Books

Book review: Cat Daddy by Jackson Galaxy

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Jackson Galaxy’s long awaited first book, Cat Daddy: What The World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean, is coming out Thursday, May 10. You can still pre-order the book and help homeless cats at the same time: Jackson’s publisher will donate $1 for every pre-order, click here for details on how to make your pre-order count.

If you don’t want to pre-order, you’re going to want to be at the bookstore first thing on Thursday and snatch up your copy of this book. And you’re going to want to set aside a good chunk of time to read it, because once you start, you’re not going to be able to stop.

This book is no ordinary cat memoir, nor is it an ordinary cat advice book. It is an inspirational tour de force that offers an intimate glimpse at Jackson, the man, and Jackson, the Cat Daddy. This is one of the most unconventional memoirs I’ve ever read, but then, I didn’t expect anything less from Jackson.Continue Reading

An interview with James Bowen, street musician and author of A Street Cat Named Bob

If you read my review of A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets, you already know how much I loved the book. I couldn’t put it down, but at the same time, I didn’t want it to end! I definitely wanted to know more about James and Bob.

I was delighted to get an opportunity to interview James, and to share more about this amazing story with you.

How has your life changed since the book came out?

It hasn’t changed a huge amount really, I still play music most days with Bob around Covent Garden in London. That said, we do get a lot more attention than we did before.

Has his newfound fame changed Bob?Continue Reading

Book review: A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen

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I love stories about people who change their lives for the better. I love those stories even more when the catalyst for that change is a cat (pun intended). I was pretty sure that I would love A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope 0n the Streets. I wasn’t prepared for just how much I loved it.

I had head the story of James Bowen, a down on his luck British street musician who was busking the streets of London with his orange cat Bob. Bowen and his cat caught the attention of Mary Pachnos, a literary agent who had represented the British edition of Marley and Me. One day, Pachnos asked Bowen whether he’d ever thought about writing a book about Bob. A little over a month after its publication, the book has landed on British bestseller lists, and already, translation rights for several different countries have been sold. I wouldn’t be suprised at all if Hollywood snapped this story up.Continue Reading

Review and giveaway: Cat Girl’s Day Off by Kimberly Pauley

Cat Girl's Day Off cover

I read a lot of different books from a lot of different genres, but I had never read anything in the Young Adult Fiction category. Which is actually kind of surprising, because one of my guilty pleasures is watching trashy young adult dramas on tv. Shows like Dawson’s Creek (oh, the teenage angst!) and Gossip Girl (of couse, I watch that one strictly because it’s set in my favorite city in the world. Okay, and the glimpse into the “scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite” is fun, too. ) But I digress.

When the publicist for Kimberly Pauley’s latest novel Cat Girl’s Day Off asked whether I would like a review copy, I was intrigued. This is how she described the book:

“Nat Ng has always tried to keep her “talent” of being able to converse with cats a secret. Continue Reading

Book review: How to Moon a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale

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How to Moon a Cat, the third book in Rebecca Hale’s Cats and Curios series, featuring a protagonist also named Rebecca, who has inherited her uncle’s antique shop, and her two cats, Rupert and Isabella, is not your average cat cozy.

From the publisher:

When Rupert the cat sniffs out a dusty green vase with a toy bear hidden inside, his owner has no doubt this is another of her Uncle Oscar’s infamous clues to one of his valuable hidden treasures. Eager to put together the pieces of the puzzle, she’s soon heading to Nevada City, accompanied by her two cats, having no idea that this road trip will put her life in danger.

This summary doesn’t do the book justice. I’m not even sure I would classify this book as a cozy, because it’s so much more. Continue Reading

Review and giveaway: Cats Can’t Shoot by Clea Simon

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For a book lover like me, it’s like my birthday and Christmas combined when one of my favorite authors has not just one, but two new releases coming out at the same time. I reviewed Clea Simon’s Grey Expectations, which came out on April 1, last week.

Cats Can’t Shoot, the second in Simon’s Pet Noir series featuring pet behaviorist (and psychic) Pru Marlowe, was just released on Tuesday. I received advance copies of both books from the author, and it was hard to decide which one to read first. I also knew from previous experience of reading Simon’s cat themed mysteries that it’s not wise to start reading unless I know I have some uninterrupted time, because they’re all impossible to put down.

Cats Can’t Shoot opens, quite literally, with a bang. Pru gets a call that there’s been a cat shooting, which infuriates her. As an animal behaviorist and psychic, she cannot stand the thought of animal cruelty, and she is determined to help the traumatized cat. Continue Reading

Book review: The Cat, The Wife and The Weapon by Leann Sweeney

The cat the wife and the weapon Leann Sweeney

I’d been looking forward to The Cat, The Wife and The Weapon. I love reading cozy mystery series, especially when they feature cats. To me, reading books that are part of a series is like having a joyful reunion with old friends that you only get to see once a year.

This fourth book in Leann Sweeney’s Cats in Trouble series once again features cat quilter Jillian Hart and her three cats Merlot, Chablis and Chiraz, along with her human friends, who all live in the small town of Mercy, South Carolina.

The first thing I did, as I do with most books, was read the plot summary on the back cover:

When quilter Jillian Hart returns to her lake house in Mercy, South Carolina, she discovered her friend, Tom, is missing-and his estranged half-brother has moved into Tom’s house. Jillian doesn’t trust the guy, especially since he allowed Tom’s diabetic cat to escape. When police officers find Tom’s wrecked car with a dead stranger inside, Jillian is determined to find out what happened to Tom-before someone else turns up dead.

And then I couldn’t believe my eyes. Continue Reading

Review and giveaway: Grey Expectations by Clea Simon

Grey Expectations Clea Simon cover

I’m a huge fan of Clea Simon, and was eagerly awaiting this fourth book in the Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, featuring the Harvard graduate student, along with her new kitten Esme, and the spirit of her departed cat, Mr. Grey. When my review copy of Grey Expectations arrived, I cleared time in my schedule, because I was pretty sure that once I started, I wouldn’t be able to put it down. I was right.

In this book, we find Dulcie in a happy place. She’s settled in with her boyfriend Chris, a computer programmer, and her relationship with her new kitten, Esme, is deepening. Mr. Grey’s spirit is still around, providing his wise, if sometimes cryptic, counsel not just to Dulcie, but also to Esme, and, much to Dulcie’s delight, to Chris. Dulcie is making progress on her thesis about an incomplete gothic novel written by an unknown author in the 18th centruy, The Ravages of Umbria. Dulcie is trying to uncover the identity of this author, and, in the process of her research, at times almost finds herself identifying with the,  for her times, free-thinking and courageous woman, to the point where the mysterious author invades Dulcie’s dream.Continue Reading

Book review: Death Drops by Chrystle Fiedler

Death Drops by Chrystle Fiedler

I was immediately intrigued when I first heard about Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery by Chrystle Fiedler. If the two cats on the cover hadn’t caught my eye, the subtitle surely would have. A mystery featuring a naturopathic doctor, flower essences, and a dog and two cats, penned by a writer specializing in alternative health topics? I knew this one had to be right up my alley.

Death Drops’ protagonist Dr. Willow McQuade gives up her practice in Los Angeles to run her beloved Aunt Claire’s Nature’s Way Market and Cafe on Long Island after her aunt is found murdered. Next to her aunt’s body lies a bottle of flower essences intended to provide stress relief. Did they contain the poison that killed her aunt? The police’s investigation focuses on Willow, who had motive since she inherited her aunt’s business and the rights to an anti-aging cream formula that her aunt had been working on. Continue Reading

Review and giveaway: The French Cat by Rachael Hale

The French Cat Rachel Hale

“Cats make their own decisions, follow their own instincts. French cats are probably the most independent and enigmatic of them all.” This perfect quote from The French Cat sets the scene for a collection of beautiful cat photographs in a beautiful setting. Award winning photographer Rachael Hale says this assignment was like a love affair for her. Having previously photographed animals in a studio setting, this project allowed her to work with them in their own environment, using natural light.

Born in New Zealand, she moved to France with her new husband in 2009. France intensified Hale’s creativity. “Every corner I turn…makes my mind and eyes explode with inspiration.” And then there were the cats. “The…wonderful thing about French cats is that they occupy one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Artists through the ages have relished France for its old-world villages, rustic charm, and most of all, for the luminous quality of its light.”Continue Reading

Book review: File M for Murder by Miranda James

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File M for Murder is the third in the Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James.  Set in Athena, Mississippi, the series features kind-hearted librarian Charlie Harris and his rescued cat Diesel.

Diesel is no ordinary cat. The 36-pound Maine Coon was named for his rumbling purr. He is a gregarious, outgoing, laid back cat who wharbles and chirps at the humans around him. Charlie is convinced that Diesel knows exactly what humans are saying to him, even if the humans can’t always understand his responses. Needless to say, Diesel is my favorite part of this book.

But File M for Murder is also a highly entertaining mysteryContinue Reading