Unseen City The Majesty of Pigeons the Discreet Charm of

10 thoughts on “Unseen City The Majesty of Pigeons the Discreet Charm of Snails Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness

  1. Jan Jan says:

    The publisher's blurb serves as a nice intro but this book is so much Included here are some fascinating tidbits pigeons were once a symbol of affluence; in places abandoned by humanslike the Scottish isle of St Kilda the pigeons have gone extinct; racing pigeons which can travel up to 110 mph have sold for than 300000 PER BIRD The author eases us into becoming aware of individual aspects of our local flora think Euell Gibbons whether weeds or trees and fauna from suirrels to bird language to crows to ants The author clearly shows us how to become attuned to any species of which we have raised our awareness as well as indicating the in situ methods of developing a deeper understanding well beyond computer searches which do reuire refined uestionsThis book was provided as an ARC by the publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Goodreads Giveaways

  2. Story Story says:

    Meh There were a few interesting tidbits here but the author's endless droning on about his kid and his seeming fear of natural things made it a boring read A much better book for those interested in learning about the nature in our backyards and parks is The Urban Bestiary Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

  3. Tom Schulte Tom Schulte says:

    In San Francisco and Berkeley the author seeks to light a fire of science in his daughter's visions for the future Along the way both of them full in love with magnifying observing and learning about urban flora and fauna Who knew there were so much mystifying and impressive about pigeons including they are here because of 18th Century hobbyists? Weeds you can eat the activities of suirrels including drey architecture Insights into the languages of birds from some of the scientific contacts the author made while probing his city biota and a foray into the uniue gingko The turkey vulture so unknown I found very interesting as well as the survey of the ant Another reason to finally read some Edward O Wilson Also wow those crows are smart And so much fascinating about snails which themselves have apparently inspired a good book The Sound of a Wild Snail EatingI received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads

  4. Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk) Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk) says:

    Nature is trendy Everyone wants to write about discovering it all over again about animals plants natural magic hidden all around us Yet these publications don't bring nothing new on the table same old news same curiosities written all over again in different words with different covers Nathanael Johnson's book is nice sweet and easy to read however one must remember that Nathanael Johnson is just like everyone else he is not a specialist he's an amatour with binoculars Wikipedia and natural curiosity And that curiosity is something worth following Jednym z najmocniejszych trendów ostatnich miesięcy i sezonów literackich jest rosnąca w siłę tendencja przyrodniczo naturalistycznych pozycji pojawiających się na rynku książki a „Sekrety roślin i zwierząt w miejskiej dżungli” Nathanaela Johnsona idealnie wpisuje się w ten trend Szkoda tylko że sam autor jest raczej przyrodnikiem amatorem który popularność zdobył w dziecinie ekologicznej kuchni a przyrodę bierze „na czuja” wspominając czasy dzieciństwa które spędził w swobodnej hipisowskiej atmosferze rodzinnego domu w zgodzie z naturą Oczywiście ze względu na swój lekki i przystępny język oraz na szczerość przekazu jego publikacja znajdzie szerokie i oczarowane grono odbiorców niemniej trzeba pamiętać że to wciąż przyrodnicze przygody laika kogoś takiego jak my kto za pomocą lornetki lupy i Wikipedii przemierza miejskie ulice mając szeroko otwarte oczy i ciekawskie spragnione wiedzy serce I ta postawa z pewnością zachęca a może nawet wystarczy by dostrzec piękno otaczającego nas świata tak blisko na wyciągnięcie ręki

  5. Migdalia Jimenez Migdalia Jimenez says:

    What a delightful book I loved how Johnson gives us a lens to see the beautiful wildlife around us even in urban settingsJohnson starts off on a uest to pay attention to the flora and fauna around him when he realizes that his daughter is asking about the world around them and he doesn't know the answers From this simple beginning he gains knowledge along with wisdom and a genuine awe for the world we inhabit Luckily he wrote a book about it with neatly delineated chapters focusing on a different plant or animal and we get to accompany him This uote really distills this book As soon as humans take open hearted notice of anything in the natural world we find reason to love it

  6. Barbara Barbara says:

    This is the most fascinating delightful book that I have read this year Most people do not pay attention to all the living beings around them in their suburban city world Sure we notice other humans but what about all the birds bugs weeds suirrels etc? The author takes you into this world and gives you incredible information that you would have never guessed Such an interesting read that would be even better if you share it with your children This book was very timely for me as I have developed a fascination about birds in my neighborhood this past year and have learned so much by observing them Teachers would also find this book great as well The style of writing keeps you wanting to read and Thank you to Goodreads and Rodale for providing me with such a great reading experience

  7. Stacey Stacey says:

    Oh man I loved this book so much Especially pertinent to me because he's talking about things I see every day in the Bay Area He answers those curiosities you didn't even know you had but had probably registered below the surface I did want to know why pigeon's feet are all messed up I did want to know why there are so many crows around my neighborhood It's refreshing to be a bit curious about the things I see every day and see them in a new light

  8. Emily Crow Emily Crow says:

    I stopped reading this book after a couple of chapters because I was getting annoyed by the organization and writing style I think I'm just the wrong audience but I wanted actual information and fewer cute stories about his preschool daughter and comments about how he used to think pigeons were sooooo gross before he started to observe them And yet I would definitely recommend this book to other people because I can see how it could inspire them to take a closer look at their own neighborhood critters and weeds But as for me I've never lived in a big city so I found some of the author's assumptions a bit hard to relate to and I've already read much of the factual content in the books he cites as sources for example Superdove by Courtney Humphries and Crow Planet by Lyanda Lynn Haupt and they did it better In sum Probably a good book but I wasn't getting into it

  9. uosɯɐS uosɯɐS says:

    This was a pure pleasure read for meThe author is a writer usually about food and cooking who lives in California with a young daughter whom he wants to teach an appreciation of nature Except he lives in the city and what he's really after is teaching her to notice detailsIt was really interesting to pick this one up on the heels of The Geography of Thought How Asians and Westerners Think Differently and Why which mentions the different ways the Westerners and Easteners raise their children Westerners are always naming objects for their children Right on cue that does happen here but then there is a push to go deeper Tree isn't good enough Suirrel isn't good enough Which is maybe a little Eastern but not totally Well Easteners might ask How does the suirrel feel?

  10. Ryan Ryan says:

    This book is about all of the animals that you see but never really noticeThe snail the crow the suirrel all the things that you pass on your way to work and don't really give any thought to This book made me think about these animals in great detail and the role they play in daily life This was a informative book full of keen observations and an appreciation of nature

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Unseen City The Majesty of Pigeons the Discreet Charm of Snails Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness It all started with Nathanael Johnson’s decision to teach his daughter the name of every tree they passed on their walk to day care in San Francisco This project turned into a uest to discover the secrets of the neighborhood’s flora and fauna and yielded than names and trivia Johnson developed a relationship with his nonhuman neighborsJohnson argues that learning to see the world afresh like a child shifts the way we think about nature Instead of something distant and abstract nature becomes real—all at once comical annoying and beautiful This shift can add tremendous value to our lives and it might just be the first step in saving the worldNo matter where we live—city country oceanside ormountains—there are wonders that we walk past every day Unseen City widens the pinhole of our perspective by allowing us to view the world from the high altitude eyes of a turkey vulture and the distinctly low altitude eyes of a snail The narrative allows us to eavesdrop on the comically frenetic life of a suirrel and peer deep into the past with a ginkgo biloba tree Each of these organisms has something uniue to tell us about our neighborhoods and chapter by chapter Unseen City takes us on a journey that is part nature lesson and part love letter to the world’s urban jungles With the right perspective a walk to the subway can be every bit as entrancing as a walk through a national park