I just finished Bonobo Handshake by Vanessa Woods.
A Memoir of Love & Adventure in the Congo
My sister is the one who recommended/lent this book to me and I am certainly happy she did. I read it in days (not reading too often) and it was extremely touching for many different reasons. I would recommend it to anyone who loves animals, specifically great apes, anyone who is interested in the politics of Africa/daily life of Africa, anyone who is a bit unsure of their 'dream' in life, and anyone who is unsure of what it means to love someone.
Interestingly enough, Sara Gruen, who wrote Water for Elephants, is a huge supporter of the conservation organization helping out these bonobos Vanessa has written about and worked with and loved. It's a shame that such a great fictional author, with a true love of animals in which she actually helps with, gets all this bad press because of the movie rendition with the elephant scandal in training with electrocution. It was because of this book/author (Vanessa Woods) that I even found out about it. I wish I knew before I approved of the movie by going to see it.
One random last note about this book. Woods wrote near the end that since 1945, we've only had 26 days with no war. Ponder that. Bonobos are the only animals that have true peace within their society. When are we going to start learning from them?
I am definitely going to read Gruen's new book too after learning more about her/bonobos. It's not next on my list, but I might have to run out and buy it and make it next.