Birding to Change the World by Trish O’Kane [7/10]

An ex-war-zone journo who “saw the light” and became a birder, an educator about birds, and an activist for nature zones, Trish O’Kane has penned the flowing, enjoyable Birding to Change the World: A Memoir, chronicling her fascinating life passage. Especially intense and moving are the start and end of the book, the former describing how being wiped out by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans led to an epiphany, and the latter spanning her activism in Madison. Birding to Change the World is a story well told but it is also one of many recent book-length paeans to wilderness (especially grungy-looking wetlands) in a world where we seem content to let farmers and developers clear what little real havens of biodiversity remain on this planet of ours. An engaging, thoughtful read.

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