Randa at Garden Geek tagged me with another book meme. I love an excuse to talk about books, but felt like I needed to narrow the focus a bit, so decided to think in terms of nature books only. As you can see in this pic of one of my bookshelves, my book collection (and my thinking about books) is not very well organized. I tend not to think of books in the terms used in this meme; maybe that's what made this so very difficult for me. Anyway, here goes...
1. One book that changed your life: Changed my life? I won't go that far, but should mention Equinox: Life, Love, and Birds of Prey by Dan O'Brien. I remember wandering around a Barnes & Noble and being drawn to this book in the "Discover New Writers" section because it had a falcon on the cover. I was just getting interested in birds and this was the first of an endless series of nature books I've devoured in the 10 years or so since reading it. I read each of Dan O'Brien's books that I could find in the library and have purchased each new one as it is published. I read the authors who wrote *blurbs* for this book and found Jim Harrison, Rick Bass, and Stephen Bodio each of whom has lead me to other authors and other books.
2. One book that you've read more than once: Prior to reading books on the natural world I had been reading a lot of gardening essays. Naturally, I began to find myself favoring those garden authors whose books intersected with my interest in the outdoors. Sue Hubbell is one such author and her A Country Year: Living the Questions is a book that I've read over and over when the mood strikes me. It's the type of book I can pick up and read for an hour or two and return to six months later. Hubbell's books cover varied topics like bee-keeping and living in the country, but also sea life and bugs among other things. Good stuff that I always enjoy.
3. One book you'd want on a desert island: Easy question! Sundial of the Seasons by Hal Borland.
4. One book that made you laugh: Nature books as funny? The only ones I can think of are by Pete Dunne, but he gets less funny the more you read him; he needs some new one-liners! Sorry, Pete!
5. One book that made you cry: The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter. Wonderful book that I enjoyed immensely and have often given as a gift. It tells the story of a Cherokee boy growing up the Appalachians in the 30's.
6. One book that you wish had been written: I'd love to see someone write a book about Sandy Hook and its environs, something like Season at the Point: A Birder's Journal of Cape May by Jack Connor. I know quite a few people who have the knowledge to write a book about the Hook; maybe someday one of them will.
7. One book that you wish had never been written: I won't bother finishing a book if I'm not enjoying it, so can't really answer this one. The most recent book that was disappointing to me was On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon by Alan Tennant. It got good reviews, but nearly bored me to death.
8. One book you're currently reading: Whispers in the Pines: A Naturalist in the Northeast by Joanna Burger. I haven't made much progress with it yet, but it's there on the nightstand. I loved one of her other books: A Naturalist Along the Jersey Shore, so I'm bound to enjoy this one too.
9. One book you've been meaning to read: I want to find the time to re-read Scott Weidensaul's Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds. Every one of his books is great, but this was a favorite.
10. Now tag five people: I'm not sure that I want to trouble anyone with a tag, so I'll just extend a general invitation to anyone that might feel like doing this. In particular, I would love to hear (maybe just in comments to this post) about your favorite book about the natural world. Nothing is better than a book recommended by a friend! I'd also like to know if anyone has read any of the books that I mentioned here and what your thoughts were. Let's talk books!
7 hours ago