Posts Tagged ‘animals’


This book takes the reader through a number of lifetimes experienced by one dog. When we first meet him, he is a stray struggling to stay alive with his mother, brother and sister. After a too-short life, he finds himself reborn as a Golden Retriever who finds a loving home with a young boy called Ethan. Bailey – as Ethan names him – and the boy are inseparable, and Bailey is amazed when at the end of a long happy life, he finds himself reborn again with a another new owner. The story takes us through the dog’s four lives, each one teaching himself new, and each time wondering what his purpose in life really is.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, not least because I am dog crazy…I would have a houseful of dogs, if we only had the space and time to devote to them. I really enjoyed reading about things from the dog’s point of view, and found myself both laughing and feeling sad at different points in the story.

If I’m honest, I would have to say that it’s a lovely story, but the writing is a bit simplistic – however, that might be a deliberate thing given that the narrator is a dog, with of course, a dog’s view of the world. I liked how, especially in the segment where Bailey and Ethan live together, Bailey would describe things that happened without really understanding them, but it was clear to the reader what the situation was.

I’d recommend this book, especially to dog lovers. It’s an undemanding and enjoyable read.

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When Chris Stewart flies to Spain and on impulse buys a farm in the Andalucian mountains, he has no idea what he’s taking on.  The farm has no electricity, no running water, no easy access, and to cap it all, the former who sold it to him does not seem prepared to move out any time soon.  However, Chris and his wife Ana set about making the farm their home and their livelihood.  This book tells the true story of Chris and Ana’s move to a different country and lifestyle and how they created their home out of the remote farm.

This book is charming throughout.  Chris is a thoroughly likeable narrator, and I really liked his wife Ana too.  The way of life in the Andalucian mountains is amusingly and affectionately described, and there are a cast of wonderful characters, in the friends and neighbours who become part of Chris and Ana’s lives.

Stewart is very self-effacing and happy to admit to mistakes made in the early part of the rebuilding process, and as hard as some of the tasks they set themselves undoubtedly were, he somehow managed to make the whole process seem extremely inviting.

I wasn’t sure that this would be my kind of book, but I actually found it to be a gentle and sweet story, that was hard to put down.

Author’s website can be found here.)

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Animal Farm is George Orwell’s famous allegorical tale; a satirical tale about communism and the Russian Revolution.

After the animals on Manor Farm revolt and chase away their tyrannical master, Jones, they decide that from  now on, they will work for themselves, and won’t serve any human master.  All animals are deemed equal, and each will work according to his capacity, for a just reward.  The animals are led by the pig Napoleon (who represents Joseph Stalin), and all are initially happy with their new lives.  However, it is not long before the power goes to Napoleon’s head, and things go awry.

It’s a classic for good reason – this book is just brilliant.  It’s funny, but carries a stark message about how power can corrupt.  It can be read simply as a story about a group of animals who try to take control of their lives, but Orwell’s intent and meaning is very clear for all to read.  It also warns of the danger of a lack of education and understanding, and the inability to perceive what is happening.

This book comes in at less than 100 pages, and only takes a couple of hours to read. And it is definitely worth a couple of hours of anyone’s life.  Just brilliant, and one of those rare books which I would recommend to everybody.


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