Share A Big Year Reading List: 6 Books for Bird Lovers

A Big Year Reading List: 6 Books for Bird Lovers

Ana Perez is an Associate Marketing Manager for Education & Library at Simon & Schuster. Her love affair with literature officially began in fifth grade after reading The Giver by Lois Lowry, and has not stopped since. Her favorite books include Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, and anything by Margaret Atwood. Aside from reading, she adores baking, birding, astronomy, and hiking. Follow her adventures on Instagram: @motjustes.

 

Birders have their own language, a shorthand way of speaking to each other speckled with lingo finely tuned for only their flock to understand. We use acronyms in our field notes, evidence of a quiet madness bubbling up to the surface. We have running totals of all the birds we’ve seen, our “Life List,” and try every year to one-up each other (and ourselves) with a “Big Year.” A Big Year is a challenge to identify as many birds in one calendar year as possible. I live in two universes with these lists, one for my skybound friends and another for the imaginary and true ones I encounter in the pages of some of my favorite books. Here are some books to read to achieve your own literary Big Year.


The Life List of Adrian Mandrick
by Chris White

Adrian Mandrick is addicted: to deceit, alcohol, drugs, and finding the extremely rare (most say extinct) ivory-billed woodpecker he swore he spotted once as a child in the swamps of Florida. The combination of Chris White’s nuanced birder language and eye for detail, and the psychological drama of Adrian’s downward spiral, make this a read that will satisfy birders and non-birders alike.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Life List of Adrian Mandrick
Chris White

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

A Big Year Reading List: 6 Books for Bird Lovers

By Ana Perez | January 24, 2019

Close

Birds Art Life
by Kyo Maclear

BIRDS, ART, LIFE is a reflection on how applying birding principles to different aspects of your life can remedy the daily disconnect we all feel living in a modern world. By exploring how the micro joys we overlook impact macro and larger themes of our humanity, this unconventional field guide for living and birding ultimately shows us how nature is a perennial source of inspiration and strength.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Birds Art Life
Kyo Maclear

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

A Big Year Reading List: 6 Books for Bird Lovers

By Ana Perez | January 24, 2019

Holiday Gift Ideas and Book Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2017

Close

The Wallcreeper
by Nell Zink

Nell Zink’s THE WALLCREEPER is a zany, clever novel that forces us to look at how and why good intentions like wanting to conserve and protect nature can get skewed, misaligned, and become destructive. Peppered with lyrical and beautiful descriptions of birds, forests, and the emotional underpinnings of radicals, this wild book will have anyone entertained and engaged.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Wallcreeper
Nell Zink

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

A Big Year Reading List: 6 Books for Bird Lovers

By Ana Perez | January 24, 2019

Close

Freedom
by Jonathan Franzen

FREEDOM is an epic American family saga that chronicles the members of a dysfunctional family lead by Walter Berglund, a liberal suburbanite hooked on the plight of disappearing songbirds. Jonathan Franzen’s love and devotion to birds and birding is so evident on these pages, but essentially it’s his keen eye for observing how life is equally tragic and comic that makes this novel a literary gem.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Freedom
Jonathan Franzen

Freedom follows Walter and Patty Berglund as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world. This award-winning novel comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty, the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, and the heavy weight of empire.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

A Big Year Reading List: 6 Books for Bird Lovers

By Ana Perez | January 24, 2019

Reading XXL: 15 Extra Long Books Perfect for Extra Long Winter Nights

By Julianna Haubner | January 26, 2016

12 Literary Families to Invite Over for Thanksgiving

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 19, 2015

The Shelf of Shame: 7 Books We Never Finished

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 13, 2015

Close

The Beak of the Finch
by Jonathan Weiner

THE BEAK OF THE FINCH is the story of scientists Peter and Rosemary Grant, who conduct research on an island in the Galápagos archipelago. For more than twenty years, they have studied and observed generations of Darwin’s finches to witness natural selection happen before their very eyes. Told in an excellent documentary tone, this informative and interesting look into ornithology, biology, and evolution will make any birder appreciate the inner workings of our natural world.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Beak of the Finch
Jonathan Weiner

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

A Big Year Reading List: 6 Books for Bird Lovers

By Ana Perez | January 24, 2019

Close

Many Love
by Sophie Lucido Johnson

A book about polyamory? In a list for birders? This deep dive is an illuminating look into a very specific subculture that reshapes our notions of what our cultural understanding of romance, love, and relationships are. Told with a sociological bent and with explanations of animal and ultimately human behavior, this thought-provoking book will influence how you observe the natural world.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Many Love
Sophie Lucido Johnson

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

A Big Year Reading List: 6 Books for Bird Lovers

By Ana Perez | January 24, 2019

Readers’ Choice: The Top 10 Most Shelved Books in July

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 27, 2018

Summer Reading Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 21, 2018

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create an Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.