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James Herriot

the touch of grace

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James Herriot had the rare ability to move the reader emotionally without seeming manipulative, sentimental, or silly. I first read him while on a trip to England with my parents the summer I turned fourteen, and every description of the high fells and the dry stone walls, and the fields dotted with cows and sheep, ring true to me.

For those few who have no idea what I'm talking about, James Herriot was the pen name of a Yorkshire veterinarian. His books, All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All, are his memoirs of his life as a vet, starting with his first arrival in Yorkshire. Humorous and heartwarming by turns, they are filled with memorable creatures and memorable characters, particularly James' partner Sigfried Farnon and his scapegrace brother Tristan.

These are among the books I find myself re-reading every few years as a matter of course.

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