My Top 10 Books of 2015

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I don’t keep track of the number of books I read each year, but my best guess is somewhere between 150 and 200, and at least half of them have something to do with cats. I reviewed more than 40 books here on The Conscious Cat this year.

I made a commitment to myself long ago that I would never post a bad book review. I feel that every author pours his or her heart and soul into a book, and just because I don’t like a book doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a good book. As a result, if you see a book reviewed here on the site, it means that I really liked it. This makes it challenging each year to pick only ten favorites!

Here are my ten favorites for this year, in no particular order. Click on the book titles to order from Amazon*.

Catify to Satisfy: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home

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This long awaited sequel to Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin’s New York Times Bestseller Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You) quickly became a bestseller as well.The book combines Jackson’s wealth of experience working with challenging cats, Kate’s expertise with cat-friendly design and DIY projects, and ideas from members of Catification Nation to provide more than twenty projects and a huge number of simple design tricks to help cat guardians provide a truly enriched environment for their feline family members.

A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man
Learn the Meaning of Christmas

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James Bowen shares the story of how Bob helped him rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Bowen takes us back to 2010, when he and Bob were still barely scraping by while trying to make a living busking and selling Big Issue, a newspaper published on behalf of and sold by homeless people to help them get a step up in life. It’s a particularly cold and snowy winter in London, and Bowen is barely making enough money to keep the heat on in his apartment. Written in Bowen’s captivating, sincere, and sometimes brutally honest voice, I fell in love all over again with this remarkable duo.

Chermpf: The Cats of Nova (Book 1)

Chermpf

This middle grade fantasy novel about the adventures of a young girl, her cat and a kitten in a domed forest-city tethered to the Moon, where she faces a terrible danger from the prehistoric past and a grave threat to all humanity, is a surprise choice for me. Far removed from what I usually read and enjoy, this multi-layered story with its ageless lessons captured my heart and my mind and deserves a spot on this list.

The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Power of Meow

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In this latest installment of David Michie’s wonderful series, His Holiness’ Cat continues her quest for enlightenment by learning to meditate. And while most of us, including HHC, think that meditation is something that comes naturally to cats, she learns that it’s not as easy as it seems. But HHC persists on her quest to become more mindful, a concept that’s better known to her as “the power of meow,” and learns that meditation is the path to discover one’s true nature.

Five Years in Heaven: The Unlikely Friendship that
Answered Life’s Greatest Questions

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This memoir by Harvard-trained educator, artist and award winning writer John Schlimm chronicles the five year friendship between the author and 87-year-old Sister Augustine, a Benedictine nun at St. Joseph’s Monastery in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania. And while this is not a cat book, Sister’s relationship with her beloved cat Blitzen does play an important role in the book. The passages about Sister’s relationship with Blitzen, her gold and white cat, made my heart smile. The gentle love and understanding between the two, and Sister’s comments about the role animals play in our lives resonated deeply with me.

Zen Cats: Meditations for the Wise Minds of Cat Lovers

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This little volume features gorgeous cat photos alongside excerpts from the Dhammapada, a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. This is a book to be savored as you absorb the beauty of each cat, and reflect on the meaning of each verse. I love to use it as a tool to calm my mind during a busy day: I simply open the book to a random page, and let my mind slow down and absorb.

Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death and Beyond

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This beautiful book chronicles the life of Ragdoll cat Mr. Jazz, from the time he arrived in the author’s home as a sickly little kitten to the day, fifteen years later, when she had to let her precious companion go. It provides a look at life and death from a pet’s perspective of both the joyful times, and the sadness at the end of life. Reading this book is like being wrapped up in a warm hug of comfort.

Kittens Can Kill

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Pet behaviorist and psychic Pru Marlowe is back in this fifth book in Clea Simon’s Pet Noir series, and the series just keep getting better with each book. Pru arrives at a client’s house and finds a fluffy white kitten next to the client’s body. Was it a heart attack? Were drug interactions to blame? Or was the victim allergic to the kitten, which one of his three daughters had given her father as a gift only recently? This is a thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced and well-plotted mystery.

Texts from Mittens: A Cat Who Has an Unlimited Data Plan…
And Isn’t Afraid to Use It

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If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if your cats had opposable thumbs and got a hold of your cell phone, this book will probably make you grateful that your cats haven’t figured out how to text. Angie Bailey’s unique and quirky sense of humor will delight cat lovers and will, no doubt, inspire cats around the world to figure out this texting thing.

Code Grey

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With each installment in this series, Simon ratchets the intricate plot lines up a notch. In this ninth installment in Clea Simon’s Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, featuring the Harvard graduate student, her cat Esmé and the spirit of her departed cat Mr. Grey, Dulcie once again becomes involved in a police investigation after a former student and scholar is found injured, with a valuable missing book in his arms.

*FTC Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Associate links. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

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15 Comments on My Top 10 Books of 2015

  1. Deb Barnes
    April 6, 2016 at 1:15 pm (3 years ago)

    I don’t know how I missed this when you posted it several months ago- thank you so much for including Purr Prints in your list of top books for 2015. I am honored to be in such company and truly appreciate the endorsement.

    Deb Barnes and her angel Mr. Jazz – Purr Prints of the Heart

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 6, 2016 at 2:28 pm (3 years ago)

      You’re welcome, Deb!

      Reply
  2. Diane Ricciardi Stewart
    December 31, 2015 at 4:10 am (3 years ago)

    Ingrid, thank you for these reccomendations!! Of course, I already have all the *James & Bob* books. I also have all of Jackson Galaxy’s books as well. I added a few more of these to my amazon wish list! ♥♥♥

    Reply
    • Diane Ricciardi Stewart
      December 31, 2015 at 4:11 am (3 years ago)

      *recommendations*

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 31, 2015 at 5:49 am (3 years ago)

      I hope you enjoy the new additions to your reading list, Diane.

      Reply
  3. Fur Everywhere
    December 30, 2015 at 12:21 pm (3 years ago)

    This is a great list! It is SO hard to pick just a few books to feature in these kinds of posts. I LOVED your book – Buckley’s Story, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read it this year.

    I am currently reading “A Gift from Bob.” I just love that orange fur baby! I’d love to read “Kittens Can Kill” sometime soon, too.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 30, 2015 at 4:33 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m so glad you loved Buckley’s Story so much, Sierra!

      Reply
  4. Ellen Pilch
    December 29, 2015 at 3:57 pm (3 years ago)

    Great choices, I have read most of these. Five Years in Heaven was fantastic.

    Reply
  5. Janielle Dunlap
    December 29, 2015 at 12:20 pm (3 years ago)

    Hello! Thank you for sharing this list of books. I am always on the lookout for true stories of cats. I do not know if you are familiar with the books written by English authors Dennis O’Connor and Deric Longden. Dennis writes with his heart and soul about rearing an orphaned kitten, Toby Jug, in “Paw Tracks in the Moonlight” (my favorite book!) and the follow up book “Toby Jug”. His third book, “Paw Tracks at Owl Cottage” follows his present day adventures with 4 of his Maine Coon kitties. He also wrote an extraordinary autobiography, “Paw Tracks: A Childhood Memior” which I highly recommend.

    Deric Longden is quite a contrast to Dennis but is still full of heart and soul with a touch of funny! His cat books talk about Thermal, Arthur and two other stray cats that came into his life and his blind wife, novelist Aileen Armitage. “The Cat who came in from the Cold” introduces Thermal and then Deric continues the story with suceeding books, “I’m a Stranger Here Myself”, “Enough to make a cat laugh”, “A Play on Words” and “Paws in the Prceedings”.

    And don’t forget Doreen Tovey and her wonderful Siamese cats!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 29, 2015 at 12:26 pm (3 years ago)

      I am familiar with Dennis O’Connor and reviewed both of his books, but I haven’t heard of Deric Longden. I’ll have to check him out! I also haven’t heard of Doreen Tovey. So many cat books out there – thank you for the suggestions, Janielle!

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 29, 2015 at 9:16 am (3 years ago)

      You’re welcome, Angie!

      Reply
  6. Caren Gittleman
    December 29, 2015 at 8:25 am (3 years ago)

    Wow!! With all of the books I have read this year, I think I have only read FOUR from this list!!! I am so “booked-out” that I am actually somewhat going to be phasing out book reviews in 2016……..not completely, but quite a bit. I have to read them for both blogs and I need my life back!

    Reply
  7. Sue Brandes
    December 29, 2015 at 8:22 am (3 years ago)

    Sounds like some great books.

    Reply
  8. Janine
    December 29, 2015 at 7:52 am (3 years ago)

    Great list of books.

    Reply

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