Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Random Acts of Heroic Love

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Random Acts of Heroic Love

by Danny Scheinmann

Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann X
Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Jan 2009, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Vy Armour

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Animal Behaviors in Grief and Mating

There have been many observations of elephants grieving.  In Joyce Poole's Coming of Age With Elephants,  Poole illustrates the depth of elephant grieving. A clan of elephants was moving towards newer territory, when suddenly one of the elephants fell over. Soon enough the other elephants noticed that one of their group was in trouble. Arriving by the elephant's side, they realized she was not moving. They attempted to get her up on her feet but to no avail. The elephants then left the dead body and moved on. The next day, elephants returned to mourn and pay homage to the lost friend, family member, clan member and elephant. As observed by Poole, when an elephant walks past a place that a loved one died he/she will stop dead still; a silent and empty pause that can last several minutes.


Why are grasshoppers so noisy? It's because they're singing to woo their partners. They have as many as 400 distinct songs, which they sing during their courtship and mating cycles. Some males have a different song for each distinct mating period - for example, there may be a flirting song, then a mating song.


To attract a mate, the male bowerbird builds an amazingly complex 'bower' of twigs, often shaped like a small hut. The male bird then decorates his "bachelor pad" bower with a variety of objects as gifts: flowers, feathers, stones, and even bits of discarded plastics and glass. Hundreds of pieces are carefully arranged in monochromatic themes (i.e. all blue items). He spends hours sorting and arranging things, and will break focus only to go to another male bird's bower to steal things and mess the place up - which causes great consternation for the returning bowerbird! 

Interestingly, the male bowerbirds that build the most elaborate bowers tend to be dull in color whereas those with brighter plumage tend to build less elaborate bowers, presumably because nature has endowed them the ability to prove their fitness as mates through physical appearance.  It has also been observed that some bowerbird species appear to change their decorating preferences from year to year with certain items seeming to fall in and out of fashion. 


Emperor Penguins
, the subject of the popular 2005 documentary March of the Penguins, have a strange "marriage". Penguin couples spend their lives apart from each other and meet once a year in late March, after traveling as far as 70 miles inland - on foot or sliding on their bellies to reach the breeding site. Once there, penguins look for their mates by making a bugling call. Male penguins generally stay in one place, lower their head to their chest and call out to the females. Once they find one another, they stand breast to breast, repeatedly bow to each other and bugling.


Meanwhile, the oceans echo with the calls of whales sending messages under the sea to their loved ones hundreds of miles away.

Article by Vy Armour

This article is from the February 5, 2009 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Immortalists
    The Immortalists
    by Chloe Benjamin
    On a summer day in 1969 in New York City, the Gold children agree to seek out a mysterious ...
  • Book Jacket: The Kites
    The Kites
    by Romain Gary, Miranda Richmond Mouillot
    Published by New Directions for the first time in English, Romain Gary's The Kites tells a story of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Kites
    The Kites
    by Romain Gary, Miranda Richmond Mouillot
    Published by New Directions for the first time in English, Romain Gary's The Kites tells a story of ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Hearts of Men
    by Nickolas Butler
    Set mostly in the woodlands of north Wisconsin, Nikolas Butler spins a familial saga that explores ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

A story that is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, suspenseful and poignant.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Days When Birds Come Back
    by Deborah Reed

    A graceful testament to endurance, rebuilding, and the possibilities of coming home.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Driest Season

Win One of 50 Copies of This Exceptional Debut!

A deeply affecting story of loss, heartache, and—finally—hope.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A J O A Thousand M B W O S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.