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My Animals and Other Family Hardcover – 13 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1st edition (13 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670921467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670921461
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,299 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Clare Balding is an award-winning broadcaster and writer. She became the face of the BBC's racing coverage in 1998, and now works across a wide range of sports for television and radio. She has been a lead presenter for the Olympics, Paralympics, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games. For more than twelve years, she has hiked across the countryside for the BBC Radio 4 series Ramblings.
Clare has presented Countryfile, Britain's Hidden Heritage, Britain By Bike, Crufts, and Famous & Fearless, and has appeared on QI, Have I Got News for You and Sport Relief. She has been voted RTS Sports Presenter of the Year and Racing Broadcaster of the Year.
She lives in West London with her partner Alice, their wayward Tibetan Terrier Archie and a cat who couldn't give a damn called Itty. My Animals and Other Family is Clare's first book.

Product Description

Review

Moving, funny and larger than life (Michael Morpurgo)

Magical, enchanting, riotously eccentric (Daily Mail)

Funny and moving, James Herriot meets David Sedaris (The Times)

Forthright, thoughtful, funny . . . reads like a Jilly Cooper novel (Sunday Times)

Funny and unexpectedly wise. Balding has lots of good stories to tell. It is impossible not to admire her honesty (Mail on Sunday)

She can do anything. If there were four more Clare Baldings, we'd have our empire back. Six, and we'd be colonising the Moon. And there would be crumpets and ashtrays for everyone (Caitlin Moran The Times)

The reading equivalent of snuggling by the fire with a labrador (The Guardian)

A funny, affectionate memoir (Independent on Sunday)

Charming, refreshingly self-depreciating, funny and moving. Balding tells it with immense flair (Daily Express)

About the Author

Clare Balding is an award-winning broadcaster and writer. She became the face of the BBC's racing coverage in 1998, and now works across a wide range of sports for television and radio. She has been a lead presenter for the Olympics, Paralympics, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games. For more than twelve years, she has hiked across the countryside for the BBC Radio 4 series Ramblings.

Clare has presented Countryfile, Britain's Hidden Heritage, Britain By Bike, Crufts, and Famous & Fearless, and has appeared on QI, Have I Got News for You and Sport Relief. She has been voted RTS Sports Presenter of the Year and Racing Broadcaster of the Year.

She lives in West London with her partner Alice, their wayward Tibetan Terrier Archie and a cat who couldn't give a damn called Itty. My Animals and Other Family is Clare's first book.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

154 of 157 people found the following review helpful By A. I. McCulloch TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a cleverly constructed book, featuring one of Clare's beloved horses or dogs for each chapter of the book and her life until her early twenties. This device works really well; whilst each animal varies in the role it played in Clare's life, it gives real meaning to the title.

Gill Heeley's beautiful drawings of every extra- special dog or horse enhance the chapter headings. I suspect many people will want her to draw precious equine or canine companions as a result.
Clare's story will appeal to an enormously wide range of readers, reflecting the many different roles that make up her status as a National Treasure. Whilst best known as a sports commentator, Clare has presented 'Ramblings' (about walking) on Radio 4, contributed to Countryfile, and contributed to state occasions like the Trooping of the Colour.

Her warm, empathic personality is tremendously endearing - and this book shows how it was formed. Clare's background is widely known, being the daughter of top racehorse trainer Ian Balding, animals were sure to play a huge role in her upbringing. The demands of running a racing yard meant that whilst he worked at home her father had little time to spare for parenting. Which was probably just as well - there is a well-known but scary photo of Clare aged 2 perched on the back of the stallion Mill Reef. It could easily have ended in disaster.

Clare's formidable grandmother Priscilla played a major role in her upbringing. Unable to take on a role as a racehorse trainer herself (women weren't allowed), she appointed Clare's father as her trainer and he later married Priscilla's daughter Emma. Emma was at home having been denied a further education from a mother who thought women unworthy of senior roles.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Tracie Clugston on 17 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If like me and millions of others around the world, Vangelis was the soundtrack of your summer then you must make Clare Balding's, My Animals and other Family, your read to take you into the darkening nights of autumn! Its a tale that not many of us will remember our childhood as (my twin sister and I, were pretend horses jumping over 'fences' in our back garden, not on actual ponies or horses, the nearest we got to that was Blackpool beach) But and its a big but, this is a rollicking good yarn, in every sense of the word, its humorous, sad, enlightening and witty and one minute you'll be laughing and if you're anything like me and you've spent the summer sobbing with our Paralympians and our Olympians the next thing is there will be tears running down your face! We've all seen how fantastic Clare has been on our tv sets this summer and as well as being the first woman of sport on television, she also tells a damn good story!
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106 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 50 REVIEWER on 14 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover
Clare Balding has come into her own as one of our top sports presenters this year and more power to her elbow. This is an easy and very entertaining read and a previous reviewer goes into much more detail than I shall attempt but suffice to say this story shows Clare to have more grit and determination than she may be given credit for and the smooth and urbane presenter we see now is as the result of a lot of hard work especially as described here in her early life. However above all she comes across as a very decent human being with some humerous and some downright painful anecdotes. Honest, funny, and genuinely interesting this book has impressed me and is well above the average celebrity autobiography.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By chloe'smom on 15 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i read this book in a matter of hours i didnt intend to but could not put it down . Fascinating insight into her early life, very honest and open book and this would be a great gift for anyone . One of the best reads i have had in a decade . Its heart warming , sad and moving all at the same time . I hope Clare considers writing another one as this books leaves you wanting more. well done Clare!
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By EllieH on 19 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clare is a superb broadcaster and commentator and her personality really comes through in this book. As she tells her story you really feel that you have been shown a little taster of the unusual world she grew up in. Her love of horses and dogs comes through with every chapter. She writes in a lovely warm way, keeping the reader entertained throughout - it is a delight to read. I could not put this book down - it's a great 5 star read!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Darren McCormac VINE VOICE on 5 Oct 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll prefix this by saying that I love Clare Balding. She's a great presenter, deeply passionate about sport, and does her research so that she knows what she's talking about. She's warm, interested and interesting - and that more than comes across in her book.

This is the story of Clare's first 20 years told through her love of animals, mainly the horses which surrounded her as a child and the family dogs. The prose is written just as if she's telling you a story face to face, and she is wonderfully descriptive when talking about the stables where she grew up. I sometimes wonder if she was a little harsh on her parents - they come across as a bit, well, unloving; but that seemed par for the course for the family, her grandmother (a real middle-class matriarch) never really showing love to her own children or grandchildren. Well, the female ones anyway. And really, her parents weren't uncaring, they just didn't really know how to show it.

What I think I liked most about the book was seeing Clare's personality really coming through and seeing that she was always a bit of a minx :) The woman we see on the TV is the real Clare Balding, warts and all, and I think this book shows that. Buy it, you won't want to put it down.
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