"The book is pure inspiration."
- Soniya Hayat,
Guided Safaris, Inc.
"Truly, I love what you've done!."
- Ben Bressler,
Natural Habitat Adventures
"Really good photographs with very humorous commentary."
- Travel Africa
"A Global Treasure Hunt"
- The Record
"I just love this book."
- Andy Cohen,
"A handsome, impressive coffee-table book for intrepid travelers and armchair adventurers . . . ."
"the coffee table book is top notch"
"The authors are good hosts who put readers at ease. It would be fun to travel with them . . . ."
All quotes are from Kirkus Reviews
The original Sarcastic Lens was awarded the Kirkus Star and was named one of 2015’s top 100 independent books by the prestigious book reviewing company, Kirkus Reviews. The review is printed here in its entirety.
An impressive coffee-table book brimming with a couple’s beautiful photographs of exotic wildlife. The Lynns, a husband-and-wife team, have traveled the world indulging their loves of wildlife, adventure, and photography. Although they began taking pictures some decades ago, most of the work in this book, their debut, was done over the last decade, in their retirement. They traveled to all seven continents, sometimes suffering in the bush, uncomplaining. The photography— sometimes spectacular, always enjoyable—is solid work featuring almost every animal imaginable, always in its natural habitat. There are the usual suspects—lions, tigers, bears, elephants, whales, gorillas, as well as lemurs, anteaters, macaws, all sorts of wading and fishing birds, butterflies, and frogs. There’s also the elusive tamandua and the confounding fauna the Lynns found Down Under, including echidnas, which seem straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. (A proficient index serves as a helpful tour guide.) Interesting factoids abound; for instance, did you know hippos kill more people in Africa than any other beast? The casual, engaging text invites readers in, though the title is somewhat misleading, since the commentary is gently humorous but hardly sarcastic: “The common moorhead is a cousin of the purple gallinule. I am not sure how birds even become cousins.” Production values are impressively high: the hardback book is printed on heavy stock, and the colorful photographs burst with detail. The Lynns prove to be wonderful guides, primarily because every page so clearly shares their enthusiasm. Readers might start plotting their own picture-taking adventures. You’ll need more than an iPhone, though.
Zoological eye candy captured with a keen eye and adventurous spirit.
The Kirkus review of Book Too is also printed here in its entirety.
A globe-trotting husband-and-wife team offers photographs of places that should be on everyone’s bucket list in this sequel.
True to the subtitle, Richard and Amy Lynn have managed to compile a list of 100 sites, both natural and man-made, from Abu Simbel in Egypt to Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park in Madagascar, and hit every letter of the alphabet. (Imagine their relief to have found the Mayan site of Xunantunich.) Some of their selections are geographic clichés: the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, the Parthenon, the Great Wall of China, and the Grand Canyon. But such wonders are well known precisely because they are visually spectacular. Then there are the lesser-known splendors, such as the otherworldly Antelope Canyon on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, the Svalbard Archipelago (Norway), the Golden Circle (Iceland), and Jeju Island (South Korea). Some readers may take issue with a few of the attractions and with several omissions (How could you possibly leave out…?). But many will allow the Lynns their preferences and just savor the panoply. Complementing the table of contents is an index at the back listing “Other Attractions.” This refers to inclusions that the main entries prompted. For example, there is a very handsome, full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Nashville (who knew?). The Space Needle in Seattle is piggybacked on the feature about Qutub Minar (tower) in India. They also throw in the Sky Tower in Auckland and the CN Tower in Toronto, all grand high places.
It is not clear who did the lion’s share of the writing and the photography, but both are of a very high order, and physically, the coffee-table book is top-notch. The pages are of heavy stock; the images are crisp and clear. Some attractions are identified right on the photos. Most, however, are the “facing page, top left, current page, bottom right” kind, which can be a bit harder to follow, especially if there are a bunch of images. Why the difference is a puzzle. Another mystery is the misleading “sarcastic” in the title, which the Lynns seem determined to keep. Those looking for major snark will find, rather, just the occasional gentle jibe, as when they point out that St. Mark’s Square in Venice is actually a rectangle or caution readers not to confuse the Amazon Basin with Jeff Bezos’ enterprise. The text is just as extensive as the photos and makes for enjoyable reading. The authors are good hosts who put readers at ease. It would be fun to travel with them but also exhausting. These people are retirees and grandparents, but surely they had to do some arduous trekking to get some of these pictures, not to mention thousands of miles of air travel, which is no fun anymore. But there is a good message here for older readers: Don’t save all your money for the grandchildren—get packing. Xunantunich awaits you. Or you can bring the grandkids back souvenirs from the Borobudur Temple in Indonesia.
A handsome, impressive coffee-table book for intrepid travelers and armchair adventurers.