Maybe it helps that I'm a "bird person." My partner and I have lived with birds for years. One male bird in particular has been a constant companion for nearly 20 years. So I do know how a cross-species relationship can be a unique, life-affirming, totally amazing & touching thing.
So when I read Dwight Garner's review of "H is for Hawk" in the NYTimes, I knew I'd have to read it.
I just finished the book a few days ago. It is extraordinary. I can say I've never read a book quite like it. It's about falconry, grief, loss, losing one's self to find one's self, death and reality, and all the things we do to evade reality. It's also a totally engaging and maddening portrait of T. H. White. Makes me want to seek out T.H. White's work.
That's how great books work on you. They engage you. Plunge you into another world, another mind, and then lead you to other connections, send you down new rabbit holes. There is an element of "magic" to it all. How do words on a page fire your imagination? How can a little bound book change your head?
Of course, not all of them do. But when you come across a great book, you realize the world is bigger, and more engaging, and more transformative, than you imagined. There is magic in the world, in the wind, in the things right in front of our faces. We just need to open our eyes, open our heads, and let them in.
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