"WHAT IS IT THAT CONFERS THE NOBLEST DELIGHT? What is that which swells a man's breast with great pride above which any other experience can bring him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding in the human eye has not been seen before; that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere. To give birth to an idea, to a discovery of great thought-an intellectual nugget, right under the dust of a field that many a brain-plough had gone over before. To find a new planet, to invent a new hinge, to find a way to make the lightnings carry your messages. To be the first-that is the idea...." There are books so alive that you're always afraid that while you weren't reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?

The Innocents Abroad (1869)

About our Name...
The king of upland game birds, the ruffed grouse, wears the scientific name Bonasa umbellus.
     Bonasa means "like a bison," and refers to the bird's drumming mating call sounding like a thundering herd of buffalo. Umbellus describes the umbrella-like Elizabethan ruff of black feathers around the bird's neck....

Feathered Tales
• $39
- A Bird Hunter's Grand Slam Odyssey
Joseph A. Augustine

        "This book chronicles the adventures I shared with my two English setters, Jacy and Ranger, across seven hunting seasons, while we searched for a North American upland game bird grand slam," writes author Joe Augustine. This is not a how-to book, telling readers who to hunt with or where to go. "I wrote this book to tell a story-a good, old-fashioned adventure tale about some bird dogs, hunting and the life led while living a dream to complete my version of a 'grand slam' on North America's upland birds."
        Along the way, you'll share Augustine's trials and tribulations in his effort to complete upland gunning's highest achievement.
        The most interesting part of his story, however, is simply getting from point A to point B, because this book is more than a description of Augustine's hunting exploits: It's a personal tale, a man's life on paper, the story of a region, a generation.
        It begins with Augustine's humble beginnings at the end of the Boomer generation in New York's Finger Lakes region, full of rural charm and natural beauty. This idyllic world quickly transforms as the 1980s bring recession, job loss and land use changes that will forever alter Geneva and Augustine's life path in the process.
        Seeking the "desk job" his father never had, Augustine goes to college, earns an MBA and rises higher than he ever dreamed he might-becoming a partner at a Wall Street investment bank during the 1990s. For nearly 15 years, his desire to hunt continually yields to long work weeks and other career demands; yet it never leaves him, and eventually, nature wins out over environment: Augustine returns to the world that truly satisfies him, a world of English setters and upland bird hunting.
        Having "come home," he suddenly realizes that his greatest challenge, a North American grand slam on upland birds, lies in front of him. Traveling nearly 250,000 miles-as far east as Newfoundland, as far west as California-Augustine completes his mission and learns a lot about himself, his world in the process. "The dogs and I got to meet people and see places along the way that I couldn't have conjured in my wildest of dreams," he writes. He collects these adventures, offering them like a fine wine, to be savored for years to come.

About the author
        Joseph A. Augustine grew up in Geneva, New York, in the middle of the state's Finger Lakes region, the son of Joseph "Big Joe" and Lorenza Augustine. His youth was a dream world of hunting birds over a beloved English setter named Lady, chasing rabbits over his father's beagles, fishing local waters and playing sports, especially basketball.
        During the mid-1980s, he earned an MBA from the University of Rochester. This took him into the mergers and acquisitions wilderness of New York City's investment banking world, where for 15 years, he put in long work weeks and paid his dues, eventually becoming a senior executive in the industry. Something was missing, however; and eventually, Joe came back to his life's passion, upland bird hunting.
        Since then he has owned three Bayview English setters, Jacy, Ranger and Sugar. He continues his passion for upland bird hunting today. Augustine lives with his wife Christine and the three dogs in New York City and Pine Plains, New York. This is his first book.