Friday, April 22, 2016

Boobies, Peckers & Tits: One Man's Naked Perspective (by Olaf Danielson)

Olaf Danielson is currently doing a Big Year. (In birding, that's when you try to see as many birds as possible in the ABA area in one year.)  This isn't his first Big Year though -- he did one in 2013, and he saw 594 birds. The twist is, he saw them all in the nude. Boobies, Peckers & Tits (referring to the birds, of course) is his memoir of the experience.

Olaf is quite a character, and it comes through in his writing voice. His style includes lots of jokes, rambling, discursive storytelling, an over-fondness for the passive voice, and a propensity to dangle his participles. (And that's not the only thing he dangled in 2013.... oh yeah, he loves ellipses too.) It's conversational, grammatically messy, frankly in desperate need of an editor, but quite entertaining nonetheless.

Olaf is a businessman, a medical doctor, an author of fantasy novels, a fisherman, a Swede, and an enthusiastic nudist, as well as a world-class birder. So he's got stories galore, and he stuffs many of them into this book. I was also amused at how many ways he found to say that he was naked -- nude, au natural, in the buff, textile-free... the list goes on, and I enjoyed them all,

I'm following his quest this year with great interest. He is looking to break the record (which I think is something like 750 species, seen by Neil Hayward a few years ago). Like I said, Olaf saw 594 in 2013. This year we're only four months in, and he's already at 598. The birds get harder and harder and harder to see as the year goes on, but I like his chances!

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