an illustration of a hawk sits on a branch, with handwritten lettering

H Is for Hawk

by Helen Macdonald

I loved everything about this book. It's so many things: a grief memoir, a story of a lifelong obsession (and skill) with birds of prey, and the unexpected delight of a story-within-a-story: the secret behind Merlin's way with wild animals in T.H. White's book The Once and Future King. Helen MacDonald manages to be intensely vulnerable at the same time as totally geeking out on a number of topics. This is a well-researched, incredibly well-put-together web of the stories humans tell ourselves woven in with vivid experience of the natural world. If you've never appreciated hawking or falconry before, you will absolutely do so by the time you get to the end of this book. -Elly