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Goats from a Small Island: Grabbing Mallorcan Life by the Horns [Paperback]

Anna Nicholas
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 July 2009
Life is never simple for PR consultant Anna Nicholas as she attempts to cut loose her ties with London for a more mañana existence in rural Mallorca with her family. Despite nearing her dream to open a cattery, she is thrown off course by the abduction of her beloved toad, a scorpion infestation, getting lost in the hills and a growing fixation with ancient goats. Meanwhile in London she’s coping with loopy new clients – an amorous rock climber, a Bulgarian transvestite couturier and a couple of warring designers. Witty, pithy and brimming with memorable characters, Goats From A Small Island is Anna’s third book about working between two places and a delightful tribute to Mallorca’s rich and varied way of life.

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Goats from a Small Island: Grabbing Mallorcan Life by the Horns + Donkeys On My Doorstep + Cat on a Hot Tiled Roof: Mayhem in Mayfair and Mallorca
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (6 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840247606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840247602
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anna Nicholas is a wild Celt being of Irish, Scottish and Welsh extraction. She had an eccentric childhood in Kent and London, spending her summer holidays rattling around in the back of an old car, visiting off the map destinations around the world with Barney, her teacher mother and two extraordinary maiden aunts, Minny and Della.

After studying English and Classics at Leeds University, Anna became senior press officer for Help the Aged, often handling fundraising events involving the charity's patron, Princess Diana. She then joined the Guinness Book of Records working with Norris McWhirter, the book's founder, judging crazy records around the world, before joining a luxury aromatics and bathroom company in Jermyn Street. Some years later she successfully ran her own Mayfair travel and luxury lifestyle PR agency in Mayfair.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society having participated in several tough global scientific expeditions with veteran explorer, Colonel John Blashford-Snell, OBE. Together they organised an expedition to carry a grand piano to the Wai Wai, a remote Amerindian tribe in Guyana, that was the subject of a BBC documentary.

Anna runs an international marathon annually of behalf of orphanages in Sri Lanka which she visits whenever she can. Her website is at www.anna-nicholas.com She can be tweeted at MajorcanPearls and has a regular blog at Telegraph Expat under the title Majorcan Pearls www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/

Product Description


'beautifully written and highly entertaining' --The Mirror

'... has a tremendous gift for descriptive writing' --Nicholas Parsons


Featured in Spain magazine, July 2009

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great read! 14 July 2009
Anna Nicholas has done it again. Her third book in her sequence about living two lives, as a resident of sun-drenched Mallorca, and a PR mover and shaker in Mayfair and beyond, is as joyful, hilarious and as full of quirky insights as its predecessors.

Except, what makes this book a clever departure from the other two, is Anna's passionate foray in to archaelogy, focusing on Myotragus the miniature goat, who scampered over Mallorcan wastes in ancient times. Anna's respectful evocation of Dorothea Bates's discovery of the enigmatic creature is moving and entertaining in equal measure, and adds depth and contrast to Anna's own, and continuing voyage of discovery.

Whilst Myotragus is the wonderfully offbeat focus of the book, we can also delight along the way at the progress towards completion of Anna's hotel for cats, which, with the emphasis on creatures very much alive today (!), and mewing for bed and board and plenty of stroking whilst their owners are away on holiday, provides feline counterpoint to the archaelogical storyline.

But let's not forget the richly varied, at times hilarious, human menagerie which always makes reading Anna Nicholas such a treat. From sultry, sulky models who are refusing to do a swimming pool dive during a photoshoot for fear that their dyed blonde hair will turn green, to highly exacting cross-dressing clients, to her ever-smiling, long-suffering "Scotsman" who takes furtive refuge in smoking his beloved "puros", and an overweight Mallorcean postman who insists on taking up jogging alongside our heroine, this book is a constant source of entertainment, and a fund of delicious anecdotes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goats from a Small Island by Anna Nicholas 17 Sep 2009
By B. Frei
Goats from a Small Island is unputdownable! Highly amusing, informative and beautifully written: it's as good as a holiday on sunny Mallorca. This brilliant book solves all my Christmas present problems.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One more time! 16 Sep 2009
Well that girl from Mallorca has done it again! What a joyful and super-amusing book, happily sustaining the pleasure of the two earlier ones. The words just jump off the page, and are so beautifully written that it can only be a matter of time before the author delivers us some fiction too.

Nicholas has the uncanny knack of bringing alive day-to-day life on her beloved Island and transmitting it to us so that we share it and its wonderful characters with her. London life for our ever-active author adds other most diverting episodes.

What a vibrant and delightful read, highly recommended to all!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to a wonderful series 17 July 2009
Having quickly devoured the first two books on my last holiday I was delighted to find the third in the series waiting for me this summer. I am pleased to say this book exceeded my expectations! How lovely it was to be plunged back into Anna's welcoming world with descriptions so vivid you can almost smell the paella and characters so vibrant you'd swear you've met them! It really was the perfect holiday read: light, hysterically funny and extremely well written. The book works brilliantly as a sequel but equally a friend of mine borrowed it and seemed to enjoy it just as much without having read the previous installments. I hasten to add she has swiftly rushed out to complete her collection with the first two!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming and engaging summer holiday read 9 July 2009
Readers of "A Lizard in my Luggage" and "Cat on a Hot Tiled Roof" may have shared my initial apprehension that Anna Nicholas would be unable to match their excellence with this third title in her series on a hectic life split between the chaos of London and the tranquility of her beloved Soller valley in Mallorca.

How stupid could I be!!

"Goats from a Small Island" continues this delightful central theme with the addition of numerous new quirky characters and episodes from her professional life as a PR consultant, contrasted with the warmth and generosity of her Mallorcan friends and neighbours who have so obviously accepted Anna and her family into their lives with such genuine affection.

Anna's unique gift for entertaining writing shines through once more, painting a rich picture of a life full of enjoyment and hugely funny encounters. Every turn of the page left me eager to read more of this idyllic existence on one of my favourite holiday islands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anna Nickolas`s is great. 7 Sep 2009
I have read all three of Anna Nickolas`s books and just loved them all.
I cant wait for her next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goats from a small island 26 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love all Anna Nicholas's books and this is the best so far. It reads like a letter to a friend and is full of chatty asides and quirky people, where does she find them? Who could invent Greedy George with his fancy leather goods, or the toad snatching reptillian expert. You just soak up the sunshine and cava as you absorb the pages. A good light easy read, just right for a deck chair.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MMM3 10 Aug 2009
In my review of Anna's second Mallorca Mayfair Mix (MMM) I looked forward to MMM3 but thought I might have to wait as I understood a novel was the next project. But it looks as though the novel is on the back-burner as now we have instalment three. And it's even better than the first two, and they were good. This lady knows all about words, but writing a book is a bit different from putting together a proposal or press release; but she's found her feet with a vengeance. One quibble for wonderful Summersdale: although story is a second choice spelling for storey, when applied to a building (page 14 line 4) it should be three-storey; three-story should only be used as an adjective to describe Anna herslf now that we have MMM3. Having punned on Lawrence Durrell and Tennessee Williams titles, this time she visits Bill Bryson. So what for MMM4? Dan Brown perhaps? The Da Vinci Toad? Or if she writes about our village a little more, maybe John Wyndham 'Deia The Triffids? One thing I'm sure of: when she publishes a collection of Catalina's recipes she'll dedicate it to both our wonderful Mallorcan olive-oil, egg yolk, lemonjuice, salt and garlic mix as well as her husband and son: To Al y Ollie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read, loved reading about life in Mallorca!
Published 12 days ago by J. Mcgarrity
5.0 out of 5 stars On the 5th book of this series.Love them all.
I love Mallorca and I feel as if I am there when I read these books. I find Anna`s writing both educational and entertaining.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs.Agnes Gibb Kidd
5.0 out of 5 stars Feeling homesick!
I love Mallorca and the descriptions of the mountain smells and atmosphere transport me there, can't wait to go back
Published 4 months ago by Yaya Bee
5.0 out of 5 stars A few minutes good reading....
Another way of drifting into locals and enjoying the humour! Picking up this book is a way of escaping 'today' to get into where you really need to be! Read more
Published 7 months ago by P. Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars Ex pat life for real
This is the 3rd book in the series and I love them. They make me want to follow in Anna and her family's move to Mallorca. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Girlie book worm
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Disappointing
Rather than focus on the Mallorcan way of life and the issues connected with settling on the Island this book featured far too much on the writer herself. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Bippo
5.0 out of 5 stars Goats from a Small Island
Most enjoyable relaxing read - could almost smell the wild herbs and feel the warmth. Really brings the characters to life
Published 17 months ago by Kaye Laidlaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Goats from a small Island
I have read the whole series of Anna's books on Mallorca and they are such a good read. I have always loved to holiday in Mallorca and found the people extremely friendly. Read more
Published 17 months ago by TREVOR JOY
1.0 out of 5 stars Easily the worst book I've read in at least 10 years
Author wallows in self gratificational (yes I invented a new word to describe how bad this book is) tosh. Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by The Angry Pirate
5.0 out of 5 stars More notes from Mallorca
I've read one of previous books and saw "Goats from a Small Island" Ho Ho, jokey title and it's genuinely amusing. Read more
Published on 1 Sep 2011 by Woodland Worker
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