I’m not normally one for Biographical books but when this was announced by the Britmums bookclub I signed up regardless – I like opening my horizons and I enjoy reading books that are a little different from my normal choices. Thankfully I was rewarded this time and I, actually, quite enjoyed reading this autobiography called ‘My Animals and Other Family’ by Claire Balding.
Before I got the book I knew who Claire Balding was but only loosely, I knew she was a sport commentator and I knew her fact but, beyond that, I knew nothing else about her. That was, actually, a plus point when it came to reading this as I had no expectations or set ideas of what to expect when I read the book.
Claire’s life is one that is enjoyable to read – It doesn’t matter if you’re someone who’s a fan, or if you know nothing about her, her childhood and life leading up until more recent times actually reads like an unconventional story-book. Her childhood wasn’t ideal but it was filled with quirky people and little adventures which the majority of us wouldn’t have experienced. And despite having the parentage she did and the advantages that her family ties afforded her, life wasn’t necessarily easy and it was definitely interesting.
I really enjoyed reading the book, against my initial expectations. I actually read it in only a few hours because I found myself picking it up all of the time – It didn’t really feel like an auto-biography, it was, by far, interesting enough to be a fiction but was also informative enough that I feel like I know a lot more about the background of the really interesting lady that is Claire Balding.
The book was also really well written and the form was nice and different, each chapter defined by an animal that they had in that time frame rather than by the time frame itself – It means that you’ll find yourself reading, in depth, into one part of her childhood and then you’ll jump forward to another time in a really easy, non-jarring way. It just worked.
Even if you’re not a fan of biography then this book might be enjoyable for you – If you like reading about people, fact and fiction, and about interesting lifetimes and childhoods then you’ll enjoy this book. I’m really glad it was our bookclub book as I’d probably have never picked it up otherwise.
This post contains press samples – please see disclaimer here