Our latest book from the BritMums book club was Clare Balding’s My Animals and Other Family. I was a little apprehensive about reading the book as I don’t read many autobiographies. However, Clare Balding is a bit of a national treasure since she was constantly on our tv during the Olympics so I had to try it.
I’m the first to hold up my hands and say I’ve never been a fan of sports and know very little about any kind of sport. Clare Balding is a broadcaster and writer. My Family and Other Animals is her first book, won Autobiography of the Year at the 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards.
The book is divided into 19 chapters, each one named after an animal, more precisely a dog or horse which played a prominent part in Clare’s life. From her first family dog to some of the horses she raced on, each chapter is a stage in Clare’s life and the animal most associated with her.
After the first chapter I must admit I was hooked and eagerly looked forward to reading a couple of chapters each evening. I may have skimmed over the paragraphs which featured too much detail about horse racing but they were integral to the story of Clare and her famous horse racing family.
There are some great stories from her childhood, especially escapades with her younger brother, and the book ends with her going up to Cambridge and winning the title of Champion Lady Rider. I suppose that means there’s room for another book there, detailing her career as a radio and tv presenter and broadcaster. I’m actually looking forward to reading it, especially if it’s an interesting as the first half of her life.