Life Story

Hello Everyone and welcome back to the Boss Book Club!

Today I am going to review a beautiful book called Life Story, which is an accompaniment to the BBC television series of the same name. This is a visually impressive book that will make an excellent gift for any animal lover (or for your good self of course!)

The television series this book is based on is a large-scale nature documentary. The filming of Life Story was certainly an impressive fete, it took over two and a half years to film across 29 countries, and during that time the BBC was able to capture over 1,800 hours of footage. Needless to say, they were able to capture some amazing photographs, and the still photography is what features largely in this book.

The concept behind the book and series is to show the journey of various animals, from birth to reproduction of the next generation, and every struggle, conflict, decision and journey in between. The chapters in this book are named as such: First Steps, Growing Up, Home, Power, Courtship, and Parenthood, with a final chapter dedicated to the making of the series.

Did you know that when a male lion takes over a pride they will often kill all the cubs from any previous males? And that only approximately 20% of cubs make it beyond 2 years old? Or that the females synchronize their reproduction so they all produce a litter at the same time? Maybe you’re a lot smarter than me and already knew that, but I sure didn’t. Now look at me go!

There are over 50 different animals featured in this book. Each animal gets between a 2 and 6 page write up, with lots of beautiful photographs (usually including a double page spread) for each one. The information is interesting and easy to digest. I read the book by focusing on an animal a day, which was easily achievable in 5- 10 minutes of reading a night. However, I can see some nature lovers easily pouring hours into this book and reading it all in one go. They will also be pleased to see a foreword by the great naturalist himself, David Attenborough. If you have seen the series, the ‘making of’chapter provides some fascinating insights into the challenges of capturing wildlife behaviour.

The greatest strength of this book for me is that it demonstrates how life is a struggle for all species on earth. It throws into light the fight for survival, the elaborate lengths animals go to in order to find a mate or protect their young, the ingenious and difficult things animals go through to better their chances at continuing their bloodline. It makes you appreciate the wide and diverse world out there and reminds you that humans aren’t the only ones with daily obstacles to overcome. The study of nature helps us take the focus away from ourselves and appreciate what else is happening in the world, and this book, with it’s beautiful photographs and variety of experience, makes it a wonderful journey.

 

Happy Reading and welcome to The Boss Book Club!

 

Got an interesting animal fact? Read any other great nature books? Let me know in the comments below!

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9 thoughts on “Life Story

  1. The series was excellent, and the book looks just as good. The BBC are superb at making documentaries, and we’ve had several of type. I’m always amazed by the brilliant photography, the scenes they actually manage to capture. Many of them do focus on the desperate need to pass on their DNA – and, as you say, some scenes are hilarious as rogue males creep in for what the narrators usuallly call ‘sneaky matings’. Good review, so thank you for that. It would be a great book to sit on anyone’s bookshelf.

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  2. I hadn’t read of this series, but it sounds interesting. (Though probably a rare case where I’d prefer the TV show over the book!) Perhaps it hasn’t made it to the U.S. yet?

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    • Thanks for the comment! I’m not sure where and when the TV show has aired but you may be able to get yourself a dvd copy from the BBC website? Nature documentaries are so wonderful and relaxing to watch, both the book and the series are good!

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    • You’re most welcome, thank you for checking out the blog! I also own the “Life” series, nothing is more relaxing than watching a nature doco, it gives you a great perspective of this beautiful planet!

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