Monday, September 20, 2010

Books I love - James Herriot

James Herriot…where do I begin? I love James Herriot. You may have never heard of him. I consider myself incredibly lucky that I have. I first learned about him when I was really young and someone gave me a big book with lots of illustrations entitled "James Herriot's Treasury for Children." I loved it for the delightful tales it told of all sorts of farm animals. Later I read "James Herriot's Dog Stories" and "James Herriot's Cat Stories," which were both wonderful. At the time I liked them for the animals. Later I came to appreciate them for the best part of the story - the warm, honest, humorous narrator telling his life story - James Herriot. Little did I know that these books were merely extracts from James Herriot's main works - the five books he wrote that chronicle his life as a country vet in the early/mid 1900s in the rural Yorkshire Dales.

James Herriot is one of the most masterful storytellers I have ever come across. He feels like your old friend. His veterinary career starts in the 1930s, at a time when modern medicines still largely did not exist. His veterinary work is probably not what you first think of when thinking of veterinarians - the bulk of his work focused not on pets like cats and dogs (although he does deal a lot with them), but on farm animals like horses, ships, pigs, and especially cows. He tells you not only of his work, but also his personal life and the hilarity that comes with it. And that might sound boring to you, but trust me - it's not. It's funny, heartwarming, exasperating, interesting, and simply just captivating. Reading James Herriot is like drinking hot chocolate while warmly wrapped in a blanket in your favorite armchair while the rain falls outside.

His five books that tell everything in sequence are "All Creatures Great and Small," "All Things Bright and Beautiful," "All Things Wise and Wonderful," "Every Living Thing," and "The Lord God Made Them All." Reeeeaad know you want to. :)


  1. Thanks for the tip, I will check them out! :)

  2. Love him too! I read all his books as a young adult and still have them on the shelf in my bedroom (the place of honor). When I read him I am there with him!


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