Whatcha Reading? Wednesday

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I continue to be lost in Yorkshire with James Herriot's quartet of books. Currently almost finished with book #3 All Things Wise and Wonderful. This is the book during the war years, when Herriot was training to be a pilot in the RAF. He spends a little time on what he did during the war, but he focuses mostly on his memories of Yorkshire.

There is much to love in these books. Herriot is a great writer, but at the same time, he is so self-effacing and modest, that you just want to hug him. He began his practice when there weren't any of the modern drugs, penicillin and the like, that were such a miracle when they arrived. The work was tough, and often chance had as much a role in cure as the medicine did.

He admires the Yorkshire farmers--their grit, their determination, their stoicism in the face of reverses. His vignettes paint such a lovely picture of a people I suspect are mostly gone now. And he obviously loves the animals he cares for. Since I'm not a farm girl, I had never thought about how different a "country vet's" practice would be from the more familiar (to me) small animal practice. But he's not a snob about anything. He loves them all--dogs and cats and cows and pigs and sheep and horses. He makes me like them, too.

And he's funny. He has an eye for the absurd detail, the humorous happening. And it's told with no irony, no sarcasm, no cynicism. I think that's the most resfreshing bit of all. Most of the humor is at his own expense.

After I finish the books, I am going to put the PBS miniseries discs on my Netflix queue and watch them. But I don't want anything to spoil my image of the people until I'm finished with the books.

I also continue to read Peter Kreeft's You Can Understand the Bible. I should finish it up this week. Then it's probably back to Guardini's book on prayer.

How 'bout ya'll?


I remember devouring all of Herriot's books when I was a girl. I believe my grandmother gave them to me. She was always a huge animal lover. I'd put them on my mental list of books I want to make sure the girls get hold of when they're a bit older; but now you make me want to go back and re-read them for myself. I wonder how different they will look now.

i'm currently juggling at least half a dozen books but the one I can't put down is a review copy I recently received of The Death of a Pope.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on May 20, 2009 8:52 AM.

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