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Vesper Flights af Helen Macdonald

Vesper Flights (original 2020; udgave 2020)

af Helen Macdonald (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3942150,354 (4.16)56
Titel:Vesper Flights
Forfattere:Helen Macdonald (Forfatter)
Info:Grove Press (2020), 288 pages

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Vesper Flights af Helen Macdonald (2020)


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Engelsk (19)  Spansk (1)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (21)
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Vesper Flights brings together a collection of essays that on the surface are about the birds she loves and cares for. With little effort, readers can unpack the greater feelings in the author's life that she uses her expert bird observations to help her understand and cope. The essays range in topics from grief, climate change, immigration, spiritualism, behavior, self-realization, and more.
Macdonald has brought another touching work of prose to readers. As those that have read H is for Hawk know, you do not have to be a fanatic bird watcher to enjoy and gain knowledge from these essays. Instead the essays caused me to make the time to stop and observe life with all it cohesion, interdependence, and synchronicities. I enjoyed this peaceful read and recommend it for those looking for something to read on vacation or as a vacation from everyday life. ( )
  Bibliophilly | Sep 21, 2021 |
audiobook nonfiction/navel gazing and drivel
I suspect, as with [b:H is for Hawk|18803640|H is for Hawk|Helen Macdonald|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1442151714l/18803640._SY75_.jpg|26732095] (which I have not attempted to read), this is one that people either love or hate.
The quality of the author's narration was fine--I thought her voice was expressive and had a nice timbre to it--however I found the content lacking. Each sentence was spoken as a revelation and sprinkled heavily with purple prose and yet, at the end of a paragraph (or several hours), I had learned very little. It's not a writing style I prefer, in print or in audio, but other people may love it. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
I normally shy away from essay collections, I really can't explain why, I just do, but I so thoroughly enjoyed H is for Hawk that I had to pick up this book (actually, my wife and I gave it to each other for Christmas (returned one copy and ended up walking out with three more books)). Some of the essays are more engaging than others, but all are coming from Ms. Macdonald's heart. She writes how I feel. ( )
  hhornblower | May 30, 2021 |
I will read anything this woman writes, as uneven as it might be sometimes. [b:H is for Hawk|18803640|H is for Hawk|Helen Macdonald|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1442151714l/18803640._SY75_.jpg|26732095] is deservedly among the ranks of classic nature writing for its intense intelligence, close study, in-depth knowledge, and exquisite writing - and we get all of that in this new collection of essays and articles. Both Hawk and Vesper Flights are - for me - occasionally marred by some overwrought emotional spasms. The essay called "Eclipse" is occasion for an almost bizarre dissection of her emotional reaction: "The exhilaration is barely contained terror. I am tiny and huge all at once...there are no human words to express all this...a total eclipse makes history laughable,...makes the inclinations of the world incomprehensible, like someone trying to engage a stone in discussions about the price of a celebrity magazine." Umm, really? I've watched a total eclipse myself, and it's a wonderment, enchanting, fascinating, occasion for strangers to gather and marvel and share. But this is just a bit too much, and much more about Helen Macdonald than about an eclipse.

But... there is so much to admire, so much that moves here. I confess to being pleased to find I am not the only former dinosaur-mad child whose middle-aged eyes filled with tears when that apatosaurus first strolls across the screen in Jurassic Park. "Rescue" is a lovely piece in honor of those who serve up carefully carved crickets to save swifts, sleep with orphaned baby elephants, and handfeed infant hummingbirds (and please see Julie Zickefoose's superb and poignant NPR story on this subject). Macdonald describes it perfectly as "the intoxicating process of coming to know something quite unlike you, to understand it well enough not only to keep it alive but also to put it back, like a puzzle piece, into the gap in the world it left behind." She is also brilliant with what you might call "ordinary" science journalism, as in "Swan Upping": the natural history of swans, their centuries-old association with English royalty, the experience of drifting down a green waterway on a hot July day, of cradling a cygnet that feels like "it had a silk wrapping on it," craft knowledge, Brexit, and the strange and brilliant artist Stanley Spencer - all woven into a gorgeous, sensual tapestry of humans, history, and nature.

In "Wicken," Macdonald sets out with her little niece on a walk through a preserved fen, a precious scrap remaining of original miles of marshland. They see and hear owls, snipe, cuckoos, and rails. As the little girl watches a furry caterpillar trundling across the path, she asks, "When they made this place, where did they get all the animals from?" Macdonald doesn't quite understand what she's asking. "There are so many animals here. Did they come from a zoo?" And Macdonald's heart breaks a little. So did mine. ( )
  JulieStielstra | May 17, 2021 |
What can British people's relationships with birds help us understand about what it means to be British in these days of xenophobia, nationalism, and climate change? Helen MacDonald may be the only person on earth who can answer this question. ( )
  GwenRino | May 2, 2021 |
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