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The Fruits Of Field Work And Scholarship
It is very rare that one encounters a truly scholarly tome that one instinctively knows must have been a labour of love to write, but I have by me just such a book. One cannot overestimate its importance to even the most casual observer of the countryside and I, and others, await with bated breath the, hopefully imminent, publication of its companion volumes. Even the most cursory observation of only the cover of this book is sufficient to tell you that a veritable genius must have worked for a surprising length of time in some of the most physically demanding places in the country – the shopping precincts and their environs. Enough! Let me introduce you to this paragon amongst books, this wonderful manual for the keen nature lover, this useful, pocket sized, guide which encapsulates such a wealth of knowledge. It is The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America – A Guide to Field Identification by Julian Montague.
Published by Abrams way back in 2006 this invaluable field guide has only just come to my attention and I can heartily recommend the common sense approach to the subject embodied by this small, but crucially important, book. For the first time a very careful identification system has been rigorously worked out and the amazing full colour photographs throughout make it easy for the amateur to classify any carts he may come across both accurately and quickly. I had no difficulty in identifying two strays local to me as, respectively, an A10 and a B7. Granted my B7 was also a B14 ARCHAIC, but the fact that I was able to use this guide and establish that fact within seconds more than justifies its position on my shelves.
Buy it! Use it! You will never again confuse ordinary 'Gap Marginalization' with the equally as common 'Edge Marginalization' nor your A9s with your B1s. The whole mysterious life of the shopping cart will be open to you. No longer ignorant on all matters of wheeled basketdom you will be a master observer of all such that you survey. Your friends will stand in awe of your knowledge and your loved ones will look at you with new-found respect.
This is, I venture to suggest, the first truly useful modern field guide ever to be produced for any subject. May there be many more.