Charles Hood DustJacket Square

Saturday, May 12: What Is a Perfect Field Guide, and Why Don’t We Already Have Them?

A free lecture and book-signing with Charles Hood.

Saturday, May 12, 7:00 p.m.
UC Sedgwick Reserve, Tipton House.

Featured image of book cover courtesy of Charles Hood

This informal talk and book-signing with California author and naturalist Charles Hood will take us on a tour of current field guide offerings and explore the pleasures and challenges of trying to write, illustrate, produce, and market the perfect field guide. Charles will start with birds but also discuss mushrooms, trees, insects, and even lichens. Along the way he will consider the origins of field guides, going as far back as Shakespeare’s time, when naturalists of that age asked, “Can a good enough field guide help keep away the Devil?” Join him for a lively discussion as we think about the answers and look ahead to what we can expect in the years to come. He’ll be signing copies of his book, A Californian’s Guide to the Birds Among Us.

Author Charles Hood. Photo courtesy of the speaker

Charles Hood grew up near the Los Angeles River, but his parents’ subscription to National Geographic made him eager to explore wider vistas. Since then he has been to over 50 countries, seen 5,000 species of birds, been lost in a whiteout in Tibet, been charged by a musk ox in Alaska, graduated from survival training at the South Pole, and sailed to within 600 miles of the North Pole. A prize-winning poet, Charles is the author of the new title, A Californian’s Guide to the Birds Among Us. He is currently working on a guide to the mammals of California, a book about urban nature (in collaboration with the Los Angeles Natural History Museum), and a memoir about his father’s service in WW II.