Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Review #1: The Animal Dialogues--Uncommon Encounters in the Wild by Craig Childs

Note: I have another blog for book reviews, but those books are mostly fiction. On this blog, I've decided to review some of my favorite nature books and field guides. Should be fun!

The Animal Dialogues is an incredible book. Craig Childs has a rare talent to combine adventure and scientific fact into thoroughly enjoyable and interesting stories. The Animal Dialogues is a collection of these stories, divided into sections named after different classes of animals (e.g. 'Birds, Aves'). Each of these stories is one of Mr. Childs' experiences. He's a naturalist and adventurer, and he has quite a few impressive stories to tell. Each one is written in an absorbing, descriptive style that had me glued to the page, anticipating what would happen next. Some of my favorites are 'Grizzly Bear', 'Mountain Lion', and 'Great Horned Owl'.

Craig Childs strikes me as someone who genuinely appreciates the true wonder and beauty of nature, and it really shines through in this book. The way he describes his encounter with a mountain lion in Arizona, a grizzly bear in Wyoming, and even just looking at a great blue heron on a pole gives me a rush of adrenaline and makes me feel like I'm there too. A couple of times the stories gave me vivid dreams.

The Animal Dialogues is definitely one of the best nature books I've ever read.