Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review: Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo

Author: Vanessa Woods

Genre: Memoir (2010)

About: The author's life while working with bonobos in the Congo.

Did You Know... that bonobos are an extremely endangered ape that share 98.7 percent of our DNA? ...that chimpanzees live in male-dominated societies and resolve conflict with violence and war, and bonobos live in female-dominated societies and resolve conflict with sex? ...that bonobos live only in the Congo?

Overall:  Enjoyed

Liked... reading about the author's bond with the bonobos. Many of them died after she'd become emotionally attached; I can't imagine how that must have felt, especially because they were so human-like. I also liked reading about how she met her husband while doing bonobos research and some of the difficulties they had as a couple, as well as dealing with war and disease.

Didn't Like...the war and politics in the book. I was bored and skipped over a lot of it. Also, because bonobos are extremely sexual creatures, the talk about clitorises and penises and orgasms and rubbing was a little overboard. I know, it is what it is. They're animals. What are ya gonna do.

Source: Library

Why I Chose: I've seen this book around the blogosphere and I love animals. Easy choice.

Recommend? Yes, if you would be interested in reading about bonobos and how much they love sex. Just kidding. It really is fascinating how they resolve conflict with sex and what a peaceful, loving species they are.

Rating: 4/5

I plan on reading Sara Gruen's Ape House, now that I'm on a primate roll.


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