Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Review: My Zoo World

 Joanne Faries has written a book about her life – or to be more accurate, a book about her phobia. She’s afraid of animals. Dogs, cats, horses, goats, lizards, you name it, she’s afraid of it. And she has tales from her life to prove why. It’s not like she runs at the sight of a horse or dog. As you read her book, you discover she’s ridden horses, reluctantly. She’s been around dogs and other animals. But something always goes wrong and she’s never happy or comfortable around them.

For example, as a child she, along with other neighborhood kids, went to a neighbor’s house to ride their new Shetland pony. Her friends had a grand time. She did not. The pony bit her.

Then there was the time her son Kevin, who loved animals and longed to have a pet in the no-pets household, talked her into letting him have a fish tank. The fish didn’t last long, but Kevin, in cahoots with his dad, got a lizard. She found out when she heard the chirping of crickets (dinner for the lizards).

Then there was the swan. The Swedish swan. Oh, but I’ll let you read that one and all the other stories yourself.

If you, too, are scared of certain animals, you’ll sympathize with Faries phobias. If you aren’t, then you’ll be amazed at how things go terribly wrong every time she’s around any kind of animal.

My Zoo World is a fun read, although clearly not fun for Joanne Faries. As she says in the prologue, “It is a dog eat dog world and I’m mere kibble.”

Barnes and Noble

I give My Zoo World (If All Dogs Go to Heaven, Then I’m in Trouble) by Joanne Faries a rating of Hel-of-a-Life-Story.
FTC Disclaimer: The author sent me a PDF copy of her book, but that did not influence my review. I was a bit excited (before I even read the book) that I could not only download it, I was able to open it by using iBooks. Yay! I was influenced by Joanne Faries’ plight. I can’t imagine being scared of all animals, dogs, cats, lizards, birds …. I had a dog as a child and my kids had dogs and cats. As a young child I had a mud turtle. I found him in the creek and kept him in a pan with water. I loved that little turtle. But we won’t talk about what happened to him. Let’s just say it involved an overnight freeze and me accidentally leaving him in the outside shed. I also had chickens, each a different color, each with its own name. I raised them to big chickens. They all ran away one day while I was at school. My mother told me about their disappearance at dinner, as she passed the chicken casserole. Hmm, perhaps I should write a book.


  1. Those darn chickens have a habit of doing that.
    I admire Joanne's sense of humor in writing what must be rather traumatic incidents. Sounds like a good read.

  2. Just don't think about your pet chickens! It's best you believe they really ran away. And I can't imagine being scared of animals either.

  3. They did run away, Alex! My mama told me so.

    You're right, Laura. Clearly she and animals do not live in harmony.

  4. This is a unique idea for a book. Poor dear to be afraid of animals and yet they are everywhere!

  5. Considering how afraid Joanne was of animals, she handled it with much bravery.

  6. Unfortunately, Joanne is surrounded by friends who are animal lovers and while we ooh and ahh over a dog slobbering on us, she cringes.

  7. I sympathise with Joanne. For me I married a man who should have been a vet and have a Zoologist for a son. I would never survive if I was nervous of animals. Our house was full of reptiles and animals various. It now has four dogs, a cat and three aviaries.

    Her book sounds intriguing.


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