The Yorkshire Shepherdess' favourite books

Amanda Owen, better known as The Yorkshire Shepherdess, shares the books that have inspired her, from James Herriot to Beatrix Potter.

Amanda Owen, better known as The Yorkshire Shepherdess, shares the books that have inspired her set in Yorkshire and beyond, from James Herriot to ​Beatrix Potter.

If Only They Could Talk

by James Herriot

Book cover for If Only They Could Talk

I believe certain books can map out your life. They can take you somewhere - that's what James Herriot's books did for me.

Macmillan reprinted the first volume of his memoirs and asked me to write the foreword. I was so honoured. My grandfather had given it to me when I was 12. Herriot's adventures as a young country vet in Yorkshire spoke to me and I thought, That's the life for me.

Danny Champion of the World

by Roald Dahl

Book cover for Danny Champion of the World

I grew up near Huddersfield and spent a lot of time immersed in books, dreaming of a more rural life. I used to go to the library, but when I was given book tokens for Christmas, I'd get a new book all for myself.

This was the first Roald Dahl book I bought and I was hooked by the romance of Danny's life—living with his father in a gypsy caravan, poaching pheasants. I read it to my own children now.

Just Like Floss

by Kim Lewis

Book cover for Just Like Floss

I must have read all her books to my children! I like the fact that they’re illustrated – the pictures are so detailed. They’re very simple stories mainly about animals.

This one is about a sheepdog on a traditional working farm, so I love how the children can relate to it.

The Book of Boswell

by Silvester Gordon Boswell

Book cover for The Book of Boswell

This is about the life of a gypsy. Living where I do, having horses, I’ve always been fascinated by gypsies. My farrier recommended the book to me. It’s very countryside orientated but what I particularly love is reading about life in the not so distant past.

When I was a child I was read a book about Romani people. I remember finding out that if a daughter dies, they would burn their caravan. It really captured my imagination and stuck with me.

The Tale of Pigling Bland

by Beatrix Potter

Book cover for The Tale of Pigling Bland

This is just one I’m currently reading to my children! I don’t think I could ever tire of the lovely drawings.

They might be old fashioned but the little pictures and stories really resonate with us. It’s that history aspect, as I think for a story to really grab me, I have to be able to relate to elements of it. That’s why I can’t read sci fi! 

A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess

by Amanda Owen

Book cover for A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess

From bestselling author and star of Countryfile, Amanda Owen, come more tales of life at Ravenseat, the remote Yorkshire hill farm she shares with husband Clive, eight children and 1,000 sheep.  In her new book, she describes the age-old cycles of a farming year and the constant challenges the family faces, from being cut off in winter to tending their flock on some of Yorkshire's highest, bleakest moors - land so inaccessible that in places it can only be reached on foot.