Friday, May 15, 2009

The gift of a wondering mind

Last night, Bernd Heinrich came to Devaney, Doak and Garrett Booksellers, DDG is a wonderful independent bookstore in Farmington, Maine. Kenny, the proprietor, is a friend who has steered me toward many a good book. He's the sort of merchant who knows his customers and searches out the sort of book that they might enjoy. For many years he has been the source of most everything that was under the christmas tree for Molly. From 5th grade and Harry Potter through her sophomore year in college, I just walked in and said--"What shall I get for Molly?" and he would select a stack for me--she has always enjoyed every one.

But last night, the store was open late for lovers of the natural world. About 15 people came out to see and hear Bernd talk about his new book. He said that after writing The Snoring Bird (which I reviewed here), he didn't know if he had another book in him. His publisher came to him, though, and said Winter World was such a successful book, what about doing one on summer. Luckily for all of us, he agreed to write another book. Even more lucky for us--in the process of writing he discovered that there were really 3 books to be written. Summer World is mostly about insects and the next two will be about nesting behavior and homing behavior in birds. That is a lot to look forward to.

He talked a little bit about the book, but then he read from his journals--he read entries from several days of watching a pair of red-breasted nuthatches build their nest. Such detail--exactly what readers of his expect and look forward to. He also talked a bit about how observing nature in the field leads him on to experiments in the laboratory. That in a nutshell is why we should have our children outside experiencing nature as much as possible--because then they'll see something like an ant carrying a load bigger than its body or a chrysalis hanging from a leaf or a woodpecker echoing through the forest or fungus growing from a log--and maybe they will wonder and the wonder may lead them to discover.

10 comments:

JOYCE said...

I enjoyed looking at your site. We live in much the same scenery, in central British Columbia.

June said...

How fine that you got to meet him! I hadn'r realized there was a NEW book!

Kathiesbirds said...

Beth, how wonderful for you to get to see him. Edwin Way Teale wrote 4 seasonal books as well long ago. I have yet to read them. He wrote "A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm" about his home in CT, which I have read. His home is now an Audubon property that you can visit. I hope to go there someday.

Ruth said...

A great recommendation which I will note for my summer reading.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for the recommendation. Don't you just love local booksellers? Glad you are helping keep one in business.

KGMom said...

I love independent bookstores. Sadly, they are a dying enterprise in too many places.

The Texican said...

Sounds like a great little store. I enjoy talking to and hearing interviews with authors who write books I enjoy reading. Pappy

karen said...

Hi, Beth! How exciting to meet Berndt and in such a cute little bookstore. I was hoping he'd come to the museum at GWH before I left for the summer, but only his new book came. It looked like a good one! Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad he kept writing!

Jayne said...

I'll have to check out some of his books! Neat that you got to meet him!

Lavinia said...

Here here and amen to this post! Get outside, there is absolutely no substitute.