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The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Birds, Beasts, and Relatives by Gerald Durrell + 50/50 Friday

Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.

This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, Birds, Beasts, and Relatives (The Corfu Trilogy #2) by Gerald Durrell (1969).  I'm reading the sequel of one of my all time favorite memoir's, My Family and Other Animals (1954), this month for Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge.  Reading this book will fulfill the task of reading a book set more than 5,000 miles from your location - Corfu, the Greek island where the movie is set is 5,100 miles from Ohio.  This series is written by the British naturalist Gerald Durrell and was originally meant to cover the flora and fauna of Corfu, but became part nature guide, part memoir of the time his family spent in Corfu from 1935-1939 (he was ten years old when they moved there from England).  Book one is laugh out loud funny, and book two covers more hilarious stories that got left out the first time around, much to his family's chagrin.  By the way, the 2005 made-for-tv movie adaptation of My Family and Other Animals starring Eugene Simon (Gerry), Imelda Staunton (Mother), Matthew Goode (Larry), Russell Tovey (Leslie), and Tamzin Merchant (Margo) is absolutely delightful.  So far I'm loving Birds, Beasts, and Relatives!  Check out this clip from early on in the movie adaptation of My Family and Other Animals - it'll give you a pretty good idea of the characters and the tone of the story:


It had been a hard winter, and even when spring was supposed to have taken over, the crocuses - which seemed to have a touching and unshaken faith in the seasons - were having to push their way grimly through a thin crust of snow.  The sky was low and grey, liable to discharge another all of snow at any minute, and a biting wind howled round the house.  Taken altogether, weather conditions were not ideal for a family reunion, particularly when it was my family.


"True," said Larry, "but what a marvellous way of getting out of cocktail parties - 'I'm terribly sorry I can't come,' you would say.  'I've got to sit on my eggs.'"

Theodore gave a little snort of laughter.

"But snails don't sit on their eggs," he explained.  "They bury them in damp earth and leave them."

"The ideal way of bringing up a family," said Mother, unexpectedly but with immense conviction.  "I wish I'd been able to bury you all in some damp earth and leave you."

"That's an extremely harsh and ungrateful thing to say," said Larry.  "You've probably given Gerry a complex for the rest of his life."

This week I'm also taking part in a linkup called 50/50 Friday, which is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they'll have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - this week the topic is Best/ Worst Place To Read.

Best: Stretched out on a lounger lawn chair in the yard on a sunny day under a shady tree.

Worst: Somewhere noisy where it's difficult to focus and you wind up reading the same line over and over by accident.


  1. This one looks pretty interesting. Enjoy your current read!

  2. Interesting excerpts. The 56 made me smile.

    Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  3. Sounds delightful. I've been meaning to check out the video version.

  4. Love those excerpts! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I haven't heard of these books before. I hope you enjoy this one. This week I'm featuring Come and Find Me by Hallie Ephron. Happy reading!

    1. They're so much fun (so far anyway)! Thanks for sharing, Kathy. :)

  6. Love the excerpt for the Friday 56! Too funny! Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting my blog :)
    Jo-Ann at Inspiration Pie

    1. Right? :) Thanks for visiting mine as well, Jo-Ann!

  7. Oh I loved these books when I was growing up!

    Here's mine:

    Have a fabulous weekend!


    1. Yay! Thanks for sharing, Sassy, and I hope you have a great weekend!

  8. The beginning with the talk of a harsh winter and blooming crocuses reminded me of this year too. Happy weekend!

  9. Good one! Hope you enjoy the book. Have a great weekend!

  10. I love the page 56 excerpt you shared from Birds, Beasts, and Relatives. I got a good chuckle out of that.

    I am with you on the best and worst places to read!

  11. I had no idea there was a 2005 film, will have to look it out now! I really enjoyed the first book, and the new series with Keeley Hawes :)

  12. Hi Lauren,

    I don't typically read memoirs or biographies, although I did read the Durrell books many years ago when they were first published.

    I wasn't quite sure about the cover art of your copy, but when I checked out the book, it seems as though all the many different cover versions there have been over the years, are all as obscure as one another!

    I too, have to read in complete silence, or I become distracted and easily annoyed. That is why I seldom carry either book or Kindle in my bag, as everywhere I go there just seems to be noise!

    My favourite reading time is early in the morning, when I am the first one up and about. Usually when I am having my cereal breakfast and my first cup of black coffee of the day.

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of your weekend :)


  13. I do not read enough memoirs. I've been eyeing Book Riot's Read Harder challenge. It's such a popular challenge among bloggers. Maybe I'll join someday...Happy weekend!

  14. I used to love to read in my back yard under the big oak tree. Sadly now we live in an apartment wth no yard.

    Thanks for linking up!

  15. Reading outside on a nice day is such a treat! Summer is such a great time for going outside and soaking in the vitamin D and the knowledge :) Thanks for linking up, Lauren!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks


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