Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dear Great Book Guru,
We will be celebrating the Summer Solstice this Saturday followed by a Father’s Day gathering on Sunday. Of course, I will want to have a good book on hand –can you suggest something that reflects the shared events of this weekend ?                   Celebrating in Sea Cliff

Dear Celebrating,  Amazingly, I do have a book to combine your weekend pursuits: H IS FOR HAWK  by Helen Macdonald. I heard about this book from Daniel DiPietro who highly recommended it.  Part memoir, part nature study, part autobiography, and part biography, the book is hard to classify but a joy to read.  Macdonald decided to purchase and train a goshawk falcon to help her cope with the sudden death of her father, a world famous British photographer. She had adored her father and fell into a deep, paralyzing grief with his death.  She had always been fascinated by raptors and the goshawk is the fiercest of the fierce- a stealth, highly intelligent killer of prey.  She saw in this bird a way to unravel the mysteries of life and death. But this is much more than a grief memoir- at one point she writes touchingly of T.H. White- author  most famously of “The Once and Future King”- the story of King Arthur and Merlin,  and then she goes on to illuminate  the role falconry has played throughout history.   Macdonald’s book is hard to tag… beautifully written, it gives us insight into the shared nature of living creatures, human and otherwise.  Highly recommended!

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