June 2018: Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
I was excited about this book from the first second that I spied it in Back of Beyond Books in Moab, Utah. It combines some of my very favorite subjects: ornithology, art, and history.
Given the limited historical information actually available about Mozart's pet bird, one might wonder if there is substance enough for a book on the subject. However, Haupt's storytelling, personal experience (she raises her own starling as research for the book), background scientific and historical research, and poetic observations and conclusions make this a delightful read.
I found myself artistically inspired by the connections she drew between Nature & Music. The idea that this common bird, viewed by most as a pest, played some part in the timeless melodies of one of history's most celebrated geniuses is enthralling - and has left me looking excitedly to new sources of inspiration as a result.
Things can admittedly get a little scientifically dense at some points, but always wrap up with a lovely larger conclusion. A section on linguistic studies had me about ready to throw in the bookmark and go to sleep one night when the discussion morphed into speculations on what defines consciousness and perception of time in different species - and I was wide awake for another hour.
Full disclosure: I haven't finished reading this book yet. I'm close - but I was just too excited to share this recommendation with you and didn't want to wait until next month.
I'd love to hear your reactions and thoughts about this book, any previous book suggestions I've made, and anything you're loving reading yourself! Please share through #greenleafblueberrybooks
Hope you enjoy!