Even the most outdoor enthusiast can relish the time spent indoors when the holidays draw near. While This year may have had its ups and downs, there was no shortage of excellent books – both fiction and non-fiction – on birds, nature and the environment to snuggle up with. Here are some of our favorites.
I’m in the mood be in awe of the birds. To become fascinated by another one species can teach us a lot about the world and ourselves. In A most remarkable creature (Knopf, $ 30, 384 pages), independent rock musician Jonathan Meiburg Book first, the author’s decades-long fascination with striated caracaras finds him hunting birds through remote parts of South America. The enigmatic and intelligent raptors, whose presence on the remote control mystified Charles Darwin in the 1830s, captivated Meibourg as a university graduate almost two centuries later. His search to uncover the mystery of the evolution of the caracaras is part of a travelogue, natural history part, and fully a ode to those resilient birds.
Also try: The gift of hummingbirds, by Sy Montgomery (Atria, $ 20, 96 pages), a real account of writers experience helping a friend raise baby hummingbirds.
I’m in the mood have hope for our future. Reading about climate change doesn’t have to be all pessimistic. Pulitzer’s stimulating premise Price-the Laureate Journalist of Elizabeth Kolbert Under a white sky (Wreath, $ 28, 256 pages) recognizes that humans have seriously interfered with the natural processes of the Earth, bUtah Also looks at new technologies and DIY methods that can mitigate pity wday before caused, whether by genetically modifying destructive invasive species or throwing reflective particles into the stratosphere. The author’s in-depth reporting and curiosity for new innovations offer no prescription, but are sure to make readers think.
I’m in the mood to bond with kids. If you are ready to skip adult reading, to try bird boy (Knopf, $ 18, 32 pages), by Matthew Burgess, which tells a familiar tale of newborn in school with an avian turn. Nico ignore children’s whispers on the playground and spend his time watching the birds, instead. Soon the children affectionately nicknamed him “Bird Boy” and Nico makes friends who are also delighted to discover the joy of birds.
Also try: The great spaces of Fatima (Kokila, $ 18, 40 pages), by Ambreen Tariq, a story about healing, identity and belonging on a family camping trip; and (Roaring Brook Press, $ 18, 40 pages), by Carole Lindstrom, winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal and a vibrant call to defend a precious resource.
I’m in the mood to get lost in speculative futures. No green thriller will keep you spellbound like Humming-bird Salamander, the latest from science fiction maestro Jeff VanderMeer. “Jane Smith”, a security consultant living in the not-so-distant dystopian future, promises to show the reader “how the world ends.” She follows a note that directs her to a taxidermy humming-bird who should go extinct, which turns out to be an invitation to action from a mysterious South American heiress (who may also be an eco-terrorist). Jane pursues a trail of clues through a world rocked by ecological destruction, climate change and a pandemic.
As well to try: Something new under the sun (Hogarth, $ 28, 368 pages), by Alexandra Kleeman, about a novelist who goes to Hollywood to save career as drought-ravaged California burns around it.
This story was originally published in the Winter 2021 issue. To receive our print magazine, become a member by donate today.