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Eclectic reader - nonfiction, fantasy, sci-fi, romance Blog : Mastodon: United States

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Christian Cooper: Better Living Through Birding (2023, Random House Publishing Group, Random House) 4 stars


4 stars

Christian Cooper became instantly famous when he filmed a woman in Central park who refused to put a leash on her dog. Her threat to call the police and tell them that an African-American man was threatening her made the incident go viral.

That story is probably one of the least interesting things about Christian Cooper.

He is a gay, Black, nerd who went to Harvard and then worked for Marvel when that was considered to be a dead end job. (His grandmother would tell people that he was still smart when they found out that he worked in comics.) He was an activist who worked with GLAAD when it was founded. He was raised going to civil rights marches. And through it all he was a birder.

This book is part memoir, part travelogue of his birding adventures, part introduction to the world of birding.

He has a TV …

Christian Cooper: Better Living Through Birding (2023, Random House Publishing Group, Random House) 4 stars

"Special mention is reserved for the guy who took the trouble to write, draw, and actually print in finished form a sample issue of his original superhero creation, complete with cover art:

It followed a teen burdened with fantastic powers and his pair of pals in a suburban high school, all of it unremarkable, until they’re menaced in the wrong part of town by glowering thugs. The thugs, of course, were Black; the hero, his friends, in fact everyone else in the story, was white. I desperately wanted to attach a Polaroid of myself to the rejection letter, but I refrained."

Better Living Through Birding by 

Cat Sebastian: We Could Be So Good (2023, HarperCollins Publishers) 5 stars


5 stars

I love Cat Sebastian books. This is a historical romance set in a time period that I don’t often see – 1950s.

Nick is a gay man who has never known an out and happy gay relationship. He doesn’t think that that is a possibility for him. When he is drawn to Andy, he doesn’t want to acknowledge it because he doesn’t see a future. Andy also get engaged to a mutual friend who then breaks up with him. Quote:

"He’s so wrapped up in Nick that he almost forgets his own troubles, until one of Nick’s aunts points a fork at him and turns to the man sitting beside her. “His girlfriend left him for a heart doctor.” So now she speaks English?

The man looks appraisingly at Andy and shrugs. “A heart doctor, though,” he says in a tone that suggests that getting jilted in favor of cardiologists …

Moniquill Blackgoose: To Shape a Dragon's Breath (Paperback, 2023, Del Rey) 4 stars

The remote island of Masquapaug has not seen a dragon in many generations—until fifteen-year-old Anequs …


5 stars

I had requested this book from the library but I didn’t remember what it was about. Every time it showed up on my ipad I sent it back and asked for it to be delivered later. Then I saw it start to show up on Best Of lists. The next time it appeared in my library app, I decided to give it a try.

This book definitely lives up to the hype.

It reminded me a lot of Babel. A girl is taken into a school that is run by a colonial power. She is trying to hold on to her identity and culture while learning what the other people have to teach her.

“And the Anglish have the nerve to call my people savage and wild and all that nonsense, when they can’t think of any better way to solve a fight than to kill one another over it?” …