I’m really enjoying these animal-related biographies, so when my sister suggested Wesley the Owl I could hardly refuse!
As for the other two titles on my list for July, I came across The Sakura Obsession while browsing the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble and Dawn came up in a work discussion that reminded me how much I wanted to go back and re-read the Xenogenesis series.
Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien
On Valentine’s Day 1985, biologist Stacey O’Brien first met a four-day-old baby barn owl — a fateful encounter that would turn into an astonishing 19-year saga.
With nerve damage in one wing, the owlet’s ability to fly was forever compromised, and he had no hope of surviving on his own in the wild. O’Brien, a young assistant in the owl laboratory at Caltech, was immediately smitten, promising to care for the helpless owlet and give him a permanent home.
Wesley the Owl is the funny, poignant story of their dramatic two decades together.
Enhanced by wonderful photos, Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heartwarming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. It is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.
The Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe
Each year, the flowering of cherry blossoms marks the beginning of spring. But if it weren’t for the pioneering work of an English eccentric, Collingwood “Cherry” Ingram, Japan’s beloved cherry blossoms could have gone extinct.
Ingram first fell in love with the sakura, or cherry tree, when he visited Japan on his honeymoon in 1907 and was so taken with the plant that he brought back hundreds of cuttings with him to England. Years later, upon learning that the Great White Cherry had virtually disappeared from Japan, he buried a living cutting from his own collection in a potato and repatriated it via the Trans-Siberian Express.
In the years that followed, Ingram sent more than 100 varieties of cherry tree to new homes around the globe. As much a history of the cherry blossom in Japan as it is the story of one remarkable man, The Sakura Obsession follows the flower from its significance as a symbol of the imperial court, through the dark days of the Second World War, and up to the present-day worldwide fascination with this iconic blossom.
Dawn by Octavia Butler
Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet’s final war.
Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali—who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth.
Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before.
The Oankali survive by genetically merging with primitive civilizations—whether their new hosts like it or not. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet’s untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly.