All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot is a semi-autobiographical collection of tales about a country veterinarian in England set in the 1930s. My mother-in-law gave me a series of James Herriot books for Chrismas a few years ago as they’re some of her favorites; I’ve been meaning to read them for the longest time but just hadn’t gotten around to it until now. The book is so wholesome and heartwarming; the stories about the different cases that James Herriot has to deal with are very entertaining, largely in part to the colorful people that live in the Yorkshire Dales where the story takes place. If you were a fan of Anne of Green Gables or Little House on the Praire growing up, you’ll probably enjoy this book as well because it’s a simple yet charming account of an era gone by. Back then, farmers really depended on their animals for their livelihood so if one got sick or injured, it was a really major problem. James Herriot has to deal with a lot of large animal vet work like assisting with the births of calves or horses as well as small animal cases as well. This book isn’t a page turner with crazy storylines or plot twist, rather it’s just a lovely story with great descriptions of the pastoral English countryside that will bring a smile to your face. If you’re an animal lover I’d highly recommend it!
StrengthsFinders 2.0. by Tom Rath is a book that I actually read for work as part of our monthly book club (which I think is so neat that my company does this!). The premise is that people spend so much time trying to improve their weaknesses in order to become more well-rounded, when in reality, we’d be better off focusing on discovering, developing, and playing to our strengths. By focusing on what we’re good at instead of what we’re not, we can really be successful and fulfilled in our careers and life overall. When you buy the book, it comes with an access code for you to go to the StrengthsFinders site and take an online assessment to discover your top 5 strengths out of the 34 different areas covered in the book. The book then talks about how you can more effectively use your strengths to their fullest capacity and gives great action items and tips. What I loved about the book is that after you take the assesment and read the sections about your strengths, you just feel really good about yourself, it sounds so dorky, but it’s true! I felt like the descriptions of my strengths perfectly captured me and the things I’m good at and it felt great to just recognize those qualities instead of beating myself up about things where I fall short. I’d highly suggest taking the assessment and reading the book as I think it’s very insightful!
(If you’re familiar with this book/have taken the assessment, I’d love to hear what your top strengths were–mine were Woo, Communication, Maximizer, Positivity, and Significance)
Happy reading friends! Xoxo