Had it not been for the Winter Reading program, I doubt I would have read this book. The Big Year by Mark Obmascik represented a long flight from my usual reading interests! The non-fiction novel was made into a movie starring quite a few big name stars.
Not surprisingly, I have never heard of The Big Year, which is a competition held every year by bird enthusiasts. Their goal is to locate and identify as many different birds as possible within 365 days. This book is written about the Big Year contest in 1998. The people are real, and unlike the famous Hitchcock movie, the birds are too.
I enjoyed parts of this book and believe the author did a good job of conveying the spirit of birdwatching enthusiasts to someone like me who knew very little about birdwatching with the exception of a funny bit I remember from Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. I admit many birds are majestic and their migratory achievements astounding. I suppose birdwatching is like any other obsession, if a group of people are fanatical about something, you can expect a competition in it!
I will be interested to see the 2011 movie. In the meantime, you will find me with my eyes to the sky searching for an extraordinary bird on the Midwest horizon.