Book Club - August 22 Meet the Author of West With Giraffes

Hi everyone.
Our next Book Club Zoom Meet up will be on August 22nd 7pm BST, 2pm EDT, 11am PDT

Author Lynda Rutledge will join us for a discussion about West with Giraffes.

This is a brief introduction from the Bio section of Lynda’s web site:
A professional writer for over 25 years, Lynda has worked as a copywriter, restaurant and film reviewer, book collaborator, nonfiction author, travel writer, and freelance journalist. She’s petted baby rhinos, snorkeled with endangered sea turtles, hang-glided off a small Swiss mountain, and dodged hurricanes to write articles for national and international publications, such as the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Poets & Writers, Houston Post, San Diego Union-Tribune and many more, her travel photographs often appearing with her work.

This is how Amazon describes West with Giraffes:
An emotional, rousing novel inspired by the incredible true story of two giraffes who made headlines and won the hearts of Depression-era America.

“Few true friends have I known and two were giraffes…”

… It’s 1938. The Great Depression lingers. Hitler is threatening Europe, and world-weary Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. What follows is a twelve-day road trip in a custom truck to deliver Southern California’s first giraffes to the San Diego Zoo. Behind the wheel is the young Dust Bowl rowdy Woodrow. Inspired by true events, the tale weaves real-life figures with fictional ones, including the world’s first female zoo director, a crusty old man with a past, a young female photographer with a secret, and assorted reprobates as spotty as the giraffes.

Part adventure, part historical saga, and part coming-of-age love story, West with Giraffes explores what it means to be changed by the grace of animals, the kindness of strangers, the passing of time, and a story told before it’s too late.

If anyone is interested in attending via Video Chat please reply here so we can estimate numbers and share the meeting link with you.

Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Date: August 22, 2023 (Tuesday)
Time: 8pm CEST / 7pm BST / 2pm Eastern Daylight / 1 pm Central Daylight / 11 am Pacific


@Landbiscuit Thanks for setting this up. I am looking forward reading the book.

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Thank you @Landbiscuit for arranging this, looking forward to it! :closed_book::slightly_smiling_face:

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Happy August Everyone! I hope you all are enjoying reading our August Book Club selection West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. Just a reminder that our video chat with Lynda is scheduled for August 22nd at 8pm CEST / 7pm BST / 2 pm Eastern Daylight / 1 pm Central Daylight / 11am Pacific
If you have already finished the book :grinning: there is a lot of interesting background information included on Lynda’s author website Lynda Rutledge - West with Giraffes. There is also an interesting review here West with Giraffes – Zoo Walks Through History At the end of the review, there is a list of other sources with information about the history of the two giraffes and their journey from Africa to the San Diego Zoo.

If you are interested in joining us for the video chat, please respond here so that we can make sure you have the information to log in.
Happy Reading :books:


I so wish I could join you @Landbiscuit. It’s always great when the author joins the discussion! I hope you have a great turnout.

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Hi there. I just got a copy of the book so please include me for attending. Thanks so much

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@Landbiscuit: Thank you for the reminder, and for setting this up. The opportunity to discuss this book with the author is really a privilege.

And thanks for the extra resources. I’m definitely going to peruse those.

I have fond memories of feeding the giraffes at the Sacramento Zoo (not quite San Diego :sweat_smile:) with my late grandma.

Grandma was smart: You get only 3 leaves to feed the giraffes with, so it’s normally over too soon. So rather than just feed the giraffes directly, grandma played keep-away with them. :joy:

Hi @MaggieUU. I’ve added you to the list. Did you receive a DM letting you know?

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Yes, thank you


I finished the book last night. Such a compelling read!!! Looking forward to next week so much. Cheers

This is fantastic- I just joined THS and love book clubs. Please include me in this.

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Hi there!
Sorry that I’m late to the party but I love reading and book clubs so please could you include me in the video call next week?

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@Tgo53 and @hitchedandhiking Welcome to the Book Club! We hope you have time to read West with Giraffes prior to the video chat, but if not that is ok. There is a lot of good background information on Lynda Rutledge’s website.
@Karen_E Please add both to the book club email list.
The dial in instructions for the video chat are included In the book club emails.
@geoff.hom will be moderating our discussion
We look forward to chatting with you next week.


Thanks @Landbiscuit for the note. @Tgo53 and @hitchedandhiking you should have received a DM letting you know you’d been added to the group.

Enjoy the book and the discussion!

Just another bump for our Book Club this Tuesday! @Karen_E will be out, so I’m moderating. I’m really excited that we get to talk to:

Lynda Rutledge!

author of:

West with Giraffes!

Everyone is welcome, even more if you’ve read (or started) the book. :sweat_smile: Remember that you can always get the digital/Kindle/iBooks version.

For spoiler-free info on the book, just check out the author’s main page:

Lynda’s obviously an animal lover, but she has also been a travel writer. It’ll be interesting to see what she thinks of TH!

Lynda has noted that her favorite discussion topic for this book is “The Power of Storytelling” and why it matters. She references the 14-minute TED talk below, by Jon Mooallem. A quote from that talk:

“Stories have very real consequences. Because now, how we feel about an animal … affects its survival more than anything you read about in ecology textbooks.”

The discussion with Lynda will be via Google Meet. Reply to this topic and we can add you to our private group chat which has the meeting link.

Special thanks to @Landbiscuit for suggesting “West with Giraffes,” and for arranging Lynda Rutledge to chat with us!

For more details, see this topic’s first post.


Thanks for being the tech wizard for this meeting @geoff.hom. Have a wonderful discussion everyone!


Last call for this month’s book club! Our discussion is today!

  • August 22nd 7pm BST, 2pm EDT, 11am PDT
  • “West with Giraffes” :giraffe: :giraffe: by Lynda Rutledge
    • We are very fortunate to have Lynda joining us today!
  • The meeting will be via Google Meet (it’s like Zoom).
    • Anyone can join us! Obviously it’s ideal if you’ve read the book, but if you want to join us for another reason, I think that’s great!
    • If interested, reply here or DM/message me, and I’ll send you an invite.
    • Caveat: All spoilers for “West with Giraffes” are fair game. (I just realized that’s a sad pun … I apologize, and we can discuss that, too.)

Thanks to everyone who participated in our book club video chat with author Lynda Rutledge. Lynda has a big personality and we had a great discussion.
And a special thanks to @geoff.hom for moderating and doing all of the technical setup and troubleshooting.


The book club had another great discussion with an author. Thanks @Landbiscuit for organizing the chat and @geoff.hom for your behind-the-scenes tech wizardry and planning reminders!