Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Broader Horizons

Art Journal collage, 8 x 8 inches
Since my last post, I became a book reviewer for Net Galley.  I'm taking my reading to the max, you might say.  So periodically I'll be posting a review or two of new and forthcoming books, rather than just mentioning them...

...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'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.


Rayna said...

I have been a review for Netgalley for a while now -- some of the books are excellent; others, I couldn't even finish because they were so badly written. I have been bad about writing reviews, but have posted a few on Amazon.

jenclair said...

:) Glad your first experience has been a good one, Connie! As Rayna mentions there are both excellent and poorly written books available. :)

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Is this so reviewer?! Your book descriptions here on your blog have been so informative and lively that it is a natural step over to reviewer...what fun for you!

Alice said...

This collage makes me think of some of the old abandoned textile mills so common in my area. Great sense of space.