Nov 9, 2013

Sunday Salon: The Birds of America by Audubon

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday Salon! Also visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer; Showcase Sunday at Books, Biscuits, and Tea; and It's Monday: What Are You Reading? at Book Journey, and Mailbox Monday by Crystal at I Totally Paused.

I saw this book at the store and thought how appropriate it would be for a friend. I had the bookstore ship it right away, and I was tempted to get one for myself. Beautiful copies of the original paintings.



Title: The Birds of America by John James Audubon
Published 2012: Sterling

Amazon description: Overview: The culmination of over twelve years of work, Audubon's masterpiece features some of the most stunning bird paintings of all time, from the great crested flycatcher and pin tailed duck to the common American swan. One of the most valuable natural history books ever published, it shows birds in natural positions and in their native habitats. This edition has been created by disbinding one of the two original sets held by the Natural History Museum, London, and then photographing it using the latest digital technology. It includes all of Audubon's 435 bird images, reproduced as large as possible on the page and with the original numbering and captions faithfully recreated. There is an introduction by world-renowned bird artist and author David Allen Sibley, whose The Sibley Guide to Birds is considered by many to be the most comprehensive guide for the identification of birds in North America.

I might treat myself and get it!


I finished reading The Translator by Nina Schuyler, which I borrowed from the library and then bought online for my e-reader. It was a 5-star read, in my opinion. Here is a quote from the book that I and other Kindle readers shared:
"Translation is an art, she's said countless times, requiring all the skill of a writer and then some, because the story, written in one language, one as different as Japanese, must be made as meaningful in another language. It is no small undertaking: each human language maps the world differently. Each language fosters a different way of thinking."
My comments: The main character Hanne Schubert has finished translating a book for Kobayashi, a Japanese novelist, who rejects her translation and her version of his main character, Jiro. She travels to Japan to meet the Noh actor, Moto, who is the real life model for the character in Kobayashi's book. This is easy for her as Hanne has lost her memory of her native language, English, and all other languages, expect for Japanese. This came as a result of an unfortunate fall and head injury.

Meeting Moto, learning about Noh drama and how it communicates story, feelings, and emotions through drama, dance, and music all help Hanne ponder her life, heal, and slowly realize what she has done wrong in her translation of Kobayashi's book as well as in her relationships. She has been estranged from daughter Brigitte for six years and Hanne wonders how she could have done better.

I gave the novel 5 stars for the topic, plot, excellent writing and character development, with a slight caveat - I felt that not all the blame for the broken mother-daughter relationship was Hanne's.
This review is linked to the Japanese Literature Challenge 7 hosted by Dolce Bellezza. 



My mailbox this week includes
Dead Lions by award winner Mick Herron, a spy novel from Soho
Short Leash: A Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance by Janice Gary, Michigan State U. Press
The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch, from St. Martin's Press
Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon by Paul Rosolie, from Harper

What are you reading this Sunday?
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12 comments:

  1. Two very interesting books!

    I love these nature/field guide kind of books and "The Birds of America" is a classic. I should pick up a copy myself.

    I have heard really good things about "The Translator" .

    You commented - "I felt that not all the blame for the broken mother-daughter relationship was Hanne's."

    Perhaps that was the author introducing some complexity into the story.

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  2. I love Audubon's birds. I once considered a job at a library for the sole reason that they had an original copy on display and someone turned the page every night so a new bird is displayed. Wouldn't it be fun to go visit a bird every day?

    Joy's Book Blog

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  3. The Audubon book is beautiful. I'm sure your friend will be thrilled with it and I can see why you'd be tempted to get a copy for yourself. The Translator sounds intriguing.

    I currently listening to the audio version of Spider Woman's Daughter and enjoying it very much.

    Have a wonderful Sunday.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  4. I haven't read either book, but they look tempting...thanks for sharing! Here's MY WEEKLY SUNDAY/MONDAY UPDATES

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  5. The Birds of America looks like a beautiful book. I love the quote from The Translator. Enjoy your Sunday, Harvee!

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  6. I like the Birds of America book. I'd love to get it and turn a page everyday like Joy said the library does. :)

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  7. Wonderful mailbox. Have a great reading week!

    Here is my post.

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  8. Glad you had such a great week. The Birds of America looks like it will be a beautiful book to own! Enjoy your week!

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  9. That birds book looks beautiful. And you've just reminded me that I need to read The Translator. I've had it waiting to be read since the summer.
    Enjoy your week!

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  10. The Audubon book looks wonderful, just the kind of book to put on my Holiday wish list. I received the The Last Enchantments too and Short Leash sounds like it could be interesting. Have a great week.

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  11. Lucky friend to receive the Audubon book. I'd love it!

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I love getting comments and your thoughts...