You may know that I usually “choose” my Mama Kat prompt via random.org. This week, in all candor, I am going for “easiest.” And although this prompt is pretty easy: Book review time! Some people STILL read books…share one of your more recent reads and tell us what you thought! it’s going to require me to (gasp!) retain the memory of something I have read recently. I listen to so many audiobooks that I fear I treat them as white noise and fail to retain details. But I’ll dig deep in the memory bank and tell you about a recent audiobook that I got from Paperback Swap.
The recent read (or listen, if you don’t believe audiobooks qualify as “reading) that comes to mind is “The Lady and the Panda.” This book, by Vicky Constantine Croke, chronicles the efforts of Ruth Harkness to bring the first live giant panda to the United States, back in the 1930’s. The quest had originally belonged to her husband, but he died in China while searching for a panda, and she decided to make the goal her own. Ruth Harkness was not a rugged adventurer type. Picture a Hilton or Kardashian trudging off into the wild in search of an animal. Harkness did have the brilliant idea to snatch a baby panda instead of a full grown panda – so much easier to transport, you know? One of her serendipitous ideas was the purchase of a baby bottle and formula before heading into the remote, mountainous, China-Tibet border region.
Along the way, Harkness indulged in sexual liberties that were shocking for that era. She had at least one lover and morphed from her fashion designer persona to nondescript pants and shirts befitting a backwoods explorer.