Elephants

Creatures who loom large in nature, history, and in the human heart.

 


 

Love, Life, and Elephants

By Dame Daphne Sheldrick

 

The first person ever to hand-rear an elephant successfully, Dame Daphne Sheldrick perfected a milk formula and husbandry approach that have since saved countless orphaned animals. This big-hearted memoir captures her special relationships -- with Kenya's wildlife; her husband, David, a pioneer of African environmental preservation; and with an elephant named Eleanor who became her trusted friend for more than forty years. A majestic tribute to a country and its residents of all shapes and sizes.

 


 

Elephant

By Dan Wylie

 

This fascinating entry in Reaktion's Animal series (each of which explores the historical significance of a particular creature) addresses the elephant, "the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind," as Aristotle famously opined. Tracing the pachyderm's symbolic import through cultures all over the world -- from the Hindu god of wisdom, Ganesh, to children's book favorite, Babar -- Wylie follows an enduring legacy as long as the beast's fabled memory.

 


 

An Elephant in the Garden

By Michael Morpurgo

 

The author of War Horse pens this poignant story, based on actual events, about an elephant rescued from Belfast during WWII. Lizzie and Karl's mother is a zookeeper, and as ordnance begins to strike the city center, she brings home an orphaned elephant named Marlene to live in their backyard. But when the bombing of Dresden forces the family to flee, Marlene's transportation poses unique challenges. A beautiful example of the hold these gentle giants have on the hearts of children.

 


 

The Elephant's Secret Sense

By Caitlin O'Connell

 

In her compelling account of scientific discovery Caitlin O'Connell chronicles her dawning realization that a herd of elephants she was observing used their feet to "listen" to the seismic communication of other herds, allowing them to converge accross great distances. It's also a clear-eyed catalog of the frustrating realities of conducting research in war-ravaged Namibia, and the myriad difficulties faced by those trying to ensure the survival of these majestic creatures.

 


 

Mammoth

By Richard Stone

 

Stone's gripping story marries scientific inquiry and high-stakes adventure as he follows two expeditions racing to discover a frozen mammoth carcass  -- the possible genetic key to resurrecting this ancestor of modern Elephantidae. Not only are the descriptions of their respective journeys thrilling, as each team battles bitter cold, biting wind, and impossible odds in pursuit of its goal, but Stone also wrestles with the moral complexities implicit in the quest to re-create an animal extinct for thousands of years.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).