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Learning to Play With a Lion’s Testicles: Unexpected Gifts From the Animals of Africa Paperback – April 16, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Melissa Haynes created and orchestrated successful national campaigns for major corporate players, opened and ran a prosperous business in Mexico. Her project management experience landed her a handful of lucrative Olympic contracts for the 2012 Winter Olympics. She ghostwrote a column about entertaining in the Vancouver Courier for years and a chapter in the award-winning chef's cookbook Inside the Recipe Box. She is a self-admitted chronic adventure junkie and travel addict. She is passionate about animals, adventure, conservation and scribbling. But her greatest accomplishment and adventure to date was volunteering in Africa and living to write about it.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Behler Publications (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933016825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933016825
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #577,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Johnson on August 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
When I was about 9 years old, at the Omaha zoo, I first attempted to play with a lions testicles. It didn't end well ... for me. The lion certainly seemed satisfied, but I was wholly unprepared for this "adventure".

A full 10 years later, and after reading this book in preparation, I returned to the same zoo to finish the job I started. Surprisingly, the same lion was there. Perhaps not surprisingly, he apparently recognized me immediately and was excited to see me again.

This time, I knew how to do the job more productively. The book taught me the "Three Steps To Playing Ball" correctly.

1. Mind you, the lion is a fierce animal, but also fiercely loyal ... so the first step is to establish trust and loyalty. If you can, show the animal (by example) the enjoyment you can have with your own testicle play.

2. You must offer testicle play to the lion. As the king of the jungle, he is often offered testicle play, but since you've established trust (and competence) in step one, he may accept by rolling to his back.

3. Finally, the third step is where you (the testicle player) need to "earn your keep". The book highlights moves such as the "Jungle Juggle" and the "Reverse Double Play" that may surprise and entertain your lion.

In summary, NEVER EVER attempt to play with a Lions Testicles before reading this book.
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Format: Paperback
This book had me in tears, both by laughter and emotional impact... Learning to Play With a Lion's Testicles: Unexpected Gifts From the Animals of Africa by Melissa Haynes. The title was enough to intrigue me into considering it for reading and reviewing. It didn't take long before I knew it was a great decision.

Haynes went to South Africa to volunteer on a wild game reserve, seeking to find some perspective and purpose in her life. What sounded like an adventure quickly turned into a stubborn contest of wills between her and the park ranger, nicknamed the Drill Sergeant, who didn't much care for city volunteers... especially those of the female persuasion. He was determined to send her packing as early as possible into her three-week stint, and she was just as determined to prove herself as something more than a woman who needed babysitting. Along the way, she learned some tough truths about life, death, and self-imposed limitations. While she had gone to help the animals, it ended up being the animals that helped her.

Had the story been nothing more than her experiences on the reserve, it would have been a fun read. Haynes does an excellent job in capturing the humor and bizarreness of life on the plains of Africa. However, there's a serious thread that winds through the pages, one that ties together the lessons of the reserve with the realities of life and death. Her mom had passed away due to cancer, and Haynes was dealing with massive guilt over not being able to handle the final hours. She comes face-to-face with that guilt and fear in a very primal way during her stay, and it's hard to keep a dry eye as the events unfold.

Learning to Play With a Lion's Testicles is a 200 page roller-coaster of emotions, and it's a ride that's well worth experiencing. You'll laugh and cry, sometimes both at the same time...

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Publisher
Payment: Free
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I was browsing Amazon for a book to get for a gift for an outdoor loving friend, and I saw this one and knew I had to get it. Well, okay . . . at first I thought "what the heck is that?" but when I read the description it seemed like a great read! My friend absolutely loved it and said she couldn't put it down! It is a mix of pulling-on-the-heart-strings emotions and comedy.
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This book was on a list of 'must reads' somewhere, so I looked it up on Amazon. The reviews looked promising. I started reading and was soon disappointed. The character roles where not clear to me in the beginning and the writing was, as other reviewers mentioned, amateurish. I kept thinking this was written for young adults. I'm a bit more than a third of the way through the book and am contemplating not finishing it. I hate to do that but I'm still looking for the insightful journey I was promised. Laughing? Crying? I don't know about that. I may have furrowed my brow in confusion and I believe I rolled my eyes a few times. Does that count for emotional investment? But to be fair, I'm not done yet. Knowing me, I will finish what I started and see where the rest of the book takes me. It has to be on that 'must read' list for a reason right? I may be back with updates if I make it through.
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I have read an advanced copy and it is excellent! A moving story of coming to terms with guilt over her mother's death and what animals can teach you about life and death. It is paralleled with the adventures of volunteering on a wildlife reserve in Africa. Highly recommend.
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Ms. Haynes' story resonates with anyone who needs to make a change, but few have her courage and her commitment. Risk empowers us as much as it can deflate us, so sticking with the program can yield all kinds of results. For young women, often carrying extra, unwanted baggage out into the world, this book will help steer you through the rough patches. An intimate voice and an intimate story with a unique perspective.
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