the people and the environment - and the importance of protecting these wild places - is not.

Written with his trademark wit and charm, Adventures of a Young Naturalist is not just the story of a remarkable adventure, but of the man who made us fall in love with the natural world, and who is still doing so today.
Kobo US, Kobo CA,Kobo GB , Kobo AU
292 pp.

The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts [Catlady,fantasyfan]
Spoiler:
Quote:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II
In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.
With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.
Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender.
A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon Canada Amazon Australia Kobo U.S. Kobo UK Kobo Canada .
Kobo Australia
368 pp.

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence [Catlady,CRussel]
Spoiler:
Quote:
When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them.

In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

The Elephant Whisperer is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad account of Anthony's experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures. Set against the background of life on an African game reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, it is a delightful book that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.
AmazonUS . AmazonCA . AmazonAU . AmazonUK
381 pp.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. [fantasyfan,Bookworm_Girl]
Spoiler:
Quote:
“Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed novel Children of Time, is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet.

“Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age – a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

“But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind's worst nightmare.

“Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?”
KindleUK . KindleUS . AudibleUS . Apple
609 pp.


(Note: We're experimenting with only requiring a nomination and a second this month. However, everyone still gets three tickets to use for nominations or seconds. We'll evaluate how well this worked before next month's nominations.)

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Old 03-01-2020, 11:26 AM   #2
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Nominations awaiting a Second:

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Old 03-01-2020, 11:53 AM   #3
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Never Cry Wolf - Farley Mowat

OK, I'll start this out with one of my favourite books from a great Canadian writer -- Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf. I first read this long before I became a Canadian, or really understood the place Mowat has in Canadian literature. I thought it was a wonderful book, and I'm certainly game to read it again. Plus, it's a perfect fit for this month's theme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodreads
More than a half-century ago the naturalist Farley Mowat was sent to investigate why wolves were killing arctic caribou. Mowat's account of the summer he lived in the frozen tundra alone—studying the wolf population and developing a deep affection for the wolves (who were of no threat to caribou or man)—is today celebrated as a classic of nature writing, at once a tale of remarkable adventures and indelible record of myths and magic of wolves.
AmazonUS: $0.00 (Kindle Unlimited), or $9.68 USD
AmazonCA: $9.99 CDN
Audible: $14.20 (member) or 1 Credit
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:42 PM   #4
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Well, pooh. I was all set to nominate Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke, but here come the dratted geographical restrictions to foil me again. Bah humbug.

Back to the drawing board.
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Old 03-01-2020, 06:47 PM   #5
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Um ... I've got too many possibilities. Can I cheat a bit and ask if most here have already read Tarzan of the Apes?

(It's corny and sexist, but also a classic. So if many of you haven't read it then I should probably nominate it to help complete your education ... but if most have then I will move on.)
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:15 PM   #6
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Um ... I've got too many possibilities. Can I cheat a bit and ask if most here have already read Tarzan of the Apes?

(It's corny and sexist, but also a classic. So if many of you haven't read it then I should probably nominate it to help complete your education ... but if most have then I will move on.)
I have not read it. I can't say it's been on my bucket list, though.
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:37 PM   #7
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If I've read it, it was more than 50 years ago. And while I remember reading all the Barsoom series, I don't remember Tarzan.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:18 PM   #8
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I have never read Tarzan as well.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
Well, pooh. I was all set to nominate Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke, but here come the dratted geographical restrictions to foil me again. Bah humbug.

Back to the drawing board.
Thanks for mentioning it! I plan to add it to my TBR.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:39 PM   #10
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Just wanted to chime in to say I'm not going to be able to participate in the discussion thread for April (travel ) so I'm probably not going to participate here. I may second a nomination or two when this gets close to the end if it looks like others have run out of nominations and there are interesting options still on the table.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:11 AM   #11
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Hmm... I'm wondering what it says about my childhood. It seems everyone else was reading Anne of Green Gables, Little House ... and other wholesome tales, while I was madly devouring Tarzan adventures. Anyway, I can see your educations are sadly lacking, so...

I nominate Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

From Kobo AU (Gateway edition):
Quote:
Deep in the savage African jungle, the baby Tarzan was raised by a fierce she-ape of the tribe of Kerchak. There he had to learn the secrets of the wild to survive - how to talk with animals, swing through the trees, and fight against the great predators. He grew to the strength and courage of his fellow apes. And in time, his human intelligence promised him the kingship of the tribe. He became truly Lord of the Jungle. Then men entered his jungle, bringing with them the wanton savagery of civilised greed and lust - and bringing also the first white woman Tarzan had ever seen. Now suddenly, Tarzan had to choose between two worlds. (First published 1912)
The book was published in 1912 and Burroughs died in 1950. So as far as I can tell this means the book should be public domain in most of our jurisdictions - but excluding the UK. (In Australia life+70 only came in for authors that died after 31-Dec-1954; In the USA now everything before 1924 is PD; Canada is life+50.)

Regrettably one of the better editions (from here on MR, an omnibus created by HarryT), is not available for download probably until next year, I guess.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
Well, pooh. I was all set to nominate Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke, but here come the dratted geographical restrictions to foil me again. Bah humbug.

Back to the drawing board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
Thanks for mentioning it! I plan to add it to my TBR.
This has been sitting in my Calibre for 6 years. Hmmm. I think it's time to read it! Thanks, Catlady.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazrin View Post
Just wanted to chime in to say I'm not going to be able to participate in the discussion thread for April (travel ) so I'm probably not going to participate here. I may second a nomination or two when this gets close to the end if it looks like others have run out of nominations and there are interesting options still on the table.
Understood, Dazrin, but you're still welcome to nominate, especially if you have one you think we might all like. Look what just happened with Catlady's non-nomination.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:25 AM   #13
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Since Dazrin has suggested they might be available for a bit of extra seconding, so from the ridiculous to the sublime...

I nominate Adventures of a Young Naturalist by David Attenborough.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
In 1954, a young television presenter named David Attenborough was offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to travel the world finding rare and elusive animals for London Zoo's collection, and to film the expeditions for the BBC.

Now 'the greatest living advocate of the global ecosystem' this is the story of the voyages that started it all. Staying with local tribes while trekking in search of giant anteaters in Guyana, Komodo dragons in Indonesia and armadillos in Paraguay, he and the rest of the team battled with cannibal fish, aggressive tree porcupines and escape-artist wild pigs, as well as treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather, to record the incredible beauty and biodiversity of these regions. The methods may be outdated now, but the fascination and respect for the wildlife, the people and the environment - and the importance of protecting these wild places - is not.

Written with his trademark wit and charm, Adventures of a Young Naturalist is not just the story of a remarkable adventure, but of the man who made us fall in love with the natural world, and who is still doing so today.
398 pages.

I just finished this and thought it was excellent.
Example prices/links: Kobo US $5.99, Kobo CA $9.99, Kobo GB £5.99, Kobo AU $12.99.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:31 AM   #14
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I nominate My Family and Other Animals (The Corfu Trilogy Book 1) by Gerald Durrell. I loved the miniseries on TV. Each TV season represented one of the books in the trilogy. It was brilliant, and I highly recommend it.

Free for Amazon Prime members, otherwise US $9.00, CDN $10.99, AU $12.99.

From Amazon US:
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The inspiration for The Durrells in Corfu, a Masterpiece production on public television: A naturalist’s account of his childhood on the exotic Greek island.

When the Durrells could no longer endure the gray English climate, they did what any sensible family would do: sold their house and relocated to the sun-soaked island of Corfu.

As they settled into their new home, hilarious mishaps ensued as a ten-year-old Gerald Durrell pursued his interest in natural history and explored the island’s fauna. Soon, toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies—as well as scorpions, geckos, ladybugs, praying mantises, octopuses, pigeons, and gulls—became a common sight in the Durrell villa.

Uproarious tales of the island’s animals and Durrell’s fond reflections on his family bring this delightful memoir to life. Capturing the joyous chaos of growing up in an unconventional household, My Family and Other Animals will transport you to a place you won’t want to leave.

Last edited by Bookworm_Girl; 03-02-2020 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dazrin View Post
Just wanted to chime in to say I'm not going to be able to participate in the discussion thread for April (travel ) so I'm probably not going to participate here. I may second a nomination or two when this gets close to the end if it looks like others have run out of nominations and there are interesting options still on the table.
I don't mind if you want to nominate a book that you like. You never know if you might have more time than you expect while traveling.
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