When I was about 13 or so, my mother's cousin started mailing us books every once in a while. She was the original Amazon.com, only I didn't order the books, she just sent whatever she thought I'd be interested in. There was just one problem--she had no idea what I liked to read. I don't think she asked my mom, she certainly didn't ask me. I couldn't really tell her what I liked because these gifts were just sent randomly, and if I asked her for a book it would seem like I expected to receive one.
To be honest, I don't remember any of the books that she sent me. Except the ones by Alf Wight, a/k/a James Herriot. For some strange reason, I found I really liked these books about an English country vet. I think looking back it was because the books took me back to another time and place--Yorkshire in the 1940's and 50's with such vivid descriptions. Each chapter was a little individual story that dealt with universal truths about human and animal nature.
|Cast of All Creatures Great and Small|
All this combined to fuel my imagination of that green and pleasant land that English poet William Blake wrote about (sorry, English major in me coming out). Then lo and behold, while flipping channels one night (yes, those were the days when you actually had to get up and turn the knob), I chanced upon All Creatures Great and Small on PBS.
|Alf Wight a/k/a James Herriot|
So, thank you Cousin Kathy for giving me a gift that really did keep on giving. If you have children in your life, I heartily support the notion of sending them random gifts of books. You never know. You just might open up a door to a whole world of entertainment!