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As Kingfishers Catch Fire: Birds & Books de…
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As Kingfishers Catch Fire: Birds & Books (edição: 2018)

de Alex Preston (Autor)

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322593,496 (4.33)5
'A magical book: an inimitable fusion of ornithology, literary anthology and autobiography' Tom Holland 'Delightful . . . an original look at the literature inspired by Britain's birdlife' the Guardian, Best Nature Books of 2017 When Alex Preston was 15, he stopped being a birdwatcher. Adolescence and the scorn of his peers made him put away his binoculars, leave behind the hides and the nature reserves and the quiet companionship of his fellow birders. His love of birds didn't disappear though. Rather, it went underground, and he began birdwatching in the books that he read, creating his own personal anthology of nature writing that brought the birds of his childhood back to brilliant life. Looking for moments 'when heart and bird are one', Preston weaves the very best writing about birds into a personal and eccentric narrative that is as much about the joy of reading and writing as it is about the thrill of wildlife. Moving from the 'high requiem' of Keats's nightingale to the crow-strewn sky at the end of Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, from Ted Hughes's brooding 'Hawk in the Rain' to the giddy anthropomorphism of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, this is a book that will make you look at birds, at the world, in a newer, richer light. Beautifully illustrated and illuminated by the celebrated graphic artist Neil Gower, As Kingfishers Catch Fire is a book to love and to hold, to return to again and again, to marvel at the way that authors across the centuries have captured the endless grace and variety of birds. 'As Kingfishers Catch Fire is a memoir/gallimaufry of ornithological obsession by Alex Preston. He watches birds in the sky and on the page darting between myths, stories and memoir like a swift. The characterful illustrations by Neil Gower add a whole new dimension to this gorgeous book' Damian Barr, Guardian Best Books of 2017… (mais)
Membro:pdadamczyk
Título:As Kingfishers Catch Fire: Birds & Books
Autores:Alex Preston (Autor)
Informação:Corsair (2018), Edition: Illustrated, 208 pages
Coleções:Birds
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As Kingfishers Catch Fire: Birds & Books de Alex Preston

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It was Alex Preston’s Aunt that foster his love of the natural world and birds in particular. But in his teenage years, skateboarding and listening to Niverna was considered much cooler by his peers than being stuck in a draughty hide. This passion was suppressed but it never went away. Instead, Preston was drawn into an avian world between the covers of books where the poetry and writings from luminaries such as Dillard and Fiennes, Hardy and Hughes. It took another decade and a half for him to feel comfortable in the things that he wanted to do and this reignited his desire to watch birds again.

Taking us through twenty-one birds as exotic as the blue streak that is the kingfisher and the inspiration for the title of the book, the tiny wren, and the speed of the swifts, Preston extols the virtues of each, weaving in poetry and prose taken from the books that made an impact as he grew up. There are personal stories too, his father with cancer, being alone deep into Russia and his wedding in December. All of these memories are written with a stark honesty.

Each of the twenty-one chapters is fronted by a breath-taking image created by the graphic artist Neil Gower. These full sizes colour plates show the bird is a typical scene, a peregrine in a stoop, the murmurations of the starlings, Skylarks float over golden fields and the silence of the barn owl. Scattered throughout are black and white sketches of the birds and other objects, even the endpapers are a thing of beauty; the kingfishers that make up the pattern are caught by Gower in that moment as they dive to fish. Whilst I have read some of the books that he mentions in the text I now have a longer list of items that I want to read. Preston has got to the very essence of what makes the natural world and birds in particular necessary to make ourselves whole. The book is so well produced, with its spectacular cover, high quality pages and tactile binding. It is a joy to hold and a delight to read.

Review with pictures on my blog:
http://halfmanhalfbook.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/review-as-kingfishers-catch-fire-b... ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
A visually gorgeous and intelligently written compendium of references in literature (mostly poetry) to over 20 varieties of feathered spirits. The author has chosen birds who mean something to him personally, and shares memories in which their significance to him is explained. Preston is from the UK, and has traveled, so some of the birds he mentions are native to places other than the US, or are slightly different than their US cousins with the same or similar names, such as the English robin or the collared dove (a newcomer to North America in the late 20th century). Illustrations are by Neil Gower, both portraits in full color plates, and simple black-and-white vignettes. An absolute treasure for bird- and book-lovers, like so many of us. ( )
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | Aug 24, 2018 |
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'A magical book: an inimitable fusion of ornithology, literary anthology and autobiography' Tom Holland 'Delightful . . . an original look at the literature inspired by Britain's birdlife' the Guardian, Best Nature Books of 2017 When Alex Preston was 15, he stopped being a birdwatcher. Adolescence and the scorn of his peers made him put away his binoculars, leave behind the hides and the nature reserves and the quiet companionship of his fellow birders. His love of birds didn't disappear though. Rather, it went underground, and he began birdwatching in the books that he read, creating his own personal anthology of nature writing that brought the birds of his childhood back to brilliant life. Looking for moments 'when heart and bird are one', Preston weaves the very best writing about birds into a personal and eccentric narrative that is as much about the joy of reading and writing as it is about the thrill of wildlife. Moving from the 'high requiem' of Keats's nightingale to the crow-strewn sky at the end of Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, from Ted Hughes's brooding 'Hawk in the Rain' to the giddy anthropomorphism of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, this is a book that will make you look at birds, at the world, in a newer, richer light. Beautifully illustrated and illuminated by the celebrated graphic artist Neil Gower, As Kingfishers Catch Fire is a book to love and to hold, to return to again and again, to marvel at the way that authors across the centuries have captured the endless grace and variety of birds. 'As Kingfishers Catch Fire is a memoir/gallimaufry of ornithological obsession by Alex Preston. He watches birds in the sky and on the page darting between myths, stories and memoir like a swift. The characterful illustrations by Neil Gower add a whole new dimension to this gorgeous book' Damian Barr, Guardian Best Books of 2017

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