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Centre County Reads 2019 selects 'Vulture'

by on December 07, 2018 1:24 PM

STATE COLLEGE — Centre County Reads is going to the birds in 2019. Well, one particular bird.

“Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird” by Penn State alum Katie Fallon is the Centre County Reads book for 2019. The book “chronicles the life and times of one of the world’s most underappreciated and overlooked birds: the turkey vulture. Part ecological memoir, part travel narrative, part scientific exploration, and part love story, this book examines the roles turkey vultures — and all vultures — play in healthy ecosystems. Fallon travels to India, Arizona, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and her own backyard in her quest to study, care for, and observe this often unloved though vitally important (and uniquely beautiful) bird.”

Fallon began her undergraduate studies at Penn State in wildlife and fisheries science but soon switched to English. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from West Virginia University. She lives in Cheat Lake, W.Va., with her family.

Fallon will visit Thursday, April 4, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the Nittany Lion Inn. Books sales and signing will follow her talk.

Kickoff events for Centre County Reads 2019 will be held on Jan. 29 and Feb. 1 with two showings of the critically acclaimed film “Winged Migration.” The Jan. 29 showing will be at Schlow Centre Region Library in State College and the Feb. 1 showing will be at Centre County Library & Historical Museum in Bellefonte.

Book discussion groups will be held throughout February and March at various locations. Other special events include Meet the Creek on March 31 at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, and The Changing Nature of Nature Writing, a roundtable discussion at Paterno Library and presented by the Center for American Literary Studies and Centre County Reads.

The Center for American Literary Studies and Centre County Reads also will present the Writing the Nonhuman writing contest. Entries are due by March 11 and categories include Best Short Fiction, Best Nonfiction, Best Poetry and Best Entry for a Writer under 18. Visit for more information.

Centre County Reads started in 2003 with the book “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The project encourages county residents of all ages to explore the human condition and community issues by reading and discussing the same book. Past selections include “A Walk in the Woods,” “The Book Thief,” “Beautiful Ruins,” and last year’s “Under a Painted Sky.” Centre County Reads coordinators are the Center for American Literary Studies; the Center for Global Studies; Centre County Library & Historical Museum; Pennsylvania Center for the Book; Schlow Centre Region Library; the State College, Philipsburg-Osceola, Penns Valley and Bellefonte area school districts; and Schlow Library Foundation. Partners for Centre County Reads 2019 are the Mary E. Rolling Reading Series within the Penn State Creative Writing Program, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.

For more information on Fallon’s visit, other events and Centre County Reads, visit


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