Book Notes: All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot



I love these short reflections on life as a country vet. They are good for reading one or two per night before bed. This collection of columns is deeper and more thoughtful. They draw from history and they jump back and forth more than the first collection. This one also describes the transitions in life on farms in the early-mid 1900's.

Why I read it

We have really enjoyed the TV series based on Herriot's stories. I intended this to be my light reading before bed.


And as the years passed I often wondered on the beneficent providence which had decreed that an animal which had spent his first twelve months abandoned and unwanted, staring uncomprehendingly into that unchanging, stinking darkness, should be whisked in a moment into an existence of light and movement and love. Because I don't think any dog had it quite so good as Roy from then on. 78  


 "You are quite proud of your little dog, aren't you Nellie," I said, and the gentle squinting eyes turned on me. "Yes, I am." She smiled that smile again. "Because 'e's mine." 299


 I wish I had known then that it was not the end of everything. I wish I had known that it was only the beginning. 378


Key Takeaways

  • I can’t believe that I waited so long to read this series.
  • I’m reading Hannah Anderson’s All That’s Good on discerning the good and beautiful by faith in a world that is broken. Herriot is an example of treasuring what is good without ignoring the heartbreak.
  • I loved this look at the changing world Herriot lived in. He describes changes on farms from horse to tractors. He describes changes in medicine where vets moved from hope to scientific breakthroughs. That is only thing I love about history--it teaches me that things weren't always this way.
  • I would not read it alongside Jane Austen's Emma again. I just would have preferred to read something light along with it. I thought that Herriot was the light reading, but it wasn't.

You Might Also Like

(These suggestions are memoirs about someone's work. I enjoyed all of these.)

Spring Training, William Zinsser

Before We Get Started, Bret Lott

The Pastor, Eugene Peterson


Popular posts from this blog

Brewing 16 oz of Coffee in an Aeropress--My Coffee Recipe

Proposal for a Small Church Website: The 4 Things Small Church Websites Need

About Me