Friday, July 17, 2009

Wild Flowering

Honestly, it wasn't premeditated. I'm speaking of my choosing to read the book Wildflower in the midst of our Read on the WILD Side adult summer reading program. While it fits our theme perfectly, it was just coincidental.(What would Freud say?)

Listed as a hot summer read in the Chicago Tribune in early June, this title caught my attention. I confirm it was an engaging, nonfiction read. Love, adventure, murder, the beauty of Africa, the dark side of capitalism all in 200 pages. The author, Mark Seal, wrote about Joan Root in Vanity Fair in August 2006 and it was so popular, he kept writing. His book Wildflower fleshes out the story of Joan and her husband Alan Root. They were reknown in the film world for their wildlife and nature films of the 1970's and 80's. They partnered with great actors to narrate their films, and won an Oscar for best documentary for Mysterious Castles of Clay in 1979.

How I would love to tell you we own their films on dvd but they don't exist. A few select libraries in the U.S. own some titles on VHS. I suspect this might change soon. Julia Roberts is going to be portraying Joan Root in a feature film that is currently in production. A big commercial film may entice the right business person to make the Roots' films into dvds.

In the meantime, savor the nature films we do have in our documentary film section and find the book Wildflower in the biography section.

I haven't read a nonfiction book that I've enjoyed this much in a long time. Please comment if you have one to recommend.

1 comment:

Roberta said...

Maybe it's the season (baseball), but I have to praise The Meaning of Ichiro by Robert Whiting. He's writing about Japanese baseball stars coming to play in the States, and all of the cultural, historical and legal hurdles that stood in their way. He also talks about the many players and a few coaches who traveled in the other direction to work for the Nippon league. Fascinating and fun and insightful.

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