Happy New Year. I ended 2012 by indulging in some comfort reading of the sort one tends to do at this time of year when you’ve decided to use your Christmas Waterstones voucher on something indulgent. By comfort reading I mean I settled down with a book in the early/mid afternoon and with only a brief break for food consumed the whole text which was read purely for pleasure in one go, finishing sometime mid evening. I personally find biographies and auto-biographies particularly good for comfort reading and in this case the text being savoured was Clare Balding’s My Animals and Other Family.
My Animals and Other Family comes into the category of auto-biographies which are carefully crafted to be a good read but maintain much of the writers privacy. The tool which Balding uses to do this is animals which she had relationship with during her childhood and adolescence. Upon this theme she hangs specific incidences and reminiscences particularly about her childhood, growing up around horses and her brief time as an amateur jockey. It really is an excellent read for all ages; whilst in no way dull it is straight forward and gentle in a large part because of the boundaries Balding has drawn. Have to admit when I purchased it I was looking forward to reading her coming out story, but it wasn’t in there. I found myself glad about this rather than disappointed though, its exclusion was very much in keeping with the gentile nature of a book which granny or grandchild could equally enjoy.
So that was my latest bit of comfort reading, what’s yours?