Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History’s Great Cat-loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen by Sam Kalda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a book I picked up free to review through NetGalley, and I’m very glad I did! As a cat lover, the cover and title appealed to me right away. As I read through the descriptions of famous men and their bond with cats, I had the impression this was the author’s first book, not because of any lack in his skill, but it emotes ‘this-is-new-and-exciting-for-me’. That feeling positively influenced my own emotional state and enhanced my experience while reading.
It is also heavily illustrated and the illustrations are very communicative. You know exactly what emotions, thoughts, and ideas are being expressed immediately. The author is obviously a very experienced artist and is completely comfortable expressing himself through his art. His illustrations are just wonderful, and I would love to have prints of several of them to place amongst my book shelves! One in particular (my favorite) depicts Nikola Tesla standing by his desk, gazing out through his window and petting his cat, who is also looking out, on a moonlit night as lightening strikes near a metal tower. This image captures the essence of those silent moments of contemplation with companionship, which are so common between cat and guardian. So much is communicated through the author’s illustrations, that this book would not be nearly as interesting and charming without them, which I’m sure is the point!
The author conveys a simple and lovely picture of the bond between a human and a cat which left me in a state of reverie that involved a few tears and sniffles. The ‘thing’ that draws me to my cats is not their adorable and funny actions and reactions, or the way they get themselves into all manner of silly predicaments that make me laugh and want to cuddle them up (if they allow it!), but the quiet way they have inspired and influenced me. The subtle and modest way they communicate, which is often missed by the casual feline admirer, has taught me more about communicating in meaningful ways with the people I love, than I might have ever learned on my own. This book is an excellent read, especially for anyone who has ever loved a cat!
I haven’t read anything by this author yet, but I’m about to, and I’ll be back with reviews! He’s offering the first novel from 4 different series he’s written for free. There are no strings or requirements, and he makes the download super easy for those of you who are tech-challenged. I’m not sure how long this offer lasts, so if you’re interested, I’d recommend checking it out as soon as possible… http://bertauski.com/.
Lincoln: A Book of Quotations by Bob Blaisdell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley, and I honestly did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It was a quick read, and I found it surprisingly informative. There are quotes and excerpts from every possible source, and they range from personal to political. Many of them seemed quite informal and considering his background and what I have pieced together, I’m guessing he wasn’t a particularly formal man. One of the funniest excerpts, and my personal favorite, Continue reading “Lincoln: A Book of Quotations by Bob Blaisdell”
Benbee & Chanterelle: Jumping Jackson & the Spelling Bee by M N Morrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a lovely and sweet children’s story that promotes bee conservation and kindness to others.
My sister-in-law sent me the following message the day after I sent this book home with him: “David just got done reading the first part of that book to me. If you’re still able to add anything to your book review, you could add that his mother thinks that it’s a perfect book for his level of reading….some words that he needed help with which is good for learning, but it wasn’t too hard that he would have ever lost interest. Smooth, positive story! Love the book.”
The Geisha with the Green Eyes by India Millar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received a Kindle version of this book free from the publisher for review (this time through Goodreads), and I’ll begin by telling you it has one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen! It’s absolutely gorgeous and captures your attention right away, so of course I had to look up the artist who designed it. Her name is Cherith Vaughan for those of you interested.
I’ve never read a story based in Asian culture, so this was a refreshing change for me. I especially loved the language used by the characters. It was very unusual and Continue reading “The Geisha with the Green Eyes by India Millar”
Vivid and Repulsive as the Truth: The Early Works of Djuna Barnes by Djuna Barnes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Thanks to a suggestion by Angela Rackard Campbell, I’ve joined a website called NetGalley, where authors and publishers can list their books to find reviewers, and reviewers can find free books to review and offer their feedback. I’m finding this website very enjoyable and convenient, and this is where I picked up Vivid and Repulsive as the Truth, which I must confess, took me for a completely unexpected literary and philosophical ride! My feelings about this book ran from elation to disappointment, and from profound tears to mild horror.
Since I had never heard of Djuna Barnes, I paid close attention to the introduction, where the editor gives you a description of Continue reading “Vivid and Repulsive as the Truth: The Early Works of Djuna Barnes By Djuna Barnes”