The Bird Is the Word (An Idiosyncratic Lit List)

October 10, 2014 Idiosyncratic Lit List 31

Tweet tweet, Bookworms!

It feels like there’s something missing in my life, and that something is a nonsensical book list. In the spirit of doing things just for the heck of it, I’ve compiled a list of books for y’all today that include birds in the title. Because why the heck not?


 1. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (review 1, review 2)- Fake Spoiler Alert: It’s not about a bird. Well, not a literal bird anyway. It’s about Jesuits in space. And aliens. It’s awesome.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- Fake Spoiler Alert: It’s not about killing mockingbirds, much to the chagrin of every cat meme on the internet. It’s actually about civil rights and non scummy lawyers and neighborhood weirdos.

3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (review)- Okay, you guys, this book ACTUALLY has a bird in it. Ha! I’m lying again. It does have a portrait of a bird, though, and the greatest ne’er-do-well to grace the pages of modern literature. BORIS, I love you.

4. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris (review)- Man, I am good at picking books with birds in the title that have very little to do with birds, aren’t I? The only owl to appear in this book is taxidermy, but you guys, it’s a DAVID SEDARIS book and therefore hilarious and wonderful.

5. A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin- Dark wings, dark words, kids. Ravens are the cool birds in Westeros, what with their message carrying and all, but crows like to hang out and pick at carrion, too. And, let’s face it, there’s a lot of carrion to be picking at in Westeros by book 4, you know what I’m saying?


6. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater (review)- You didn’t really think I was going to make a list dedicated to birds and not list a book about penguins did you? Silly, silly bookworms! This is among my all time favorite whimsical children’s books. I sent my “nephew” a copy. When he was 3. And unable to read. I just get REALLY EXCITED about books.

7. A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg (review)- I love Fannie Flagg, some books more than others. This wasn’t my favorite of hers, but you know. I like Christmas. I like books with birds in the title.

8. Leonardo’s Swans by Karen Essex- I love me some hist-ART-ical fiction, and this book went back to the Italian Renaissance to get inside the lives of some of DaVinci’s subjects.

9. Wild Swans by Jung Chang- Swans again? Heck yes! This book is AMAZING and it’s about the lives and journeys of three women in China. It’s intense and true and you should read it and learn things. It’s non-fiction and worth all the brain power.

10. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood- A crake is a bird, y’all. A dude who calls himself “Crake” after an extinct bird in the future and goes on to mastermind a new race of sentient beings while bringing about the destruction of humanity is a mad scientist. Subtle distinction.



I’m sure I’ve missed many a bird. What are your favorite books with birds in the title, Bookworms? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I’ll use it to feed the birds. Tuppence a bag, you say?*

Sorry, I had to.

Sorry, I had to.

31 Responses to “The Bird Is the Word (An Idiosyncratic Lit List)”

  1. Barbie

    Would you buy The Pinhoe Egg by Dianna Wunne Jones? Mary Stewart wrote The Stormy Petrel, and Dorothy Dunnett, the great writer of historical fiction, also wrote some frivolous mysteries, called in the American editions, “Dolly and the…” Her bird on was Dolly and the Bird of Paradise. A freebie I downloaded from Smashwords is called Temple of the Dove, but with grammatical errors in the prologue, it is probably soon for the ash heap. Joann Bertin’s Dragon and Phoenix. Octavia E. Butler wrote Fledgling. Summer and Bird, a children’s book fromDutton by Katherine Catmull. But I will stop now. It’s early in the morning in Vermont and I have not yet been to bed. The cats want their breakfast.

  2. Sarah Says Read

    It has never occurred to me just how many books there are with birds in the title! Ummmm does a Mockingjay count? LOL. That’s the best I can do, a fictional bird.

  3. Sarah @ Sarah's Book Shelves

    Ha! I love this list! Loved The Goldfinch and especially Boris…you’re categorization of him as “greatest ne’er-do-well to grace the pages of modern literature” is absolutely spot on!

    And – I don’t think I’ve even read this book, but what about I know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

  4. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    Love this list 😀 How about The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen? I didn’t realize there were so many bird books out there!

    Thanks for sharing that gif. Now that song will be in my head for the rest of the morning. SUPER 😉

  5. Parastou

    Loved this post!

    How about Bird Box, by Josh Malerman. A box of birds does feature briefly, but it will mostly just scare the feathers off you (sorry – had to be done!).

  6. Megan M.

    The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling!

    I guess birds just lend themselves well to symbolism.

  7. A Cocoon of Books

    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The peregrine in question is an actual bird… sometimes.

    Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline. The bird is definitely metaphorical in this case.

    The Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight, which is the odd one out here as a non-fiction book about reading the Bible. But it’s really good!

    I love the idea of making a list on a fun theme like this!

  8. A Cocoon of Books

    Also thought of some classics…

    The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

    The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

    and of course…

    Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

  9. Lost in Literature 108

    Trumpet of the Swans, The Story About Ping, Make Way for Ducklings, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

    Thanks for high-jacking my brain. Probably for the whole weekend!

  10. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    Put a bird on it! That’s one sure fire way to make sure I’ll want to read it since I’ve read or want to read darn near all of these. And that Family Guy GIF made for a total earworm. I’ll never get it out now that I’m remembering that episode.

  11. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Oo, Jonathan Livingston Seagull! I guess just the word “bird” doesn’t count, like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Thorn Birds and like that? Wings of the Dove! Still Life with Woodpecker, Black Swan Green.

    • Words For Worms

      Holy crap, I have been meaning to read The Thorn Birds FOREVER. I hear there’s a scandalous affair with a priest, so OBVIOUSLY it’s my kind of book.

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