Friday, April 14, 2017

Lost Among the Pages of Lost Among the Birds Book Review

What if life took you on a year long journey where every moment was like a grain of sand sifting through a giant hourglass and in the recesses of your mind you could hear the hands of the clock ticking closer to... but none of that mattered because even though time was winding down, the quest, and the journey and the relationship with our winged neighbors drew you deeper and deeper after an unmistakably exciting goal?

"This book came to me from a friend who is only a very casual birder on vacation trips. She and her friend who is even less of an avid birder both recommend it. As a avid birder for, wow, 50 years now I was skeptical. Let it be said that I was judging the book by its advocates and, wow again, was I wrong. I loved it and got so tied up reading it in my usual reading spot, the tub, I think I over soaked again. My wife and I actually used the authors list of birds from his "Big Year" in the back of the book to search out and find birds in Arizona last month.

I find myself wanting to go to remote Attu Island now this summer; one spot even the author missed in 2013. "Lost" is funny, insightful and just plain fun to read if you're a life long birder or, as my friends have proven, even if you just appreciate the occasional sighting out the kitchen window or on the ferry to Nantucket. Read it, you'll see."  -- Steve Piragis

by Neil Hayward
Early in 2013 Neil Hayward was at a crossroads. He didn't want to open a bakery or whatever else executives do when they quit a lucrative but unfulfilling job. He didn't want to think about his failed relationship with "the one" or his potential for ruining a new relationship with "the next one." And he almost certainly didn't want to think about turning forty. And so instead he went birding.

Birding was a lifelong passion. It was only among the birds that Neil found a calm that had eluded him in the confusing world of humans. But this time he also found competition. His growing list of species reluctantly catapulted him into a Big Year--a race to find the most birds in one year. His peregrinations across twenty-eight states and six provinces in search of exotic species took him to a hoarfrost-covered forest in Massachusetts to find a Fieldfare; to Lake Havasu, Arizona, to see a rare Nutting's Flycatcher; and to Vancouver for the Red-flanked Bluetail. Neil's Big Year was as unplanned as it was accidental: It was the perfect distraction to life.

Neil shocked the birding world by finding 749 species of bird and breaking the long-standing Big Year record. He also surprised himself: During his time among the hummingbirds, tanagers, and boobies, he found a renewed sense of confidence and hope about the world and his place in it.

We hope you'll enjoy this book as much as we did and remember that you can find it online at The Boundary Waters catalog along with thousands of other titles or here in our upstairs bookstore the next time you visit Ely, Minnesota and Piragis Northwoods Company.

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