Vesper Flights

Helen Macdonald

nonfiction essays nature
challenging informative reflective medium-paced

272 pages | first published 2020

Animals don’t exist to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves.

From the internationally acclaimed author of H is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved pieces, along with new essays on topics and stories ranging from nostalgia and science fiction to the true account of a refugee’s flight to the UK. Her pieces ranges from accounts of swan upping on the Thames to watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary to seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, what we do when we watch wildlife and why.

This is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us, by one of this century's most important and insightful nature writers.

What the community thinks

summary of 75 ratings (see reviews)

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Moods

informative 86%
reflective 82%
inspiring 65%
hopeful 43%
emotional 39%
challenging 26%
adventurous 21%
relaxing 21%
sad 17%
funny 8%
dark 4%
lighthearted 4%
mysterious 4%
tense 4%

Pace

medium 59%
slow 40%

Average rating

4.24