Sometimes we birders joke about birding being an addiction or a sickness, but for Richard Koeppel it wasn't a joke. This book both fascinated me and scared me as it told of fantastic adventures in seeing new birds, adventures I only dream of, but also showed the darker side of a hobby turned compulsion at the expense of those things that truly bring a lifetime of happiness. Richard's son Dan is the author and his writing style is captivating. Because Dan's experience with his birder father so directly and deeply affected him, his prose is very compellng and emotional in both it's heroic and apathetic portrayal of his father.
As a self-proclaimed avid birder, it was interesting to see in myself a little Richard. Thankfully I have a wife that supports me in my hobby while at the same time reminding me very plumply when I start to lose that perpetual search for balance. Anyway, a great read that I recommend to everybody, birder or not.
For another great review of this book that really captures my thoughts and feelings as well, check out Mike Bergin's at 10,000 Birds.
Price: Available new and used from various websites, generally under $14.00