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Penguin: Adult Hardcover & Trade Paperback Summer 2019

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Birds by the Shore
Observing the Natural Life of the Atlantic Coast
By (author): Jennifer Ackerman
9780143134183 Paperback, Trade English General Trade NATURE / Animals / Birds May 07, 2019
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.46 x 8.4 x 0.57 in 224 pages 19 B&W ILLUSTRATIONS; 2 B&W MAPS Penguin Two Penguin Books
From the bestselling author of The Genius of Birds, the revised and reissued edition of her beloved book of essays describing her forays along the Delaware shore

For three years, Jennifer Ackerman lived in the small coastal town of Lewes, Delaware, in the sort of blue-water, white-sand landscape that draws summer crowds up and down the eastern seaboard. Birds by the Shore is a book about discovering the natural life at the ocean’s edge: the habits of shorebirds and seabirds, the movement of sand and water, the wealth of creatures that survive amid storm and surf. Against this landscape’s rhythms, Ackerman revisits her own history—her mother’s death, her father’s illness and her hopes to have children of her own.

This portrait of life at the ocean’s edge will be relished by anyone who has walked a beach at sunset, or watched a hawk hover over a winter marsh, and felt part of the natural world. With a quiet passion and friendly, generous intelligence, it explores the way that landscape shapes our thoughts and perceptions and shows that home ground is often where we feel the deepest response to the planet.

Story Locale: Deleware

BEAUTIFUL NEW PACKAGE: Originally published in 1995 as Notes from the Shore, this revised edition will feature a new introduction, updated material, and a stunning new cover.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR: Ackerman’s most recent book, The Genius of Birds, was a New York Times bestseller and received glowing trade reviews. And we will be publishing Ackerman’s next book in 2020 (also about birds!).

DELIGHTFUL AND ENGAGING READ: A nature guide with a philosophical journey, Birds by the Shore weaves together science and description with personal observation and reflection, and offers readers a surprising and beautiful look at the extraordinary grace of nature’s creatures, such as ghost crabs, shore birds, sea worms, and whales.

PERFECT GIFT FOR NATURE LOVERS: Although there is a mass of information in these pages, Ackerman focuses more on stories and scenes than on data. She brings readers, flashlight in hand, to a moonlit beach to watch the annual coupling of horseshoe crabs, to low tide to probe for mud worms, and marsh grasses at dawn to watch for birds.

GLOBAL SCIENCE: Ackerman touches on the effect of contemporary problems—toxic wastes, global warming and shoreline erosion—on her habitat.

BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS: The book is filled with original hand drawn illustrations by Karis Grosz, perfect additions to Ackerman’s essays.

JENNIFER ACKERMAN has been writing about science, nature, and human biology for almost three decades. Her most recent books include The Genius of Birds, Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body; Ah-Choo: The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold; Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity; and Notes from the Shore. A contributor to Scientific American, National Geographic, The New York Times, and many other publications, Ackerman is the recipient of an National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Bunting Fellowship, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Author Residence: Virginia

Marketing: Outreach to birding community

Comprehensive online and social media campaign

Publicity: Review coverage

Travel and nature print features

Online publicity

Author Website:

“Arresting and provocative…A joy to read”—The Washington Post

“Like walking along an ocean beach with a knowledgeable, articulate friend, reading this personalized natural history is a restorative experience.”—Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

“Serene and loving, Ackerman’s deeply personal take on the world around her constitutes nature writing at its best.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

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