|Art Journal collage, 8 x 8 inches|
...beginning with The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman. I really loved this book, and if you're a fan of birds (and who isn't?), you'll love it too. In highly readable fashion, the author deftly paints a portrait of the brilliance of our avian friends, based on extensive research as well as charming anecdotal stories. Ackerman takes us around the world to different avian research centers as we learn about birds' vast smarts in so many areas, their technical know-how (using and making tools), vocal talents, extraordinary navigational achievements, aesthetic inclination, social intelligence and communication skills, and all-round adaptability to life.
If you love birds, don't miss this book. It's heart-warming, engaging, enlightening. Humans have a lot to learn from birds. I'll never look at one again without realizing what truly amazing creatures they are.
In other news...today's painting lesson is a good one, meaning I could get into this one. But not right now. There's too much I want to read.
With a few exceptions, like novels from authors I've been following for years, my reading has ventured pretty exclusively into non-fiction. I'm letting myself be guided by a thread that's taking me from one book/subject of interest to another. I suddenly feel open to learning about a lot of people, places and things that I've perhaps overlooked before. Or never had the time to explore previously.
For the last couple years I've been reading AramcoWorld, a beautifully done bi-monthly publication whose mission is to "increase cross-cultural understanding by broadening knowledge of the histories, cultures and geography of the Arab and Muslim worlds and their global connections." Especially in these days of rampant Arab-bashing and Islamophobia, I'm really appreciating learning about all the wonderful things happening in the Arab and Muslim worlds of business, culture and the arts, agriculture, sports, food, et al. Subscriptions to AramcoWorld are free, renewable bi-annually.