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Staff Pick
The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year

The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year

Current price: $32.00
Publication Date: October 24th, 2023
Publisher:
Spiegel & Grau
ISBN:
9781954118461
Pages:
288
The Book Catapult
10 on hand, as of Apr 22 8:23am
(Science/Nature)
On Our Shelves Now

Staff Reviews

"We were never cast out of Eden. We merely turned from it and shut our eyes. To return and be welcomed, cleansed and redeemed, we are only obliged to look.” 

I’ve thought long & hard about how to succinctly recommend this perfect book to you & the best I can come up with is, open it, take a look, slowly read some passages (I suggest “Flower of Dreams” in the Fall section while you’re standing in the shop) then bring it home with you. I thought Margaret’s previous book Late Migrations was an absolute masterpiece – this book dovetails in perfectly beside it as its equal. It’s a gorgeous masterwork of nature writing, astute observation, & meditative reflection that defies categorization in the best possible way. Oh, I do hope you take one home with you today. You’ll read it again and again and again, I promise. 

— Seth

Oh what a lovely world to live in — every night I looked forward to sinking in. Set up like a devotional following the seasons, Renkl brings hope to our chances to make a difference as climate news only gets worse. Gift yourself this treasure.

Gee Gee Rosell, Buxton Village Books, Buxton, NC
November 2023 Indie Next List

Description

THE PERFECT GIFT FOR NATURE LOVERS, BIRDERS, AND GARDENERS, WITH ORIGINAL COLOR ART THROUGHOUT * USA TODAY BESTSELLER * NATIONAL BESTSELLER * AMAZON EDITOR'S PICK * INDIE NEXT PICK

From the beloved New York Times opinion writer and bestselling author of Late Migrations comes a "howling love letter to the world" (Ann Patchett): a luminous book that traces the passing of seasons, personal and natural.

In The Comfort of Crows, Margaret Renkl presents a literary devotional: fifty-two chapters that follow the creatures and plants in her backyard over the course of a year. As we move through the seasons--from a crow spied on New Year's Day, its resourcefulness and sense of community setting a theme for the year, to the lingering bluebirds of December, revisiting the nest box they used in spring--what develops is a portrait of joy and grief: joy in the ongoing pleasures of the natural world, and grief over winters that end too soon and songbirds that grow fewer and fewer.

Along the way, we also glimpse the changing rhythms of a human life. Grown children, unexpectedly home during the pandemic, prepare to depart once more. Birdsong and night-blooming flowers evoke generations past. The city and the country where Renkl raised her family transform a little more with each passing day. And the natural world, now in visible flux, requires every ounce of hope and commitment from the author--and from us. For, as Renkl writes, "radiant things are bursting forth in the darkest places, in the smallest nooks and deepest cracks of the hidden world."

With fifty-two original color artworks by the author's brother, Billy Renkl, The Comfort of Crows is a lovely and deeply moving book from a cherished observer of the natural world.

About the Author

Margaret Renkl is the author of Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss and Graceland, At Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache From the American South. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, where her essays appear weekly. The founding editor of Chapter 16, a daily literary publication of Humanities Tennessee, and a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Carolina, she lives in Nashville.