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This Book Club is For the Birds

Join us for a summer book club. Each month June-August, we'll feature a book for your reading pleasure, and we'll meet to talk about it.

June 13, 2024 3:00 - 4:30 pm - Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World by Christian Cooper
A captivating and thought-provoking memoir that invites readers into the intersection of race, identity and passion for birdwatching. Through vivid storytelling, Cooper shares his journey, revelaing how his lifelong love for birds has not only connected him with the natural world but shaped his understanding of himself and the complexities of the society in which we all live. Cooper takes readers on a remarkable journey across various continents, sharing his expeditions in Africa, Australia, the Americas and the Himalayas. He encourages readers to claim and defend space for temselves and others, emphasizing the importance of representation, inclusion and the preservation of natural habitats. By embracing the lessons offered by birds and their habitats, we can cultivate a deeper connection with ourselves, one another, and the planet we call home.

July 7, 2024 3:00 - 4:30 pm - Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return.

August 8, 2024 3:00 - 4:30 pm - Birding Under the Influence: Cycling Across America in Search of Birds and Recovery by Dorian Anderson
A neuroscience researcher walks away from the world of elite institutions, research labs, and academic publishing to embrace his lifelong passion for birding, embarking on a quixotic quest for a record-setting Big Year traveling only by bicycle. He pedals over 17,800 miles in twelve months, describing the birds he sees while confronting the challenges of long-distance cycling: extreme weather, punctured tires, sppeding cars and injury. He encounters eccentric characters, blistering blacktop, dreary hotel rooms, snarling dogs and an endless sea of smoking tailpipes. He also confronts his past struggles with alcohol, drugs and other risky behaviors. Ultimately, his love of birds provides the scaffolding to build his new life.

When you join the book club, you'll receive weekly prompts to go along with your reading. The prompts for the book of the month will start approximately 4 weeks before the meeting covering that book.


How to get the books

1) Order anywhere you like to get books.
2) Order through our book store (see below) and pick up at the SDAS office (limited quantities available now!)
3) Check your local library!


  • USFWS logo
  • City of San Diego

  • County of San Diego
    County of San Diego
  • State Coastal Conservancy
  • SANDAg transnet logo
    SANDAg transnet logo
  • Malk Nature Fund
  • Coastkeeper
  • UCNRS logo
  • San Diego Regional Fire Foundation logo
  • Americorps
  • Room & Board
    Room & Board
  • San Diego River Conservancy
  • National Marine Sanctuary Foundation