H Is for Hawk by Helen MacdonaldRead about another entry on the list.
Goshawks are not cuddly. Macdonald is utterly clear-eyed on both the bird’s reptilian qualities and what’s in it for her: to “possess the hawk’s eye … to live the safe and solitary life” after the shock of her father’s sudden death. Yet she writes a definitive account of the relationship between an animal and human. Her book is lucid and beautiful; there is so much heart in it, and though she refuses to anthropomorphise, I love the moment when she and the hawk play ball, Macdonald throwing “Mabel” pills of scrunched-up paper, which she catches in her beak – and tosses back.