Sep 1, 2011

futile list

About a week ago I got all excited at discovering a list of the John Burroughs Medal- awarded to the best natural history book of the year. This list spans the years 1926-2002, but some years no award was given, so in total there are 68 books on it. Can you believe I looked all the titles up (except for the six I've actually read already) and not a single one is in my local library's system?

Not a single one. I guess they're just too old and obscure, plus I know natural history isn't the top subject of the day. (The section in my nearby library is woefully small). Well, the titles still catch my interest, so I've been sleuthing through reviews online to see which I might actually want to hunt down and read someday, and then searching for them on swap sites. Found a few available. Discovered several new titles along the way (of course- and none of those are at my library either!)

Thus, here are all the books I've found I have an interest in, but little chance of ever reading. Someday, maybe... [edit: the books I have found copies of and read, are now crossed out and linked to]

from the Burroughs list:
From Laurel Hill to Siler's Bog by John Terres
Iceland Summer by George Sutton
Driftwood Valley by Theodora Fletcher
The Great Beach by John Hay
A Canyon Road by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
The Windward Road  by Archie Carr
Wilderness and Razor Wire by Ken Lamberton
Swampwalker's Journal by David Carroll
In a Desert Garden by John Alcock
The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen
Into Africa by Craig Packer
Dolphin Days by Kenneth Norris
The Island Within by Richard Nelson
Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez
Roadless Area by Paul Brooks
Canoe Country and Snowshoe Country by Florence Jaques et al

discovered in tandem:
Peace at Heart by Barbara Drake
The Goshawk by T.H. White

I'm particularly interested in this last title. I love T.H. White's writing, The Once and Future King is one of my all-time favorite books. And several years ago I went through a spate of reading about falconry; it's quite a fascinating subject.


Eva said...

So sad about your lack of library options, but thanks a billion for bringing this to my attention. I love natural history! :)

Gavin said...

What a great list..I'm going to have to check my library. I have wanted to find a copy of The Goshawk since I first heard about it.

Jeane said...

Not so futile after all! I've found and read three since posting this list.