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The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and a Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik
The Big Year refers to a term in birdwatching, a annual quest to see who can spot the most bird species in that 12-month period. Mark Obmascik tells the story of one year, 1998, when three competitors were obsessive in their quest to see who could catalog the most bird sightings. Their tale takes them back and forth across the North American continent, risking money and health in their drive to stay ahead of the others. It's done an honor system of self-reporting and comes with no prizes or trophies. Each of the main characters within The Big Year had their own reasons for indulging their obsession. Mark Obmascik takes what sounds like a boring pasttime and converts it into an engaging and entertaining book. The Asian Review of Books calls it "an engaging book that's a pleasure to read and teasingly suspenseful."