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Living Sanibel: A Nature Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands Paperback – February 3, 2010
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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I never thought that I would spend Valentine's Day reading a nature guide but Charles Sobczak's monumental achievement, LIVING SANIBEL, is much more than a guide-it is a love poiem to our islands, a Valentine to Sanibel and Captiva. From the moment I began my journey through its pages, I was overwhelmed by the passionate sense of mission that drove Sobczak to catalogue and describe in reverential prose the most comprehensive record of Sanibel's history, flora and fauna ever compiled. LIVING SANIBEL is the first nature book I could not stop reading. Sanibel Author Joe Pacheco --The Islander of Sanibel and Captiva<br /><br />A thorough, well-researched, unique, yet sensitve personal accounting of birds, animals, insects and plants: our native island abundance. Priscilla Friedersdorf --The Island Sun<br /><br />LIVING SANIBEL reminds us once again of the vast natural treasures and biodiversity so well preserved on Sanibel, and will remain the definitive treatise on the islands' natural history and environment for years to come. --Dr. Jose Leal, Curator of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
A guide book this thorough, detailed, attractive and accessible is bound to promote curiosity, seducing readers into exciting first-hand experiences. As readers take their own personal jouneys through Sanbiel and Captiva, relishing their growing familiarity with the astonishing environment, they will share the joy that Mr. Sobczak felt in writing this book. It is, most of all, a guidbook for celebrating (and promoting) one delicious slice of the naturual world. --Philip K. Jason in THE FLORIDA WEEKLY
A colorful, informative guide to the most beautiful islands in the Gulf off southwest Florida, this book is essential for both vacationing visitors and residents, both longtime and newly transplanted.... The book includes tips for getting around the island and suggestions for bicycling and hiking trails, including several useful maps. Well-researched, user-friendly and easy on the eyes, LIVING SANIBEL is a wonderful guide for tourists discovering the natural beauty of the islands for the first time as wall as an impressive coffee table book for residents proud of the magical place they are lucky to live in. --Andrew Elias, Ft. Myers Magazine
From the Inside Flap
Living Sanibel is the only book you will need while on the islands! With more than 650 full-color photographs, illustrations and trail maps, Living Sanibel is the most complete identification guide to the native plants, animals and eco-attractions of Sanibel and Captiva ever compiled.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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I was expecting another pretty Sanibel book. Tourism fare. The literary equivalent of a fried grouper sandwich - a quick and easy way to coerce cash out of vacationing wallets.
The sales pitch to families visiting from colder climates, is an easy one -- put the word "Sanibel" on the cover and they'll buy it. Everyone wants to take a little Sanibel home with them, something to suntan their nostalgia when the real beach is a thousand miles away. The content doesn't need to sell the book...the island does all the work.
That's why I was surprised.
The volume I held in my hand was over 500 pages and weighed almost two and a half pounds. As I thumbed through the pages, the sheer magnitude of work that had surely gone into compiling and organizing the information in this book intimidated me. As a writer working on a Sanibel book of my own, I felt professionally challenged by what Charles Sobczak had created -- and I hadn't even read it yet. A humbling experience, to say the very least.
"Living Sanibel" has the feel of a book only made possible through passing years, the culmination of a lifetime of knowledge. This is "the" definitive nature guide to our beloved barrier islands, an honor which, until recently, had been held by George Campbell's "The Nature of Things on Sanibel" - an out of print book originally published in 1978.
In his eloquent, self-written introduction, Sobczak fingers Campbell's volume as providing the inspiration which blossomed into "Living Sanibel". It's always great to see a near forgotten book assert forcible impetus to the creation of new ideas.
"Living Sanibel" is gritty and real, exposing the full magnificence and beauty of our island ecotone through the lens of science -- without any tourism-friendly intellectual airbrushing or digital Photoshop filters. These are the plants and animals of Sanibel the way they authentically exist...which is to say beautiful, complex, symbiotic -- pure and unadulterated raw interconnected nature, a snapshot of the geo-specific web of natural history all residents of, and tourists to, Southwest Florida are effortlessly caught within, oftentimes unconsciously.
There's no way one could catalogue the array of nature represented here in such precise and scientific grandeur without a team of learned experts assisting the effort. Sobczak gives credit where credit is due, in this case the invaluable support of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), of which Sobczak is a lifetime member.
There's no way you could effectively deliver such a high-density serving of education without the buffering balance provided by copious colorful images. Over 600 photographs and illustrations, by heavy hitters like Dick Fortune, Sara Lopez, Alan S. Maltz and Diane Rome Peebles serve in perfect counterpoint to the words on the page. It's an effective combination. The visuals pull you in, the words enlighten...acquired knowledge becomes the naturally occurring byproduct of a pleasurable reading journey.
A thirty-one page "Environmental History of Sanibel and Captiva Islands" sets the stage for all that follows:
* 291 species of birds
* 21 mammals
* 50 reptiles and amphibians
* 49 fresh and saltwater fishes
* 73 species of the most popular shells
* 50 species of insects
* 36 species of trees, palms and plants
* A comprehensive section on Museums and Eco-Attractions and
* Some of the best Sanibel and Captiva maps ever published, detailing bike paths, hiking and kayak trails.
"Living Sanibel" resonates with the undeniable truth that Sobczak has blessed the literary history of our beloved barrier islands with a volume sure to leave you in naked awe of the wildness, remaining so fragile -- and so deserving of continual preservation by our human world. Consider "Living Sanibel" an open invitation to finally learn the names and habits of some of your closest neighbors, the plants and animals surrounding you every day. Only by becoming intimate with nature, can we ever grow to care deeply enough about its well being that we're moved to stand up and offer protection when it comes under unnecessary threat.
-- Eric Taubert, the Southwest Florida Barometer
Honestly, I wouldn't read it there due to the fact that I did not want to see all those creations and imagine them around me. I wanted to look while I was away from them. He covers plants, insects, spiders, mammals, and so much more. I would wholeheartedly recommend this author and this book to be more precise,