Friday, March 4, 2011

Review and Giveaway - One Bird's Choice - Iain Reid

As Thomas Wolfe said " You can't go home again." Or can you? Iain Reid is 27, highly educated and highly unemployed. He accepts a summer job with CBC radio. But it really doesn't pay a lot....and his parents live very close by.....so the decision is made to move in with them for the summer. The summer comes and goes ...and before you know it  - a year has passed.

One Bird's Choice is the memoir of that year. What struck me first was Iain's descriptions of his parents, their conversations, actions and idiosyncrasies. The affection her feels for them is very evident is his writing. Never identified by name, Mom and Dad are the headliners in this book. They are quirky and slightly eccentric, but oh so comfortable with their lives and each other. I couldn't get enough of their everyday life. The common and mundane take on a whole new look.  Mom and Dad really do live life on their own terms.

Their rural property- Lilac Hill - is home to many and varied animals. The book takes it's title from Lucius - the last guinea fowl left on the farm. Guinea fowl are communal birds. Mom is relieved when Lucius chooses his new flock - the family. Iain - not so thrilled. The bird follows him around and makes him late for work many times.

One Bird's Choice is divided into four parts, based on each season. Iain's state of mind and emotions during his year at home seem to mirror the seasons.  Although definitive words such as depression are never used, his descriptions of not wanting to see friends, sleeping and eating too much and 'hibernating' populate the Winter chapters. But by the time Spring rolls around, Iain finds contentment  in seeing the farm come to life, lambs being born and the simple joy in sitting outside in the sun.

There was just one small sour note for me. I'm not sure if Reid was taking literary license in describing a scene with a hen reluctant to give up her eggs, but really Iain - not cool to punch a chicken.

Nothing earth shattering happens in One Bird's Choice, there are no great aha! moments or epiphanies. Rather, it a slow gentle read filled with lots of humour, warmth and the realization that yes - you can go home again.

Congratulations to Iain Reid for winning a CBC Bookie for Best Non Fiction book for One Bird's Choice.

Check out what everyone else on this TLC Book Tour thought. I thoroughly enjoyed One Bird's Choice, and you can too! Thanks to the publisher House of Anansi Press, I have one copy to giveaway. Open to US and Canada. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Ends Sat. Mar. 26 at 6 pm EST.

48 comments:

Zoƫ said...

I really want to read this one, sounds great and I love supporting canadian authors :)

strandedhero(at)gmail(dot)com

LisaMM said...

I love your review- the book sounds sweet and funny and wonderful. Thank you so much for being on the tour.

debbie said...

I would love to read it. I am not defending his actions at all, but I used to have to gather eggs on my grandmother's chicken farm. Some of those chickens could be really aggressive.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Linda said...

I don't normally read memoirs, and yet the couple of times I have, I have loved them. This one sounds wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway.
lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

Reeder Reads said...

This book is currently sitting on my kitchen table waiting to be read, but I've got 2 others on the go right now. I vow to read it next! Great review :)

bermudaonion said...

I do love a good memoir and this one sounds like it is very pertinent to today's economy. I'd love to be entered in your contest. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Sarah said...

This sounds like a delightful book that lets you escape into someone else's life for a period of time.

helpersarah2009@gmail.com

lgh164 said...

this sounds like a great read. please enter me in the giveaway.

Cindy
lgh164 at verizon dot net

fredamans said...

I love a great memoir. Thanks for hosting, and for a great review.

freda.mans[at]gmail.com

AmandaSue said...

This sounds interesting, when I lost my job and moved back in with my dad and his girlfriend my life was rather dull.

Thanks for the chance into this giveaway.

unforgetable_dreamer_always (at)hotmail.com

Charleydog said...

I like to read stories by Canadian authors.

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

shanaelyse said...

This sounds like a delightful, cozy book!

shanaelyse@gmail.com

nfmgirl said...

I love the idea of living on a quirky farm. Please count me in. Thank you!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

John Mutford said...

Punching a chicken sounds even worse than choking the chicken. Still, I want to read it.

winnie said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Please count me in!

chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

Elaine said...

Sounds interesting! Would love to win this!

www.clothedmuch.com

Anash said...

i have been reading only non0fiction lately. and this would be perfect to dd to my book collection and reading material!
pls enter me
anashct [at] yahoo [dot] com

rubynreba said...

Sounds like such an interesting book. Your review was very good.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Darlene said...

Luanne, I've got this posted at Win a Book for you. No need to enter me.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Atypical Girl said...

I love memoirs! I definitely want to read this one!


Amy // artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

Sherman said...

I love memoirs and this one sounds very good! bricksiam@yahoo.com

Margie said...

I really enjoy memoirs. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Amber said...

This sounds like an amazing story, please enter me!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

crystletellerday said...

id like to win crystletellerday@yahoo.com

5webs said...

I'll read any memoir about anyone, but this one sounds particularly interesting to me. If I don't win, I'll look for it at the library.
Alicia Webster
5webs@comcast.net

chewytulip said...

I'd like to enter the giveaway because the seasonal divisions within the book intrigue me.

chewytulip (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Would love to win!

billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

dwarzel said...

Count me in!

dwarzel at hotmail.com

Amy said...

This book sounds entertaining, poignant and engrossing. I love that Iain is followed around by a guinea fowl!

Your review is great! Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

Aimala127(at)gmail(dot)com

Kerry said...

I'd like to be entered, please! ofabookworm AT gmail DOT com

Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug} said...

I enjoyed your review and would love to read One Bird's Choice :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!
theluckyladybug[at]gmail[dot]com

Patti V said...

This looks like a good read.

Rena Rossner said...

Sounds great! Would love to read it!

Christina said...

Christina - xristya@rock.com - Sounds like an exceedingly interesting book!

Nickolay said...

This sounds like a great Saturday afternoon book! Thanks for the chance

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

wgbc1446 said...

I would love to read this - sounds very entertaining. Thanks for the review and the giveaway! wgbc1446[at]yahoo[dot]com

Giant Sis said...

I've been into memoirs lately - and this one sounds great!
wilburnnewsome atyahoodotcom

Kylie said...

I like that he divided his thoughts by season. kcarlson1152[at]hotmail.com

Randominities said...

I would love to read this and give it to my daughter.

She is 21, in college and living at home. Her friends that aren't going to college think it's weird to live at home in your 20's.

I tell her that my collegues lived at home until they married mainly because they couldn't afford home, car AND student loans. Why even try?

This sounds like just the book we'd love to read. Thanks so much! I love finding new books.

purango said...

This sounds like a fun, interesting book but I'm sure there are other stories about adult children who move back home where the outcome isn't a happy one. garrettsambo@ao.com

kathy pease said...

Thank you for the great giveaway please count me in :)
kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

susan1215 said...

Sounds like a good book

s2s2 at comcast dot net

MAC Mom said...

Love to read this book. I could relate in my early 20's with him.
Jesskaufman at hotmail dot com

Diane52 said...

The review was super interesting and made me want read it. It sounds like a fun read.
Diane Baum
esldiane@gmail.com

Lester Mosley said...

Book sounds interesting!

Contestscott33 [at] gmail {dot} com

Anonymous said...

I love the review. please enter me
willdebbie97 at yahoo dot com