I have checked this book out of the library several times and I finally have gotten around to reading it. I mostly had other books that maintained my...moreI have checked this book out of the library several times and I finally have gotten around to reading it. I mostly had other books that maintained my interest more. I wanted very much to like this book, as I tend to like reading non-fiction about the Holocaust and World War 2. This book approaches topics in the field I was less familiar with, specifically: the German occupation of Poland and the Warsaw Ghetto. Ackerman approaches subjects I am more familiar with: the history of zoos, zoo care, (having worked in a zoo myself) and the hiding of Jews during the Holocaust (having read the Diary of Ann Frank.
I feel like Ackerman took on too much subject matter to approach in this book. The information that she presented was scattered and I find her writing dry. Her approach to the book had given some charming stories in the portions of the book that I did read, however, with her writing style it certainly seems that she would be better writing a shorter piece, rather than a longer book.
In the Zookeeper's Wife, Ackerman had wanted to touch on a Polish zoo that was destroyed during the German airstrikes on Poland prior to their occupation. During the occupation, the family who owned the zoo lost the remaining animals in the zoo to German research or they were slaughtered on sight. Following this, the family began to take in Jewish families and hide them in the cages from the Nazis. It was this topic that I was interested in, and the reason why I had originally gotten the book out from the library. The downside was that she continuously strayed too much with the subject matter.
A lot of the information that she provided about the war, I felt was cliched and there were stories about the family or the neighborhood that didn't progress the topic line at all. She wrote about how the Nazis wanted to produce their own Aryan races with animals as well as humans and some animals that were confiscated from this zoo were sent to Germany to support that. I would have liked to known more about what the Nazis had done, to that contingent.
I found the book for the most part hard to follow because it was all over the place with no real drive. It was due at the library, and I had the option to renew it, but I wasn't so attached to it that I felt I should have renewed it, mostly because I didn't have a super strong interest in finishing the book. Ackerman had used quotes from family diaries, which may provide more information along the topics I have an interest in.
It seems like a lot of people did like this book, it was just hard for me to maintain an interest. I didn't love it after 150 pages, and didn't feel like it was going to improve over the next half of the book. I may try it again later, when I have less books on my library list now, which always seems to be a problem.(less)
When I came across this book, I had been hoping that she would focus more on how things actually connected through turquoise in different cultures. I...moreWhen I came across this book, I had been hoping that she would focus more on how things actually connected through turquoise in different cultures. I was hoping that she would spend more time actually focusing on the actual idea of turquoise. I found that the book was more about her than turquoise. I didn't actually finish the book, mostly because it didn't maintain my interest enough to continue. I may try to pick it up again later. She spent so much time focusing on her own travels to research it that it bothered me.(less)
I had read a lot of his books that were far more researched based. While this book did include some research, it was far more simplified. This book ma...moreI had read a lot of his books that were far more researched based. While this book did include some research, it was far more simplified. This book maintained his lyrical writing style, however, it just didn't seem to have the same pizzazz as his others. It seemed more like a book of his ruminations. It seemed to be far more of an essay collection, than an actual book. I read a few and then lost interest to really complete the book. I may pick it up again, when I don't have as much on my plate.(less)
I really liked the way this book integrated many different aspects. I thought it was a good representation of people who do enjoy birding and did give...moreI really liked the way this book integrated many different aspects. I thought it was a good representation of people who do enjoy birding and did give a reasonable overview of the history of birding and what draws an individual to the naturalistic approach. I enjoyed his inclusion of different authors and individuals ranging from Walt Whitman and Thoreau and how he discussed the pros and cons of the trascendental writers. I thought at times it got a little too autobiographical, but overall I enjoyed it. (less)