Landmarks – Robert Macfarlane

Landmarks - Robert MacfarlaneSuperb writing on language, landscape and living on the land.

Lots of new words to use (well, to try and remember); lots of new books to read…

Looking forward to fuddling next time at Forty Acres, and to the accuracy of describing my Dolpo Expedition river crossing photos as “Crunching across the frozen mud and skim-ice to wade through the waters of the upper Barbung Khola”.

“Other places” isn’t really the right category/genre for this but it’s the closest I’ve got (other than “Too tricky to categorise” – so I’m going to tick that too….)

Publisher page: Landmarks – Robert Macfarlane

Ring of Bright Water – Gavin Maxwell

My reading of Gavin Maxwell‘s account of his early years at Camusfeàrna alternated between delight at his descriptions of the place, the wildlife and his relationships there, and irritation at the sense of entitlement and privileged displayed in London and on his travels; with Wilfred Thesiger to live with the Marsh Arabs of Iraq and to bring back a wild otter, to Sicily to write a book.

No mention of his relationship with Kathleen Raine whose poem provides the title of the book.

I had borrowed the trilogy but stopped at the end of this, the most well known book.

Publisher’s webpage: The Ring of Bright Water Trilogy – Gavin Maxwell

H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald

One of those books I just had to keep on reading…. devoured in a weekend, interspersed with a 5 year old’s Star Wars & Superheroes birthday party in Blackheath and ‘babysitting’ B&R while T&J were in Stockholm for the weekend… which included help with revising Of Mice and Men.

But I digress.

A ….

wonderful book about Helen Macdonald’s love of falconry and her experiences in the first year of training her goshawk, Mabel (from the Latin amabilis meaning lovable or dear)

… intertwined with …

a biography of T H White (of The Once And Future King fame) and his Gos

… and…

a loving, grieving eulogy for Helen Macdonald’s father, Fleet Street photographer, Alisdair Macdonald (you’ll recognise some of his photos).

Make sure you have a hanky / tissues at the ready as you read. It’s a real weepy.

Publisher page: H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald

Cambridge News – Cambridge author Helen Macdonald on grief, goshawks, and her best-selling book, H is for Hawk, 7 September 2014.