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View Poll Results: Where will we end in December?
Ending Up by Kingsley Amis 5 71.43%
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene 6 85.71%
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman 4 57.14%
Every Man Dies Alone (aka Alone in Berlin) by Hans Fallada 3 42.86%
Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case by Agatha Christie 3 42.86%
The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence 2 28.57%
The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter 2 28.57%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-14-2019, 12:55 PM   #16
CRussel
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FWIW, this is available for free from Kindle Unlimited OR Prime Lending Library. (I used the PLL for my copy.)
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:52 PM   #17
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A member has sent me a heads up that I'll pass along, that there's a spoiler in the introduction. (Why do they do that?! ) So tread warily.
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:48 AM   #18
gmw
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I'm sort of hoping that The World Without Us will not be a downer (I've already bought it). Aside from the starting premise that we humans are gone, I'm really hoping that what follows is sort of hopeful, that the world could recover from us, because if that is still true then maybe we humans could find our way to doing some of that healing while we are still here.
Oh, the book is definitely a downer . But there’s every reason to hope the Earth will survive our demise, and so will life. Mass extinctions and global recoveries have happened many times before.[...]
You were right, it was a downer.

A lot of what we've already done is going to take geological time to fully clean up. But more depressing were some of the historical facts (the book spent a lot of time looking at history), and some of the current situation. For example:

I like birds. In this book I read that (as of 2007 when it was published) they estimate that more than 1 billion (that is not a typo) birds die by running into glass windows in the US alone. I get so sad for the one or two birds we lose to this every year in our house - if ever I needed an excuse to not clean windows here it is - but 1 billion?

A further 120 million are killed by hunters. (It seems that no one remembers the passenger pigeon.) And an estimated 219 million are killed by cats! (You can see why I'm not a cat person.)

They estimate a total population of around 20 billion birds in North America, so those are significant numbers. And on top of all that, there are many and varied other ways that we kill them even before natural predators even get a chance.

But it was an interesting book. Sometimes surprising in what it covered, and also in what it didn't say. As per the summary I'm about to put on the what-are-we-reading thread, probably a 3.5/5, marked down because I had hoped for a more useful conclusion.
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Old 12-28-2019, 05:17 AM   #19
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I was reading recently about the huge drop in songbirds in particular in the US (because that’s where the study was done) something like two-thirds down from about 50 years ago. The main cause is the insecticides we use, so the chicks are being poisoned by the food their parents give them.

I am quite sure there are fewer of many birds around than when I started birdwatching, and that was maybe 20 years ago. Depressing, isn’t it.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:43 PM   #20
CRussel
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When I was a youngster (Detroit metro area), we knew it was spring when the robins came back. By the time I went away to college, the robins were gone, killed off by DDT, to which their eggs are particularly sensitive. One of the first things I noticed when we moved to BC was there were robins in the spring! Honestly, a very personal joy. They take all the cherries from my cherry tree, leaving none for me, but I mind not at all.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:06 PM   #21
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Hearing birds really is a joy, isn’t it! Definitely worth the cherries.

Unfortunately, like Bookpossum, I’ve noticed the decline here over the last 20 years too. I used to wake to song birds every morning when I first bought this house. I still hear birds, but far fewer, and fewer varieties as well. A local biologist says we have too many logging roads crisscrossing the province, and it’s resulted in an introduction of more predators and a loss of bird habitat.

It took courage to read the book gmw - good for you!

Last edited by Victoria; 12-30-2019 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:23 PM   #22
Dazrin
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They take all the cherries from my cherry tree, leaving none for me, but I mind not at all.
I just wish they would wait till they are ripe instead of trying them ALL when they are still too sour for them to eat. Half-eaten un-ripe cherries all over the place... Such a mess.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:06 PM   #23
CRussel
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Definitely worth the cherries. And my birds seem to be a bit smarter than yours, Dazrin. They start testing them 3-4 weeks before they're ripe, but then they wait, testing one of two every day until they finally decide they're ripe, and then, suddenly, they decide they are ripe enough and they are gone within a couple of days.
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