Shelf Control: The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

Shelf Control is a weekly meme hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies. Here’s what she writes:

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

So randomly I have selected this book from my shelves:

When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw—and the city’s zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen “guests” hid inside the Zabinskis’ villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants—otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes.With her exuberant prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonina refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her. [Goodreads]

I have always been interested in the by-lanes of history and this seemed an interesting and intriguing story about a resistance I know little about. Bought it at a Book Fair a few years back and it is sad that it still lies unread.

Does the blurb tempt you or have you already read it?


Want to Join? Write a post and link it at Lisa’s post for this week.

8 thoughts on “Shelf Control: The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

  1. I read this book a few years ago. It’s interesting in part, but the book does get sidetracked from the central story it is telling through long discussions on the history and science perspective on various plants and animals.


  2. Another good meme, not that I have time to add a new type of post. I can’t even keep up with normal posting. That book sounds very interesting. I hope you like it and either way, let us know what you think about it.


      1. I know what you mean, Neeru. I am having no problem reading (once I can figure out what book I want to read), but reviewing is difficult. Concentration is difficult.


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