Three new books find beauty and insight in our relationship with the natural world.
The Bird Catcher (St. Mark's) by Laura Jacobs is a novel about a woman in New York City whose interest in birding becomes an obsession and a balm after she is widowed.
Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom From the Urban Wilderness (Little, Brown) by Lyanda Lynn Haupt begins with the curious fact that the crow population is larger than it has ever been, and follows the birds and their relationship to humans back into myth and history and forward to science and the urban landscape.
Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by David M. Carroll is a richly detailed account by the naturalist and MacArthur "genius" grant winner of his annual nine-month immersion in study of a New England wetland and the creatures that live there; with lovely drawings by Carroll.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor