This one has obsessive fly-tiers who are willing to steal feathers from the British Museum of Natural History, a spin through naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace’s predilection for charting and collecting feathers, and a long-form discussion about the nature of beauty.
Wallace, as you may know, was one of the first to propose the idea of “biogeography,” and during his time doing field work in the Malay Peninsula, he corresponded with Charles Darwin, and it is a collection of his material and Chuck’s that was presented to the Linnean Society of London in 1858. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species hit the shelves in 1859, and that was that—as far as the, uh, evolution of evolution goes. Wallace was a staunch defender of Darwin’s when he returned to London. And why wouldn’t he be? After all, he was formulating the same theory.
Anyway, Johnson’s book is about birds, museum heists, and obsessive behavior. What’s not to love about that?
–A Good Book Cafe, Sumner, WA