Thursday, February 02, 2006

Book Review

The Bedside Book of Birds ~An Avian Miscellany~By Graeme Gibson
Recommended by DCBC Member Donna DeClue
It is a delightful treat to have a copy of Graeme Gibson’s book, The Bedside Book of Birds on the nightstand next to your bed. It is exactly as the title proclaims – a pick up and put down volume to read before retiring for the night. The questions Mr. Graham has asked himself are “What is it about birds that calls to us?” and “Why do humans engage themselves with birds?” The response to his curiosity is the compilation of 369 pages filled with poems, folk talks, parables, legends and extracts from the works of naturalists and others who struggle with the very questions Gibson has asked. Some of the material reflects the joy many people feel on seeing or hearing a bird - but a number of the pieces reflect the human exploitation and cruelty that have been directed toward birds. This book provides a rare glimpse into avian-human relations that have existed for thousands of years. It is beautifully illustrated with more than 100 images of birds from folk art, ancient sculpture and works of artists such as Audubon, Lansdowne and Catesby.

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