70. All Creatures Great and Small, 21. All Things Bright and Beautiful, 37. All Things Wise and Wonderful – James Herriot
James Herriot’s series of memoirs about being a new veterinarian in Yorkshire are some of the most pleasant volumes I’ve ever read. It took me a while to realize there were only ever mild through lines and that it didn’t matter to me. Some stories stick out more than others, for instance one about a hematoma in a pig’s ear that could be in this one but also could be in another of the series, but there’s always a strong sense of Herriot’s commitment to animals and his prickly journey getting to know the people, livestock, and pets of the Yorkshire Dales.
Having grown up around farm animals in spurts, I was saved from having much direct contact with the complications of calving or much beyond seeing cattle and pigs up close, so I don’t have any direct stories of large animal veterinary activities I saw up close, but, if I wasn’t allergic to everything outside and inside and also scared by certain animals with hairless tails, I would probably have gone that route in my career. Investigating problems, figuring solutions to weird things out, and being useful are all aspects of both veterinary medicine and librarianship and these stories are chock full of all of those things with a large dose of gruff English farmers. And drinking. And also a lot of off road-style driving. Some World War II and getting married and Helen sounds cool. But I will never forget that pig ear hematoma.
The reactions to there being no guinea pigs in this series run from escape (Merricat, Horace) to begrudging solemnity (Peregrine, Danger Crumples).
43. The Surfer – Linda Cargill
There are very committed swimmers in this book. Even the one who turns out to be an ancient witch – she curses families and she surfs very well. At night. When no one is around except for the main character, Jessie, who hangs out on a creaking pier she’s not supposed to and gets way more than she bargained for as a result.
There’s some toxic, toxic relationships in this book too. Swimmers in toxic families and friendships. Although, if your toxic friend makes it clear she can control the weather, it does make her much, much harder to ditch. They try though, there is much driving around. So much driving around. They drive almost as much as they swim or talk about swimming or the ocean.
It’s also a book where things seem like they’re going to follow a somewhat solid storyline and then they just fall apart all over the place instead like a badly glued popsicle stick sculpture. Sure it seemed sound, but then it very much wasn’t.
Peregrine’s looking for the sense-making plot line that has been cast into the sea.
1. Diamond in the Witch House – Mastodon
2. Attack of the Ghost Riders – The Raveonettes
3. Say a Spell – The Birthday Party
4. Witch’s Hammer – King Dude
5. Possession – Samhain
6. Fiskarens Fiende – Finntroll
7. Teenage Thunder – Sigue Sigue Sputnik
8. I Sat by the Ocean – Queens of the Stone Age
9. Forget That You’re Young – The Raveonettes
10. Silver Chain – Rowland S. Howard
11. Stand Inside Your Love – Smashing Pumpkins
12. Back to the Old House – The Smiths
13. Dream in Red – Murder By Death
14. Big Sky – Reverend Horton Heat