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Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: The Victim Syndicate by James Tynion IV, et. al.
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The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman and George Guidall (Narrator) (re-read)
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman and Emily Rankin (Narrator)
Candy Slain Murder by Maddie Day and Laural Merlington (Narrator)
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Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber
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Harlem Sunset by Nekesa Afia and Shayna Small (Narrator)
Heartstopper: Volume Four by Alice Oseman
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Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy
Into the Woods by J. Torres and Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
The Marvelous by Claire Kann
Murder Is No Picnic by Amy Pershing and Patti Murin (Narrator)
My Dress-Up Darling, Volume 3 by Shinichi Fukuda
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 14 by Adachitoka
Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods by Catherynne M. Valente
Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
Pint of No Return by Dana Mentink and Stephanie Nemeth-Parker (narrator)
Poultrygeist by Eric Geron and Pete Oswald (Illustrator)
The Sacred Bridge by Anne Hillerman
The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly and Emily Durante (Narrator)
Spy x Family, Volume 6 by Tatsuya Endo
The Suite Spot by Trish Doller
This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds by Danielle Belleny and Stephanie D Singleton (Illustrator)
Yokohama Station SF National by Yuba Isukari, Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Illustrator), and Stephen Paul (Translator)

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This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds: 10/01/22

This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds

This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds by Danielle Belleny and Stephanie D Singleton (Illustrator) (2022) is a slim volume to introduce people to birds and birding. It's written for people who have been kept from birding through gatekeeping — namely anyone who isn't a white man of privilege.

Before launching into the listed birds, the book has an introduction to birds and birding. As this is a new book it begins with the fact that birds are dinosaurs. Rather, they are the evolved species from a specific branch of the extinct dinosaurs. I still get a tingle of a thrill when a bird book includes their ties to the dinosaurs of yore.

Then while describing the challenges and rewards of birding, Belleny outlines ways in which white male bias has been built into the science and hobby of birds. There are racist names and names for colonizers. Modern day birders if they aren't white and male are often made to feel unwelcome, or even have the police called on them. Frankly, I wish more books addressed these problems — but most books I've read are written by the very people who have these biases.

Finally, then, there is a short list of species of birds from North America. As the author is based in San Antonio, Texas, her selection tends towards the southern half of the continent. Of course there are two species that are included in most of these beginner guides: the Cardinal and the Blue Jay. Of course, living where I do, neither of these are in my state.

This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds, though short, is one of the engaging birding books I've read. It's up there with Birds of Lake Merritt by Alex Harris (2022) and A Californian's Guide to the Birds Among Us by Charles Hood (2017). I hope Danielle Belleny writes more birding books — longer ones that are more regionally focused that also expand on the biases and racism that clouds birding.

Five stars

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