Book Buzz Episode 40 – Hollow Kingdom & In the Company of Crows and Ravens

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Air date: March 10, 2024

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Hollow Kingdom

In the Company of Crows and Ravens

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Hi, this is Jessica Russell. I’m the assistant director of collection services at Sno-Isle Libraries. And welcome to Book Buzz.  

Today's two reading recommendations focus on birds! We have “Hollow Kingdom,” the featured title in Sno-Isle Reads Together and a nonfiction title about birds. 

First, we’re going to hear from programming service coordinator Anne, for her take on a story told from a bird’s perspective. Take it away, Anne. 


“Hollow Kingdom” by Kira Jane Buxton is a great choice for anyone who enjoys thought-provoking genre-bending books with a twist of humor.  

S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle's wild crows, and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos®.     

One day Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, and things are never the same. Despite his attempts to help Big Jim, S.T. soon realizes the problem is bigger than he can solve himself. He and his housemate, Dennis the bloodhound, venture from the safety of their home to get help.    

They discover a wild and frightening new world where the neighbors devour each other, and animals – BIG animals – roam free in Seattle. The local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators. It quickly becomes clear there is far more at stake than where the next bag of CHEETOS® will come from.  

As S.T. and Dennis traverse the city, they encounter danger and discover a network of animals willing to help them in their quest. But what exactly is their quest?   

It turns out that nothing short of the fate of humanity is riding on S.T.’s success.  

I enjoyed the unique take on the apocalypse from S.T.’s point of view, and his journey across Seattle with identifiable and accurately detailed locations. “Hollow Kingdom” is quirky and flat out fun. 


Thanks, Anne! Being familiar with the local settings in this book helps make it such a fun read.  

Next, let’s switch gears to a more serious perspective on birds, from Kristi, library associate for Library on Wheels. Over to you, Kristi.  


They say know your enemy and as someone who is deeply afraid of birds, the book “In the Company of Crows and Ravens” by John M. Marzluff was a fascinating and helpful dive into the surprising relationship between crows and humans. 

Crows have been described, revered, and feared for centuries in cultures all over the world. What I love about this book is that it dives deep into those cultural and historical connections between crows and humans and illuminates the way that crows affect our culture as well as how humans affect the culture of crows themselves.

I was captivated by the way that crows have provided inspiration for legends, literature, art, and language throughout history. And did you know that there are forty-six distinct species of crows? The impact that these species of birds have on our lives is far-reaching and provides a compelling read. Every chapter of this book offers a new perspective on a species that is so familiar, which had me rethinking my own opinions. 

Marzluff is a professor at the University of Washington and the book is illustrated by Tony Angell, an artist from Lopez Island. If you’re looking to support a local author while gaining knowledge of the wider world, “In the Company of Crows and Ravens” is the perfect choice. 


Thanks, Kristi! Whether you like birds or not, this book will give you an appreciation for these complicated creatures. 

Our recommendations this week are: "Hollow Kingdom” by Kira Jane Buxton and “In the Company of Crows and Ravens” by John M. Marzluff. 

Join us next time, when we’ll explore more great reading recommendations — interesting books you can find at your favorite local bookstore or at your local library.   

Until then, I’m Jessica Russell from Sno-Isle Libraries.  

Thanks for joining us for Book Buzz on KSER. 

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