First up is The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks.
From the publisher, Doubleday Canada:
"Old world met new when a shepherd in the English Lake District impulsively started a Twitter account. A routine cell phone upgrade left author James Rebanks with a pretty decent camera and a pre-loaded Twitter app--the tools to share his way of life with the world. And what began as a tentative experiment became an international phenomenon. James has worked the land for years, as did his father, and his father before him. His family has lived and farmed in the Lake District of Northern England as long as there have been written records (since 1420) and possibly much longer. And while the land itself has inspired great poets and authors we have rarely heard from the people who tend it. One Twitter account has changed all that, and now James Rebanks has broken free of the 140-character limit and produced "the book I have wanted to write my whole life." The Shepherd's Life is a memoir about growing up amidst a magical, storied landscape, of coming of age in the 1980s and 1990s among hills that seem timeless, and yet suffused with history. Broken into the four seasons, the book chronicles the author's daily experiences at work with his flock and brings alive his family and their ancient way of life, which at times can seem irreconcilable with the modern world.
An astonishing original work, The Shepherd's Life is an intimate look from inside a seemingly ordinary life, one that celebrates the meaning of place, the ties of family to the land around them, and the beauty of the past. It is the untold story of the Lake District, of a people who exist and endure out of sight in the midst of the most iconic literary landscape in the world."
The Skeleton Cupboard: The Making of a Clinical Psychologist by Tanya Byron.
From the publisher, Harper Collins Canada:
"In my session with Imogen, the words were still not coming. I had to move past my own frustration and relax. But it is very hard to relax when you are looking into the eyes of a mute little girl who wants to be dead. You don’t want to relax; you want to pull her into your arms, hold her and then shake her until she tells you why. You long to say, "Why do you want to die? You’re twelve years old." Gripping, unforgettable and deeply affecting, The Skeleton Cupboard recounts the patient stories that most influenced Dr. Tanya Byron, covering years of training that forced her to confront the harsh realities of the lives of her patients and the demons of her own family history. Among others, we meet Ray, a violent sociopath desperate to be treated with tenderness and compassion; Mollie, a talented teenager intent on starving herself; and Imogen, a twelve-year-old so haunted by a secret that she’s intent on killing herself.
Byron brings the reader along as she uncovers the reasons each of these individuals behave as they do, resulting in a thrilling, compulsively readable medical mystery that sheds light on mental illness and what its treatment tells us about ourselves."
(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)
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