Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'But after that great start, this book felt very scattered, like a series of unconnected essays rather than a coherent thought. It was easy to read just a little bit then put down - unfortunately, it was just as easy to forget to pick up again. As I said, I loved the story behind the title, but the rest of the book didn't live up to that promise.
Buy Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life on Amazon.
My apologies to those of you who accidentally saw this in your feed reader last week - I had some bumps in trying to get it to publish correctly!