H Is for Hawk, Helen MacdonaldRead about another book on the list.
This is a memoir by a woman who lost a parent and found a hawk. Macdonald, a scholar at Cambridge University, went to pieces after her father died, and in her mourning she did something unexpected: she purchased a goshawk. Macdonald was already an experienced handler of birds, but goshawks are large and wild and fierce even by hawk standards, and she’d never tried to tame one before. The war of wills that ensued may have made the goshawk (Macdonald names her Mabel) tamer, but it made Macdonald wilder too. It also proved strangely healing and redemptive, and she describes her avian adversary in language so breathtaking and immediate, you’d swear one was sitting on your shoulder.
H Is for Hawk is among Jeffrey Lent's top ten books about justice and redemption and Alex Hourston’s ten top unlikely friendships in literature.