Today we’ll be introducing ourselves by selecting

Five Books That Represent Me


I’d say let’s start with the obvious but I’m starting to realize that this book might not be so obvious any more.

All Creatures Great and SmallAll Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot


“For over forty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot’s marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, Herriot roamed the remote, beautiful Yorkshire Dales, treating every patient that came his way from smallest to largest, and observing animals and humans alike with his keen, loving eye.

In All Creatures Great and Small, we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. Some visits are heart-wrenchingly difficult, such as one to an old man in the village whose very ill dog is his only friend and companion, some are lighthearted and fun, such as Herriot’s periodic visits to the overfed and pampered Pekinese Tricki Woo who throws parties and has his own stationery, and yet others are inspirational and enlightening, such as Herriot’s recollections of poor farmers who will scrape their meager earnings together to be able to get proper care for their working animals.”

For veterinarians my age and older this was foundational knowledge. We all knew the whole series. We had all read them over and over. I’ve been shocked to learn that people I work with today, even those planning on going to vet school, have no idea who this is. The surgeon in my practice and I occasional screech at them like wild women, “YOU MUST READ HERRIOT!” Then we collapse into babbing incoherence as we laugh to ourselves about stories in these books and things we’ve tried because it worked for James Herriot. Seriously, if you like animals at all, read these books. Someday, I will take a pilgrimage to Yorkshire to visit the museum there.

The Dance of the Dissident DaughterThe Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd

“Sue Monk was a “conventionally religious, churchgoing woman, a traditional wife and mother” with a thriving career as a Christian writer until she began to question her role as a woman in her culture, her family, and her church. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore to monastery retreats and rituals in the caves of Crete, Kidd takes readers through the fear, anger, healing, and transformation of her awakening.”

I’ve written about this book before. I reread it every so often and it is so true every time.

The Phantom TollboothThe Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

“Milo mopes in black ink sketches, until he assembles a tollbooth and drives through. He jumps to the island of Conclusions. But brothers King Azaz of Dictionopolis and the Mathemagician of Digitopolis war over words and numbers. Joined by ticking watchdog Tock and adult-size Humbug, Milo rescues the Princesses of Rhyme and Reason, and learns to enjoy life.”

This is the book where I learned that I love absurdity in literature.

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Strangely, it is a book series about werewolves that seems to totally get up my relationship dynamic with the husband.




Witches Abroad (Discworld, #12; Witches #3)Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

The Discworld Witches series is everything I want to be when I grow up!

30 Replies to “5 Books that Represent Me”

  1. I haven’t read all of these, but I do love James Herriot, and I plan to share this book with my own children soon. Thanks for the reminder and for joining us at the #LMMLinkup.

  2. James Herriot is too good- he can make you laugh and cry at the same time while reading his stories. That takes skill.
    You’ve officially upped the ante for Cry Wolf. 😉
    ~Litha Nelle

    1. Every time I’m telling work stories and people say, “You should write a book!” I always think that it has already been done by a master.

  3. I love The Phantom Tollbooth too! And I’m running a Diana Wynne Jones/ Terry Pratchett event next month called Mixed Magics if you’re interested. One of our group reads will be Equal Rites!

  4. I love knowing that your career was inspired by Herriot! I didn’t know there was a museum — that would be so cool for you to get to go there.

  5. I’m a big fan of Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series – I have read the series that starts with Cry Wolf as well, and though I didn’t like it as much, I’m still happy to see a Briggs title on someone’s blog. I like the picture of you and the surgeon in mock indignation over vet staff who haven’t read Herriot. (that said, I haven’t read Herriot!).

  6. All Creatures Great and Small! I haven’t seen or heard that mentioned in so long. I remember reading that when I was young–and watching the show on PBS!

    1. My husband watched the show and for an annoying length of time thought he was a vet – at least a 1930s version. He had opinions on how to treat all my cases.

  7. I keep reading posts for this prompt where people included a book from their childhood (wish I’d thought of that!) and was wondering if anyone would mention The Phantom Tollbooth! I adored that book when I was younger. Great list!

  8. I’m shocked to hear there are people who haven’t heard of James Herriot! My grandmother used to tell me his stories when I was too young to read to myself, and my whole family watched the TV show based on his books.

  9. Wonderful list! I just recently read The Phantom Tollbooth and loved it. My best friend’s family used to listen to Herriot on road trips, so I’ve heard bits but haven’t read them. I was just thinking recently I needed to!

  10. I haven’t thought about James Herriot in many years, nor have I thought about the Phantom Tollbooth. Great list here. Loved it.

  11. Thanks for the reminder that I have read Herriot, I think more than one of his, actually – though it was a long time ago. I didn’t start tracking my reading until blogging so I have forgotten a ton of books I read in my younger days. Happy BBAW!

  12. James Herriot — yes!! Phantom Tollbooth –ooooh. And I love me some Patricia Briggs, though I’m woefully behind in her series.

  13. The Phantom Tollbooth, whyyyy did I not put that on my list? Admittedly, there were too many books to choose from, but that one is really iconic for me. And now I have to read Cry Wolf to see what that comment could possibly mean — how intriguing! Have a great BBAW!

    1. Super possessive in a not creepy way. Tendency to growl. Can’t stand to be too far away for too long. Then I just pet him on the head and laugh at him!

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