Twenty Chickens for a Saddle by Robyn Scott Bloomsbury, HK$171 Twenty Chickens for a Saddle is an idiosyncratic title for a distinctive memoir about an eccentric family: Robyn Scott tells of growing up in Botswana with 'fringe-y' parents, two younger siblings and grandparents whose own stories can fill a book. As a balm against monotony, Linda and Keith return with their children to Africa after stints in London, Cape Town and Auckland. Optimists who see adventure where others would cower, they move into a cowshed whose previous occupant died after consuming plastic bags. In their new home, Linda, who, like her husband, believes in holistic medicine, takes on the role of teacher: against her parents' advice, she educates her children at home mostly by reading them stories and having them learn through experience. Their father, who finally finds reward in his profession, becomes a flying doctor who is transported to remote clinics by Grandpa Ivor, a second world war veteran of the South African Air Force who was the pilot of Sir Seretse Khama, Botswana's first president. Snakes, Aids, diamond mines, crocodiles and more fill this collection of anecdotes about a haphazard, never boring, existence. Told with humour, warmth and insight, the book shows happy lives can also be the source of an engaging memoir.