Of Cats and Men by Sam Kalda

Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History's Great Cat-loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and StatesmenOf 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!


Benbee & Chanterelle by M. N. Morrow

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.”

Vivid and Repulsive as the Truth: The Early Works of Djuna Barnes By Djuna Barnes

Vivid and Repulsive as the Truth: The Early Works of Djuna BarnesVivid 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”

Stealing the Light by Lisa Hofmann

Stealing the Light: A Medieval FantasyStealing the Light: A Medieval Fantasy by Lisa Hofmann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Considering the impression I received of this book, I decide to start reading it early in the morning – 5:45am to be precise, when the sun just starts to light the sky, and there is often at least a light fog covering the ground. I hoped that would be true on this morning, and I wasn’t disappointed! I take my heavily creamed coffee onto the back patio and fondle the real book in my hand. Reading is a much more profound and personal experience with an actual book (even if you get a cramp in your fingers or a crick in your neck)!

The cover is blue and white and depicts an archway partially covered with overgrown flowers and a dove in flight (I think it’s a dove anyway). Light is streaming through the arch and highlights a stone floor. I love the font. It looks familiar, but I don’t remember what it’s called. I open the book and smell the pages. There is nothing more wonderful than the smell of fresh paper! Every book Continue reading “Stealing the Light by Lisa Hofmann”

Death by Chocolate by Sally Berneathy

Death by ChocolateDeath by Chocolate by Sally Berneathy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ll get to the point right away and tell you I love this book with a capital ‘L’. The plot itself is predictable and has been done many times, but the author’s clever writing style drew me in immediately and kept me hooked. The main character is witty and rebellious, and the story is told from her point of view, which is perfect, because her inner dialog and outrageous behavior had me laughing all the way through the book, even with truly serious events taking place. I had fun reading every page! I couldn’t put it down, and I reached the end feeling refreshed and pleased. What a wonderful and fun way to tell a story! I will be keeping my eye on this author! You can buy the series or the individual books HERE!