Birds of a Lesser Paradise
Megan Mayhew BERGMAN
Narrated by Cassandra CAMPBELL
Published by Simon & Schuster in 2012
Audiobook received from Simon & Schuster
THIS BOOK COUNTS FOR THE FOLLOWING READING CHALLENGES
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
I have to admit short stories have not been my favorite genre recently. Not sure why, but it now feels like reading unfinished works when I read short stories. But Birds of a Lesser Paradise was on the list of Simon & Schuster audiobooks, that they graciously send for free for an honest review, and I love birds, so I went for it.
The stories are not all focused on birds, but on all kinds of animals, on veterinarians, and on families. It is as much about relationship between family members of different generations than about relationship between humans and animals. The portraits of people are so striking I had to go and check if this was fiction or not. The characters are situated in various situations common to our modern world, and they are really true to life. And I did not feel anything of the cheesy feelings one might get when reading about pets. My favorite story was about the mysterious ivory-billed woodpecker.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE AUDIO PRODUCTION
I thought the voice of the narrator fit perfectly for that type of thing. You can feel involved in the stories through her tone, but still free not to be emotionally overwhelmed, in the sense that she manages to convey both involvement and distance at the same time. Not easy for that type of stories I would think.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
Exploring the way our choices and relationships are shaped by the menace and beauty of the natural world, Megan Mayhew Bergman’s powerful and heartwarming collection captures the surprising moments when the pull of our biology becomes evident, when love or fear collide with good sense, or when our attachment to an animal or wild place can’t be denied. In “Housewifely Arts,” a single mother and her son drive hours to track down an African gray parrot that can mimic her deceased mother’s voice. A population-control activist faces the ultimate conflict between her loyalty to the environment and her maternal desire in “Yesterday’s Whales.” And in the title story, a lonely naturalist allows an attractive stranger to lead her and her aging father on a hunt for an elusive woodpecker.
As intelligent as they are moving, the stories in Birds of a Lesser Paradise are alive with emotion, wit, and insight into the impressive power that nature has over all of us. This extraordinary collection introduces a young writer of remarkable talent. [Goodreads]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan Mayhew Bergman is the author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise, a collection of stories forthcoming from Scribner in March 2012. Birds of a Lesser Paradise is a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection for spring 2012 and an Indie Next Pick for March.
Megan’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Best American Short Stories 2011, New Stories from the South 2012, Ploughshares, One Story, Oxford American, The Kenyon Review, Narrative and elsewhere.
Raised in North Carolina, Megan now lives on a small farm in Vermont with her two daughters, veterinarian husband, and a host of rescue animals. [Goodreads]
Please visit her website: http://mayhewbergman.com/Home.aspx
REVIEWS BY OTHER BLOGGERS
The Book Lady’s Blog
The Bookrageous Podcast
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
WHAT’S THE BEST STORIES ABOUT ANIMALS YOU HAVE EVER READ?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
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I’ll definitely have to check this book out since I love animals and I haven’t read short stories in a while, though I do enjoy them. Thanks for the recommendation, and great review! 🙂
Thanks. yes you need to read it then, it has been highlighted as one of the best collection of short stories for 2012. let me know what you think
I’m still listening to these but I suspect the first story will remain my favorite… What an honest portrayal of grief! They feel very real to me too.
yes, some are better than others, but they are all very real, as I highlighted in my review
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