It turns out that the Universe works in strange ways, something most of us already know. A few weeks ago, I complained that I could no longer find any good books to read. The book market seems to be getting saturated by sub par genres of romance, sci-fi, fantasy or, even worse, strange combinations of all three. A great example is this list from Goodreads, Ghost Romance. Yes, you read that correctly: Ghost Romance. *insert awkward silence*
Yes, well, as I was saying. I don’t mean to offend those that are into this type of
literature novel. It’s just not for me. What is for me? I love animal books. I’m not talking about Werewolf Romance, either. I guess I’m a sap because I enjoy stories about the enduring relationships between people and animals, as well as the adventures they find themselves in together. One of my favorite books is Diary of a Cat. It’s a cute little story about a feline adventuring through the perils of life and the neighborhood he’s apart of. It has both humor, tear-inducing anecdotes, and a wonderful story teller behind the words. There is only one other book, or series of books, that trumps this: James Herriot’s veterinarian memoirs.
And with this information, I now present to you the bizarre surprise of the week. It had been a difficult week for me due to a swing shift at work. I only had myself to blame, as is usually the case, because I volunteered to do it. It was for a good cause, however. One of my coworkers was getting married and another needed a long overdue vacation. “No worries,” I thought to myself. Little did I realize that other stressors had plans to creep up on me that very week. Things I will not go into detail about began gnawing at me. I was going about the motions next to Hubby, who was worn down due to an unrelenting third shift and an inability to sleep. We were tired, we were grumpy, and we needed a surprise. Mine came in the mail.
I opened my front door, the hot and humid air blasting my face. I sighed and smiled at the neighbors who were walking down the porch. No smile returned, I reached over to the mailbox and stopped. There was a package in the mailbox. “I didn’t order anything,” I thought to myself, “that would require money.” I began to ask Hubby, who was on the computer, if he had ordered something but stopped short when I saw the label. It said “Mailroom: MacMillan Holdings LLC”. My heart skipped a beat. We had been inundated with bills, lately. Mainly due to my current health predicament, I felt guilty about the piling bills. Did I forget to pay something? Did a bill get lost in the mail? Am I being sued? Is this a huge packet of legal documents and court orders?
I closed the door and walked back into the inviting cool. Sitting on the stiff leather couch, I slowly opened the sticky side of the package. It was about the size of a notebook, but thicker. It fit inside the mailbox so I couldn’t assume it was anything other than a pile of papers. My bill-wracked brain could not comprehend that it could be some other version of paper rather than a stack of legal documents. The envelope successfully opened, I peered inside. A book? I pulled at the book and stared at it, nothing getting through the static surface of my brain. I was still rebooting from the panic. I couldn’t comprehend what the book was. Suddenly, it dawned on me. It was one of my most favorite books, “All Creatures Great and Small” by, you guessed it, James Herriot. I showed it to Hubby, who graciously turned from his screen and popped off his headphones to have a look. There was a paper inside the envelope besides the book. I pulled it out and read it aloud to my Hubby. “Congratulations on winning a copy of ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL,” it read, “We hope you enjoy this read and will share your thoughts with us…etc. Sincerely, St. Martin’s Griffin Marketing.”
I didn’t remember entering a book contest. Hubby smiled. “It’s pretty good marketing,” he said, “you get a free book you love and tell everyone else about the publishing company.” “Works for me,” I said as I opened it’s pages and started the first chapter. I had to work that night so I didn’t get much further than the second chapter. Today, however, I am halfway through the book and wanting nothing more than to curl up with cats, a cold drink, and this awesome book. It has restored what little bit of humor I had left from this pitiful week. I am smiling and not overly concerned about the drama that unfolds around me.
And with that, I will now fulfill my non-contractual duties by informing you of the places you can go to find this lovely book. “All Creatures Great and Small” can be found by clicking the title or the picture below. It will take you to the GoodReads website where you can also find the other titles in the series: “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, “All Things Wise and Wonderful”, “The Lord God Made Them All” and more. Each book is a delightful memoir of James Herriot’s own adventures and trials as an English country veterinarian when the technologies for vets was beginning to change, drastically. From first arriving in the humble town of Darrowby as a fresh-faced vet graduate, to the role as a husband and owner of his own practice, Mr.Herriot is gracious enough to let us ride along. The engaging characters, rambunctious adventures, and honest accounts of everyday life are a breath of fresh air. The whole series will make you laugh, cry, and beg for more.
And with that, fellow Internetists, I bid you adieu.
I have to apologize for the different style of writing. Up until now, I was simply re-reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Well, up until Elizabeth and Darcy start to acknowledge their feelings for one another. Love puts such a damper on snarky wit.