Books Read in October 2015

One of my favourite bloggers (Millie from Planet Millie) always writes monthly posts on the books she’s read in the past month.  I love reading those posts, so I thought I would start a similar feature on my own blog.  Also, I read lots of interesting books that I want to share with you, even if I don’t feel like writing full-length reviews for them, and this will be a good way to do that.  Here are the books I read this October:

The Lone Pine Picnic Guide to British Columbia by Nancy Gibson and John Whittaker

This was one of those books that I loved but that will likely not be of interest to most of my readers unless you live in British Columbia or are planning to visit here.  Basically, it’s a travel guide to interesting picnic sites in BC, but it also includes snippets of BC history, an amusing introduction on picnics and how to pack for them, themed menus with recipes, and a good sense of humour.  It was published in the 1980’s so it is likely not that up-to-date, but I would still recommend this book if you would like to learn about some of the interesting places in British Columbia.

Birds of the Northern Forest by J. F. Lansdowne and John A. Livingston

James Fenwick Lansdowne was a Canadian artist who is most well-known for his illustrations of birds, and this book features his illustrations for bird species of Canada’s boreal forest.  I love these kinds of illustrations, and I found this book particularly interesting because it also included some of his preliminary sketches.  The descriptions of the birds (written by co-author Livingston) were also good.  Apparently Lansdowne published books for other regions of Canada as well, so I would like to find copies of those one day.

Seashore Life of Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia, and the San Juan Archipelago by Eugene N. Kozloff

Ducks at Distance: A Waterfowl Identification Guide by Bob Hines

The Birds of Alberta by W. Ray Salt and Jim R. Salt

I collect and read a lot of field guides and related books, and these are the ones I read this month.  I won’t be discussing them in detail, because they likely won’t be of much interest you unless you happen to live in one of relevant regions.

Seasons with Birds by Bruce Whittington

This was a collection of essays about birds and birding, organized according to the months of year.  It was a relatively quick read, but one I enjoyed.  The most memorable part of the book was when the author described a gull swallowing a sea star whole; I think it would be hard to read that passage without feeling some itchiness in the back of your throat!

A Geoscience Guide to the Burgess Shale: Geology and Paleontology in Yoho National Park by Murray Coppold and Wayne Powell

The Burgess Shale is an important fossil bed in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.  It contains the fossils of many diverse animal species from hundreds of millions of years ago.  This book was a very brief introduction to the fossil bed; I read it mainly because I’ve actually been there and seen some of the fossils for myself.

National Audubon Society Pocket Guide: Clouds and Storms by David M. Ludlum, Ronald L. Holle, and Richard A. Keen

Most books on weather that I have read in the past have confused me, but I enjoyed this one.  It focused on how to identify the different cloud types and what they can indicate about approaching weather, and didn’t get bogged down in too many technical details.

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

I like Ray Bradbury’s fiction (though I haven’t read that much of it yet), so I thought I might like his non-fiction as well.  I sometimes don’t like reading about writing, but these essays were okay.  Bradbury was clearly a dedicated and passionate writer (in one essay, he describes how he wrote one short story every week), and I liked his emphasis on writing because it’s something you love doing, not because you want to use it to make money or become famous.

Redwall, Mossflower, Mattimeo, Mariel of Redwall, Salamandastron, Martin the Warrior, The Bellmaker, and Outcast of Redwall by Brian Jacques

I became slightly addicted to reading Brian Jacques’s Redwall books this month.  I’m discussing them together because they are all very similar.  The good creatures of Redwall Abbey (mice, squirrels, badgers, moles, hedgehogs, otters, and hares) have numerous adventures and fight evil creatures such as rats, foxes, weasels, and the like.  The books also contain truly mouth-watering descriptions of food (feasts are an important aspect of Redwall life!).  They are relatively quick to read so they easily become addictive.

A Letter to My Cat: Notes to Our Best Friends by Lisa Erspamer

This is a collection of letters written by people (including some celebrities) to their cats.  It also includes photographs of the cats.  It’s a cute book if you like cats, but it doesn’t really have much substance.  It’s nice to know that other people are even crazier about their cats than I am, though.

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And those are all the books that I read in October!  What books did you read last month?

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