Cover Image: A Life on Our Planet

A Life on Our Planet

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Member Reviews

As enriching and accessible as his TV programmes, David Attenborough's A Life on Our Planet is a wake-up call. In a few succinct chapters, Attenborough manages all in one go to share the experiences that have opened his own eyes, explain what we've done and are still doing wrong, and offer ideas of what we could do to help reverse the negative effects we've had on our planet. Full of optimism and hope, this is a book that will have all the more impact for being read widely.
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A brilliant book.  As I would have expected from David Attenborough it is very a readable book, but also a call-to-arms to protect what is left of our precious natural world.  The gentle style isn't preachy at all, but contains a terrifying message, which we all need to read.  I would thoroughly recommend this fascinating book.
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David Attenborough is an angel, sent down to us in earth to right all the wrongs that we have inflicted on the earth, all the harm that we have caused, all the endangerment that the planet faces. While it is too late realistically and categorically to reverse and undo the catastrophic damage, his knowledge, wisdom and advice point us in the direction of a safer, more realistic and longer lasting version of living. one that might allow more than human beings exist on the earth beyond the end of the 21st century. David Attenborough is possibly the most interesting man ever to have been born. He is compassionate, caring and enthusiastic. Without him, hope for our planet and all its creature I think could be lost forever. This is a great book, such an important read, one that should be made compulsory reading material for every teenager.
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Fantastic. A compelling and critically important read. Factual but with great hope, I recommend this to everyone.
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A brilliant and insightful book from one of the greats. 

Not preachy, just stated with a love of our planet and the inhabitants on it.

Thoughtful, considered and we'll measured, Sir David strikes a balance that has me wanting to go look for jobs lobbying Governments...
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

This book makes you sit and think about how much the world has changed, It is so well written and you can clearly see the passion which has gone into this. I know some people will avoid reading this sort of book as it makes you face harsh reality and is horrifying, but also at the same time inspirational as I stepped away wanting to look at how we can save ourselves and the planet we live on. 

I would recommend for anyone to read this book as it's not a boring rant about how we need to save the planet, it is a plea for us to make a difference and one mans experience in his lifetime of how dramatically thing have changed in such a short amount of time.
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Where to begin with this review. This is a hard hitting, stark book about the history of our planet and where it is headed.

At times it does scare you and evoke emotions within you, but that is what it needs to do! It needs the reader to sit up and take note of what is happening to our world and make changes to aid it’s recovery. 

Everyone will have seen a David Attenborough programme and will be very familiar with him. This book is written in such a way that all factual information is there for you to grasp, there is no ‘fluff’ just very poignant information.

Everyone should read this book, everyone.
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What an astounding read this was.
Perfect. Very informative and insightful. Sad too. 
This man is my hero. Such a privilege to read this book. Thank you netgalley and the publishers and of course sir David Attenborough for the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion
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This is  an accompanying volume to the Netflix documentary of the same name. Early chapters are very similar to the documentary, following some of David Attenborough's adventures from the 1950s to present day, presented alongside statistics from that period. Attenborough's stories - meeting mountain gorillas in Rwanda for example -  are  understated but fascinating and I would love to read about these in more detail.

Where this book really comes into its own is in parts 2 and 3. In the documentary, the conclusions are a little rushed but here we get some detail - what changes do we need to make and how can we make them.. There are clear and simple explanations of how things link together which I have never really understood before - how biodiversity helps carbon capture for example, or how over-fishing accelerates climate change. This is a short volume and therefore can only present an overview of these highly complex topics but it has definitely inspired me to read more widely and find out more.
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I chose to read this book on my Tablet as the photographs are an intrinsic part of the story of David Attenborough"s life and work. An excellent book to remind us of the wonderful Television programmes that have educated us all over the years. Buy it now, you will not regret it. This is a book to dip into during those long Winter evenings, when television palls.A remarkable man and his remarkable, public work looks to the future of the Earth. This will appeal tp growing children as well as adults. The world is the responsibility of all of us.
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I struggled with how to write this review. 

Broadly speaking this book provoked a variety of emotions. Seeing the current state to the planet written about in stark terms was shocking and if I’m honest deeply overwhelming. Fixing this mess we’ve created seems almost impossible. 

However this is the genius of David Attenborough’s writing. Just as when you watch one of his documentaries, it seems that no matter how bleak things look he has a path out of the mess. Here he acknowledges the seriousness of the situation the world is in, the very real consequences that scientists are forecasting if humanity continues on its present course and the shockingly short timeline. However he also shows us solutions, both real and possible and how they are being implemented in different parts of the world right now. He acknowledges the challenge the future poses to humanity, but leaves you feeling that if everyone makes fairly small changes then we can let the planet repair itself and be better for it.

Brilliantly written and inspiring.

***Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher***
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This book was brilliant and I think every household should have it. Such eye opening and I just love how it was written. A thumbs up from me
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Every single household should have a copy of this book.
The most eye opening book I think I have read  ever!
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First off, I feel the need to separate this review into two parts – one, to review a non-fiction book as I would review any other non-fiction book; then secondly, to review this book based on the worldwide renown of its author, the message he conveys and my own personal response to it. It seemed a little unfair or confusing to intertwine the two.

As a non-fiction book, A Life on our Planet is incredibly well structured. Broken down into separate parts, the author lays out his experience of living and travelling around the globe, then he explains the current problems facing our planet and finally, he lays out the steps we could take to go about fixing things for future generations. The cyclical nature of the book allows the reader to absorb the key messages being explained whilst also posing an outlook of hope for his readers in what is a relatively large and heavy concept to contemplate.

The book immediately offers the reader with a narrative and thinking point centring around Pripyat, now known as Chernobyl. In Part 1, the author then proceeds to summarise his years of experience in his field, intertwined with a witness statement about what he has observed through the decades of his life. With facts regarding population change, carbon presence in the atmosphere and the percentage of biodiversity left on the planet, these chapters easily highlight to the reader the pace of change which has happened during the author’s time spent navigating the globe as a broadcaster. They offer a context and background which I found particularly useful given my own fairly limited life experiences and knowledge of certain events that took place in different continents or happened before I was born. 

In Part 2, the author makes the reader aware of the multitude of problems currently facing our planet. This is backed up with scientific research and theories as to how these issues came about, as well as what may happen if we continue to ignore them and go about living our lives at the pace and rate which we are now accustomed. A helpful, comprehensive glossary at the end of the book makes any technical language easily accessible and the gentle, explanatory writing style of the author succeeds in its aim to be informative without being too advanced or alternatively, patronising. Broken down into thematic chapters, the individual elements of the narrative become understandable and it was clear to see how each layer of the author’s argument reinforces and builds upon that which came before it. 

Finally, in Part 3 the author references countries across all continents of the globe which are starting to take action to try and fix the aforementioned problems. This knowledge from different nations reinforces how well-researched, informed and connected he is in this particular field. He lays out a roadmap for how together, as a whole planet, we can take steps to try and prevent a future mass extinction on Earth. A closing reference to Pripyat again in the Conclusion brings the author’s narrative full-circle, nicely rounding off his argument and in a sense, proving exactly the witness statement which he is championing. 

As far as non-fiction books go, I found A Life On Our Planet to be incredibly well-written, well-researched and with a voice which enables me to get on-board and believe the narrative the author is laying out. It is informative, without being excessively scientific and for me, struck the right balance between facts and personal opinion. His message is clear and it is a vital one which needs to be read.

I feel incredibly lucky to have seen Sir David Attenborough in person as part of an interview at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. To me, he has one of the most iconic voices (quite literally) and influential expertise when it comes to discussing our natural world. 

In A Life On Our Planet: My Witness Statement For The Future, it feels like David Attenborough is using his lifetime of privilege, experience and notoriety to shine a light on a crucial matter that seeks to affect the core of all life on Earth. 

Regardless of political agendas or personal beliefs, it is becoming evidently clear that our time for positive change is running out and it feels that it takes a guy like David Attenborough to write this book detailing how close we are to the tipping point before people start to take notice.
This book needs to be read.
It is not long. It is not arduous. It is not confusing or taxing. What worries me is that the place where change is needed the most, as Attenborough admits, is the top tier of our societies – those in power writing manifestoes, running governments, heading global corporations need to be held accountable and take some responsibility in order for the rest of us to be able to get on board and also facilitate the change that is needed.
All creatures great and small live on this planet together and now we, as the supposed intelligent species that we are, need to work together to ‘rewild the world’ and make sure that it survives to see a new century and a new era.

Full review (with even more personal witterings about Planet Earth) to be published on my blog on Weds 11th Nov.
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As expected-excellent.
David Attenborough is a firm family favourite as I'm sure he is up and down the country.
My only complaint was that it was too short but it's certainly succinct and hard-hitting.  Read this at your peril and face up to the state of the planet.
The book is well written with a long list of references for the many quoted facts.  It's also complemented nicely with frequent photographs from his large body of previous work in nature.  I read my copy on Kindle Paperwhite so the photos lacked impact, but I'm sure they're wonderful in the paper versions of this book.
I'll be sure to follow this up with watching the Netflix documentary.
Recommended for all.
Thank you for the ARC.
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This book is a call to arms to the human race - start rectifying our wrongs, or face extinction. 

The first section of the book explores David Attenborough’s career throughout the years and some of the amazing adventures he has been a part of. The second section gives us an insight to what humanity faces if we continue on our current trajectory and the third section explores what we can do to prevent our downfall. The book also includes some lovely photographs and illustrations scattered throughout. 

David Attenborough has become a household name for his work with animals and their habitats, so when I saw he had written this book I knew I would have to read it. The book was a fascinating insight into his thoughts and feelings about how we are treating Earth, and the solutions that could be put in place to prevent the end of humanity. It is only if we all do our part that we will be able to protect our planet and all who live here. 

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This is a wonderful book and I agree with fellow reviewers who say it should be compulsory reading, for governments. It is beautifully written by a man who has huge insight into the coming environmental catastrophes. But what was most impressive was that it was also hopeful that positive change could have an effect.
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Its not a comfortable read; in fact it is positively scary, setting out in a no holds barred way what we have been doing to the planet we live on, but also offering hope that we can still do something to reclaim it.  As this highly respected naturalist says 'we are the first generation to understand that we are destroying the planet, and the last generation to have a chance of reversing the damage'.  

However, although there are countries taking positive action (take a bow, New Zealand) it really needs us all to act in unison, and especially those with the greatest footprint.  We cannot continue to declare global warming to be a myth and dismiss it as scaremongering, and we must change the wasteful, destructive way we farm, populate and access the earth's resources.  

It is well written, as you'd expect, and includes a background of Attenborough's own career and his observations of the decline of the nature, along with some disturbing statistics at the beginning of each section about how the world population has grown, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and the remaining wilderness.

I'd really recommend it.  Should be a compulsory text in all schools, worldwide.
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"Our future on the planet, the only place as far as we know where life of any kind exists, is at stake." I think that's the biggest takeaway from this book.

This is an important piece of writing, and one I think everyone should read. Whilst I watched the documentary / film on Netflix around the same time, and was concerned that I would just be reading the same content as I had viewed, I feel like I took in so much more of what Sir David was saying by reading these crucial words.

There is a lot to take in here and it can be daunting, but it's written clearly, concisely and in an enjoyable manner. 

Thanks to Netgalley for a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
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As you would expect frm this great man, a thorough analysis of what is wrong with the planet and how to put it right.
Sir David displays an amazing grasp of all the problems of the planet from deforestation of the rainforests to declining biodiversity.
His much researched suggestions are non-judgemental but give hope for the future geneations that we can stop the destruction for the good of all mankind.
A wonderful book from a legend.
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