Barrett, Andrea. Servants of the Map. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002.
“Servants of the Map”
Max Vigne is an English Civil Junior Sub-Assistant surveyor in the Himalayas away from his wife and young family. As a member of the surveying party, through letters he describes his daily existence, leaving out the hardships and cruelties (like finding the body of a man who apparently died of the elements). Through those same letters the reader is exposed to Max’s inability to synthesize with this surroundings. Being from England he is embarrassed by his lily-white skin while everyone else on the team is dark and tanned. The differences go deeper than skin and culture. Max is drawn to the natural world, wanting to explore it more than reconnect with his marriage and life back home.
It is December 1905 in the Adirondacks. Elizabeth and Andrew run a private home for health-seekers. They have nine boarders at the moment and one, Mr. Martin Sawyer, is dying. Elizabeth thinks her husband hides whenever someone is sick but really he is channeling the healing powers of Nora Kynd. Andrew believes in the healing qualities of magnets. They “shift the shape of the aura surrounding each person into a new and more healthful alignment” (p 203). On Nora’s birthday he honors her spirit by placing magnets in the chimney, hoping it will help Mr. Sawyer.
There are a lot of other characters to keep track of. Here are just a few:
- Livvie and Rosellen – they help Elizabeth run the house
- Mrs Temple – the nurse who left three days earlier
- Dorrie and Emeline – they also run private homes for health-seekers
- Bessie Brennan – Dorrie’s mother. She was the first to rent a room to a sick stranger
- Mr. Woodruff – a Baltimore banker who roomed with Bessie
- Olive – Bessie’s cousin
- Aaron Brown – a boarder who died
- Mr. Davis – another boarder
- Mr. Cameron – an astronomy teacher from Connecticut, also a boarder
- Nora Kynd – she taught Elizabeth, Dorrie and Emeline their trade. She came from Detroit, Michigan and has passed away.
Barrett takes the time to jump back to Nora Kynd’s story – how she fled to America from Ireland; how she was separated from her only living relatives, her two younger brothers; how she befriended a healer by the name of Fanny McCloud who taught her everything she knew; how she came to the Adirondacks. Like “Servants of the Map” this story focuses on science, this time trying to cure people of consumption or tuberculosis.
Line I liked, “Trying to stay in touch without touch; how that effort changes us” (p 29).
Reason read: June is short story month and so the short stories continue.
Author fact: Barrett was born in Boston.
Book trivia: Servants of the Map was nominated for a Pulitzer. Very cool.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Good Things Come in Small Packages” (p 102).
Jong, Erica. Fear of Flying. New York: Signet, 1973.
I think I started this book about eight different times, starting when I was 16 or 17. As a kid I always misunderstood the cover art – a naked woman under an unzipped… something. I thought she was in a body bag which, now that I think about it, doesn’t really make sense because if that were the case, she would have been sideways in the bag. Therefore she shouldn’t fit. Having no idea what the book was actually about back then I didn’t know it was a man’s unzipped fly. Now I say, “but of course!” The takeaway from Jong’s Fear of Flying is the underlying message of freedom (especially freedom from fear). To fly is to be free and this is one woman’s story about wanting that ability to become unfettered and free. Her sexuality and psychology are just metaphors for the deeper meaning of feminism and a woman taking control of her life…like a man. Yes, there is sex and lots of it but that’s not what Fear of Flying is all about.
Favorite lines, “A little girl who was neither bitchy nor mealy-mouthed because she didn’t hate her mother or herself” (p 46),
Reason read: May is considered the “Birds and Bees” month so let’s talk about sex.
Author fact: Erica Jong has a sexy website here. I love the colors and the use of multimedia – very eye catching.
Book trivia: According to Jong’s website, Fear of Flying was her first published book.
Reason read: from Book Lust in the chapter called “I am Woman – Hear Me Roar” (p 120).
O’Brien, Tim. In the Lake of the Woods. Read by L.J. Ganser. Grand Haven, Michigan: Brilliance Audio, 2011.
This is many different stories rolled into one. It is the story of an abused childhood. It is a vicious Vietnam War documentary. It is a quiet mystery. It is a love-with-abandon story and a tangled tragedy. John Wade is an Vietnam vet who lost the election for a seat in the U.S. Senate. The campaign was a complete disaster prompting John to take his wife, Kathy, to a secluded cabin in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, so that he might lick his wounds in private. After a week away from the world Kathy inexplicably disappears. Using flashbacks to John’s childhood, college days, tour in Vietnam & relationship with Kathy, John’s psychological history is revealed. As a young child his father taunted him about his weight, teased him relentlessly about his obsession with magic. John learned at an early age to hide his feelings by imagining mirrors in his head, mirrors that reflected the world he wanted to live in and how he wanted people to treat him. In college his obsession with his future wife Kathy was like a sickness. He would spy on her incessantly, claiming he loved her too much to leave her alone. He would not spend hours doing this, but entire days. Then there was Vietnam. His enduring love of magic prompted the soldiers in his company to nickname him “Sorcerer.” This, along with the mirrors still in his head, allowed John to become someone else during the atrocities of war. He believed his violent actions were not his own because they belonged to Sorcerer. Throughout dating in college and during the political campaign as man and wife Kathy and John’s relationship was never on the same page. He spied. She needed space. She wanted children but when she became pregnant he convinced her to abort. He loved the campaign trail. She wanted off it. But did that mean John had something to do with her disappearance? O’Brien introduces a kernel of doubt when he describes Kathy lost in the maze of rivers beyond Lake of the Woods. The boat is missing after all…
My one complaint? The “evidence” involving quotes from wars other than Vietnam. I know why O’Brien did it. He wanted to show that the atrocities of war were not limited to the actions of soldiers involved in the My Lai massacre. It was overkill (pardon the pun).
Reason read: Minnesota become a state in May.
Book trivia: I am shocked this has never been made into a movie. Really. Another piece of trivia – this is the equivalent of an ear worm. I haven’t stopped pondering the possibilities since.
Author fact: There are a few autobiographical elements to In the Lake of the Woods.
BookLust Twist: You can always tell when Pearl loves a book. She either mentions it a few times in one Lust book or she mentions it in all of them. In this case In the Lake of the Woods was found in Book Lust in the chapter called “Vietnam” (p 238), twice in More book Lust in the chapters “Big Ten Country: the Literary Midwest (Minnesota)” (p 28) and “It was a Dark and Stormy Novel (p 128), and once in Book Lust To Go in the chapter “Vietnam” (p 246). Four mentions!
Plath, Sylvia. Ariel: the Restored Edition.New York: Harper Perennial, 2004.
Sylvia Plath wrote with such raw energy and emotion. Her essence is on every page, in every word. Nowhere is that more plain to see than in the collected poems in Ariel. As the last collection of poetry written before her death it is riddled with references to death. That is to be expected from one suffering from depression, on the wrong kind of medicine, and already an attempted suicide survivor. It’s as if death is stalking her, wooing her (case in point: the last line of “Death & Co” is “somebody is done for” (p 36) and “Dying is an art…I do it exceptionally well” (p 15). I chose to read Ariel: the Restored Edition and now that I’ve thought about it I don’t think it’s the version Pearl was referring to (see BookLust Twist). Oh well.
Favorite lines – the first being from Path’s daughter, Frieda, in the foreword, “The manuscript was digging up everything that must be shed in order to move on” (p xiv – xv).
Reason read: Although we are getting to the end of the month April is still National Poetry Month.
Author fact: Everyone knows a little something about Sylvia Plath (Smith College, Ted Hughes, suicide, etc), but what I recently learned was that she was born in Boston.
Book trivia: If you haven’t read Ariel I would suggest skipping the version Ted Hughes introduced to the world and pick up the one his daughter, Frieda Hughes, wrote the foreword for, Ariel: the Restored Edition. It is far more informative.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover” (p 237). Oddly enough, Ariel is not a recommendation by Pearl. She merely uses it as an example of a recognizable cover when discussing Alan Powers’s book Front Cover: Great Book Jacket and Cover Design.
Lodge, David. Author, Author. Narrated by Christopher Kay. New York: Recorded Books, LLC, 2005
This was a long listen! 14 cds equaling almost 17 hours. If you want to do the math that meant 51 trips to and from work in order to finish it. While the print version is under 400 pages the audio seemed much longer. Because Lodge’s writing is rambling I found myself getting distracted and confused about what was happening when. Author, Author is a biography that focuses mainly on Henry James’s relationships with Constance Fenimore Woolsen, the granddaughter of James Fenimore Cooper and with fellow author/friend George Du Maurier and the “horrible opening night” of his play “Guy Domville.” The best part of the story was Henry’s relationship with Constance Fenimore Woolsen (fondly known as Fenimore throughout the book). James struggles to have a relationship with her that is private yet meaningful.
Confessional – I swapped this out for another audio book as soon as the new one became available.
Reason read: Henry James was born in April and so to celebrate his birth I am listening to Author, Author.
Author fact: Lodge’s body of work is quite impressive. I have a few more of his titles on my challenge list.
Book trivia: The audio version of Author, Author is read by Christopher Kay.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Literary Lives: the Americans” (p 144).
Thomas, Dylan. “In My Craft or Sullen Art.” The Poems of Dylan Thomas. New York: New Directions, 1971. p 196.
The fact that Dylan Thomas needed to justify why he put pen to paper absolutely astounds me. This poem is all about the explanation behind the craft of writing. Why he writes should not need justification. I’d rather hear about what makes him write; what drives him to create.
Can I just say I love the word ‘rage’ in any context? It implies such a raw passion.
Reason read: April = National Poetry Month.
Author fact: Thomas also wrote a book called Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, a collection of sequential autobiographical stories. Not on my list.
Poetry trivia: Dylan’s “In My Craft or Sullen Art” was turned into a knitting. Word for word. Crazy.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Poetry Pleasers” (p 187).
Just a note, because I am proud of this – I am almost finished with this chapter of More Book Lust. Just one more poem and I will be finished with “Poetry Pleasers.” Amazing.
Miles, Jack. God: a Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.
Jack Miles has an interesting concept. In order to write a biography on God he had to first consider him as a character in the Old Testament. He had to analyze the “character development” and bear witness to the relationships between God and the other primary “characters” of the Bible. One has to think of God and Lord as different. God takes on a variety of roles (including animal husbandry counselor). Miles’s philosophy is strong and pragmatically sound, even for an agnostic like me. It works. Somehow, it really works. Others must agree because God: a Biography won Miles a Pulitzer.
Favorite lines, “Our only identity is a lack of identity” (p 22), and “He is not just unpredictable but dangerously unpredictable” (p 46).
Confessional – I didn’t finish this. I got the gist of it after 100 pages. I think that was good enough.
Reason read: Easter has got to be one of the most religious holidays people celebrate. So, in honor of Easter and religion in general I am reading God: a Biography.
Author fact: As a former Jesuit priest Miles is no stranger to religious studies.
Book trivia: As I mentioned before Jack Miles won a Pulitzer for God: a Biography. What I didn’t mention was the date: 1996.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Dewey Deconstructed: 200s” (p 65).
Smith, Alexander McCall. The Full Cupboard of Life
Reason read: In honor of Mystery Month I started this series way back in January. The Full cupboard of Life is the fifth book in the series recommended by Nancy Pearl in either Book Lust, more Book Lust, or Book Lust To Go. I am nearing the end of my time with Mma Ramotswe and her family at the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I started in January with The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and now have one more book to read after The Full Cupboard of Life.
When we return to Mma Ramotswe we learn she is still engaged to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni. They have yet to set a wedding date. There is no doubt Mma Ramotswe is patient lady! Although, in this 5th installment she is losing faith and dares to ask Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni the dreaded “when” question. It is even starting to weigh on Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni as he dreams about a wedding date.
The one noticeable difference about The Full Cupboard of Life is that, unlike previous books in the series, the plot is not as seamless as the others. Instead of picking up where the reader left off Smith takes the time to bring the reader back to the very beginning of the series, explaining who Mma Ramotswe is and how she came to have the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency in Botswana. He also takes the time to reintroduce us to Mma Ramotswe’s beloved daddy and other early relationships. There is less emphasis on “mysteries” to solve.
Book trivia: The Full Cupboard of Life is the last book I will read in order in the series. After this I am actually skipping THREE others: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Blue Shoes and Happiness, and The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (does this mean I missed the wedding?). I wonder why Pearl doesn’t include them in any of her recommendations?
Author fact: Alexander McCall Smith is currently on a lecture tour but (unfortunately!) comes nowhere near me. Bummer. I’m a huge fan now.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Ms. Mystery” (p 171). But, of course. As an aside, this was the first book I listened to on cassette and sadly, the tape was a little warped. This listening experience was not as enjoyable as the disc versions.
Rhodes, Richard. A Hole in the World: an American Boyhood. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.
Have you ever walked across really, really hot sand in your bare feet? There you are, stinging and ouching all the way across the incredibly hot terrain. But! It’s a pain you don’t want to give up because of where you are and where you going. Your destination is that blissful blanket by the sea and it will be lovely (why else are you there?). You know the pain will only last as long as you as are hot-stepping across the sand. That brief agony is the way I felt about Hole in the World by Richard Rhodes. It was unpleasant reading, even hurtful reading but I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to get to the good part, that blanket, if you will. It’s the story of Richard Rhodes growing up in an abusive household. I know he heals from his traumatic childhood. I know the abuses he suffered didn’t last forever. There is light at the end of the dark tunnel of boyhood. But, it is a book worth reading. His words haunted my heart long after I put it down.
Favorite dangerous line, “I was tickling a dragon’s tail” (p 170).
Reason read: April is National Child Abuse Prevention month.
Author fact: Richard Rhodes went on to write The Making of the Atom Bomb for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
Book trivia: Heads up vegetarians and animals lovers! There is a decent-sized section dedicated to the description of the slaughter of farm animals. It’s graphic and detailed but nothing disturbed me more than when Rhodes is forced to kill a cat.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “A Holiday Shopping List” (p 116).
Trollope, Frances. Domestic Manners of the Americans. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949.
Frances “Fanny” Trollope disliked Americans for their lack of “domestic manners.” In other words she didn’t know how to embrace culturally differences. One man’s rude belch is another man’s generous compliment to the chef. But, Frances Trollope didn’t see it that way. The American accent grated on Trollope’s ears. She found the living conditions deplorable as well. Pigs running wild in the streets of Cincinnati bothered her but she conceded that if it weren’t for the pigs the street would be overrun with food rubbish! She longed for England’s refinement. One has to keep in mind the era as well. America was trying to be as backwards from British rule as possible.
Favorite line, “…before the end of August I fell low before the monster that is forever stalking that land of lakes and rivers, breathing fever and death around” (p 178). I like the sheer monstrosity of it all.
Reason read: Frances Trollope was born in the month of March. I also read Fanny: a novel by Edmund White at the same time. Was it worth it? Not sure what I was supposed to get out of that exercise, so I would have to say no.
Book trivia: Domestic Manners of the Americans inspired Edmund White to write Fanny: a Novel.
Author fact: Domestic Manners of the Americans was Frances Trollope’s first book.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “”Two, or Three, Are Better Than One (p 226).
Ponsot, Marie. “Winter.” Springing.New york: Alfred A Knopf, 2002. p 225.
Such a short poem and oh so seemingly uncomplicated! Don’t be fooled by its length or lack of veiled meaning. It is a snapshot of two neighbors, living side by side. Two mothers, their sons had grown up as friends. Only now the reader finds out one mother has lost her son to suicide. The other doesn’t know what to say. Isn’t that always the way? There is pain in this surviving-son’s mother’s voice as she struggles with words and sentiments. It’s elegant and emotional.
And to think I read it thinking it was going to be about winter (because I can’t wait for it to be over). That will teach me to judge a poem by its title!
Favorite line, “Both boys hated school, dropped out feral, dropped in to separate troubles” (p 225).
Reason read: April is National Poetry Month. So. There. This is the first poem of the month!
Author fact: Ponsot’s book The Bird Catcher won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 1998.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Poetry Pleasers” (p 189).
Irving, John. A Widow For One Year. Read by George Guidall. New York: Random House Audio, 1998.
While meandering at times A Widow For One Year follows the life of Ruth Cole. In Part One it is 1958 and Ruth is only four years old. The plot doesn’t necessarily focus on Ruth at this point but rather on her Long Island parents – their endless grief over the accidental death of their teenage sons and the bitter end of their tumultuous marriage. Ruth’s father is a celebrated author of books for children, a closet alcoholic and a raging adulterer. He wants to divorce Ruth’s mother, Marion, but he first needs to make sure he’ll win the custody battle over Ruth. Given his drinking (he can’t even drive due to too many dui arrests) and sexual conquests outside the marriage he needs Marion to have an indiscretion of her own to level the playing field. Enter Eddie O’Hare, a sixteen year old high school student from Philips Exeter Academy. Ted hires Eddie to be his writing assistant for the summer but really Eddie is supposed to seduce Marion. It’s Eddie who I like the best in this part one. He plays the fool perfectly (oh, but what a sweet and pretty fool). Unwittingly he is a pawn for both Ted and Marion.
In Part Two Ruth, at thirty-six, is an accomplished writer living in New York. The section begins with the very same Eddie O’Hare. He is in town to introduce Ruth at one of her readings. While their paths cross only briefly at this point in the story Ruth is enlightened by Eddie’s memories of her mother. She begins to see her parent’s divorce in a whole new perspective. Before leaving for a European book tour Eddie gives Ruth a murder mystery he thinks was written by Marion. While in Amsterdam Ruth is witness to the murder of a window prostitute from the red light district.
This sets in motion Part Three which, in the beginning, focuses mostly on the murder of the prostitute from five years earlier. The lead chief inspector has a conundrum. While he was able to solve the murder he now wants to find the witness. The story jumps back fill in the story of the prostitute (which could have been a whole separate book). I don’t want to spoil the end except to say it’s nice that Irving brought the story full circle.
Favorite lines: “There are few things as seemingly untouched by the real world as a child asleep” (p 151). Don’t you love the image of that? Another favorite line, “I appear to have an old disease to share” (p 324).
As an aside, Ruth’s attitude about her American fans reminded me of how Natalie Merchant reacts to autograph signings and picture taking with her American fans. Both Ruth and Natalie are more comfortable with their European fans.
Reason read: John Irving celebrates a birthday in March, on the 18th…or so I’ve read on LibraryThing.
Author fact: John Irving was not an author Nancy Peal included in her “Too Good to Miss” chapters. Too bad because he should have been. He has written some amazing stuff.
Book trivia: The 2004 film adaptation of A Widow For One Year was “A Door in the Floor.” Note to self: put this on my movie list.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Wayward Wives” (p 232). I think Pearl got it wrong. Yes, the wife is wayward but her situation is completely more understandable than her husband’s. I think her husband is despicable. But, another thing: the book isn’t really about the wayward wife or husband.
Smith, Alexander McCall. The Kalahari Typing School for Men. New York: Anchor Books, 2002.
You don’t have to read the first three Mma Ramotswe books in order to enjoy Kalahair Typing School for Men but I think you would enjoy them better if you did. In the fourth installment of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency the plot continues to move away from solving mysteries (as it had been in Morality for Beautiful Girls) and the emphasis is placed more on character development. To bring you up to speed: Mma Precious Ramotswe is Botswana’s only female detective. She is engaged to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and together they have adopted two children, a brother and sister, but still haven’t set a wedding date. It seems Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is content to stay engaged for an indeterminate amount of time. Mma Ramotswe has two cases of interest. One is a gentleman wishing to repair his not so sterling past. He wants to make amends for a series of wrongs he has done as a youth. The other mystery is a typical marital woe of a woman thinking her man is cheating on her. The title of the story comes from Mma Matakutsi’s side business of starting a typing school for men.
Now that I am actually reading I have a few favorite lines, “That was the trouble with people in general: they were surprisingly unrealistic in their expectations” (p 5) and “We do not care about other people’s hats in the same way these days, do we? We do not” (p 158).
Reason read: to continue the series (started with The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) in honor of Mystery Month in January. Note: up until this point I have listened to the series in CD. I appreciated Lecat’s narration and pronunciation. For example, if I had read the series from the beginning I wouldn’t have known that “Zebra Drive” (where Mma Ramotswe lives) is pronounced Zeb – bra Drive and not Zee – bra Drive.
Author fact: You just have to check out the videos on Alexander McCall Smith’s website. He is quoted as saying he is very fond of Botswana and he wrote the Mma Ramotswe series as a tribute to the country. (see link on Morality for Beautiful Girls book review).
Book trivia: This is the fourth book in the series. Next up is The Full Cupboard of Life.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Ms. Mystery” (p 171).
White, Edmund. Fanny: a Fiction. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.
Here’s the premise: Frances Trollope is already famous for publishing Domestic Manners of the Americans, a no-so flattering account of American society. She now sets out to write the biography of friend and feminist, Fanny Wright. Edmund White produces Fanny’s biography in manuscript form and I have to say it would have been a clever twist to present this as a reworked manuscript. Trollope’s notes to self, musings, and edit ideas would have been more effective had they been published as handwritten notes in the margins, scribbles, and parts crossed out. Instead, Trollope’s musings are in line with the text and somewhat distracting. As it is, Trollope spends more time justifying her Domestic Manners and recounting her own family’s trials and tribulations than she does on Ms. Wright’s memoir. It’s cleverly written.
Line I liked, “I had been so absorbed in the brilliant company…the look of the elegant company, that I had completely forgotten the sad reality of me” (p 44).
Reason read: Frances Trollope was born in the month of March and this was listed as a “companion” read in More Book Lust.
Book trivia: I found it really cool that Edmund White dedicated Fanny to Joyce Carol Oates.
Author fact: Edmund White has his own website here.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Two, or Three, Are Better Than One” (p 226).
UPDATE: Another index error in More Book Lust! Fanny: a Fiction by Edmund White is also mentioned in the chapter “Just Too Good To Miss” (p 133) of More Book Lust.
Wood, Frances. Brushed By Feathers: a Year of birdwatching in the West. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing, 2004.
On the very first page of Brushed By Feathers you are warned by Bob Righter, “Be careful when you read this book – your life could be forever changed.” You could just become a bird watcher is what he meant. Somehow I doubt that. After growing up in the migration path of thousands of the flying species and having to endure the rapture of the many Audubon societies that have flocked to my hometown I don’t think I could become one of them. I don’t know what it is about some birders but they lose all sense of reality when witnessing a rare or even an infrequently seen bird. On one occasion my husband and I were marveling at the storm pounded surf, worrying about a boat that bobbed too close to the shore. A group of birders thought we gaped at a pair of herring gulls screeching over a dead crab.
Having said all that, I loved Wood’s book! There are certain books that appeal on a level beyond words, sentences and chapters; books that feel good in the hands or evoke some kind of deep down feeling. While Brushed By Feathers didn’t turn me into a birding fanatic I was moved by it by appearance alone. With its journal-like pages and illustrations it is a book that goes beyond simple content. Its presentation is near perfection. Had it been bound with a soft cloth cover, one that would feel good in the hands, I would have said this is one book to hold onto – literally.
I also loved the presentation of the content. Each chapter is a different month of bird watching in the Pacific northwest region of the Unites States (Wood lives near Puget Sound). Wood begins each chapter with an overview of the sights and sounds one might expect to find during that particular month and then chooses a bird to detail (eagle, hummingbird, etc). She adds personal stories to connect with her audience and not be completely didactic. Also included in the beginning of each chapter is a checklist of the new birds introduced each month with room for notes about each species.
I guess my only complaint would be that it’s very specific to the area in and around Puget Sound and Whidbey Island. If I ever get to that part of the country I’ll know what birds to look for!
Most interesting line, “During the non-breeding season, the section of a songbird’s brain that controls singing actually shrinks, making ti unable to sing, even if the urge arose” (p 167). Okay, I did not know that.
Reason read: Oddly enough, I heard that February is bird feeding month. Not watching, but feeding. Go figure.
Author fact: Frances has her own website here. It’s pretty cool.
Book trivia: Brushed By Feathers has beautiful illustrations. Wood is responsible for those as well.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “A Holiday Shopping List” (p 116). Pearl would have given this book to an avid bird watcher. I hope he or she lives in the northwest!