BOOK HUNGRY: all creatures great and small

who says you have to be crowded into the living room/kitchen/dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbach, vanessa noble, alyson peterson, cynthia reese, elizabeth ryann, and myself. here’s the deal. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email. we post a review on our individual blogs on the same day (3rd thursday of the month). we link to each other. done. i know, genius. click on each one of their names (above) and it’ll take you to their review. browse. enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is:

ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL by James Herriot

i am not an animal person.

*waits until crowd stops gasping*

(and by crowd, i mean the one person who’s reading this.)

i also don’t read a lot of non-fiction.

*crickets chirping*

hey, those crickets have a place in this month’s selection, which, despite the aforementioned facts, i enjoyed. and here’s why. well, wait, let me first quote james herriot himself:

“If only vetting just consisted of treating sick animals. But it didn’t. There were so many other things.” (page 173)

and THAT’S why i like this book. it’s not just about the animals and the veterinary practice herriot joined right after he graduated from vet school, it covers his crazy boss and the farmers and the town and his crazy boss’s brother and the automobiles and his clumsy search for love. (yes, i could relate to that part.)

sure, the animals have a starring role (and i found it rather fascinating to read about them from a scientific standpoint), but it’s mainly about james  herriot, an english bloke who’s fresh out of vet school and is in desperate need of a job. (hmm, sounds familiar in this economic time). what follows is herriot’s firsthand account of how he found his way into the bizarre, hilarious, never ceasing life of a country vet. it’s a coming of age story, if you will.

(can you still call it a coming of age when the main character has graduated from college and beyond?)

back to the story, herriot’s boss (siegfried farnon) said this: “There’s a very fine dividing line between looking a real smart vet on the one hand and an immortal fool on the other. This sort of thing happens to us all.” (page 196) which is why this book is so relatable. we’ve all been in situations that required us to tread softly in hopes of coming out looking like a genius instead of appearing as though we barely passed the first grade. herriot faces these situations weekly.*

i fear if i go on, i might ruin some of the most hilarious parts, so just know that the life of a veterinarian is never dull and throughout the hectic and chaotic nature of his job, herriot manages to maintain a sense of humor as well as a degree of humbleness.

if you like animals and non-fiction (or even if you don’t), prepare to be charmed by this book.

*intentional vagueness required so as not to spoil anything.

p.s. see you next month, folks, where our December pick will be THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer.

//

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6 Responses to “BOOK HUNGRY: all creatures great and small”

  1. Karla Nellenbach Says:

    nicely done review Abby :)

  2. Kelly B Says:

    That was said very well. And I agree that is really was a coming of age story. I think most are, no matter the age, when you come to realize that what you thought you were about to embark on the actual journey are two very different things.

    • abby mumford Says:

      until i wrote this review, i never thought about what defines a “coming of age” story other than you always hear YA labeled as that. but it makes sense that you can “come of age” at a time other than during your teenage years because, well, don’t we all mature at different rates?

  3. Linda G. Says:

    Exactly. I AM an animal lover, but I remember being every bit as fascinated by the human interactions as I was with the animals.

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