The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks

Leaving aside our soft spot for the type of border collie found on the cover of this book, James Rebanks' tale of a country boy growing up steeped in the traditions of his people and their place on the earth is a delight to read.

Rebanks took himself off to Oxford University for a few years so knows how to string a sentence together but the real pleasure here is in his evocation of the detailed complexities of a shepherd's life. 

The story is set in the Lake District but in a sense this is a universal tale of the bond between man, animals and nature; that it will seem so foreign to many of us speaks volumes about modern urban existence.