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The Best of James Herriot, Limited Edition

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The Best of James Herriot is one of the most extraordinary volumes ever devoted to the work and world of a contemporary writer. Within its covers are unforgettable episodes from the remarkable series of memoirs that began with All Creatures Great and Small-"the ones my family and I have laughed at over the years and the ones my readers have said they most enjoyed," as Herr The Best of James Herriot is one of the most extraordinary volumes ever devoted to the work and world of a contemporary writer. Within its covers are unforgettable episodes from the remarkable series of memoirs that began with All Creatures Great and Small-"the ones my family and I have laughed at over the years and the ones my readers have said they most enjoyed," as Herriot, himself, put it. Yet the book is far more than a simple anthology: Its gorgeous pages also include hundreds of line drawings and color photographs, capturing Herriot's Yorkshire in a worthy complement to the writer's words. The 1991 publication of Every Living Thing, rendered the original edition of this book incomplete. This fall will mark the publication of the complete, definitive edition with the addition of five of his best, more recent stories, as well as new art. Once again The Best of James Herriot becomes the quintessential Herriot volume-one of those invaluable books that will be loved as much in decades to come as it is today.


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The Best of James Herriot is one of the most extraordinary volumes ever devoted to the work and world of a contemporary writer. Within its covers are unforgettable episodes from the remarkable series of memoirs that began with All Creatures Great and Small-"the ones my family and I have laughed at over the years and the ones my readers have said they most enjoyed," as Herr The Best of James Herriot is one of the most extraordinary volumes ever devoted to the work and world of a contemporary writer. Within its covers are unforgettable episodes from the remarkable series of memoirs that began with All Creatures Great and Small-"the ones my family and I have laughed at over the years and the ones my readers have said they most enjoyed," as Herriot, himself, put it. Yet the book is far more than a simple anthology: Its gorgeous pages also include hundreds of line drawings and color photographs, capturing Herriot's Yorkshire in a worthy complement to the writer's words. The 1991 publication of Every Living Thing, rendered the original edition of this book incomplete. This fall will mark the publication of the complete, definitive edition with the addition of five of his best, more recent stories, as well as new art. Once again The Best of James Herriot becomes the quintessential Herriot volume-one of those invaluable books that will be loved as much in decades to come as it is today.

30 review for The Best of James Herriot, Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Comfort reading that feeds my nostalgia for the England of bygone times. I loved the TV series back in the 1980s and the books fill in the details and place me right back in the Yorkshire Dales.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Negin

    Reading this makes me want to return to Yorkshire for a visit. I’m also eager to read more books by James Herriot. This edition is beautifully illustrated with drawings and photos. I may even try some of the recipes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    I haven't read James Herriot since I was a child, but I have fond memories of his compassion for animals. As I have an impending visit to Yorkshire and the Dales, I was delighted to find this old collection of his at a thrift store. I really wanted to get an intimate view of the people and the place, and wow, this did that. Herriot's stories are a joy. Cozy, touching, and full of humanity. Sometimes that humanity is frustrating and selfish, other times sad (this book did make me cry a couple tim I haven't read James Herriot since I was a child, but I have fond memories of his compassion for animals. As I have an impending visit to Yorkshire and the Dales, I was delighted to find this old collection of his at a thrift store. I really wanted to get an intimate view of the people and the place, and wow, this did that. Herriot's stories are a joy. Cozy, touching, and full of humanity. Sometimes that humanity is frustrating and selfish, other times sad (this book did make me cry a couple times), and also laugh out loud funny. This particular edition was especially wonderful because it included far more than his stories. This dictionary-sized hardcover has illustrations throughout, and marginalia that provides insights on life in the Dales during the Victorian era up though the '50s. This includes factoids on animals, peat harvesting, and farm and veterinary equipment, and even some traditional recipes. There are also color photo sections sporadically throughout the book that discuss things like Yorkshire castles, pubs, and the native flora and fauna. As a research geek, this thrilled me. I was left with a comprehensive overview of the region and life the way it used to be. If you're of this same mindset, it's well worth seeking out this particular edition. I intend to keep it on my shelf as a reference book for my writing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    I'm re-reading books that I own. This is a favorite with many short stories. Anyone that isn't reading James Herriot to their children should be. I'm re-reading books that I own. This is a favorite with many short stories. Anyone that isn't reading James Herriot to their children should be.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I LOVED this book - I wasn't able to suppress my laughter at times... and 'that's' saying something! I've also read other collections of his, but would recommend this one since the stories (though a partial collection) are in chronological order so you keep track of persons etc. I adore his retelling of courtship blunders- READ IT!! These are vet stories - so get ready for all sorts of fun! I LOVED this book - I wasn't able to suppress my laughter at times... and 'that's' saying something! I've also read other collections of his, but would recommend this one since the stories (though a partial collection) are in chronological order so you keep track of persons etc. I adore his retelling of courtship blunders- READ IT!! These are vet stories - so get ready for all sorts of fun!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angelique Simonsen

    laugh out loud moments, feel your heart sliding moments and plenty of aww moments. highly recommended!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cricket Muse

    James Herriot stories are both relaxing and wryly hilarious. One moment centers upon a lovely descriptive passage filled with insights about the land or people or the human condition or animals and then there will be in a twinkle an episode of some kind that ranges from a grin to belly laugh. A seemingly effortless handiwork of storytelling. For those unfamiliar with Herriot’s tales of being a country vet, this is a grand introduction since it is fairly chronological of his career, plus it has bo James Herriot stories are both relaxing and wryly hilarious. One moment centers upon a lovely descriptive passage filled with insights about the land or people or the human condition or animals and then there will be in a twinkle an episode of some kind that ranges from a grin to belly laugh. A seemingly effortless handiwork of storytelling. For those unfamiliar with Herriot’s tales of being a country vet, this is a grand introduction since it is fairly chronological of his career, plus it has bonus inserts of historical trivia and color plates of the Yorkshire area. And for those who are Herriot fans, this is delightful reread of the best of his stories. All the best from one of the best. A definite recommendation for family readings.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This is a book to cherish if one is a Herriot fan. It's a large book, full of his and his readers favorite stories, beautiful photographs, and delightful drawings. I read his first book almost 45 years ago and just reread it and loved it all over again. I was blessed to be able to visit beautiful Yorkshire and his home/practice/museum in Thirsk, which I highly recommend (The World of James Herriot). Through books like this, James Alfred Wight (Herriot) is still able to make us laugh and cry. He This is a book to cherish if one is a Herriot fan. It's a large book, full of his and his readers favorite stories, beautiful photographs, and delightful drawings. I read his first book almost 45 years ago and just reread it and loved it all over again. I was blessed to be able to visit beautiful Yorkshire and his home/practice/museum in Thirsk, which I highly recommend (The World of James Herriot). Through books like this, James Alfred Wight (Herriot) is still able to make us laugh and cry. He will forever be one of my favorite authors.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sheri Hathaway

    This is the second time reading this lovely book. James Herriot is one of my favorite authors and this book is the best of them all. As well as the stories, I loved the little bits of English life in the margins: recipes, old newspapers of the times, breeds of livestock, pieces of machinery, methods of farming, veterinary, or housekeeping. A great taste of Herriot's work as well as a taste of life at the time. This is the second time reading this lovely book. James Herriot is one of my favorite authors and this book is the best of them all. As well as the stories, I loved the little bits of English life in the margins: recipes, old newspapers of the times, breeds of livestock, pieces of machinery, methods of farming, veterinary, or housekeeping. A great taste of Herriot's work as well as a taste of life at the time.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I’ve always loved James Herriot’s stories but this collection takes the cake. The gorgeous color photographs at the beginning of each section really serve to help the reader understand exactly how remote and wild the Dales were during Herriot’s career. Heck, they probably haven’t changed all that much since. Also enjoyable are the sketches and sidebars that show little details of farm life.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gbug

    I have a soft spot in my heart for James Herriot. My late Dad and I watched the original PBS series together. We loved it. This book belonged to my Dad. So I went into it quite biased. It did not disappoint. There are wonderful illustrations and beautiful photographs of Yorkshire as a bonus.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I have such a fond spot in my heart for James Herriot, I'll admit it. His love for his life is inspiring. He loves taking care of these animals, he loves the place he lives and he loves his family, especially his beloved wife Helen, and it shines through in these semi-autobiographical memoirs of his life as a country vet in England Yorkshire area, specifically, the Dales. The author of All Creatures Great and Small, and several other books chronicling his adventures with Seigfried and Tristan, pu I have such a fond spot in my heart for James Herriot, I'll admit it. His love for his life is inspiring. He loves taking care of these animals, he loves the place he lives and he loves his family, especially his beloved wife Helen, and it shines through in these semi-autobiographical memoirs of his life as a country vet in England Yorkshire area, specifically, the Dales. The author of All Creatures Great and Small, and several other books chronicling his adventures with Seigfried and Tristan, puts together some of his favorite stories in this volume, The Best of James Herriot, some of which come from each of his books. I am a fairly jaded reader, but some of these entries make me laugh out loud! And some make me tear up, as when he has to put an old man's companion, his old dog, down. This volume has some nice side notes and illustrations about equipment and breeds of animals that Herriot worked with. It also has beautiful photos of his country. This was a very fun and enjoyable read. OK...it is sappy, but the good kind of sappy. And I enjoyed the heck out of it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This may be the best book I've read this year. For an Anglophile such as myself, this book is an immersion into the world of the Yorkshire Dales, circa 1940s. Herriot does not sugar coat veterinary work - animals are badly injured, die, give birth and survive and James Herriot chronicles all of it. He does not dumb down the medical terminology either. His writing is warm and funny, but also gives life to the people and animals that appear in his books. This is a collection of stories from his ot This may be the best book I've read this year. For an Anglophile such as myself, this book is an immersion into the world of the Yorkshire Dales, circa 1940s. Herriot does not sugar coat veterinary work - animals are badly injured, die, give birth and survive and James Herriot chronicles all of it. He does not dumb down the medical terminology either. His writing is warm and funny, but also gives life to the people and animals that appear in his books. This is a collection of stories from his other books and contains interludes of color photos of Yorkshire life and is bookended by hand-drawn illustrations of animals, tools, even recipes in the margins of the main text. Despite being an altogether heavy book (it's a large hardcover with nearly 500 pages!) I enjoyed reading this before bed; the chapters almost always end on an uplifting note. Altogether an enjoyable read!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I really wanted to give this book 4 stars, as it was a wonderful collection of James Herriot's stories, made even better by all the fabulous photos and snippets of information concerning the areas and times the author is talking about. I ended up with about 4 pages of recipes, and I've even made two of them already. Fascinating. Unfortunately, I find it really difficult to read - or watch for that matter - about situations where people are humiliated, and there are a number of them in this book, I really wanted to give this book 4 stars, as it was a wonderful collection of James Herriot's stories, made even better by all the fabulous photos and snippets of information concerning the areas and times the author is talking about. I ended up with about 4 pages of recipes, and I've even made two of them already. Fascinating. Unfortunately, I find it really difficult to read - or watch for that matter - about situations where people are humiliated, and there are a number of them in this book, and that is why it's got 3 stars and not 4. However, I would highly recommend this book for anyone who loved the tv show or remembers reading the novels years ago. I really appreciate my lovely Doctor's Surgery which also allows the odd book to be borrowed - wonderful people. :)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Absolutely loved it! Totally delightful and highly recommended. It was our book club book. I was wary of "a lame animal story collection" and was joyously surprised to find it to be not lame at all! Absolutely loved it! Totally delightful and highly recommended. It was our book club book. I was wary of "a lame animal story collection" and was joyously surprised to find it to be not lame at all!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annie Long

    Once again, I found a terrific book on the library ‘staff picks’ shelf. It’s a collection of the best stories recounted by of James Herriott, a Scottish-born country vet who wrote of his life in the rural, farming areas of Yorkshire northern England during the early to mid-century. It’s a Reader’s Digest volume, an oversized book with darling precise pen-and-ink drawings and detailed instructions of various related topics in all the margins--recipes, animal husbandry, local lore, tools and techn Once again, I found a terrific book on the library ‘staff picks’ shelf. It’s a collection of the best stories recounted by of James Herriott, a Scottish-born country vet who wrote of his life in the rural, farming areas of Yorkshire northern England during the early to mid-century. It’s a Reader’s Digest volume, an oversized book with darling precise pen-and-ink drawings and detailed instructions of various related topics in all the margins--recipes, animal husbandry, local lore, tools and techniques abound. If you’ve not read his work, it’s a grand rare treat you have in store! The medical descriptions verge on the gruesome, as well as the hardships of facing harsh elements, but the good doctor’s charming insight into each and every animal’s real inner life balances all the disturbing treatments. He can distinguish a dog’s dejection and a cow’s disdain as well as a cat’s humor and a sheep’s hauteur. He includes a sweet, unaffected self-deprecating tone as he describes his daily adventures and trials. The result is a rich, full, vibrant and colorful portrait of a teeming human and animal community and an astonishing sustainable way of life, sadly long passed. A wonderful, memorable read. If I can find a copy, I will buy this book. It is sure to be plucked off the shelf on occasion when nothing else appeals. [original series titles taken from an old Anglican hymn* All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made them All] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H... * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Thi...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I've always loved the stories of James Herriot. I remember watching the programmes on the TV when I was growing up. They used to make me laugh and cry each week. Siegfried (played by Robert Hardy) and Tristan (played by Peter Davison) were both infuriating in their own way, and James (played by Christopher Timothy) nearly always seemed to get the rough end of the deal. Reading this book took me right back to those evenings watching the 'vitnery' on his rounds. The stories are accompanied by snipp I've always loved the stories of James Herriot. I remember watching the programmes on the TV when I was growing up. They used to make me laugh and cry each week. Siegfried (played by Robert Hardy) and Tristan (played by Peter Davison) were both infuriating in their own way, and James (played by Christopher Timothy) nearly always seemed to get the rough end of the deal. Reading this book took me right back to those evenings watching the 'vitnery' on his rounds. The stories are accompanied by snippets of information in the margins and there a re several sections of beautiful photographs from Yorkshire. It doesn't matter to me if the stories are not always true. They're entertaining and are thoroughly enjoyable for all James Herriot's readers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel G

    I was in a bit of a reading slump recently, and grabbed this book of my shelf. I read all of James Herriot’s memoirs a few years ago, and I remembered being so charmed and entertained by his stories. It seemed like a nice, comforting read. • I loved being back in Darrowby again with Herriot, being simultaneously frustrated and impressed with the hardworking but stubborn Yorkshire farmers. His career spanned some quite drastic changes in farming, and the history of those changes in fascinating in i I was in a bit of a reading slump recently, and grabbed this book of my shelf. I read all of James Herriot’s memoirs a few years ago, and I remembered being so charmed and entertained by his stories. It seemed like a nice, comforting read. • I loved being back in Darrowby again with Herriot, being simultaneously frustrated and impressed with the hardworking but stubborn Yorkshire farmers. His career spanned some quite drastic changes in farming, and the history of those changes in fascinating in itself. • Some of his tales are laugh out loud funny, some are incredibly sad, some just made me glad I am not a country vet. His writings are definitely worth reading, and this volume was so fun to read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    A fairly long book, at 500 pages hardcover, but every page is a delight. Herriot started his veterinary practice in the 1930's, at a time when the old ways were still very prevalent in rural Yorkshire. As years go by we learn of the newer technologies which made his job easier. We get snippets of his family life, and of everyday life in the Yorkshire Dales. The life of a vet was very hard in those times, with no "time off" for R&R. The book is laugh-out-loud funny in many places. I ADORE Yorkshir A fairly long book, at 500 pages hardcover, but every page is a delight. Herriot started his veterinary practice in the 1930's, at a time when the old ways were still very prevalent in rural Yorkshire. As years go by we learn of the newer technologies which made his job easier. We get snippets of his family life, and of everyday life in the Yorkshire Dales. The life of a vet was very hard in those times, with no "time off" for R&R. The book is laugh-out-loud funny in many places. I ADORE Yorkshire, have been several times, and long to go back. It's a beautiful place to visit, and Herriot manages to convey the beauty in his writing.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    James Herriot effortlessly takes us across the hills of Yorkshire and right into the homes, barns, and occasionally even the very sheep and cows, of Dales farmers. In the process he ushers us into a life of lasting wonder and deep satisfaction, which I think is his greatest gift to his readers. The extra features of this collection are a little dated now (it was published in the 1980's), but they manage to add both homeliness and romance to Herriot's own portrait of the landscape and people of Y James Herriot effortlessly takes us across the hills of Yorkshire and right into the homes, barns, and occasionally even the very sheep and cows, of Dales farmers. In the process he ushers us into a life of lasting wonder and deep satisfaction, which I think is his greatest gift to his readers. The extra features of this collection are a little dated now (it was published in the 1980's), but they manage to add both homeliness and romance to Herriot's own portrait of the landscape and people of Yorkshire. Thrice-blessed the day I discovered this on a thrift store book rack!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Josh Blackmon

    After receiving this book as a gift I skimmed the first chapters and shelved it for seventeen years. What a treasure to rediscover! I enjoyed the sense of place that comes across as the author recounts his life and livelihood. Some of the short stories are comical while others will break your heart. There are some stories here that I will never forget and perspectives I hope to take to heart. In this volume full of animal tales there is an undercurrent of humanity woven within the telling.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Having read James Herriots' books as a child, when I saw this at a book sale I snatched it up right away. I'm pretty sure what I had been reading was abridged in some way for children, because these stories seemed slightly more adult and more autobiographical than stories about just the animals. Regardless, I loved it, and it was wonderful soul food. Having read James Herriots' books as a child, when I saw this at a book sale I snatched it up right away. I'm pretty sure what I had been reading was abridged in some way for children, because these stories seemed slightly more adult and more autobiographical than stories about just the animals. Regardless, I loved it, and it was wonderful soul food.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Renee Roberts

    An edition for book collectors! This volume contains Herriot's favorite stories from all the "All Things.." books, and has hundreds of photographs of the area as well as hand drawn illustrations. In the margins are a multitude of little snippets of educational support about English farm life in yesteryear, breeds of animals, recipes, etc. It's just beautiful. An edition for book collectors! This volume contains Herriot's favorite stories from all the "All Things.." books, and has hundreds of photographs of the area as well as hand drawn illustrations. In the margins are a multitude of little snippets of educational support about English farm life in yesteryear, breeds of animals, recipes, etc. It's just beautiful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Demsky

    I received this as a gift in 1977, read it the day I got it and at least five more times before I passed it along to a friend. Is a lasting joy and memory for anyone loving any animal! Was also well written - he can really tell a story!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Suli

    I love this book. It is a relaxing, humorous and real book. I loved the TV series but a book always captures more. Makes a good read aloud with the family. I have owned this book for 37 years now and it still regularly comes off the shelf.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lee Torvi

    A wonderful collection of stories, both familiar and a few I hadn't read before: the life of a country vet in Yorkshire during the late 1930s, 40s and 50s. Photograhs, pen & ink sketches, as side notes make it extra special. A wonderful collection of stories, both familiar and a few I hadn't read before: the life of a country vet in Yorkshire during the late 1930s, 40s and 50s. Photograhs, pen & ink sketches, as side notes make it extra special.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Becky Hintz

    I've been reading this to my kids (9-13) over lunch for the past half year or so. Just perfect. I've been reading this to my kids (9-13) over lunch for the past half year or so. Just perfect.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim Hampton

    A nice collection of stories from the pen of country vet James Herriot. With interesting sidebars of information and sections of pictures.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Bobbitt

    Sadly, this is just a collection of anecdotes from previously-published books, which I'd rather have. It's still good for what it is, though. Sadly, this is just a collection of anecdotes from previously-published books, which I'd rather have. It's still good for what it is, though.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Delbert Young

    Fantastic tidbits from a British veterinarian in rural Yorkshire.

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