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Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.

Glorious snippets and dippings

The Bedside Book of Beasts: A Wildlife Miscellany - Graeme Gibson

Graeme Gibson is Margaret Atwood's husband and a grand fellow with whom I've shared a table a time or two.  Witty, wise, brilliantly observant and a great conversationalist as well as (like his wife) a great conservationist -- which is exactly what come across in this book, and its companion -- THE BEDSIDE BOOK OF BIRDS.  


Even though I have met Graeme on a few occasions, I don't want you to think this colors my opinion of his work.  I've met plenty of writers I like very much personally, but whose work I chose not to review, and plenty of writers whose work I admire, with whom I would not chose to share a table.  


My delighted in this miscellany is due entirely to how wonderful it is. It is a collection of gleanings from the work of other writers as diverse as Tolstoy on bears, to "A Little Fable" by Kafka, to Tim Low on sharks and Angela Carter on the werewolf. It is splendidly illustrated and full of thought-provoking ideas, wonderful little-known facts, and explorations into the complex connection between the hunter and the hunted.


Allow this book to take up permanent residence on your bedside table, as the title asserts, dip into it, delighted in it, over over again.  This is not the first time I've read it.  Indeed, it's probably the fourth or fifth.  Like THE BEDSIDE BOOK OF BIRDS, once I've finished, I simply begin again.