Catholic Birder

Birds have had my attention for over 30 years. God for just a few. Before birds were a passion. Now they are a confirmation. Saint Francis of Assisi, patron of birds, pray for us.

December 20, 2005

A charming bedside miscellany

Look what has landed at the top of John Wilson's list of favorite books for 2005. John is editor of Books & Culture in Christianity Today.

1. The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany, by Graeme Gibson (Doubleday). This might just be my favorite book of the year. Wendy and I love birds, love "bedside books," love miscellanies. Gibson—a Canadian novelist married to the novelist Margaret Atwood—has compiled a book full of delightful surprises, including splendid images that he's discovered in the decades since (in his late thirties) he became a serious birdman. If you are looking at the last minute for a Christmas gift for a bookish person—he or she need not even be a birdwatcher—this would be a good gamble.


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My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple rainment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your race might not perish out of the world; still more are ye beholden to Him for the element of the air which He hath appointed for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits; and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises unto God. Saint Francis of Assisi - c 1220

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