Reading Recommendations: The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, One Woman's Fight to save the world's Most Beautiful Bird, Bruce Barcott.
As a young woman, Sharon Matola lived many lives. She was a mushroom expert, an Air Force Survival Specialist, and an Iowa housewife. She hopped freight trains for fun and starred as a lion tamer in a traveling Mexican circus. Finally she found her one true calling: caring for orphaned animals in her own zoo in the Central American country of Belize.
Beloved as "the zoo lady" in her adopted land; Matola became one of Central America's greatest wildlife defenders. And when powerful outside forces conspired with the local government to build a dam that would flood the nesting ground of the last scarlet macaws in Belize, Sharon Matola was drawn into the fight of her life.
In The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, award winning author Bruce Barcott chronicles Sharon Matola's inspiring crusade to stop a multinational corporation in its tracks. Ferocious in her passion, she and her confederates, a Ragtag army of courageous locals and eccentric expatriates endure slander and reprisals and take the fight to the courtroom and the boardroom, from local village streets to protests around the world.
As the dramatic story unfolds, Barcott addresses the realities of economic survival in Third World Countries, explores the tension between environmental conservation and human development, and puts a human face on the battle over globalization. In this marvelous and spirited book, Barcott shows us how one unwavering woman risked her life to save this beautiful bird.
Audition, a memoir, Barbara Walters
And now, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that "whole package" in her memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures and celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life.
Barbara Walters perception of the world was formed at a very early age. Her father, Lou Walters who grew up in England was the owner and creative mind behind the legendary Latin Quarter night club, and it was his risk-taking lifestyle that gave Barbara her first taste of glamour. It also made her aware of the ups and downs, the insecurities, and even the tragedies that can occur when someone is willing to take great risks. For Lou Walters didn't just make several fortunes, he also lost them. Barbara learned early about the damage that such and existence can do to relationships, between husband and wife as well as between parent and child. Through her roller coast ride of a childhood, Barbara had a close companion, her mentally challenged sister, Jackie. True, Jackie taught her younger sister much about patience and compassion, but Barbara also writes honestly about the resentment she often felt having a sister who was so "different" and the guilt that still haunts her.
All of this, the financial responsibility for her family, the love - played a large part in the choices she made as she grew up. The friendships she developed, the relationships she had, the marriages she tried to make work. Ultimately, thanks to her drive combined with a decent amount of luck, she began a career in television. And what a career it has been. And what a list of names played a key role in Barbara's life, career, and book.
Walters has given us a book filled with heartbreak, honesty, fun, sometimes startling and always fascinating.
One more book I'd like to mention: The Downhill Lie, A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport, Carl Hiaasen.
Ever wonder how to retrieve a sunken golf cart from a snake infested lake? Or which club in your bag is best suited for combat against a horde of rats? If these and other sporting questions are gnawing at you, The Downhill Lie, Carl Hiaasen's hilarious confessional about returning to the Fairways after a thirty two year absence, is definitely the book for you.
See you at Rylander!