Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Feather Brained: Bob's Birding Book

Hi Folks!

As you know, I've been hard at work on Book 3. Right in the middle of my efforts, though, Bob Tarte's publisher sent me a copy of his brand-new book, Feather Brained. I'm not one to pass up a Bob Tarte book, or a free book, for that matter, so I set my keyboard aside and took up Bob's birding book. I read the whole book in less than 5 days, and am happy to report that I enjoyed it immensely. The following is my review.

If Bob Tarte wrote about something other than animals - the political machinations of the European Union, say, or the mating rituals of New Guinea aborigines - his books would still be a delight to read because Bob injects so much of himself into the pages. He makes an art form of laziness, and his short attention span is legendary. Indeed, Bob's pokes at himself are some of the best parts of all four of his books. One of the funniest bits in Feather Brained is how he casually mentions, over the course of 198 pages, the numerous pairs of binoculars he purchased, the price of which continued to increase commensurately along with his interest in birds.

Bob utilizes those binoculars with a deft touch as he plods through woods, swamps, fields, and the occasional waste-water facility, in search of the perfect bird. I'm not sure he ever actually found it, but he certainly saw a large enough variety of feathered creatures to keep his chaotic mind occupied for more than the usual minute or two.

While the subtitle of Feather Brained is My Bumbling Quest to Become a Birder & Find a Rare Bird on My Own, Bob is rarely alone in his search: wife Linda actually started Bob on the birding path years ago, and pops up regularly in Feather Brained's pages, and Book Character Bill Holm - the beloved curmudgeon featured in Bob's first three books - brings along his unique brand of caustic wit as Bob's birding sidekick.

Over a period of twenty years, Bob and Bill do their guy-bonding thing over a mutual interest in birds, and a mutual apathy toward their fellow humans. Their friendship is the icing on the critter cake, and with every new book, I look forward to another peek inside their world. They may be on an avian quest, but Bob and Bill are rare birds, too! I urge you to get your copy and check them out for yourself.

That's all for now, Folks! Until next time, please be kind to all the critters!