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Spiders: Learning to Love Them

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  13 reviews
An introduction to the hairy, but not so scary, creatures that share our homes and gardens, and a personal account of overcoming arachnophobia and how any arachnophobe can do the same.
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Allen & Unwin Australia (first published January 2nd 2009)
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4.08  · 
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 ·  52 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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You can read a slightly longer version of this review with more tidbits about my experiences with spiders on my blog!

I've been afraid of spiders my entire life, so far as I remember. I don't know why, exactly, but I suspect that it has something to do with living with someone who has been bitten by several spiders throughout the course of her life—including the dreaded black widow and brown recluse. I guess it rubbed off on me. For a long time, I got chills from looking at still pictures of s

A solid 3.5 stars for me. I like that the author describes something spidery that might be perceived as negative (like the description of the ogre spider) but then she calls it fantastic or cute or spins in some positive words. It was very refreshing and I really liked the little interjections of the author’s opinions (almost all on cuteness) and personality. She also had relatable stories of spider encounters she had around her house. It was fun getting to know these spiders and their dramatic ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I'm going to finish this on the four hour drive back and forth from my convention this weekend, but I feel confident in writing up the review now.
Take your time on Chapter 3.
Spiders: Learning to Love Them is, literally, a book for everyone. I've got some background in animal behavior and wildlife biology, so if I hadn't cut it down to the wire in getting my book club's book (I decided midway through last month that it would be a very good idea to join the Wildlife Center of Virginia's online boo
This was a fun read -- it definitely made me notice, look at, and appreciate the vast amount of spiders in and around my house. So many! There's so much going on right around me. I enjoyed reading the author's stories of her spiders and her journey from arachnophobe to arachnophile. There were some interesting observations about the psychology of phobias. I got a bit lost and bogged down in her scientific detail, and some of the factual stuff skipped around and just was presented in a way that w ...more
Mona Randall
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before I read this book, I adored the little jumping spider and shoo’d out of my house, the wolf spider, but now, I’m on hands and knees looking for spiders and their webs. I have a new appreciation for these wonderful arachnids. This book is full of great information and is an interesting read. Highly recommended!

Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining, easy, yet informative book you will love reading. As everyone should do. We will save the world right legs at a time!
May 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Arachnophiles
Recommended to Terence by: New bookshelf at library
I so much wanted to like this book more!

The arachnids are my favorite arthropod (though I haven't gone so far as to name the ones I see around the apartment as the author does hers).

The good:

* The photos are quite excellent. There's a selection of 38 color plates and many black-and-white pictures throughout the book. A few of the B&Ws are hard to make out but in most the contrast between spider and background is sufficient to make out what's going on.

* The author makes a good case about how
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read all of this yet, but found it useful in curing my fear of spiders. I still fear spiders (I think it will take more than reading a book to get over the fear) but the book teaches you to admire them rather than fear them. After all, these little creatures spend ages spinning magnificent silky webs that we simply brush aside the next morning. The book suggests we should respect the skills and beauty of spiders (find that a bit hard to put to practice but I can tell it has slowly chan ...more
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To come from being so phobic of spiders (which is actually one of my fears) & to change and become determined to face her fears & having a complete obsession in adopting these critters is amazing. This book has changed my percpective on spiders, even though Ive always been fascinated by them, the fear was too much...this book has eased it & shown a women's incredible journey through facing her fears.
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I picked up at the library along with 4 others as a 'fill in' just in case my real choices were not so good. What a surprise it was! This a totally different take on spiders including their individual personalities - not species habits but individual spiders themselves. I am, of course, still not enamoured of spiders but this is a wonderful eye opening book well worth seeking out.
Fred Kohn
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I would have enjoyed this book more had the author maintained a personal tone throughout instead of going into "expert mode." If I'd wanted a scientific book, I would have read a book by a trained scientist. Fortunately there was enough of the personal touch to have made this book worth reading.
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
Fantastic read, for arachnophobes and arachnophiles alike!
Cool spider facts, great photo plates, and (unlike so many spider guides) the information presented here is actually true.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think just reading the book is enough to get over the irrational side of spider-shudders, but it's a good foundation. Now to do some behavior work....
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Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and now live in rural Castlemaine. I started writing as a child and am the author of ten books for schools written during my teaching career, and a novel, Avenging Janie. I then started writing popular science, publishing three books, The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal, Crocodile: evolution's greatest survivor and Spiders: learning to love them. I did a PhD a ...more