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Her revolutionary studies of Tanzania's chimpanzees forever altered our definition of "humanity." Now, intriguing as always, Jane Goodall explores her deepest convictions in a heartfelt memoir that takes her from the London Blitz to Louis Leaky's famous excavations in Africa and then into the forests of Gombe. From the unforgettable moment when a wild chimpanzee gently gra Her revolutionary studies of Tanzania's chimpanzees forever altered our definition of "humanity." Now, intriguing as always, Jane Goodall explores her deepest convictions in a heartfelt memoir that takes her from the London Blitz to Louis Leaky's famous excavations in Africa and then into the forests of Gombe. From the unforgettable moment when a wild chimpanzee gently grasps her hand to the terror of a hostage-taking and the sorrow of her husband's death. Here, thoughtfully exploring the challenges of both science and the soul, she offers an inspiring, optimistic message as profound as the knowledge she brought back from the forests, and that gives us all...reason for hope.


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Her revolutionary studies of Tanzania's chimpanzees forever altered our definition of "humanity." Now, intriguing as always, Jane Goodall explores her deepest convictions in a heartfelt memoir that takes her from the London Blitz to Louis Leaky's famous excavations in Africa and then into the forests of Gombe. From the unforgettable moment when a wild chimpanzee gently gra Her revolutionary studies of Tanzania's chimpanzees forever altered our definition of "humanity." Now, intriguing as always, Jane Goodall explores her deepest convictions in a heartfelt memoir that takes her from the London Blitz to Louis Leaky's famous excavations in Africa and then into the forests of Gombe. From the unforgettable moment when a wild chimpanzee gently grasps her hand to the terror of a hostage-taking and the sorrow of her husband's death. Here, thoughtfully exploring the challenges of both science and the soul, she offers an inspiring, optimistic message as profound as the knowledge she brought back from the forests, and that gives us all...reason for hope.

30 review for Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Books Ring Mah Bell

    Every so often, if you are lucky, you pick up a book that speaks to you. A book that seems to know what you are struggling with at that very moment, and that book somehow soothes your soul. That was this book for me. As a kid, I thought Goodall was awesome. Living in nature with chimpanzees! Hoots! A few years ago, my love for her was solidified while reading The Far Side. You see, Gary Larson had a cartoon of some chimps, the female is plucking a hair off the male and says, "Another blond hair! I Every so often, if you are lucky, you pick up a book that speaks to you. A book that seems to know what you are struggling with at that very moment, and that book somehow soothes your soul. That was this book for me. As a kid, I thought Goodall was awesome. Living in nature with chimpanzees! Hoots! A few years ago, my love for her was solidified while reading The Far Side. You see, Gary Larson had a cartoon of some chimps, the female is plucking a hair off the male and says, "Another blond hair! I see you've been hanging out with that Jane Goodall tramp again!" (or something like that) Well, someone wrote a scathing letter to Larson. MEEEE-OW! Only to discover that Goodall found the cartoon hysterical. She's got a sense of humor. I really dig that in a person. She also loves animals and fights for their rights. I dig that, too. Anyway, in her book she talks about love, grief, nature, HOPE. Her words reminded me to see the beauty in the world around us. Because really, even with all the ugly stuff, we are surrounded by beauty. Oh, hell. Maybe that's just the bunny hugging, tree worshiping, otter scrubber in me talking shit. Whatever. I loved this book and still love Jane Goodall.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    The book is by the famous anthropologist Jane Goodall, whose studies of chimpanzees revolutionized how we think of our closest relative among living species and thus how we define being human. Her title signals this book is about a lot more than that groundbreaking work. This was found in the Nature section of my neighborhood bookstore, but was recommended to me as "inspirational non-fiction" on the Ultimate Reading List. Her credited co-author Philip Berman is a theologian and the project was f The book is by the famous anthropologist Jane Goodall, whose studies of chimpanzees revolutionized how we think of our closest relative among living species and thus how we define being human. Her title signals this book is about a lot more than that groundbreaking work. This was found in the Nature section of my neighborhood bookstore, but was recommended to me as "inspirational non-fiction" on the Ultimate Reading List. Her credited co-author Philip Berman is a theologian and the project was first conceived as "a book of interviews--questions from a theologian to an anthropologist." Reading this I could have wished for a lot more of the anthropological and less of the spiritual. This memoir of her experiences had its pleasures and moving moments. I loved the story about how Louis Leakey recruited Goodall, who at the time had never attended a university, to go off to study chimpanzees in the wild. And I certainly found moving her story about the death of her husband from cancer. I thought she was at her best though in chapters such as "The Roots of Evil," "Precursors to War" and "Compassion and Love" when she spoke directly out of her study and observations of chimpanzees. But there's a lot in her moral, political and spiritual outlook I find antithetical to mine that made it hard at times to hear her out. Frequently I found myself irritated, and found myself skimming large parts of chapters. I frankly squirmed reading about her psychic experiences. Her style is lucid enough, but having recently read Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa, Goodall's prose did strike me in comparison as prosaic--this isn't a memoir you read out of literary merit. And when it came to so many of her political and spiritual views, there was so little I felt I hadn't heard many times before--that didn't feel like boilerplate. It's because there was so much in the book I couldn't take seriously, things outside the scope of her expertise, that despite fascinating bits in the book I can't rate this higher. Was there any point in her arguments on issues I disagreed with where she got through to me? Interestingly, yes. Primarily in the Chapter "On the Road to Damascus" regarding animal research. I think it's significant that this was an issue where I didn't feel she was just repeating what many others had said. Her experiences observing chimpanzees, and her discussion of the cruelty of how they're treated in laboratories--ones she actually visited--resonated. Precisely because she spoke with the authority of direct experience. She also deflected a lot of my defenses by admitting the good that animal research had done; her own mother is alive because of animal research and the pig valve implanted in her heart. Yes, Goodall would like to someday eliminate animal experimentation, but the thrust of her argument was for treating the animals in laboratories as humanely as possible, and looking for alternatives. She didn't give anything like the PETA line that "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy." And she gained my respect because of how she related how she actually sat down with researchers and worked with them to better the conditions of research animals--she didn't just hurl rhetorical bricks from outside the walls. So besides the fascinating look here and there at the experiences of a pioneering women in the study of primates, I learned a little about what it is that can break down resistance to truly considering the other side of an argument. And despite my disagreements with Goodall, at the finish of her book she had my admiration, liking and respect.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    excellent. i would wish that all those whom i deeply love would read this book. of course, it doesn't work that way. but my deep wish will continue. this book says it all -- it is a personal account of a woman of substance; it is an environmental and animal rights book; it is a spiritual book; it is educational (i learned about cultural or pseudospeciation); and finally, it is a travelogue. i only read books that i strongly suspect i will enjoy or learn quality info from. Ms. Goodall's Reason fo excellent. i would wish that all those whom i deeply love would read this book. of course, it doesn't work that way. but my deep wish will continue. this book says it all -- it is a personal account of a woman of substance; it is an environmental and animal rights book; it is a spiritual book; it is educational (i learned about cultural or pseudospeciation); and finally, it is a travelogue. i only read books that i strongly suspect i will enjoy or learn quality info from. Ms. Goodall's Reason for Hope deserves 7 stars, imo. and the best for last: she does indeed give many reasons for hope. it is in our hands; let us turn to our best selves, collectively and individually, to find out what it means to be decent human beings.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    My absolute favorite book of all time. Science, spirituality, poetry, humanity, animal behavior, motherhood, our past and our future all wrapped into one beautiful story. Jane Goodall went to the jungle at a time when it was unheard of for a woman to do so, she studied science with such a passion although she had no degree whatsoever. She looked into the depths of the jungle while contemplating the infinite stars in heaven. She looks into the darkness of our past and finds light for our future.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    A very serious book covering very serious subject matter. I found this almost exhausting to read, especially the last third. I even took a highlighter out at one point so I wouldn't have to search some of the text for quotes. I believe most people my age are familiar with the work of Jane Goodall. In this memoir she gives some background into her childhood and describes her years observing chimpanzee behavior. She draws very interesting parallels to humanity and our struggle with the aggression A very serious book covering very serious subject matter. I found this almost exhausting to read, especially the last third. I even took a highlighter out at one point so I wouldn't have to search some of the text for quotes. I believe most people my age are familiar with the work of Jane Goodall. In this memoir she gives some background into her childhood and describes her years observing chimpanzee behavior. She draws very interesting parallels to humanity and our struggle with the aggression that arises from our instincts for self preservation. She also draws conclusions about animal and human instincts for nuturing, care taking and altruism. She discusses her divorce and second marriage, motherhood and her eventual involvement in causes for animal cruelty environmental preservation, and pathways to understanding amid cultural and religious diversity. The last chapters take you down to the worst of humanity and the evils we perpetrate against the animals, each other. This followed by her reasons in hope for the future, including using our creativity and intellect for the greater good and a firm hope in the ability and energies of our youth. She writes antecdotally and reflectively. You hear tinges of Buddhist and Native American philosophy. The subject matter was so intense that I felt on overwhelm. Some of it was sheer guilt for what I don't do and how I can possibly change my lifestyle. Other times it was impatience with what felt like rambling and a page later I would be in wonder and inspired??? A small part of me feels cynical about our ability to overcome so many negatives in our society. My overwhelm comes from a long term personal struggle of discernment. Where I can use my abilities responsibly and effectively? I can't fix everything, even within my community much less globally. So what piece do I choose to give my time, talents and treasure to? I have quite mixed feelings. I still highly recommend this book, but take it in pieces, with some time to digest and reflect, which I didn't have. !

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bill McDavid

    Before reading this book I only knew of Jane Goodall as “that woman who studies apes”. This autobiography is an open window into the soul of a woman who I now consider to be a very special gift to humanity… a gift to all living things on this earth. She takes us through her formative years and helps us to understand the origins of her compassion for animals. Goodall also writes with great candor about her marriages, her spiritual ups and downs, her victories and her defeats along with the great Before reading this book I only knew of Jane Goodall as “that woman who studies apes”. This autobiography is an open window into the soul of a woman who I now consider to be a very special gift to humanity… a gift to all living things on this earth. She takes us through her formative years and helps us to understand the origins of her compassion for animals. Goodall also writes with great candor about her marriages, her spiritual ups and downs, her victories and her defeats along with the great pain and immense joy that she has experienced. She also describes many of the deeply inspiring people she has met in her travels to virtually every corner of the Earth. Even if one does not agree with all she has to offer, the effectiveness of her delivery makes it seem impossible for anyone to read this book and put it down without having come to understand that we, in the big picture, are now in our most important stage of evolution as human beings… the evolution of our spirituality. In a world where we are bombarded daily by pain and suffering at every level of our existence this sweet and loving woman does indeed give us “A Reason for Hope”.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I love Jane Goodall, but this wasn't quite as powerful as I expected it to be. It was interesting reading about spiritual views from a scientist, and I loved her detailed descriptions of her time in Gombe with the chimpanzees. Goodall really has experienced a lot of sadness and horror in her life and it was inspiring to see how she always managed to turn back to faith. But a lot of the book was just too preachy for me and (do I dare say this? Yes, I dare) too Christian. I guess when I picked up I love Jane Goodall, but this wasn't quite as powerful as I expected it to be. It was interesting reading about spiritual views from a scientist, and I loved her detailed descriptions of her time in Gombe with the chimpanzees. Goodall really has experienced a lot of sadness and horror in her life and it was inspiring to see how she always managed to turn back to faith. But a lot of the book was just too preachy for me and (do I dare say this? Yes, I dare) too Christian. I guess when I picked up the book I expected almost a Native American type of spiritual view of the world rather than the same sort of Christian ideas that have been pounded in me since birth (though Goodall does learn to find God in nature more than anywhere else). Still, I found myself much more absorbed in her tales of Africa and sighing in frustration whenever she came to one of her long religious tangents. Also, the book felt very scattered and unfocused to me. But in the end, I still love Jane Goodall. I love what she has done for the earth, for nature and for animals, and this book really did make me love her even more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Reason for Hope is the single most inspiring book I have ever had the privilege of reading. Five out of Five stars is an understatement. Jane Goodall is kind, compassionate and honest as she writes about her life experiences, the human race, our duties as part of the human race. She speaks candidly about how we might go on hoping when so much of what we have created here on earth is harming the things we need most to take care of: mother nature, the wildlife, and each other. Her peaceful outlook Reason for Hope is the single most inspiring book I have ever had the privilege of reading. Five out of Five stars is an understatement. Jane Goodall is kind, compassionate and honest as she writes about her life experiences, the human race, our duties as part of the human race. She speaks candidly about how we might go on hoping when so much of what we have created here on earth is harming the things we need most to take care of: mother nature, the wildlife, and each other. Her peaceful outlook on spirituality, religion and our position on this earth is not only refreshing and humbling, but moving to the core. Please, everyone, read this book. It will truly change your soul and invigorate your spirit.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joana Martinho

    "Each one of us matters, has a role to play, and makes a difference. Each one of us take responsibility for our own lives, and above all, show respect and love for living things around us, especially each other. Together we must reestablish our connections with the natural world and the Spiritual Power that is around us. And then we can move, triumphantly, joyously, into the final stage of human evolution- spiritual evolution." Há razões para ter esperança. "Each one of us matters, has a role to play, and makes a difference. Each one of us take responsibility for our own lives, and above all, show respect and love for living things around us, especially each other. Together we must reestablish our connections with the natural world and the Spiritual Power that is around us. And then we can move, triumphantly, joyously, into the final stage of human evolution- spiritual evolution." Há razões para ter esperança.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Preeti

    This is the kind of book you have for a couple years, having bought it at a used book store for a couple bucks, but it sits around, until one day you spy it on your shelf and decide to toss it in your bag "just in case." Then when you open it to start reading, the next thing you know, it's been an hour and you're already on page 54! Amazon reviewers have called Jane Goodall not a "great writer" but I feel like the simple style contributes to the flow of the writing - you don't realize how fast yo This is the kind of book you have for a couple years, having bought it at a used book store for a couple bucks, but it sits around, until one day you spy it on your shelf and decide to toss it in your bag "just in case." Then when you open it to start reading, the next thing you know, it's been an hour and you're already on page 54! Amazon reviewers have called Jane Goodall not a "great writer" but I feel like the simple style contributes to the flow of the writing - you don't realize how fast you are devouring the words yet it's not difficult to understand, nor is it boring. The title, Reason for Hope, is so apt. I consider myself a pretty cynical person, but the way Jane Goodall writes, and her stories, everything comes together so well that maybe, just maybe, you think there is a reason to hope.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I enjoyed hearing about Jane’s upbringing and how it has shaped her amazing worldview today. She also narrated the audiobook in her lovely soothing English accent!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sivaprem S

    Science teaches us to explore the world logically, step by step, breaking down everything to its minutest parts and understanding each component. Think particle physics, microbiology, semiconductors. Knowing to manipulate nature, such as by identifying a cell’s chemical composition is thought akin to knowing the nature of the cell itself. Our prior knowledge sometimes precludes us from understanding or appreciating the complexity of nature. The best of scientists such as Einstein and Darwin, ho Science teaches us to explore the world logically, step by step, breaking down everything to its minutest parts and understanding each component. Think particle physics, microbiology, semiconductors. Knowing to manipulate nature, such as by identifying a cell’s chemical composition is thought akin to knowing the nature of the cell itself. Our prior knowledge sometimes precludes us from understanding or appreciating the complexity of nature. The best of scientists such as Einstein and Darwin, however have been mystics. They listened to nature instead of being misguided by what they already know. Jane Goodall is one such scientist. As a child, she grew up among nature and was fascinated by animals. Although she lacked the financial resources to pursue higher education, she put herself on a path to go to Africa to work with animals by working in London as a secretary and saving up money. In Africa, she happened to meet Louis Leakey an Anthropologist who was looking for fossils to learn about human evolution. After working with him for a while, Leakey sent her to Gombe, a forest in Tanzania to learn about Chimpanzees. Goodall lived in the forests of Gombe for many years, and allowed the chimpanzees to teach her about themselves. Although they were not known to interact with human beings, as soon as they realized this human was harmless, the chimpanzees allowed her to follow them, and stay close during intimate moments. She, along with a growing team, learnt about their lifestyle, their moments of affection, and anger. She was in fact shocked when she found out chimpanzees were highly territorial and sometimes killed each other brutally in territorial conflict. Do they attain pleasure in inflicting pain on others? If so, is it dissimilar from human tendency for the same? Think about it, why do we slow down to see an accident, how about America’s funniest videos? Why does it feel good to thrash Donald Trump after this election, to see him being booed, humiliated? This characteristic, common to humans and chimpanzees is called cultural speciation, explains Goodall. We see as ourselves everyone similar to us and those dissimilar we think to be lower than us. Oh, those dumb American villagers that vote for Trump! The information when it became public was controversial. Some dismissed her stories as anecdotal. Some did not want her to publish these results since people will take it as validation for their aggressive behavior. This seemed like a precursor to wars, that only humans are capable of. As she dug deep into her spiritual self to not only answer others but also herself, she realized that Chimps were capable of love as much as hatred, if not more. Love not only towards kin, which could be read as a mechanism to propagate their species, but towards strangers. If hatred is a common thread between primates so is love. The second half of the book mirroring her life, leaves the forest and leads her into lecture rooms and policy discussions. She discusses animal testing and factory farming, some of the cruel methods humans use in their search for prosperity; and her efforts to educate people against such practices. She implores us not only to think logically and do what is profitable but also be one with Nature in spirituality, something that is slowly vanishing from our nature. Scientists do not have to follow the party line on God just because there is no repeatable proof. In this very positive memoir, Goodall follows the thread of love and offers hope, through her own example and through other human beings who have been capable of love despite tragedy and suffering. She comes across as very humble, her language is simple yet powerful. It can move you to tears at many instances, yet is no where close to being a sad book. If you haven’t done so already put it on top of your must reads.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    I had to read this for school for my environmental studies course. I personally was not a fan of this book and I practically counted the pages until I could end. I'm sure if I wasn't reading this as an assignment I would have enjoyed it more. I personally would not recommend, but this also personally isn't the type of story I gravitate towards. I had to read this for school for my environmental studies course. I personally was not a fan of this book and I practically counted the pages until I could end. I'm sure if I wasn't reading this as an assignment I would have enjoyed it more. I personally would not recommend, but this also personally isn't the type of story I gravitate towards.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I heard Jane speak and her talk was pretty much the first part of this book. She is an inspiration and a remarkable, accomplished person. The style was very readable and much like her personality; calm, thoughtful and deliberate. I did not find much hope until the very end and then it was meager. When she frequently references the atrocities humans do to one another, the rape of the planet, the greed of many, the aggression of both animals and humans and the status of our environment, I found my I heard Jane speak and her talk was pretty much the first part of this book. She is an inspiration and a remarkable, accomplished person. The style was very readable and much like her personality; calm, thoughtful and deliberate. I did not find much hope until the very end and then it was meager. When she frequently references the atrocities humans do to one another, the rape of the planet, the greed of many, the aggression of both animals and humans and the status of our environment, I found myself getting depressed and discouraged. Her point is that we each can do even one small thing a day that will have a positive, collective impact on the world around us, seems so minimal that it is hard to believe. Goodall's work which started out so isolated has grown into a worldwide movement. Her voice is so important. Her foundation has a mission that ought to be taught in every classroom so as to inspire future generations to behave better.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I enjoyed the insights into early chimp observation, but didn't really get into Jane's philosophy. Too much woo, and "call it god, call it a conscience" type of mysticism. I was pretty unimpressed with her grasp of evolutionary theory, particularly how natural selection operates, which is disappointing in someone who's rubbed shoulders with real scientists her whole life. She critiques Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, but she can't possibly have read it, because he directly answers those criticisms th I enjoyed the insights into early chimp observation, but didn't really get into Jane's philosophy. Too much woo, and "call it god, call it a conscience" type of mysticism. I was pretty unimpressed with her grasp of evolutionary theory, particularly how natural selection operates, which is disappointing in someone who's rubbed shoulders with real scientists her whole life. She critiques Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, but she can't possibly have read it, because he directly answers those criticisms throughout the book. She also gives off a vibe that she's a little bit proud of being a researcher who had no silly formal training. I think it's more naivete than true hubris. She is, after all, sweet and endearing. But I can totally understand why 'real' scientists were critical and frustrated with her results, produced by methods that have long been shown to bias the outcomes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Helen Noble

    This memoir is highly evocative and beautifully written. If I had any influence on the UK educational curriculum I would make it a compulsory read. My reasoning? It teaches much more about the natural world, and it's champions, than anything else I've read. The implications for humanity and the future of the earth are clearly demarcated. Jane Goodall gives us a unique, heartfelt, insider's view of the world of the chimpanzee and the influence that we humans exert on the future of all of us. We a This memoir is highly evocative and beautifully written. If I had any influence on the UK educational curriculum I would make it a compulsory read. My reasoning? It teaches much more about the natural world, and it's champions, than anything else I've read. The implications for humanity and the future of the earth are clearly demarcated. Jane Goodall gives us a unique, heartfelt, insider's view of the world of the chimpanzee and the influence that we humans exert on the future of all of us. We are at a crossroads. We have choices. The least we can do is make informed choices and hopefully invoke change to secure the future for our children.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I've read this book many times. Jane Goodall is my hero. I've had the absolute privilege of meeting her once and it was a highlight in my life. This book is the first of hers that I read. It is wonderful if you need an inspirational pickup. It does not lean towards religion, it simply explores what keeps her moving forward in a life where sometimes there only seems to be suffering and gigantic walls to be hurdled. It's an easy read and I love it :) I've read this book many times. Jane Goodall is my hero. I've had the absolute privilege of meeting her once and it was a highlight in my life. This book is the first of hers that I read. It is wonderful if you need an inspirational pickup. It does not lean towards religion, it simply explores what keeps her moving forward in a life where sometimes there only seems to be suffering and gigantic walls to be hurdled. It's an easy read and I love it :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I was fascinated to learn about Goodall's life and her research with the chimpanzees, but could have done without all the religious stuff. Granted, it's probably not fair to get annoyed at all the religion in a book with the subtitle "A Spiritual Journey." I was fascinated to learn about Goodall's life and her research with the chimpanzees, but could have done without all the religious stuff. Granted, it's probably not fair to get annoyed at all the religion in a book with the subtitle "A Spiritual Journey."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tabbie Elliott

    “We have a responsibility toward the other life-forms of our planet whose continued existence is threatened by the thoughtless behavior of our own human species. . . . Environmental responsibility – for if there is no God, then, obviously, it is up to us to put things right.”

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Selaty

    Absolutely loved it! I listened to it in one day, any chance I got. Love her story, her gentle voice and her way of looking at the preciousness of all life. I’m inspired and excited to learn more about her.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jill Pickering

    This book has been on my shelf for close to 20 years. I purchased it after listening to Jane speak. I’m not sure why I haven’t read it. I know that it was never a question as to whether I actually would. This book is moving, enlightening, and even with tragedy... hopeful. I loved it. It is informative, offers a peek into the development of hope, and provides a calmness.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    Audiobook is read by the author.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bolduc

    Jane Goodall is a truely remarkable person. Her views on humanity and all animals is inspiring. This book will transform you, the way you think. It's a "must read". Jane Goodall is a truely remarkable person. Her views on humanity and all animals is inspiring. This book will transform you, the way you think. It's a "must read".

  24. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    I wish I could give more than five stars to this fantastic, moving, gripping book. Also, I really wish I could get the whole world to read it and take home at least one of the many important messages of this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christin Badinghaus

    New all time favorite book!! This book made me laugh and cry and everything in between. I love Jane Goodall! ❤️

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

    4.5 stars 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge - A book about or by a woman in STEM

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    She's Jane Goodall, people! She's as cool and amazing as she appears. She has done so much for this earth, and all of it because she had a fascination with nature and wildlife. Inspiring to anyone that has a desire to follow their own curiosity. She's Jane Goodall, people! She's as cool and amazing as she appears. She has done so much for this earth, and all of it because she had a fascination with nature and wildlife. Inspiring to anyone that has a desire to follow their own curiosity.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The name Jane Goodall often brings to mind sentimental visions of Africa and an unimposing, tree-hugging scientist turned activist. Indeed, Jane Goodall spent much of her life in the African wilderness, alone but for the company of flora and fauna (including her famed chimpanzees) and continues, now well into her 80′s, to travel the world spreading awareness about a wide range of environmental issues. The stereotype of calm, collected, and relentlessly hopeful is grounded in truth. I’m apparentl The name Jane Goodall often brings to mind sentimental visions of Africa and an unimposing, tree-hugging scientist turned activist. Indeed, Jane Goodall spent much of her life in the African wilderness, alone but for the company of flora and fauna (including her famed chimpanzees) and continues, now well into her 80′s, to travel the world spreading awareness about a wide range of environmental issues. The stereotype of calm, collected, and relentlessly hopeful is grounded in truth. I’m apparently not the only one curious about her ability to maintain such graceful positivity and endless energy to change the world; she wrote this book in response to that question. I’m ashamed to say I can be a bit of a defeatist at times. Particularly of late, burned out in my work with people and increasingly cynical, it’s hard for me to imagine winning this fight. Humans clearly don’t care about animals. They don’t care about the environment. They don’t care about anyone outside of themselves and their direct community (and, at times, not even that much). Our government and political systems are corrupt and utterly out of control and the citizens of this supposed democracy don’t seem inclined to get off the damn couch, let alone vote, inform themselves, or work to restore a healthier world. We’re greedy and fat and simultaneously self-centered and self-destructive. We’re killing ourselves and everything around us with our ignorance and apathy. Goodall’s sense of hope in the face of such hopelessness is, to say the least, impressive. And despite my initial inclination to call it naive, I can’t help but wonder if it is better to live in cynical misery or (possibly false) hope. Which will do the world more good? Which will save me from my own self-destruction? Although I don’t share Goodall’s belief in a traditional God, I do have a more vague sense of spirituality. I believe that we’re all connected to each other and to the Earth, and that doing good in the world ultimately means doing good for yourself. My Greater Power can be found in the inherent interconnectedness of all that exists. Which, according to Goodall, can be enough to propel oneself into optimism and advocacy. Maybe that’s the truth. There’s a fluffy, cliche-loving piece of me that desperately wants to follow suit. I want to be hopeful and to work toward a better life, but it’s all so overwhelming. Despite her explanations, I honestly don’t know how she does it. How she finds her smile, keeps her temper, and patiently tries to inform a closed-off species of their own idiocy. It must be exhausting. In the end, it seems that her spirituality, the possibilities associated with the next generation, and the genuinely good people in this world are enough to feed her and keep her moving forward; on to the next city, the next country, the next speaking engagement, environmental event, or award ceremony. Moral of this story? I hope that one day I can hope like Jane Goodall.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This book was an amazing story of the life of Jane Goodall. Since a very early age, Jane loved animals especially monkeys which she would see at the zoo. She would go outside with her large stuffed monkey (called Jubilee) where she was able to explore the grounds and other wild life (ie birds,etc). Throughout her childhood, she said, "I was daydreaming about my life in the African forest with Tarzan." Jane was an avid reader, her favorites: The Story of Doctor Doolittle; The Jungle Book; Edgar R This book was an amazing story of the life of Jane Goodall. Since a very early age, Jane loved animals especially monkeys which she would see at the zoo. She would go outside with her large stuffed monkey (called Jubilee) where she was able to explore the grounds and other wild life (ie birds,etc). Throughout her childhood, she said, "I was daydreaming about my life in the African forest with Tarzan." Jane was an avid reader, her favorites: The Story of Doctor Doolittle; The Jungle Book; Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books; Wind in the Willows; and Ratty and Mole at the Back of the North Wind. As an adolescent she developed a very close relationship with Jesus (by praying to him continually and to open our heart to him) So she did her best to let the Holy Spirit come into her being. She always believed that miracles can happen. A new Pastor came to her church, and she developed a teenage crush. She once borrowed a book from him, and when she returned it, she had placed a beautiful poem she wrote. But she assumed he never opened the book to the page where her poem resided. Her family lived in England in a beautiful Victorian cottage with much land for Jane to play. But on 9/3/1930 England declared war on Germany, her father nlisted immediately. She lived with her grandmother --Danny. They suffered from air attacks, rationed foods; they also t night slept in a bomb shelter which was a cage 6' x 5' x 4' high which was placed on the ground floor. Jane trusted in her faith, and memorized "As thy days, so shall thy strength be." they were challenging times. The war ended in Europe 5/7/1945 and rumors regarding the images in the newspapers about the Nazi death camps. The pictures Jane saw haunted her through out her life. Many, many years later she took the train to Krakow and Auschwitz (today is a giant museum, with photos of prisoners in striped clothes, and a huge piles of shoes from those who were to take them off before the entered the gas ovens. There she met Henri Landwirth, who survived and overcame it. He shared his story ith her, and discussed how his successful hotels were that he was able to give to others-- for him, children with terminal, life threatening diseases. He would pay completely for their trip to Disney World, and meals, and ... You get the picture. This book is so dense and amazing that I cannot truly tell you all that is in these 296 pages. The book does cover her life -- she just turned 80! Her life wasn't always easy, and she has always been the positive, dedicated individual to help others, no matter what. This book has touched me personally.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Regine Haensel

    I saw Dr. Jane Goodall speak many years ago at what was then the Centennial Auditorium in Saskatoon. As soon as she walked out on stage, I thought, this is one of the great women of the century. She wasn`t like a famous actor or musician, but very unassuming and down to earth, and she had a presence, even before she greeted us in Chimpanzee. Her passion for life and the natural world shone through, as did her belief that we can achieve positive change. `Reason for Hope`, first published in 1999 a I saw Dr. Jane Goodall speak many years ago at what was then the Centennial Auditorium in Saskatoon. As soon as she walked out on stage, I thought, this is one of the great women of the century. She wasn`t like a famous actor or musician, but very unassuming and down to earth, and she had a presence, even before she greeted us in Chimpanzee. Her passion for life and the natural world shone through, as did her belief that we can achieve positive change. `Reason for Hope`, first published in 1999 and then reissued in 2003 with an epilogue after 9-11, takes us into Dr. Goodall`s heart and mind. She writes about her amazing experiences as well as the tragedies of her life, and what kept her going. From her earliest childhood, she felt interested and connected with living creatures, from earthworms to dogs. Her wise mother had to guide and help Jane to realize that earthworms could not survive in a bed, and thus had to be returned to earth!She was supported by several strong women, not least her mother, who went with Jane on her first expedition to study the chimpanzees of Gombe. This book is not an autobiography, rather it chooses incidents, events, and experiences that have touched, moulded and guided Dr. Goodall`s life to date. There is inspiration here, and parts of it brought me to tears, as well as new resolve to look at my own life and see how. `We must remember, each and every one of us, that our voices and our actions make a difference, every day.`

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