Cover Image: Wild Life

Wild Life

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Member Reviews

It’s always hard to rate memoirs: this three star rating is not a rating of the author’s life or work (both of which are amazing). I had a hard time getting into this and kept putting it down and picking it up again—not because the story wasn’t interesting (it was!) but purely because I found the writing hard to lose myself in. It was written like it was intended as a script for a talk on stage in front of people and that didn’t really work for me. I’m sure it’ll work for others, though, and I’d still recommend this one.

Dr. Wynn-Grant has a great story, and I enjoyed following her on her adventures and as she made tough choices in her life. I’d love to see her speak live some time; I’m sure it’d be fantastic.

Thank you to NetGalley and Zando!

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Rae brings us along her journey to follow her dream as a young girl. She highlights how important our relationship with nature and animals and our earths ecosystem is and how it is our responsibility to safeguard it. I enjoy reading others memoirs it gives us a peek into what other people are doing with their lives and I always feel I learn from them and there is always something to take away from them. If your interested in our planet, nature or animals I believe you will enjoy this book thank you netgalley

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This is the memoir of one of the first black, female ecologists to make a real name for herself in the world of wildlife preservation/ecology. This memoir gives us a look at her early life leading up to current day.

This was eye opening for me in many ways. I can understand logically the struggles she goes through in regards to her race and being an overwhelming minority in her field, but I can’t truly understand what that feels like. It was interesting to see how she related those things to her field.

There was a brief time in the book where I was frustrated with her life choices and wanted to stop reading, but I also knew that if I didn’t finish I couldn’t fully understand. This book is definitely worth a read if you have any interest in the large animal world, or if you want a better insight into the mind of an individual whose life experiences are far different from yours.

Thanks @netgalley for the opportunity to pre-read this book. Wild Life comes out Tuesday, April 2nd!

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
This was really interesting! A city-raised young black woman going into wildlife ecology, sharing her struggles and her successes. She definitely made a few choices I would not have made, but this book will be great for encouraging people who might not go into science, especially sciences where lots of field work is necessary.

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Something told me not to request this book. As I ignored that advice and requested it, and started reading, and then read some more, I simply was not drawn into the book. Nonfiction books about animals are possibly my favorite genre, but this book was written too simplistically with no depth of feeling. I thank NetGalley and Zando and Get Lifted Books for the advance read.

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In her memoir, Wild Life, Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant shares her story of chasing her childhood dream of becoming a "nature show host". She does a great job telling us of her adventures and her struggles as a young Black woman in the science field dominated by white males, as she navigates her education and career development becoming a Wildlife Ecologist. Her adventures tracking and researching black bears and other large carnivores throughout the world were fascinating and amazing, and made for great reading.
She is also upfront about the injustices she faced in the science field due to being a Black woman. This part of the storyline blends so well with the science of Ecology and the way ecosystems either thrive or struggle. She sums it up beautifully when she says, " Each of the ecosystems I inhabited reminded me that we all exist in a web of interdependence, navigating the dissonance that is beautifully inherent in the natural world."
I had not heard of Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant prior to reading this book. When I finished, I was eager to research more about her, and landed on some of her videos from National Geographic and Wild Kingdom. She has great knowledge and insight to share. I certainly admire her.
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an Advance Copy!

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This book is fascinating - I couldn't put it down. Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is a renowned wildlife ecologist, one a very few black female scientists. She tells here story honestly and with great vulnerability. While it is her personal story, she also gives great arguments for us to be more ecologically conscious if our world is to survive. We have responsibility to all species to listen to what Dr Wynn-Grant has to say to us. I strongly recommend that everyone read this book and decide what action they will take.

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I received a free e-ARC from NetGalley.

I really enjoyed this autobiography by Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant. Her upbringing did not involve much time in nature, but even from a young age she knew she wanted to be a wildlife ecologist and host a nature show. There were (and still are) very few Black women in field ecology and her journey, both personal and professional, was very interesting and moving. And I love that she has done work with numerous large carnivores, including black bears, lions, and grizzly bears.

Now I have to go find episodes of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.

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Well written memoir about nature and race and intersectionality. I was curious about the author’s story and this well satisfied.

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Wild Life is (I think) my first book, memoir or otherwise, about wildlife conservation efforts. Rae Wynn-Grant is a Black woman who studies wild animal behavior as a way to improve and protect the safety and relationships between wild animals and humans. If you’re new to this topic like me, here’s a simplified example: lions in Africa, which historically coexisted peacefully with humans, have attacked and killed humans as their habitat is encroached upon. Humans have retaliated by killing lions. Rae studied those lions to see if she can predict lion behavior as a way to save both humans and lions.

Rae’s Blackness is relevant. She is an ‘only’ in this field. It’s relevant in the US and it’s even more relevant in her work in Africa, where the Africans she encounters have never met a Black American. While this book is very much about her professional experiences, Rae unpacks her racial and cultural experiences alongside her professional ones.

I really enjoyed this book and learning about this topic. It was easy, quick reading and is relatively short. This ARC felt poorly edited, with some sections not smoothly transitioning to others. In particular., the more emotionally poignant experiences with Black Lives Matter and the deterioration of Rae’s marriage felt like abrupt changes of subject. The writing was still good, just not cohesive. When I see this in ARC, I’m always curious how the final version will be. Nonetheless, definitely recommend this unique and enjoyable memoir!

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*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free book.*

"Wild Life" is a great memoir about finding one's place in life and pursuing one's passions. It's also a book about a Black woman experiencing racism in the States but also struggling with Black people in various African countries that Wynn-Grant travelled to for her research. It's also about career versus relationship, motherhood, family.

I frankly might've enjoyed more science in this one but I'm weird...

3.5 stars

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When the author was growing up she always wanted her career to be as a host of a wild animal show.
She studied hard and went to the highest level she could to make her dream come true.
She became a large carnivore ecologist and science communicator. She work for a long time with bears in Montana, where she studied the human impact on the bears.
Lions in Africa, and also many other projects that sent her to different parts of the world.
She worked hard and and finally reached her goal .
This book is also how she managed marriage, children, and still be able to have the ability to work at what she loves. Also this was about her, and her feelings about racism, as she grew up in the United States, where she didn't see many Black people in her field of work, and other areas.
I loved her field stories, they were fun, she is a good story teller and made me want to keep reading about her adventures.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Zando Projects for a copy of this book

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I may have been the last person to not know who Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is so I can came to the book without any preconceived notions. At first, I was surprised—and a bit critical—of a memoir that begins in the writer's childhood but as I read forward, I understood that the full transformation of Wynn-Grant from young girl to mature, realized woman began in her childhood. Wynn-Grant artfully weaves the racist affronts of many with her personal experience. She shares her personal growth and development with honesty and integrity, her descriptions are neither overly intimate nor does she gloss over details. Her writing is accessible and compelling.
Wynn-Grant's life story to date is an inspiration for young people facing their own self-doubt and critics telling them what they can or cannot do and be. Her tenacity and clear vision led her to achieve an improbable childhood goal and in reading her journey, I found myself cheering her at every opportunity and obstacle. After reading her memoir, Dr. Wynn-Grant has another fan.

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Wild Life: Finding My Purpose in an Untamed World.. The prologue begins with a hair-raising cry. A bear sighting!

As a child growing up in the Bay Area in California, Rae Wynn-Grant was seldom allowed to watch television. However, her father loved his Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Bulls. She and her brother were only allowed to watch educational programs, and Rae fell in love with nature shows and vowed that one day she would be a host of a show who told people all about animals. In In her memoir, her memoir, Wild Life . Rae Wynn-Grant recounts the ups and downs of her quest to reach that goal and to find her place in the world.

When she was in middle school, the family moved to Norfolk, Virginia, which was a culture shock to the children. In California, they’d been accepted; in Norfolk, they had their first experiences with racial inequities. This affected Rae’s schoolwork, and much to her chagrin, Rae did poorly at math and science courses. How would she ever pursue a career in biology? She turned to music instead. However, because she knew this would never be her life’s work, she determinedly graduated from Emory University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, then went on to Yale to earn a Masters. She didn’t stop there, earning a Ph.D. from Columbia University. She describes the rugged, nitty-gritty details of her assorted field studies. She traveled to destinations including Kenya, Tanzania, Nevada, and Minnesota. She tracked and documented activity of bears, and lemurs; she observed giraffes and all sorts of wildlife in East and West Africa.

None of this came without personal cost. With incredible honesty, Wynn-Grant tells of the impact some people had on her life– her parents, her husband, close mentors, friends, and lovers. She does not hold back about past mistakes and how she’s grown. Her extensive travel, which she loved, took its toll on relationships, and on her. She lays it out there, and she’s a whole, fully alive human being. She’s rightfully proud of what she’s accomplished as a female, Black ecologist.

There were several important takeaways and moments that touched me:
1) An ecologist manages relationships between humans and animals. For example, many people see bears as a nuisance. However, bears help manage the environment in ways we do not imagine. They spread seeds around, help with deer management, and help keep the forest fertile by breaking down logs to help them decompose.
2) Humans are part of the environment. When in Tanzania, a group of team members find a dead animal slain by poachers. She comes to realize that despite the horror of this death, there is benefit to the people of the village. The meat of this beautiful animal cannot be wasted; it will feed many people. She concludes that that the needs of the human community should be regarded before starting a conservation project.
3) Her therapy and experience with animal observation led her to conclude that when it comes to fight or flight, one is not better than the other.

Lastly, there was an event that touched me perhaps more than any other. It helps that it occurred in my home state of Minnesota. No spoiler. I’ll simply say this: It was AWE-some!

If you love animals, if you love science, if you love humanity, if you love equality, if you love adventure, you will love Wild Life: Finding My Purpose in an Untamed World Thank you, Dr. Rae, Wynn-Grant for sharing your story.

I received a digital copy in exchange for my honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks also to NetGalley and to Get Lifted Books.

5 stars

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This book was a compelling read in that Dr. Wynn-Grant has strong storytelling skills. It's an honest look at her struggles and her triumphs personally and professionally. I think it is helpful to have narratives like this, particularly when it comes to discussions of the intersections of race, social justice, education and employment, and motherhood. That's a lot to hold, and Dr. Wynn-Grant speaks about what that all looks like in her life. She also gets into some of the specifics of her career path. I found that very interesting and I think she probably could write a whole book about career paths in her field could be improved.
Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC copy of this book.

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Wel written memoir by a renowned conservationist and ecologist. I loved the vibe throughout. Would recommend it. Thanks so much for the arc!

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A little more than a year ago my kids and I saw a presentation given by Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant while on an educational trip to Disney World. We’ve listened to her podcasts, watched her Crash Course Zoology videos, and are currently watching her host Wild Kingdom. My daughter will have to wait until she’s a bit older to read this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some of the stories were familiar, though in more detail, to her stories in her podcast. As I was reading the book I could imagine she was actually speaking the words, so I do hope she plans to narrate her audiobook. I do also hope that someday she will write children’s books about the animals that she has encountered in the wild. Thank you, Dr, Rae Wynn-Grant for putting your struggles and your triumphs out there for the world to read, you’re an inspiration to others.

Thank you NetGalley and Zando for the opportunity to read this book prior to publication.

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An interesting read an account of a wildlife ecologist, the pressures and challenges she faced in her career. I really loved the field trip stories. Enjoyed the read. Thank you to #netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy.

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