What I’m reading, round three.



T H E   S H E P H E R D ‘ S   L I F E .

It’s been such a long time since I shared a little ‘what I’m reading right now’ post! And there’s really only one reason for that- because I’ve not read anything in a pretty long time…

Which is bad! I can’t think of a single reason now why I hadn’t picked up a book in ages before the last couple of weeks, other than the fact that I feel I spend most of my ‘reading time’, reading blogs! I guess that’s the way things are for us internet-dwellers, right?

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I actually bought the The Shepherd’s Life for Jason as one of his Christmas presents this year. He’s so fond of all things rural, and a quick glance through the book’s blurb whilst standing in Waterstone’s one busy afternoon in early December told me that this was a book for him.

He ploughed through it during the few weeks after Christmas then promptly handed it over, saying that I just *have* to read it. And you know? It’s every bit as lovely as he said!

The Shepherd’s Life’s title tells you most of what you need to know about the book. It’s written by farmer James Rebanks, and tells the story of his life and heritage running a farm bought by his Grandfather, then passed on to his own father, in a rugged valley in the Lake District.

The book begins with a prologue, in which James recalls the first time he came to realise that the farming way of life he had grown up with was considered by some to be unambitious and ‘provincial, and talks of ‘cultural imperialism’ and the strangeness of those who claim ownership over land they’ve perhaps only visited on a handful of occasions. He writes about being a ‘forgotten people’, and his desire to bring to light the lives men and women have been quietly living, throughout Great Britain, for many thousands of years.

The book plots the course of the year, split up into four sections- Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring. He describes the yearly rituals of bringing the sheep down from the fells from their wild grazing, and the skill of the sheepdogs, and the way the farmers work together to ease one another’s workload.

It’s a quiet sort of story- describing in raw, poetic detail the farming year in all its intricacies and hardships and toils. And because of that, it’s beautiful. A world away from Instagram notifications and packed tube carriages and 5:2 diets and never-ending fashion weeks- instead, it’s about tradition, and knowledge being passed through generations, and a way of existing that, as James writes, has been almost unchanged for 5000 years.

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I’m about two thirds of my way through the book now, and am just adoring every page of. It really is a treasure- I can’t recommend it highly enough!

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  • Sarah Taylor-Forbes

    Ooh, I bought this for my Mum for Mother’s Day (she grew up on a farm) – will have to steal it off her!

    Sarah x

  • Pili G

    Sounds like an interesting book and I will defiantly take a look. I’m currently reading short stories by Cortazar which are amazing, you should check them out too!



    Records of my Troubles

  • https://sweetpassions07.blogspot.com Antonia

    It seems like and very interesting book. I read quit a lot but always want to read more. It’s really hard nowadays when internet is such a big part of our lives, isn’t it? I’m definitely going to put this book on my reading list. Thank you for sharing. xo

    Antonia || Sweet Passions

  • Trudy Johanna

    sounds like a really interesting read! As always, on the list! x
    Trudy | TrudyJohanna

  • https://www.chaptersofmay.com Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    Sounds like a really good read, like something to get really stuck in – lovely post!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  • http://www.muddlingalongmummy.com/ Muddling Along

    Sounds wonderful – I’m going to put it on my list to buy for my Easter break

  • Peppermint Dolly

    Sounds lovely – thanks for sharing!



  • Helen

    Loved this book too and I’m pretty sure there’s a sequel! X

  • https://ngdesignstudio.wordpress.com/ Nicola

    I’m so glad I came across your review of this book! I’d been debating whether to get it or not after seeing it in the shops at the start of January. I’ve just placed my order on amazon :) Looking forward to getting stuck in to it on Sunday. x

  • http://roachling.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-year-in-books-january.html Louise

    I have this book on my reading list! I’ve just read A Whole Life, which was good too.

  • http://lizziedailyblog.blogspot.co.uk/ Elizabeth Rebecca

    Are you and Jason still doing the ‘read a book together’ thing Rosie?

    Lizzie Dripping

  • http://www.agoldenhour.blogspot.com Francesca

    I’ve ordered it a few days ago and I can’t wait to read it! :)

  • http://www.laceandlilac.com Abby | Lace & Lilacs

    Oh, I must give this a read!

  • http://www.thelas1.com Jasmin Bleeks

    I’ve heard such great things about this book and since I hark from the Lake District myself I feel like I should take a break from city life and indulge in the pastoral. The cover is beautiful too.

  • http://www.lovedbylaura.com/ Laura

    That sounds so lovely – I will have to see if this is on Audible as it sounds like a perfect listen on the daily commute.

    Laura xx | Loved By Laura

  • http://www.thesussexgirl.co.uk Beckie

    My other half bought me this for Christmas and I’m totally with you – it’s gorgeous, I feel so peaceful when reading it! Can’t recommend it highly enough. – Beckie x

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