Book: Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear [Amazon | Goodreads]
Genre: Non fiction, Memoir
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars
Simplistic in its beauty, Birds Art Life has a cover that is just meant to stand out. The doodles of birds – black and stark against the pure white – pop out even more than the brightly colored words. I usually pass on white backgrounds but for this, it is absolutely perfect.
This book is beautiful. Incredibly well written, thought provoking and interesting. Kyo Maclear takes us on a journey throughout a year’s time, where she is set to learn the understandings of bird watching. We travel with her and her friend, lovingly referred to as The Musician throughout, as Maclear becomes more knowledgeable in her studying of birds.
This should be expected from the title, of course. But there is so much more. We are introduced to her family history. We are introduced to her art. We are introduced to her reading. She is able to take these parts of bird watching and use what she learns from these birds and what it takes to watch them and make it relatable to her life.
I found this to be a quick read. It was really enjoyably and incredibly well written. And I felt, afterwards, as if I actually knew Maclear – which, I suppose, really is the hope when writing a memoir.
We learn of multiple parts of her – as a daughter whose father’s health is failing; as a mother of two children; as a wife to a loving husband; as an artist; as a writer. She is incredibly honest within these 240 pages. You are able to join her as she discusses feeling stuck, of feeling like she has lost her creative spark. I read this at a time when I was going through something similar; watching her grow throughout her year was inspirational.
If you are a fan of memoirs, read this. If you are a fan of watching others overcome, read this. If you have a slight interest in birds, read this – I personally do not have an interest in bird watching but found the information spread throughout incredibly interesting.
Disclosure: I received this eBook from NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for the advanced copy!
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