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The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild Hardcover – September 17, 2013
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"It is part of her book's persuasive charm that, for a little while at least, [Haupt] is able to direct our gaze to the chickadees outside the window and to make us forget, for a moment, the world beyond the garden wall."―Jonathan Rosen, Wall Street Journal
"An eloquent natural history of urban wildlife, and an insightful rumination on how the human animal has/should/might relate to what Haupt calls the 'new nature.' Haupt makes a significant contribution to that conversation....Haupt shares her observations from her Seattle home in a personal and engaging voice that moves seamlessly between backyard anecdotes and analysis of their ecological implications."―Tom Montgomery Fate, Boston Globe
"The challenge of our time is the movement from rural villages to big cities where nature seems gone. Haupt's brilliant book restores nature in our lives and uplifts that relationship with stories full of wonder, awe and love."―David Suzuki, author of The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature
"Animals are all around us, especially the most interesting birds of all that live with us. We can all watch them and enjoy and learn. Why go to South America and search for a quetzal sitting in a tree? Want to see real birds? Just put up a bird box and spread some seeds and watch sparrows in your back yard. The Urban Bestiary is a great read. It will get folks out there having fun."―Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven and Life Everlasting
Praise for CROW PLANET:
"A completely charming and informative book on the pleasures of keeping one's eyes open."―David Sedaris
"In a lyrical narrative that blends science and conscience, Haupt mourns the encroachments of urbanization, but cherishes the wildness that survives."―New York Times
"An inspired meditation on our own place in nature....You will never again look at crows in the same way again."―Washington Post
"Haupt writes gracefully about the interactions between crows and humans in the urban landscape and what those interactions portend for the future of the zoöpolis. A fresh take on conscious living in the everyday world."―Kirkus Reviews
"With her sensitivity, careful eye, and gift for language, Haupt tells her tale beauitfully, using crow study to get at a range of ever-deepening concerns about nature and our place within it, immersing us in a heady hybrid of science, history, how-to, and memoir."―Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Lyanda Lynn Haupt is a naturalist, eco-philosopher, and speaker whose writing is at the forefront of the movement to connect people with nature in their everyday lives. Her newest book is The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild. She is the author of Crow Planet, which won the 2010 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award; Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent; and Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds, which won the 2002 Washington State Book Award. Her writing has appeared in Image, Open Spaces, Wild Earth, Conservation Biology Journal, Birdwatcher's Digest, and The Prairie Naturalist. Lyanda lives in Seattle with her family.
Top customer reviews
This book is for urbanites and suburbanites who are finding out just how much they share their living space with birds and wildlife. It is for the birdwatcher who glories in watching their birdbath, and the jogger who is nervous about coyotes, and the Gramma who wages war on the squirrels, and the Mom who thinks opossums are icky, and the gardener who has invested several hundred thousand dollars in schemes to eliminate moles. It’s for people who might try a new way to live with wild things rather than just “deal with” wildlife. It’s for people who love to see the gleam of discovery light up the faces of their children.
This book is for anyone who is open enough to try to see, and try to live beside, our non-human neighbors in new, more enlightened, more amiable ways. It’s for the person who is open enough to think about human beings (including themselves) in a more humble pose. It’s for the “city”-dweller who would love to keep a few chickens or maybe some rabbits on their humble, little piece of the American Dream. It’s for people who can’t watch a basketball game for three minutes but could watch a litter of puppies for three hours. It’s for people who often feel the need to detoxify themselves and their lives after spending time under the corporate grindstone or in the government asylum.
If you enjoy reading an author who is earnest, educated, and eclectic, this book is for you. If you enjoy an author who gives you valuable, useful information, worthy opinions and plenty of tantalizing food for thought, all with an irresistible good cheer, this book is for you. If you enjoy an author who: writes from the heart as much as the mind and uses refreshing, accurate, often beautiful imagery to give you her thoughts like Hershey’s kisses, this book is for you. If you enjoy reading a book that is upbeat, off-beat, and on-target with a pinch of that sneaky Mark Twain sense of Humor - this book is for you.
Your niche of being the voice for the urban/wilderness interface is genius. This is where most of the population lives now. You help us understand and be curious about the subtleties of everything from how truly harmless the many-toothed possum is to how incredibly clever the ubiquitous house sparrow has become. And you help us see our urban environment as just that—a piece of earth where the same laws of nature apply as they do in the wildest environs of our planet. We are, after all, first mammals that need to know what fauna is living under our shrubs, near our eaves, and in our backyards.
I loved reading this book slowly - one chapter at a time, to better understand the ways of the coyote, the craft of the crow, the gifts of the trees. It's a perfect one to share with children.
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