Blank … with books

… that’s how my brain feels these days.  Trying to come up with ideas for posts and they are just not there.  I haven’t even been out with my camera lately.  I blame it partly on these “dark days” of winter.  We have had a little sunshine here on the North Coast but not enough to really help those of us affected by SAD.  December was SO BUSY at work, at home, too much time on the road for the holidays.  Fighting through the snow.  An minor auto accident on an icy bridge.  Sigh….

However, I have read a few good books so read on for some recommendations:

  Eating for Beginners

This is an entertaining look behind the scenes in a restaurant and the farms that supply it.    Melanie Rehak decides to work for a year in one of her favorite restaurants, applewood, in the New York neighborhood of Park Slope.  The owners are dedicated to sourcing their food locally whenever possible.  Melanie travels outside the city to work with the farmers and fisherman that supply the restaurant.  Meanwhile, she agonizes over what her child will and will not eat.  She provides some good recipes too.  Definitely a good read for the dark days of winter when we long for the abundance of summer.

Read Melanie’s blog at

No Dogs in Heaven by Robert T. Sharp, D.V.M.

My mother loaned me this book.  She told me I would love it and she was right.  Dr. Sharp practices in and around  Hillsboro in Highland County, Ohio, my home county.  While I have never met him, the places he visits his patients are very familiar.  This is a book as much about owners as it is about animals.

Dr. Sharp loves animals, especially large ones.  He left a small animals practice to buy this practice in Hillsboro so he could work with the larger creatures, though some of his most entertaining stories are about small pets.  If you liked James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small  you will enjoy this book as well. 

An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor MD

Casting about the library for a series to get into, I stumbled on a series of books about a general practitioner in Northern Ireland, in the fictitious village of Ballybucklebo, near Belfast.  In 1964, fresh out of  medical school, Dr. Barry Laverty answers an ad for an assistant to Dr. Fingal Flaherty O’Reilly.  Despite his gruff exterior the former boxer and Navy surgeon, Dr. O’Reilly, takes an immediate liking to Dr. Laverty.  In this first book of the series, Dr. O’Reilly spends his time introducing the new man to the people of the village.  Some take to him better than others, as change comes hard to some.  One of Dr. Laverty’s early triumphs is the successful delivery of a baby  boy, whose parents name the child after his deliverers.  Mrs. Kincaid, or Kinky as she wants to be called, takes care of the both of them as their housekeeper.  Dr. Laverty meets the girl of his dreams on a day off in Belfast, and Kinky tells him about Dr. O’Reilly’s lost love.

Fingal teaches Barry the ins and outs of a country practice, emphasizing the the “patient must never get the upper hand.”   I am reading the second book already, An Irish Country Village  and plan to continue through the whole series this winter.   Patrick Taylor draws on his experiences of growing up in Northern Ireland and his years as a physician for these entertaining tales.  See Patrick Taylor discuss his book on YouTube.  Again, if you like the writing style of James Herriot you will like this series, too.

If you are looking for some great reading material to get you through the winter, I hope you will check out these titles.  And come back and let me know what you think!


About SallyK

A little blog about the ordinary and not so ordinary things our family does, places we travel, things we see. Like travel, cooking, family stories, book reviews, music? You will find it all here - comments welcome!
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2 Responses to Blank … with books

  1. Carol Curren says:

    Sally, picked up Irish Country Christmas in Kroger’s first of December. Guess I started in the middle of the series but I enjoyed it. Not as gripping as Frank Delaney or Leon Uris, but I love reading about Ireland and the people and Taylor really does a wonderful job of putting the reader there with the people. Frank Delaney has a book called Tipperary which is great, could hardly put it down but it’s a little more on the serious side.

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