The Library

Welcome to The Library of the Fellowship of the Farmy.

This is where we come to share good books to read. If you have read a book and love it – leave a message for the Fellowship here in the comments.  Just a  SHORT message. Not lists of your all time favourites, we have those already, this is just a place to quickly jot down the title and author and genre of a book you really want to share.( I don’t have space for critiques though, just the Title, Author and Genre. A couple of sentences should do it. )

Then when we are in need of a recommendation or inspiration we can all pop in and see what The Fellowship is reading. If your latest favourite book is already here – just second it in a reply. Then we will know it is really good!

You can come back in and add the very best books you have read anytime. One at a time.

ALSO and  most importantly If you have written a book and want to tell us about it leave a message here too. We would love to know what the writers in The Fellowship have published, and where we can buy the book.

I will come in as I get the time and attach the links to Amazon.

Let’s support each other.

Love c

76 Comments on “The Library

  1. Hi there!

    I do have a book out, THE ART OF CRASH LANDING (Harper Paperbacks/HarperCollins) that’s available for purchase wherever you normally buy your books. It’s the story of a young woman (a hot mess) who goes to her late mother’s home town to claim an inheritance, only to end up stirring up trouble and uncovering family secrets. For more info check out my webpage, or goodreads or amazon or wherever you like to read your book reviews. 🙂

    Now for another recommendation. Let’s see…
    How about THE HUNDRED YEAR HOUSE by Rebeca Makkah. It is funny and touching and structured in a very unique way (present, past, then more distant past all taking place in the same house.) It’s so fun to have questions you have from one section answered in the next. I highly recommend it.


  2. I am so late to the game. I learned about the SyFy series “The Magicians” right after Christmas. I watched an episode, and then I realized it is based on a BOOK SERIES! Insert happy Snoopy dance here. So I’m reading the first one. I’m half-way through. It’s an odd story, definitely magical realism. It’s tightly written, and the characters are (mostly) believable. It came out AFTER the Harry Potter series, and it’s about college-age men and women, but it dovetails wonderfully with JK Rowling’s magical universe. Lev Grossman is the author, and as often happens, the book is WAY better than the show, although I did like the show, too!

  3. Just finished a brilliant book, written in 1990, called The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard. About two orphaned Australian girls who make their way to England. Won the National Book Critic’s Circle award. Among the best writing I’ve ever read, and now among my top 5 books ever.

  4. I have just finished listening to “The fish ladder” by Katharine Norbury. It is her memoir of a difficult time in her life and the search for her birth mother. She had an urge to follow rivers back to their source, and in doing so was able to make her way back to herself. She has a beautiful style of writing. It was an audio book read by the author, so that was an added pleasure, as her voice is soft and mellifluous. (It was a Bolinda audio book that I can download through my Library. You may find that your library has a similar service. Yay for public libraries!)

  5. As well as being an avid reader of Celi’s blog, I am a writer (pen name: Alison Brackenbury) reared in the English countryside, I will tentatively mention, ‘Skies’, my new collection of poems. It is inhabited by Britain’s wild birds and animals (and town foxes!). It echoes the traditional games of village playgrounds where ‘The wolf has gone to Derbyshire’. There is my thirty-year old horse, out on the hills,

    ‘And the rain stopped. And the sky spun
    past the hills’ flush of winter corn.
    The mare strode out as though still young…’
    (from ‘Down Unwin’s Track’)

    Finally, on a winter’s night

    ‘The books are laid aside. I see
    new roofs, more weak lamps. Whirled and free
    the stars, my calm dead, walk with me.’
    (from ‘Skies’)

    ‘Skies’ has been praised on national BBC radio, and in national British newspapers. ‘The Observer’ newspaper selected ‘Skies’ as one of its ‘Poetry Books of the Year’. Published in 2016 by Carcanet, it can be bought as an ebook or paperback at

    I also warmly recommend a series of anthologies – for Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. They are full of rich and unexpected prose and poetry, gathered by Melissa Harrison, award winning novelist and nature columnist for ‘The Times’ newspaper. Just go to and search for Melissa Harrison Winter to find these four gems! They can be bought singly or together!

    Happy Reading!
    Alison (Brackenbury)

  6. The Mare by Mary Gaitskill. It’s not just a horse book,AT ALL. I raced through it. I have worked with underprivileged kids and this is a realistic portrayal of trying to help.

  7. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. A young English nurse travels to post-famine Ireland to observe a young village girl who stopped eating after her 11th birthday. In discovering the girls secret she comes to reveal secrets of her own.

    • I just read this last night. It is very good, but her book Room (now Oscar winning movie starting Brie Larson) is still better, IMO

      • Eating on the Wild Side: the Missing Link to Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson, is blowing me away! Did you know that if you chop up garlic and throw it in the frying pan, it destroys all of garlic’s considerable and amazing cancer-fighting and health-giving properties? But if you chop it and then let it wait ten minutes before cooking, it doesn’t? That’s just the first chapter. She’s distilling a thousand research papers on phytonutrients into an easy read guidebook to the best varietals to choose and grow and little tricks, like the garlic, to get more health out of your food. MUST READ for gardeners and anyone into living healthy on whole foods and veggies.

  8. Eating on the Wild Side: the Missing Link to Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson, is blowing me away! Did you know that if you chop up garlic and throw it in the frying pan, it destroys all of garlic’s considerable and amazing cancer-fighting and health-giving properties? But if you chop it and then let it wait ten minutes before cooking, it doesn’t? That’s just the first chapter. She’s distilling a thousand research papers on phytonutrients into an easy read guidebook to the best varietals to choose and grow and little tricks, like the garlic, to get more health out of your food. MUST READ for gardeners and anyone into living healthy on whole foods and veggies.

  9. I just finished a book called “The Nightingale” about two sisters and their struggles/accomplishments during the Nazi invasion of France. Hard to put it down!

    • I have read this twice and could not put it down either time. Once on my own, the second time for our book discussion group. We had a very lively discussion.

  10. I’ve self-published a handful of books (available on,, and of my art, photography, poetry, meditations, and a first ‘blook’ of my early blog posts, from back when you and I, Celi, were both relatively new to the game. The non-blog books’ texts range from spooky fiction to silly surrealism—think Dr Seuss meets Edward Gorey while partying with Ogden Nash, perhaps—and the visuals include traditional photos, plain B&W pencil drawings, digital collages, paintings, and much more.

    Meanwhile, I bow, always, to the great artistry of favorite writers like Daphne DuMaurier, Charles Dickens, S.J. Perelman, Robertson Davies, JRR Tolkien, Margaret Atwood, Saki (HH Munro), MFK Fisher, and the inimitable Betty MacDonald. And while I’m on the subject of fine writers named MacDonald, among the more recent things I’ve read, I highly recommend Helen MacDonald’s lovely memoir ‘H is for Hawk’, a spare and clear-eyed story of how the author, having suffered a period of great personal loss, found her way back to herself with the complicated assistance of her falconry partner, a singular goshawk. Along the way, MacDonald also tells the story-within-a-story of (another terrific author!) T.H. White’s remarkable life as it intertwined with *his* goshawk.

    Cheers to all who read and rejoice!
    —found online at the aforementioned bookselling sites as Kathryn I. W. Sparks

  11. I really enjoy the fiction of Barbara Kingsolver. The Laguna is about a young man who goes to work for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The Poisonwood Bible is about a preacher who takes his wife and three daughters to the Congo. Both great stories, good voice, atmospheric….

  12. I read a lot of nonfiction, and I just finished Nancy Colier’s The Power of Off — about kicking technology (internet) addiction. I loved it! It was so validating to hear it described as an actual addition, not just “the modern way of life” (or something that just requires willpower to overcome). When I’ve searched for resources to aid in reducing screen time, they always seem to just be lists of things a person could do instead (i.e., go for a walk! bake a cake! visit with a friend!). This book has a more serious method for stepping back from our devices — including a 30-day detox. I’m waiting for some friends to finish the book, so we can go through the detox together.

  13. I have just finished the “Call the Midwife” trilogy. I started the books after I fell in love with the PBS series. But of course the books are so much more. Detailed descriptions of the people, buildings, sounds, smells and the daily routines kept me memorized. I had to set the book aside just to catch my breath on more than one occasion. A true testament to the strength and courage of all women. I highly recommend this trilogy.

  14. ‘To the Bright Edge of the World’ by Eowyn Ivey. Just finished reading this and really enjoyed it. The kind of story that stays with you between reads. It was recommended in the 2016 farmy book list.

    • I haven’t checked out the library post on awhile- just ordered this book – I enjoy the books about survival of people during the madness of WW11 and love when there is a touch of magic in a story!

  15. A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline is as good as her earlier book – Orpan Train

  16. I would like to recommend The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck.
    Here’s one reviewers take on it and both my husband and I agree ….a fascinating, educational and fun read!

    A quintessential American story…. The Oregon Trail attains its considerable narrative power by interweaving pioneer history with Rinker-and-Nick-and-mules interpersonal strife with poignant memories of the author’s father, who took his own family on a covered wagon journey through New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1958…. This makes The Oregon Trail a rare and effective work of history—the trail stories of the Buck brothers bring humor and drama, and the pioneer biographies supply a context that makes every other aspect of the book snap into sharp relief…. The experience of The Oregon Trail stands squarely opposite much of what is modern—it’s slow travel with poor communication, it places struggle before comfort, and it represents a connection with history rather than a search for the newest of the new. In that sense, you’d think the book would be slow-paced and fusty, but it’s really something else: raw, visceral, and often laugh-out-loud funny. For anyone who has ever dreamed

  17. The Wold Border by Sarah Hall……….fiction…..reintroducing wolves to England, politics, ethics, family……a good read,real characters.

  18. the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold fry by Rachel Joyce. funny, poignant, inspiring, wise….i loved this book.

  19. AND Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch. HIstorical. Irish/American. Shocking, and as to style and use of language probably the best book I have read in a long long time. c

  20. Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach. Pulitzer Prize winning author takes a year off to travel through Europe as an “independent woman.” I wish that I could be Alice…

  21. 44 Scotland Street, by Alexander McCall Smith. I just love all the characters.

  22. I recommend Nadia Hashimi’s books. The House without windows, the Pearl ta=hat broke it;s shell and /when the moon is low. All set around Afghani women and difficult to put down.

  23. Oh! The Shepherd’s Life, by James Rebanks. Fabulous and important book about farming and human relationship to the land. A MUST.

  24. Just finished reading The Seagulls by Ann Cleeves. A very good read. All her Vera books are good, her Shetland books are good too.

  25. Just finished ‘Sold on a Monday’ by Kristina McMorris, I enjoyed it a lot.

  26. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Richardson is a good read.

    • The Exiles, Christina Baker Kline, hard to believe the ‘nonentity’ of women of that time and the attitude toward the aboriginal people!

  27. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.
    All of James Herriot’s books.
    All of Alison Weir’s books.
    All of Sharon Key Penman’s books.

  28. I loved A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Beautifully written, clever, funny, touching and well-researched. I also enjoyed Circe, by Madeline Miller, an alternative view of ancient Greek legends and behind the scenes of the Odyssey, as it were.

  29. Strong recommendation for “The Overstory” by Richard Powers — a big, gorgeous, elegiac book about trees, and so much more. Takes its time to build, telling the stories of eight very different American individuals and the way that trees impact their lives, slowly bringing the characters together into a wonderful ending. You’ll never look at trees the same again!
    Also, “A Shepherd’s Life” by James Rebanks — a very different book, this is the author’s autobiography about his life as a sheep herder in the Lake District of north-west England. I learned so much about the region, about small farming, and about sheep. Fascinating read (his twitter feed, @herdyshepherd1, is eye-opening, too!)

  30. Strong recommendation for “The Overstory” by Richard Powers. A big, gorgeous, elegiac book about trees, and so much more. Takes its time to build up, telling the stories of eight different Americans and how trees impact their lives, while slowly bringing the stories together into a wonderful ending. You’ll never look at trees the same!
    Also, something very different: “A Shepherd’s Life” by James Rebanks. It’s the story of his life as a shepherd in the Lake District of north-west England. I learned so much about this amazing region, about being a farmer, and about sheep. A lovely read.

  31. Their Finest by Lissa Evans
    Spencer’s List by Lissa Evans
    Little Fires everywhere by Celeste Ng

  32. Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land- N. Scott Momaday: native spirituality/climate change/earth stewardship

  33. Just saw this on the NY Times book review Pig Years by Ellyn Gaydos working as a farm hand in New York and Vermont

  34. The Boy with a Bird in His Chest by Emme Lund – I believe it’s her first novel and it’s really well written. Made me think about it long after I finished reading it. Critic’s take: “A modern coming-of-age full of love, desperation, heartache, and magic” (Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author) about “the ways in which family, grief, love, queerness, and vulnerability all intersect”.

  35. Okay, allow me a moment of self-indulgence here–my own novel which came out in September is called The Bonne Chance Bakery and it is getting good reviews. Plus it features macarons. So there you go. But a student of mine just gifted me The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and I cannot wait to read it–looks wonderful.

  36. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Emotional and uplifting, sort of memoir about the place and role that plants and trees play in sustaining our human lives. Lessons from Indigenous culture that make you think about your own place in our world.

  37. An older book copywright 2008, author J Maarten Troost, Lost on Planet China. Non-fiction, laugh out loud, travel in China. Excellent.

  38. Hi folks. I have just had Any Park recommended to me. An Australian author who spends his life between Sydney and a personal spot alongside the Kruger National Park. I just read Blood Trail. Highly recommend this excellent book.

  39. Another older book, but historically impressive if you are into that sort of thing… How the Irish Saved Civilization, The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe – by Thomas Cahill copyright 1995

    An excellent history lesson and interesting read.

  40. Hi Friends!

    My NEW plant-based mealkit book has just been released. If you are curious about plant-based meals, I invite you to take a look.

    This mealkit system is the perfect starter guide for plant-based beginners to take baby steps to familiarize yourself with new foods. Learn some easy, basic tricks and expand from there. Tasting and learning how the seasoning basics work together will form a strong plant-based ‘Household Top Chef’ foundation. Learning about flavor profiles is key to comfort foods in a plant-based diet.

    And…. to hopefully generate loads of positive reviews I have it on sale for now marked at $1.20.

    Here is the Etsy link:

    Thank you, Cecelia, for inviting me to post my book here. And, thank you all for reading!

    ~ CB

  41. I’m adding another newly read book by Robin Wall Kimmerer to build on Braiding Sweetgrass. Just finished Gathering Moss and found it amazing. You will never look at mosses in the same way and please- never even think about running to the store for Moss Out or some other chemical killer to do away with the mosses around your home/yard.

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