WBNC Westmoreland Bird & Nature Club, southwestern Pennsylvania

Nature Book Club Schedule

All meetings will be held from 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM at the Donohoe Centerís Barn, 218 Donohoe Rd, Greensburg, 15601
Leader: Tom Pearson
All are welcome!

2009 Nature Book Club Selections

Tuesday, January 13th
Appalachian Winter by Marcia Bonta (Published February 2005)

Tuesday, March 10th
Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder by Kenn Kaufman (Published April 2006)

Tuesday, May 12th
Out of the Woods: A Birdwatcherís Year by Ora Anderson (Published May 2007)

Tuesday, July 14th
Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding by Scott Weidensaul (Published September 2007)

Tuesday, Sept 8th
The Wind Masters : The Lives of North America Birds of Prey by Pete Dunne (Published March 2003)

Tuesday, Nov 17th
Letters from Eden: A Year at Home, in the Woods by Julie Zickefoose (Published October 2006)

2010 Nature Book Club Selection

2010 Nature Book Club Selections

Tom Pearson will moderate his last book club session as of November 2009 with his Letters from Eden selection. The moderator next year will be your charming Editor. I canít fill Tomís shoes, so Iíll be doing it differently. Iím not coming prepared with questions or fun games beyond having read the book. Instead Iíll be asking each and every one of the participants what they thought of the selection, so come prepared to speak your piece, good or bad. I will be relying on you, the participant, to carry us through the evening. You might want to bookmark passages that particularly impressed you, whether positively or negatively.

Tues. February 9
A Brief History of Charles Darwin, his Life and Times by Cyril Aydon. Published 2008. Best price is Barnes & Noble - $13.95. Some libraries have it. This is a short fast reading book. No matter what you thought you knew about Darwin, be prepared to be surprised.

Tues. April 13
Living on the Wind by Scott Weidensaul. Published 1999. Amazon price is $10.88 with used copies* from $2.65 plus it is available in most libraries. This book was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize! The traveling and research Scott did in preparation for this book is astounding and without doubt Scottís best writing. Even non-birders will marvel at the incredible details of avian migration that Scott compiled.

Tues. July 13
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. Published 1997. Amazon price $16.47 and at least two copies in every library. Everyone Iíve talked to who has read this book thought it was great. You will too. Yes, it is about nature, the natural history of human beings. A question is asked early in the prologue: Why werenít Native Americans, Africans or Aboriginal Australians the ones who dominated history and subjugated the Europeans and Asians instead of the other way around? Diamond goes into the biological reasons why history unfolded the way it did. Had there been some small changes in the megafauna of the New World, it could well have been the other way around. Disease, animal types, even the shape of the continents played a role. How things happened certainly wasnít inevitable as you will see.

Tues. September 14
Birdwatcher, The Life of Roger Tory Peterson by Elizabeth J. Rosenthal. Published 2008. Amazon paperback $11.88. This is the first of what will probably be many biographies on R.T Peterson.. The bookís major foundation is anecdotes from 112 interviews Rosenthal had with people who knew Peterson well. Nature club members will learn a lot about the man who made nature education popular. The interviews, backed by literary research, sheds new light on Roger.

Tues. November 9
Wild America by Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher. Published 1955. Amazon price $15.30 with 42 used copies* from $1.95. Most libraries have it. Step back in time to what bird watching was like in the United States 55 years ago. Youíll find Peterson is as good a writer as he is a painter. James Fisher, his British buddy, on this 100 day trip across the edges of North America, is no slouch at writing either.

Future book club selections after next year will include Return to Wild America by Scott Weidensaul, Autumn Across America by Edwin Way Teale, Summer World by Bernd Heinrich, Prairie Spring by Pete Dunne and Chasing Spring by Bruce Stutz.

*For used copies, add $3.99 shipping.