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Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds

Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds

Olivia Gentile

After her four kids were nearly grown and she was about to turn 50, Phoebe Snetsinger was told she had less than a year to live. Snetsinger, a St. Louis housewife and avid backyard birder, decided to spend that year travelling the world in search of birds. As it turned out, her doctors were wrong, but Phoebe's passion had been ignited and she spent the next eighteen years criss-crossing the globe recklessly staking out her quarry. En route she contracted malaria in Zambia, nearly fell to her death in Zaire, and was kidnapped and gang raped on the outskirts of Port Moresby. Yet none of this curbed her enthusiasm. By the time she died in a mini-bus accident while birding in Madagascar in 1999, Phoebe was world renowned and had seen more species - 8,500 of the roughly 10,000 - than anyone in history.

A fascinating portrait of a hobbyist whose obsession contributed to both her success and her demise, 'Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds' brings Phoebe Snetsinger and the wild world of amateur ornithology to vivid life. 345 pages.

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