Cover Image: American Birds

American Birds

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Member Reviews

I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. I really enjoy going through this book and it would be a great gift for any birdwatcher or bird lover.
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Wasn't exactly sure what to make of this book. It's a compilation of poems, stories and anecdotes from journals, etc.. concerning birds. Mind, I do enjoy birds and thought I'd enjoy this book, as well. It's a good browsing book. Not one to sit and from cover to cover in one or two sittings. I think it would appeal to bird enthusiasts. I might purchase the book for a friend or two who I know will appreciate it. But not for general readers.
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Do you love birds?  Do you love literature?  Well good news, my friend - you get both in this book.  This is a collection of stories and poems about birds from the last few centuries.  It's a rare and amazing book, great for a gift to the bird lover in your life.
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via my blog:
𝘛ʜɪ𝘴 ɪ𝘴 ᴀ ᴡʀɪᴛᴇʀ’𝘴 ᴅɪʟᴇᴍᴍᴀ- ʏᴏᴜ’ʀᴇ ᴅʀᴀᴡɴ ᴛᴏ ᴇ𝘹ᴘᴇʀɪᴇɴᴄᴇ ʙᴜᴛ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ 𝘴ᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴᴀʀʏ ᴛᴏ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ 𝘴ᴇɴ𝘴ᴇ ᴏғ ɪᴛ. 𝘉ᴜᴛ ᴡʀɪᴛɪɴɢ, ʟɪᴋᴇ ʙɪʀᴅ-ᴡᴀᴛᴄʜɪɴɢ, ʜᴀ𝘴 ᴜɴɪᴠᴇʀ𝘴ᴀʟ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ ᴀᴘᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. -𝘑ᴏɴᴀᴛʜᴀɴ 𝘙ᴏ𝘴ᴇɴ, 𝘍ʀᴏᴍ 𝘛ʜᴇ 𝘓ɪғᴇ 𝘖ғ 𝘛ʜᴇ 𝘚ᴋɪᴇ𝘴 (2008)

I admit it, I’m a total bird nerd. I feed them, photograph them, spoil them. The hummingbirds take a special delight in harassing me for nectar which is changed often here in the hot Florida sun. Hawks, Screech Owls, Sandhill Cranes… we have so many birds in this part of Florida it’s a constant show in the sky and on the ground. It’s not unusual to look overhead as a hawk swoops by with a snake dangling in it’s talons, sometimes a fish… Two months ago on a morning walk I saw an eagle carrying it’s kill (a rabbit) which was quite a sight to see. We never spotted eagles in our area until recent years, nor were the bobcats so free with their company, less shy but where can they really hide anymore? With all the clearing of the wilderness it’s not so surprising that they hang around.

Naturally, this collection grabbed my attention being a gathering of writings from poetry to stories, musings and observations too as artists sketch our feathered friends. American Birds includes Lewis and Clark’s explorations and species discoveries as well as the important research of John James Audubon, a book about birds would feel incomplete without mention of him. For others, birds serve as divine messengers, portents… anyone whose little heart soars like a bird’s in their presence will enjoy this beautiful literary companion.  Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Sterling A. Brown, Cornelius Eady, Mary Oliver, Linda Hogan, Louise Erdrich are just a handful of talent included in this book that share an enthusiasm for the creatures and have written about them. I have a special love for crows and ravens, and enjoyed Barry Lopez’s, The Raven (1976). This line, “The crow is very accommodating and he admires compulsiveness.” Couldn’t be more true!

Jonathan Rosen’s From The Life Of The Skies (2008) touched me, people really do consider bird watchers eccentric. I love all of nature, nothing is more relaxing then photographing animals in their natural habitat, and after-all what is man if not nature? Maybe we have cut ourselves off from it, being so ‘civilized’ in our cities and homes, but you can’t take nature out of man. I love the line Rosen shares from Walt Whitman, “we are both in and out of the game/ and watching and wondering at it.” I certainly feel that way. Yes, if you are a bird lover, this is a treasure- read it!

Published March 2020

Library of America

I shared photographs for fellow bird nerds alongside my blog review via:
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Wonderful! What a rare treat! I thoroughly this book-everything about it. The poetry, the short vignettes, the bird stories, et al. I especially enjoyed the short story, "Answering the Call" by Rick Bass, Mary Oliver poetry, Elizabeth Bishop, Carl Sandburg-Purple Martins, Walt Whitman, Ogden Nash-all the heavyweights. 
I am a big fan Of Terry Tempest Williams, so as soon as I saw her name as an Editor, I knew it would be an excellent book. I was not disappointed. Thank you SO much Net Galley and Library of America, for giving me the opportunity to read this nature collective of poetry and stories.
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