Date: 2/24/17 11:31 am
From: Jim George (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Armchair birding through books
Just to follow up on Doug's recommendations, Scott Weidensaul followed the
route of Peterson's "Wild America" journey and published "Return to Wild
America" in 2005, which is a good read whether you read it first or second.

Also "Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds" by
Olivia Gentile may be a somewhat easier read about Phoebe Snetsinger's
obsessive and dangerous quest to see the most birds ever. I think she
reached 8,500 species. It's really interesting that Doug was the
illustrator for Snetsinger's own book.

Of course, a more light-hearted book about listers is "*The Big Year: A
Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession*". Don't be dissuaded if you saw
the movie based on this book, because the book is factual and much better
done as is often the case.

- Jim George
Chapel Hill, NC

On Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 2:58 PM, Doug Pratt <carolinabirds...> wrote:

> In response to Merrill Lynch's recommendation, I would also recommend
> Phoebe Snetsinger's first-hand account "Birding on Borrowed Time",
> available through ABA Sales. It is equally tragic and truthful, and will
> give you a challenge keeping up with all the world birds mentioned. But
> it's a good read even if you don't know one bird from another. My mother
> passed it around her retirement home and it got rave reviews. She said you
> just have to treat those long lists of birds like the biblical "begats".
> The book is more a chronicle of obsession than a birding report. Full
> disclosure: I illustrated this book and am mentioned in it, but receive no
> money from sales.
> While we're on the subject, I want to also recommend a book even older
> than "Kingbird Highway" (which I agree is a must-read), Peterson and
> Fisher's "Wild America", which chronicles a birding journey by car across
> North America in the early 1950s by Roger Tory Peterson and his British
> friend. It was before interstate highways and mass air travel. At the
> time, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers and Bachman's Warblers were still a
> reasonable possibility. This book in many ways made me who I am today.
> It's still a great read, and brings back a long-lost era that nevertheless
> existed within many of our lifetimes.
> Doug Pratt
> Cary, NC

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