BIRDMANIA – Remarkable Passion for Birds
Germany: Galiani Berlin/Kiepenheuer & Witsch (German title: Ornithomania – Geschichte einer Leidenschaft).
USA/Canada/UK: Greystone Books, Australia and New Zealand: Allen & Unwin
(translated by Jane Billinghurst)
Advance praise for "Birdmania"
"An exquisitely beautiful book ...These stories about birds are ultimately reflections on the curious nature of humanity itself"
Helen Macdonald, author of "H is for Hawk"
"In his lively tour de bird obsessive, Bernd Brunner captures the antics and agonies of the human longing to connect with our feathered brethren, encounters that usually reveal even more about ourselves than the bird in hand."
Florence Williams, author of "The Nature Fix"
"A delightful exploration into the enduring allure of one of nature's most charismatic creatures."
Mark V. Barrow, Jr., author of "A Passion for Birds" and "Nature's Ghosts"
"Brunner's lively prose and provocative imagery discovers that birds and people have had deep and important connections for millennia."
John Marzluff, author of "In the Company of Crows and Ravens", "Gifts of the Crow", and "Welcome to Subirdia"
"There are more of us bird crazies out here than you know. Birdmania will make you want to become one, too. As always, Bernd Brunner's writing is scintillating and comprehensive as he explores another mysterious aspect of human obsession."
David Rothenberg, author of "Why Birds Sing" and "Survival of the Beautiful"
"Like bird watching itself, reading Birdmania is filled with surprises and a sense of discovery. But in this collection it is the watchers, not the birds, who are on display - ornithologists and bird lovers of every description, revealed in sketches and anecdotes that are quirky, intriguing, and always affectionate. Highly enjoyable."
Thor Hanson, author of Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle
"Birdmania delves into the extraordinarily wide range of people who have observed and documented these beautiful and fascinating creatures. Read this book and be inspired."
Bernd Heinrich, author of One Wild Bird at a Time
On the German edition:
"Instead of simply piling up facts for facts' sake, he prefers to focus on quirky stories. But unlike the many other books issued in recent years Bernd Brunner's colorful avian cosmos provides a real overview. It's told in a style reminiscent of theater: with entrances, exits, and subplots that illustrate, challenge, and mirror one another - and change how the reader thinks. An entertaining cultural history."
Deutschlandfunk (German Public Radio)
"People with an extreme passion for birds are unusual individuals. And that's reason enough to devote a book to these ornithomaniacs and bird watchers. ... Drawing on a multitude of seekers' and researchers' life stories, Brunner uncovers "bird stalkers" in the most diverse circumstances: in prison, in sickbeds, in unhappy marriages, and on the prowl. They all have one thing in common - which they share with the author: the art of precise observation. "
Die Zeit Wissen
"Brunner shows the full range of people and personalities in terms of how they deal with the objects of their desire, the birds. These include bird haters who gun down whatever they see, and crazed collectors like Frank Chapman, an American who, after painstakingly locating the last Carolina parakeets, nearly wiped them out in his furor. They include bird collectors, bird watchers, bird breeders, keepers of birds in homes or gardens, those who save the birds and those who stuff them. Brunner's book is a huge collection of stories featuring famous, unknown, and forgotten individuals: from Aristotle to Frederick the Second and from Leonardo da Vinci to Frank Zappa and Walt Disney, who both bred pigeons. The book also demonstrates how the discipline now taught as ornithology took shape over the course of centuries as so many diverse mosaic stones came together. Whoever has read this book understands why the movement to protect birds is one of the strongest of all conservation movements."
Südwestrundfunk SWR, Southwest Broadcasting, science nonfiction book recommendation
"The reservoir of fascinating characters in Ornithomania could fill hundreds of novels. A book rich in facts, data, and fates that cleverly combines the tragedy and comedy inherent in the obsession with birds."
Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Central German Broadcasting, nonfiction book of the week
"What Brunner has uncovered is usually entertaining and sometimes almost unbelievably strange."
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"Driven scientists and sensitive birdwatchers, manic collectors and unscrupulous wheeler-dealers. Bernd Brunner's Ornithomania is a book about bird fans of every stripe."
Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bavarian Broadcasting
"Bernd Brunner's own fascination with birds infuses every page of this wonderfully quirky book."
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