Wonder Boi Writes

Rachel goes Sheepish

I first met Catherine Friend through her fiction.  I read The Spanish Pearl in 2007 while on a trip to Atlanta for my first GCLS. I didn’t really consider myself a time-travel kind of reader, but as anyone who follows this blog knows, I am kind of a slut for anything Spanish, so I gave the book a try, and I was glad I did because it was absolutely engrossing.  I couldn’t get enough of that book, those characters, and that writer.  Which made things a little interesting when the next evening when I found myself sitting across from none other than Catherine Friend herself.  She is a long, tall Minnesotan with pretty eyes and a quick smile. Combine all that with my sluttiness for anything remotely Spanish, and I was instantly smitten.  I told myself that from there on out I would read any book with Catherine Friend’s name on the cover.

And I have.  My love of Catherine Friend has led me into all kinds of new genres, none of which I would have called “my type of book,” and I’ve loved every one of them.  So when Catherine e-mailed and asked if I’d like to give away a copy of her new book, Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep, and Enough Wool to Save the Planet, on my blog, my first response was, “Can I give it away to myself?”  She said no, but she did tell me I could read it before I handed it out on my blog, so that’s what I did.

Susie and I received the book in the mail just before heading out on a road trip and decided she would read it aloud to me along the way.  We were less than fifteen miles into the trip when I had to stop and take a break because I was laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t see.  About sixty miles later, I heard sirens behind me.  I pulled over and greeted the police officer at my window who said, “I’ve been following you with my lights on for several miles. Can you tell me why you didn’t notice until I turned on my siren?”  I thought about telling him that I was really engrossed in a book about sheep and wool, but instead I told him I was just tired.  I mean really, who is going to believe a book about sheep and wool could really be that interesting?

And yet, it is! Sheepish is classic Catherine Friend, in that it is so funny and so genuine you almost forget about how smart is it. She tackles subjects most of us would never think about on our own, but those topics are so wrapped in relatable narratives and witty charm that you feel like you could look out your window and see a flock of sheep at any moment.

I am not a shepherd, farmer, or a fiber freak (a knitter, spinner, weaver), but I flew through the book in just two days, eager to see what happened to the farm, the farmers, the sheep, and (shockingly) their wool.  I laughed, I cried (just a little), and most importantly I learned so many things I didn’t know that I didn’t know.  It sounds silly to call a book about sheep and wool gripping or hilarious or a page-turner, but what can I say? After 255 pages with Catherine Friend, she has her first convert.  I’m not ashamed to say I am Rachel Spangler, and I am Sheepish.

And Catherine and I want you to be Sheepish to, so anyone who comments on this blog will have a chance to win a free copy of Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep, and Enough Wool to Save the Planet. We’ll pick a commented at random and announce the winner next Friday when Catherine will be my guest blogger for the week.

In the mean time enjoy this little video of my son’s favorite cartoon these days.  He’s a little sheepish too.


April 1, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I was smiling while reading your blog. I read Hit by a Farm and absolutely fell in love with her writing. I’m ordering her latest this weekend. Thanks for sharing your experiences with her work, and for the video clip – it’s great.

    Comment by Susan | April 1, 2011 | Reply

  2. My name is Beth and I’m not afraid to say….” I am a Friend fanatic”

    Eagerly looking forward to the release of Sheepish…..Hit by a Farm and Compassionate Carnivore will be joined by another “can’t wait to re-read” book.

    Comment by Beth | April 1, 2011 | Reply

  3. I haven’t read anything by her yet, but, hey, if she’s Minnesotan, she has to be good! 🙂

    Comment by Anna | April 1, 2011 | Reply

  4. I was intrigued by her video promo as well as a die-hard ‘sheep’ fan after two tours of Scotland. Recently, I’ve enjoyed reading more humor, because it’s not easy to write. Brava, Catherine and thanks, Rachel.

    Comment by Barrett | April 2, 2011 | Reply

  5. I read Hit By a Fram and loved it! Can’t wait to read Sheepish.

    Comment by laurie salzler | April 2, 2011 | Reply

  6. Catherine Friend is one of my absolute favorite authors of any genre.
    I’ve often purchased a book where I’ve been told I’ll laugh out loud all the way through. Only Catherine manages to produce such glee for me.
    I was so hoping we’d get a new farm book, thank heavens the wait is over!!

    Comment by Judy | April 2, 2011 | Reply

  7. I am looking forward to reading Catherine’s work. I am a new fan-to-be!

    Comment by Joy Argento | April 2, 2011 | Reply

  8. Love Catherine’s stuff and love that she is from Minnesota. Thanks for the blog, Rach and your son has exquisite taste in sheep-dancing!

    Comment by Anita Bradshaw | April 2, 2011 | Reply

  9. I’ve not yet read Catherine’s books but you have certainly got my attention and I’m looking forward to reading Sheepish.

    Comment by Sue | April 2, 2011 | Reply

  10. […] Spangler posted Rachel Goes […]

    Pingback by Weekly Link Round Up « The Lesbrary | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  11. I have been waiting anxiously for Sheepish since I heard about it weeks ago. So glad to hear all the laughter that is accompanying it!

    Comment by booksNyarn | April 8, 2011 | Reply

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