A Comfort Read for a Sick Friend

What Would I Select to Read to Him/Her?

By Jeff Salter

My first thought when reading this week’s topic was that if I had a friend who was too ill to read for themself, I’d select one or all of James Herriot’s books — about his real-life veterinary practice in Yorkshire (England’s largest historical county).

I read most or all of his first four books back in the late 1970s and I understand there are now at least eight titles. Herriot, or course, is the pen name of James Alfred “Alf” Wight (1916–1995), an English veterinarian “whose tales of veterinary practice and country life have delighted generations.”

Herriot’s stories are quite simply… charming and INTERESTING. They have humor, pathos, surprises… and they give us a first-hand look at a significant portion of Great Britain beginning with a couple of years prior to WW2.

But most of all, it’s about the animals he treats. Almost everyone loves animals of one kind or another, so I think a book about a wide variety of creatures would be comforting to have read to you if you were ill.

For my earlier mention of Herriot’s books, see:

Chicken Soup

A choice which occurred to me later was the multi-volume series, Chicken Soup for the Soul. As I checked it just now, I noticed there was a special edition that’s exclusively dog tales. I think that’s the one I’d begin reading to my ill friend.

There have been so many Chicken Soup titles over the years, that you’re bound to find at least one collection that would suit the interests of your sick friend.


What book or story would YOU want to read to a friend who was too ill to read for himself/herself?

[JLS # 564]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
This entry was posted in advice, authors, Books, favorite books, inspiration, inspirational stories, James Herriot, Jeff Salter, reading, reading preferences and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Comfort Read for a Sick Friend

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’ve always wanted to read the James Herriot series, but just haven’t. I imagine my aversion to animals of all kinds might have stopped me. I do enjoy many of the Chicken Soup books (I’ve had a few stories included in them), so I think those would be nice to listen to. They’re shorter in length so I’m not as likely to fall asleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. piratediva08 says:

    “What book or story would YOU want to read to a friend who was too ill to read for himself/herself?”
    Probably not something with sex in it. Awwwkwaaard….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. VERY good choices, Jeff! I read all of the “All Creatures” series after I saw all of the TV series. I enjoyed both very much.
    ChickenSoup books would also be great, uplifting and short, for when the patient tires easily. One wouldn’t have to necessarily not be able to read for themselves; sometimes just sharing a book is the best company, when everything else has been said, or can’t be said.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      I no longer remember whether we read the books before or after the PBS series came out. But I do recall that Denise “discovered” the books before I did. And she liked them so much, I HAD to read them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. James Herriot’s books sound interesting. I think reading about animals is a good choice. I love a good dog story, so long as the dog doesn’t get hurt in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      As I recall most of Herriot’s vignettes, the animals survive the injury or illness that required his attention. However, I think there were a few cases in which he had to put the animal down because of old age or serious condition. Percentage-wise, I assume that was a small number. Don’t remember much detail after all these years.


  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’ve read all of the Herriot books more than one time. I can’t believe I didn’t think of them myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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