July.15 Book Rec

This month’s book recommendation: The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns. My reasons for choosing this book are many: It’s July, making it America’s birthday month; I love love love the documentary it is a companion to; Duncan and I both get misty-eyed thinking about new land being formed when lava meets the ocean; I always enjoy a great nonfiction read; it’s Dreamspinner Press’ American Dream #dreamer month, and I was thus inspired.

the national parks

Even if you haven’t seen the documentary — or maybe especially if you haven’t — this book has so much to offer. The photographs alone are worth a look. The narrative is rich in history about the Parks, but calls upon historical parallels happening in the United States as the Parks are formed, established, and become an institution. There’s far more than trivia about Yosemite to be gleaned, here. Duncan & Burns maintain the balance between factual detail and sensitive prose quite ably, making it an informative and absorbing read.

The National Parks will make you want to turn another page, and at the same time, make you want to bust outside and take a long walk. That’s the best of both worlds, really.

Brew a pot of tea and enjoy!


May.15 Book Rec

This month’s book recommendation: Red Tails In Love by Marie Winn. This book has so many elements I love–birding, hawks, New York City, Central Park, and lively nonfiction prose to tell you all about everything. The nesting hawk pair is as good a love story as any romance novel I might recommend, and perfect for when spring begins to heat up into summer.


In the spring of 1992, a pair of red-tailed hawks built a nest on a high ledge of a building on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Excitement rocked the world of Central Park’s devoted birdwatchers: never before had a red-tail been known to nest on a city building.

This book is quintessential New-York-Ism as much as the peccadilloes and quirks abounding in the birding world. It makes for an amusing, heady combination. It’s full of personality and information about everything the hawks’ nesting saga touches: from the hawks’ famous neighbors, to the avid birders watching their every swoop, to the bustle of the City below them. A world-within-a-world narrative as charming as the dashing Pale Male.

If you’re ever in Central Park go find the Bird Registry–it’s well worth your while!

Brew a pot of tea and enjoy!