Cover Image: Birding to Change the World

Birding to Change the World

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Member Reviews

Birding to Change the World is a densely packed book -- bursting with the title birds, teaching, community activism, social justice, Hurricane Katrina, universities, middle schools, and other animals in the wild -- yet it flows easily, and one never feels that the story is bogged down. Trish O'Kane, the author, is a fascinating person who has led an intriguing life. The story is bookended with her first teaching job - a volunteer one - in a women's prison in Montgomery, Alabama, and a teaching job years later in Vermont. There are flashbacks to other interesting and formative incidents. The central focus, as the title indicates, is birds. Ms. O'Kane has an admirable smoothness to her writing that makes it conversational. At 368 pages, it is a longish book, but I wanted to continue the conversation with the author beyond the memoir's end. I highly recommend Birding to Change the World and beg Ms. O'Kane to write another book!
Thank you to NetGalley and Ecco. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book provided by Ecco via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Birding to Change the World is a beautifully written memoir of birding and a naturalist's experiences and musings in conservation, awareness, and education by Dr. Trish O'Kane. Due out 27th Feb 2024 from HarperCollins on their Ecco imprint, it's 368 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout.

This is an inspiring and accessible read about the author's experiences in education, conservation, and grass roots organizing and activism. She writes so well and so eloquently about the places she's lived and helping build up and advocate locally for wildlife and natural resources. It was a joy to read about her lived experiences.

It's inspirational and readers will likely come away with a strong desire to do *something* to help their local wildlife. There's inspiration, and information in the form of some basic ecology, but there's also pathos, drama, and joy in her interaction with the small animals she and her colleagues were protecting and trying to help.

Five stars. It would be a wonderful selection for public or school library acquisition, home use, for gift giving, and for readers of natural history and popular science.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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I love listening to memoirs and I grew up with a dad who loves birding so I decided to give this book a chance without knowing much about it. This book is so much more than a memoir about birds. This is about a group of people who rallied around a large park in Madison, Wisconsin to save the natural areas of the park from further recreational development. Before that happens, O'Kane talks about her life before Madison which was all equally interesting. When we get to the Madison part, she sheds excellent light on parks management (I never thought about the conflicting interests of recreation and nature conservancy and how that plays out.) I really appreciate how thoughtful and proactive O'Kane was in seeking input and involvement from the low-income residents who surrounded much of the park. She also recognized that she was a newcomer to Madison and perhaps this was not her battle to fight so she worked hard to get others involved. The book should inspire people to pay attention and speak up about local government decisions. It should also inspire people who were only marginally interested in birds to expand their knowledge. The audiobook was not read by the author but it felt like it could have been her. One of the best memoirs I've ever listened to - and I've listened to many.

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I loved this book so much I am going to be purchasing it as soon as it is available. I want to bird to change the world. I want to provide bird habitats to change the world. This is more of what we need.

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A wonderful combination of the authors personal journey her memoir and her fascinating look at birds .Learning about the bald eagle and other birds is informative and entertaining.#netgalley #eccobooks

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I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. A great book about the top birds that made a difference in the world. My favorite was the Bald Eagle.

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Trish O’Kane’s Birding to Change the World is a memoir that takes us up from the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to the suburbs of Madison, Wisconsin, and beyond. O’Kane wasn’t a birder until post Katrina and dealing with her father’s illness and eventual death in which she finds mutual grounds with him through birds. She shares the healing power of birds with her students at Loyola University as they all comprehend the destruction to beloved New Orleans and a path forward.

An opportunity to further her education brings her to Madison in which she engages with nature, her community, and past activism to protect a local park from countless potential threats from fireworks to a goose slaughter to development.

O’Kane seamlessly moves between personal stories and scientific explanations to describe the environment, birds, and actions. Her career as a journalist shines through as she reports the story of conservation in Warner Park drawing you in to a love a place many of us have never been. Conservation can be daunting with stories of holes in the ozone or Ocean Garbage Patches, but this story is inspirational because saving our local parks and green spaces can be achievable and successful if we work together.

Thank you NetGalley and Ecco for providing me with this ARC.

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Great nonfiction book that is so much more than a bird book. It's a fascinating read about her journey from losing everything to Hurricane Katrina and moving to Madison, Wisconsin, to go to graduate school after years of working as a social justice reporter in various countries. She stumbles into what she sees is a social justice issue when the small park across the street from her house in a working class neighborhood is slated to have the grassy areas and small wetlands paved and resurfaced for parking lots, soccer fields, etc. It's a great book about the intersection of the upheaval of her life with her discovery of the joys of birding and studying ornithology. As an urban birder myself, I loved the program she began bringing middle schoolers to the park and introducing them to the birds, the animals, and to standing up for themselves and their neighborhood. Great book, well written, and covering more than just birds, but how the birds around us can reveal so much about our society and how local policies can impact nature and our communities.

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Birding to Change the World: A Memoir by Trish O'Kane is a great memior and nature journal of sorts that I really enjoyed.

This book was a nice combination of reflections, memories, natural and ecological observations, and was something that I really enjoyed.

The author showed the world how fascinating, complex, vital, and truly breathtaking birds, birdwatching, and nature truly can be. As someone that loves birding, I already know how special they are, but this book helps support that belief to others who may not have yet found out about all of the benefits that birds bring to our world, and our lives. We can learn so much from one another.

5/5 stars

Thank you NG and Ecco for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 2/27/24.

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