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Margaret enjoys a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction but is particularly well read in natural history. While Webster Enterprises has lured her away from her old job at the bookstore she still helps out (with this web site for instance) and we still claim her as part of our family. Here are some of her recent and all time favorite books.
Webster Enterprises of Jackson County, Inc. is a private, non-profit, corporation that provides vocational assessment and evaluation, work adjustment training, and supportive services to any eligible individual who has a disability that creates a substantial barrier to employment. The goal of Webster Enterprises is to provide services that will help participants develop transferable skills, attitudes and behaviors to enhance their vocational potential and ability to be successful in their employment objectives.
In 1978 Ivan Doig published This House of Sky, a magnificently written book telling of growing up in rugged mountain wilderness in the 1940s. He was a boy of six when his mother died and his father and grandmother struggled to become a family for him. As Doig says, ?Wounded hard, they go off to their private ways. Until at last the wifeless man offers across to the daughter-robbed woman. And I am the agreed barter between them.? Doig thought, with the satisfaction of 150,000 readers, that the story had been told. But then he discovered his mother?s letters from the end of the war years. Out of her narrative come the resonances of heart and earth. This book, Heart Earth, was published in 1993. So now, enjoy both of these books from a writer who really proves the power of language.
I have been an avid fan of the writings of Rick Bass since reading his first nonfiction book, Winter. Colter proved to be a heart-arming story of a man and his dog.
Colter is a German shorthair puppy who is the litter runt whom nobody else wanted. As they start bird hunting and training together in the mountains of Montana, Bass is awed by Colter?s intelligence, physical stamina, and superb hunting instinct. The strength of this book lies in its simplicity. Rick Bass can take a reader from laughter to tears with vivid descriptions and words that come straight from his heart and soul.
Even though I know nothing about hunting with a dog, the connection and relationship between Bass and Colter is recognizable to any animal lover. This story about a loyal and loving friendship is unforgettable!
North Carolina author Robert Inman has just seen his fourth novel published, entitled Captain Saturday. I have enjoyed all of his other novels very much, and this one was just as warmly humorous, fun, and entertaining as the others (Home Fires Burning, Old Dogs and Children, and Dairy Queen Days). In Captain Saturday, Will Baggett, has been the celebrity TV weatherman in Raleigh for 20 years. In a series of events, Will?s comfortable, job-centered, well- planned life drastically unravels, as he loses his job, serves jail time, and retreats to his childhood home, where he must confront his past and get reacquainted with some eccentric family members. At home, too, Will must deal with changes in his relationship with his wife and son. These characters are great fun to know, and the ending was just what I was hoping for!
Everything you want to know about bird identification, by contemporary wildlife painter David Sibley. The book includes more than 6,600 illustrations, with nearly every species shown both in flight and at rest. Each species also has complete voice descriptions. Maps of distribution for each species are included for summer and winter ranges, migration routes, and even rare occurrences. - Peggy & Margaret Spilker
In this beautiful book, Julie Zickefoose presents short essays describing her many interactions with nature on her rural property in southeastern Ohio. Zickefoose arranges her essays according to the four seasons and includes her own watercolors and field sketches. The author contributes a monthly commentary to NPR and also to Birdwatcher's Digest. She has published more than 40 of her articles and 17 cover paintings. This nature journal is well written, with humor and wsdom, an is enhanced by her wonderful watercolors.
-- Margaret Spilker
A brand new book by one's favorite author is always a cause of celebration, and I've hit the jackpot. The Zoookeeper's Wife: A War Story, by Diane Ackerman, is the true story of Jan Zabinski and his wife, Antonina, the zookeepers of the Warsaw Zoo in Poland. Together, during World War Two, they participate in the Polish resistance, share their love and respect for all creatures, and through incredible odds temporarily harbor hundreds of Jews amonth the bombed-out buildings of the zoo. These hidden people are then safely and silently sent on out to the rest of their lives. Like the next book on my "recommended" list (The Snoring Bird, by Bernd Heinrich), this book taught me world history while examining the human need to be a part of the natural world and told the personal stories of the strength and complexity of the human spirit.
This is the true story of Heinrich's father and family as they live and die through both World Wars and the incredible circumstances that brought them to live in America. Bernd Heinrich is professor of emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont.
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