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Bird Miscellanea

September 21, 2011

If you live in Canada and aren’t aware of the existence of Canadian Bookshelf, edited by the brilliant Kerry Clare, you ought to be. You’ll be glad to know that today’s feature called Put a Bird on It is a superb compilation of some of the greatest bird-book covers this country has to offer. Not all of the books are specifically about birds, but all of them are inspired by things avian. In any event, the stream of covers is both artistically stunning and also gave me a few new titles to add to my growing Avian Bookshelf.

I’ve been wanting to link to the Porlandia video of Put a Bird on it for a while now, so here it is! Thanks, Canadian Bookshelf, for reminding me of it!

The more I go out birding and think and read about birds, the more I find myself wanting to put birds on things too! I’ve already admitted to starting up a bird stationary collection (the thank you card fanatic in me always needs at least a dozen different cards at my fingertips; lately most of them are bird-oriented), I recently stopped myself from purchasing matching bird mugs for my husband and myself, I own bird stuffed animals (alas), I regularly overdose on Peeps (because what could be more gastronomically pleasing than consuming a pink, yellow, green or purple marshmallow chick?) when Easter rolls around and sometimes before, I have a bird calendar, and I have no idea where this will all lead me.

Here are them peeps! So yes, I fear that I am turning into one of those people who puts birds on things!

Since we’re on the topic of birds and books, I’ve just finished reading Ellen Litman’s superb linked-story collection The Last Chicken in America. Don’t pick up this book expecting an exploration of the avian world. Instead, Litman brilliantly portrays lives of people living in a Russian immigrant enclave in Pittsburgh. Many of the stories are filtered through the lens of Masha, a college-age emigre from Moscow, struggling to make sense of her new surroundings, immigrant expectations and an idea of what constitutes an American life. The book is, at times, laugh out loud funny, and then veers into a tragic sense of loss. It’s about people trying to fit in but not knowing how exactly. I can’t wait to read more of her work!

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