13 of 25
By Helen Macdonald
288 pages; Grove Press

Because the last stage of grief should be training a goshawk.

In the wake of her father's sudden death, the grieving Macdonald turns to raising a goshawk named Mabel, who becomes her obsession, partner and healer. This stunning memoir grapples with history, death and nature in prose so exquisitely wrought that it approaches poetry. By the end, the author finds herself transported and, against all hope, hopeful. — Dotun Akintoye