Showing posts from February, 2018

H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk Helen Macdonald, 2014 Read Harder Challenge - A book about nature Premise: A memoir about grief, falconry, English history, and a human connection with the natural world. I was in the mood for something different recently, so I tried out this well-reviewed memoir. It's a fascinating piece, although not (in my opinion) perfect. After her father's sudden death, the author retreated into her lifelong obsession with birds and raised and trained a young goshawk. The book includes not only the story of her relationship with Mabel throughout a year of grieving and perspectives on modern falconry but also a parallel story of T. H. White's book about training a goshawk, and his relationships with both animals and people. The writing is beautiful. I can't say that enough.The descriptions are deliciously tangible and her explanations of her emotions are tremendously vivid. I loved her descriptions and musings on her relationship with her hawk and with

Doomsday Book

Doomsday Book Connie Willis, 1992 Hugo Winner -1993 Premise: In the near future, an Oxford academic is sent back in time to study day-to-day life in the middle ages. When illness strikes in both the future and the past, she may never see home again. I really struggled with this book. This might be an example of a book in which I would have been better off reading the description. This is not a book with a great plot or great characters. It's an examination of suffering, hope, and human connection, as well as an awkwardly forced repeated metaphor for God. My problem was that I didn't know that going in, and so I kept looking for the plot. The time travel isn't important. The people in the present/future aren't that important or interesting either. I kept spinning theories about what the big reveal was going to be, and then there wasn't one. The writing is compelling and nuanced, which is why it kept frustrating me that I couldn't figure out wha