bookgrouplogoREAD ON THE WILD SIDE  

Read on the Wild Side is a book discussion group led by Friends members Jan Evans, Sue Carr, and Sue Marcus featuring books about some aspect of natural history.

There are no requirements for participation – although it’s a good idea to have read the book that’s under discussion.  The books we select all can be borrowed from local public libraries through CLAMS, and of course can be bought online or at local bookstores.

Everyone is welcome, and there’s no charge.

All discussions will take place at the Museum in the Hay Room.

Questions?  Contact the Friends at, or call the Museum office at 508-896-3867.

Readers gathered in the Hay Room for a spirited discussion of the SOUL OF AN OCTOPUS on a snowy February day. Discussion leader Sue Carr provided cookies in the shape of (what else?) octopuses to enhance the talk.

The next Read On the Wild Side will be March 8, when the book under discussion will be THE GENIUS OF BIRDS. Will the refreshments be deviled eggs?


thegeniusofbirdsMarch 8, 2017, 1pm
The Genius of Birds
by Jennifer Ackerman
Well-researched and beautifully written, Ackerman’s work contends that the bird world is rife with examples of various levels of unexpected intelligence. From tool-making to navigation, from playing tricks to memorizing large volumes of detail, many different bird species contribute to Ackerman’s contention that to be called a “bird brain” is indeed a compliment rather than a criticism.

As Grant McCreary of says, “…birds are often seen as interesting, and occasionally smart. But genius?” Ackerman clarifies her use of this term for us: “In this book, genius is defined as the knack for knowing what you’re doing – for ‘catching on’ to your surroundings, making sense of things, and figuring out how to solve your problems.” She tells “the story of birds with extraordinary abilities or skills” in six areas: technical, social, musical, artistic, spatial, and adaptive.
katrinaafterthefloodMay 2, 2017, 1pm
Katrina: After the Flood
by Gary Rivlin
The environmental and sociological impact of Hurricane Katrina