A week of reading: ‘all creatures’ and ‘On Writing’

Welcome to another week of a bit of a week in review as well as talking about what books I’m reading as part of Sunday Salon on Readerbuzz and Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Post and the It’s Monday post on BookDate.

Click on either link above to find posts by actual book bloggers because I’m not really a book blogger and book bloggers can offer some really interesting insight into what books are out there to read. I enjoy reading books and occasionally writing about them but the more niche book bloggers can give you an even broader view of the book world.

I somewhat reviewed my past week with my post on Thursday ( The weeks(s) In Photos ) which featured a selection of photos from our last week or so.

Two other posts from my blog last week and this week were:

Fiction Friday: A Story to Tell Part I

Fiction Friday: A Story to Tell Part II

As for reading, last week I finished The Cat Who Smelled Glue by Lilian Jackson Braun and started the following books:

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot



On Writing by Stephen King.


Don’t be horrified, but this is the only Stephen King book I’ve ever read. I know. I’m a dork, but I’ve just never been a fan of horror fiction. I do remember reading one short story by him in high school, or was it college? And I don’t remember which one, but beyond that I’ve never been interested. I know. Again, I’m horrible. Cast me out of the book reading club. Maybe I’ll actually read one someday since my husband has a large selection of his books on our bookshelves. And I am enjoying his writing style in this book. Feel free to recommend any of your favorites of his in the comments.

I started the James Herriot book months ago when I found out that I had all five of them in a large, hardcover book I had maybe carried off from my parents, no idea. The book is big enough to kill someone if it was dropped on their head, so I put it aside for a while and planned to order the first on the Kindle when we got paid. While waiting for payday I found a softcover copy of “If They Could Talk” on the floor of my room and have no idea where it came from. I don’t remember ever buying it or it being given to me. I don’t even know where it came from but there it was.

I’m guessing it either came from a closet my husband was cleaning out or it was dropped on my floor from book heaven. There is book heaven, right? Either way, there it was and I started it. I looked for the same title on Kindle but instead found it under the title “All Creatures Great and Small.” When I ordered “All Creatures Great and Small” on the Kindle I thought it was the second book in the series.

“If Only They Could Talk” was released in 1970 and “All Creatures Great and Small” in 1972 so I’m guessing they renamed the first book when they rereleased the book. In addition, the edition I’m reading on the Kindle now looks like they combined the first two books because it has twice the chapters the actual print copy of the book has. I am enjoying the book, Herriot’s way of writing and his humor. It moves along quickly and the writing is simple and concise but still entertaining.

I’m still in the midst of the following books:

  • A Change of Heart by Philip Gulley (part of the Harmony series)
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Gailbraith
  • As Sure As the Dawn (third book in the Mark of the Lion Series) by Francine Rivers.

And when I’ve had a crappy day of too much national news I, of course, pull out a Paddington (Michael Bond) book to bury myself in.

I’m stalled in the third book of the Mark of The Lion series because I felt it fell apart in the middle when Rivers decided to tell practically the entire story of the Bible, which I feel was unnecessary to get the message of Christianity across to the reader. It really broke up the momentum of the book but maybe that’s only because I already know all those Bible stories she retold so well. I was also annoyed by a miracle that happened in the middle because, even though I’m a Christian, I’ve never seen a real miracle happen like that and it seemed pretty far fetched, while most of the book was more realistic. And yes, I think I was angry at the miracle scene because there are some situations in my own life that could have used a miracle like that but never did. I ended up tossing my Kindle on my bed with a declaration of “Well, that’s just crap” after that scene.

The Gailbraith book is very good, but dense, so I take a break from time to time for lighter reads. It’s not super dark, yet anyhow, but there is a lot of description, which isn’t bad, but whatever, I’m over explaining – again – and there are too many commas and conjunctions in this sentence.

Anyhow, what are you reading, watching or up to? Let me know in the comments or link to your post so I can see what you’re up to.




Written by Lisa R. Howeler

As a writer, photographer and former journalist, Lisa R. Howeler writes a little bit about everything on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She's a wife and a mother and enjoys a good John Wayne movie and a cozy Jan Karon book. She's also a freelance writer and photographer who is a contributor to various stock agencies, including Lightstock and Alamy. Her photography work focuses on documentary and photojournalism. She recently released her first novel 'A Story to Tell' on Amazon.


  1. I was forced to read a ton of writing craft books in college, and On Writing was my favorite. I love Stephen King, though. I think I’ve read over 30 of his books. My favorites are The Green Mile, Different Seasons, and The Long Walk. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read many by Stephen King and most of those were when I was in high school.
    I enjoy the Cormoran Strike series for the most part.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m enjoying it so far. I think my husband said one of the books in the series was very slow and he barely made it through but then the fourth book, I think he said there are four, he couldn’t put down and really enjoyed.


  3. I’m not a huge Stephen King fan myself, even though I like horror. My favorite of his stories is The Body, which was made into the movie Stand By Me. If you’re interested, its often available as a novella or in the collection Different Seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yet another comment I thought I replied to and it disappeared! Anyhow, I loved the BBC series and I keep trying to find it on streaming, but so far I can’t. Thanks for stopping by the blog!


  4. In my early teenage years I ripped through Stephen Kings entire ‘clasic’ oeuvre and scared myself stupid with It, and Pet Semetary. Firestarter was my favourite. I haven’t read much of his newer stuff though.

    Have a great reading week

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You and I can start our own reading club, then; I’m not a Stephen King, scary book fan at all, AT ALL, so I would be out, too. I was a librarian, and I can tell you now what I always tell anyone who asks…”We are grownups and grownups can read whatever we want.”

    You can also be a book blogger, if you want, now and then, or even just on the occasional Sunday.

    I adore James Herriot. It’s time that series was reissued for a new generation.

    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It makes me feel better about myself as a reader. Ha!

      I don’t mind that I’m not a book blogger, I just want others to know that there are these awesome bloggers, like you, who really focus well on books and can make some great recommendations. I’m not really the blogger for that, but I enjoy joining on Sundays 🙂

      I’m really liking the Herriot books. I knew by the first paragraph I would.


  6. I just picked up a few books from the library that I hope to start soon. I finished reading The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. It was a slow read but turned out to be really good. I also read The Room by her which I loved!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t yet read anything by her. I’ll have to look into those. I’ve had many books where I’ve plowed through them slowly but still enjoyed them when I finished them. Sometimes the slog through it is worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I only know this because of Wikipedia (sad but true) but the James Herriot books had different titles in the U.K. and were included two in one in the U.S. …oh, yeah, you mentioned that. So yeah, that’s what it is. Go to Wiki for part of the story. 🙂

    And tsk, tsk, tsk…you just called a Christian book “crap.” 😉

    Oh, and you’re way out of the reading club now…never a Stephen King?!? The horror! The horror. Again 😉 . I personally think his writing is crap, but I like the stories he tells. I just think of “Uncle Stevie” telling a story around a campfire. And I think if I revisited his stories now, I might, just might, think some of it is crap. I tried to reread Robert Ludlum as an adult and not a teen…and wow, it was horrible. Same with Louis L’Amour, but as you can tell (and know as my sister) from this comment, I’m not the greatest writer either. Starting sentences with “and”. The use of ellipses. AND not even full sentences. AND emoticons. Now that’s crap writing right there, I tell you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could have Googled about Herriot, but honestly, I didn’t care that much as long as I could read the book.

      I didn’t call the book “crap” .. just said that the particular scene was “crap” because people don’t come back from the dead in real life – or very, very rarely 😉 I mean I have heard of people being declared dead and suddenly coming back but it isn’t very common. I guess I shouldn’t say it NEVER happens, but this particular situation was absolutely ridiculous when the rest of the book was pretty realistic.

      And I think you may top some of my run on sentences in the paragraph on Stephen King. 😛


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