Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jonathan Franzen's Freedom...

Santa was over the top generous to me this year... undoubtedly because I was such a nice well behaved girl all year. 

But, my all time favorite gift was this book:
When I opened this gift, Santa tells me, "Yes there is a Cerulean Warbler on the cover, but it is not about birds..."

And, no, it is really not about birds.  But for a non-birder or even for birders who are only interested in ticking a bird and could care less about conserving them, the book is an excellent education on the many threats birds face and the many trade offs involved in modern environmentalism.  

But, the book is not about birds.

But, I loved that as a by-product of the story (which I can tell you no more about, as Cute Husband has not yet read), Franzen's character, Walter, recognizes not only the need to preserve habitat in the U.S., but also in the Cerulean Warbler's wintering grounds in South America. 

But, the book is not about birds.

But, the bonus is that by enjoying the tale that is not about birds, devoted fans of Oprah's book club and even President Obama are learning that free-roaming outdoor cats kill at least a million birds a day in America alone and that natural gas drilling fragments habitat, making it unusable to the most sensitive species.

I was struck that this guy Franzen must be a birder.    Which became completely clear when I also discovered an essay he wrote called "My Bird Problem".  And, as it turns out, he is quite the birder, with an ABA list now topping 630.  

Again, not to give anything away for Cute Husband, but with Freedom, Franzen becomes for birds what Walter hopes Katz will become for the issue of overpopulation... the cool popular guy that people will listen to now that he has become famous.

For an amazing honest read, buy a copy for yourself.  To spread the bird word, buy a copy for your friends.

Thanks, Cute Santa!


Grant McCreary said...

I'll have to give it a read sometime. Franzen, by the way, is a board member of the American Bird Conservancy, and even wrote the forward in their new ABC Guide to Bird Conservation.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Grant: Thanks for the comment. We did not know that. Lisa raves on the book, so I cant wait to read it too,

Kathie Brown said...

I had not heard of this book. I have put it on my list of books I need to read!