Posted in Book review, Reading Challenge

Book review: Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster by Sir David Attenborough

Occasionally there are people whose life experiences take your breath away and Sir David Attenborough certainly qualifies in this category. An amazing memoir, and even more amazing to listen to as an Audible audio book, read by Sir David Attenborough himself. Another great, great book that I did not want to end.

I spent all those years enjoying myself. For I have always found looking at the natural world, and trying to understand it, one of the greatest pleasures I know.

Luckily there are more books where I can listen to his voice!

I started listening to Life on Air last August so I have definitely taken my sweet time with this book, listening mostly on evenings. Originally I got this audio book for the calming effect Attenborough’s voice has on me, which suited my evening routines of trying to get to sleep earlier. I cannot be the only one for whom his voice represents a time in life (childhood for me) when all was well in that moment when you open the TV and there is a nature document with a very familiar voice in the background. I get drowsy, relaxed and happy in a very good way when I listen to him, and I don’t mean that the book is boring! Quite the opposite 🙂

Life on Air has Attenborough’s calming voice, but also so much fascinating information about his early career in 1950s all the way to the modern days. That’s more than 60 years of amazing career and exploration explained in great detail, not to mention all that has changed in the world over the course of those years.
Being just over 30 myself, it feels almost baffling to think of that long, successful life from decades that almost feel like fiction to someone of my age.
I think Attenborough mentions at early stages of the book something about meeting the former Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, and I didn’t really stop to think about it at first. I just casually thought that how strange, that’s the same character that was in the Netflix series The Crown. And then of course seconds later I realized that yes, it it the same person (not character) because Attenborough’s career really stretches to years and years to the past. It was a funny moment for me and in a way humbling too.

Life on Air is an excellent book, and even better if you can listen it in Sir David Attenborough’s own words. The details of his expeditions around the world and interactions with various species are truly fascinating and unique. There is also interesting info on how television work and technology has developed over the decades and, even more importantly, there is a great lesson of the great wonder and forever learning about the natural history of our world.

Attenborough’s career and life achievements made me wonder if there will ever be anything like that for someone while we are still on Earth or if the “next Attenborough” will be someone exploring Mars or where ever the next destination for humankind might be.

Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster fills the Reading Challenge prompt of:

32. The book title has a profession in it

Sir David Attenborough’s work has touched so many of us over the years and I couldn’t have been happier to read/listen this book. Didn’t have to think twice which challenge prompt this book would fill.

What Reading Challenge? Check out my post about it here.


I love books, games and the coziness of our house (currently it's the kingdom of me and my husband). My work in a game studio as a Senior HR Specialist keeps me busy and social, but I am an introvert in my core. Navigating life between my very social work and my introvert, less social personality can be tricky and it goes hand in hand with my interest in overall personal well-being.

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