Hello Book Fiends of Bloglandia!
I almost thought this month was going to be a triple dose of non-fiction. But leave it to Agatha Christie to beat out the competition with a clever little mystery.
Overall, I had another fairly “meh” month of reading. Nothing was truly awful, but nothing blew me out of the water.
Still, the three book that did ride to the top, were entertaining, each in the own way, so if you have room in your to-read list, I’d say to give them a gander.
All Creatures Great & Small
by James Herriot (audiobook)
My dad got me hooked on the recent TV show based on Harriot’s books, so being a complete book nerd, I had to read the book to see how it compared.
Basically, it compared wonderfully, although different in many ways.
Just in case you’ve missed out on the basic premise of these books, Herriot is a young vet just starting out on his career.
He gets a job with Sigfried Farnon working mostly as a country vet (lots of cow vaginas, so many cow vaginas!), and this book follows along with his cases and first years as a vet in the Yorkshire Dales.
Each story in this book is an absolute delight, especially if you’re an animal lover. I was surprised at the dark humor in some of the tales, and if you’ve got a weak stomach, some of them may not be for you — this is real life vet work, after all.
I was also surprised at how Herriot somehow manages not to strangle Farnon who sometimes doesn’t seem to have a clue in his head.
Being set in the late 1930s, it’s also interesting to learn about how vets went about their work before modern vaccines, medicines, and much in the way of paperwork (or bookkeeping, in some cases).
My one complaint about the book is that there was no real “through line” (unlike the show with it’s various subplots). They’re mostly just a string of vet-related adventures with some recurring characters. Also, Herriot is Scottish, so it struck me as odd that they choose someone with a very English accent to narrate the audiobook. But that’s just me being nit-picky.
Overall, a great book you could read some of, put down for a while, and jump back into when you’re feeling the need for some animal-related nostalgia.
Europe by Milk Run – INDIE PICK
by Rory Moulton
Hilarious. Informative. And definitely worthy of an admonishing head shake at times.
Travel writer Rory Moulton decides he’s going to show the travel snobs a thing or tow and discover the “real” Europe by taking only slow trains (no high-speed TGV for him) over three weeks from Copenhagen to Barcelona. Very little planning ahead, just flying (or riding, as the case may be) by the seat of his pants.
I had a great time reading this book. Rory presents a nice mix of train travel, architectural admiration, food appreciation, getting to know the locals, and mostly does it all with a good dose of wry humor.
I did love this book, but sometimes I found his antics a little hard to believe. For example when he orders a large amount of beer bare minutes before he needs to board a train. This is a guy who has traveled to Europe many times…and he seemingly has no concept of how large a liter is? Come on.
Still, Rory’s blunders, misunderstandings, and mix ups (whether true or not) do make for a fun read. I did wish he had spent less time in Amsterdam (this seemed to take up WAY more of the book than necessary) and more time in smaller towns, but that’s probably just my desire to travel vicariously through someone else.
Overall, a fun travel memoir for anyone looking for a light read and some silly antics.
Five Little Pigs
by Agatha Christie (audiobook)
An utterly clever challenge for Hercule Poirot awaits in this one and it’s a delight watching him unravel the clues.
The premise of this is that Hercule is hired to solve the murder of a man that happened nearly two decades previously. His wife was convicted for the murder and she died in jail, but her daughter has to know the truth.
While sometimes Christie’s characters and suspects can all blend in together, this book gave each person a background and voice that made them stand out. And seem suspect.
All in all a fun mystery if you’re looking for a quick read.
What did you read last month? Anything surprisingly good? Anything horrible? Any fabulous non-fiction (cow vaginas not required) or mysteries? Reply and let me know!
Thanks for popping by and have a great month of reading, everyone!!!
The Unwanted Inheritance of the Bookman Brothers
Wills often come with unexpected surprises. This one especially so.
Read a sample, learn more, or get your copy today!!
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2 thoughts on “February’s Top Three Reads: Cow Vaginas, Travel Antics, and Little Grey Cells”
I read/re-read (they weren’t all released when I first read them) Anne Bishop’s “Others” books. They nail some universal fantasies perfectly. (There’s also some irritating gender stereotyping going on, but I don’t *think* that was intentional.)
Favorite recent audiobooks: Thursday Murder Club series.
And I also started a whole bunch of things that were pretty terrible, some from trad-pubbed authors who should have been stopped by the people being paid to do so, but life’s too short to worry about that stuff.
You do have to wonder about how some books pass inspection. So much for the gate keepers, right?
I don’t think I’ve heard of the “Others” books, I’ll have to give them a look. I have heard of the Murder Club books but haven’t tried them out yet (but I have already noticed people “stealing” the cover style – haha).
Thanks for popping by : )