New at the library

I started out as a dog person, getting my first dog when I was around 8 years old. In the late 1990s we adopted our first cat. Since then it has been only cats in our house. I enjoy all animals, but especially dogs and cats because they have brought such joy to my life. Below are a few cat books I have read, and I hope, as you read them, you enjoy them as much as I have.

The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas, by Julia Romp

Julia’s 9-year-old son, George, was autistic. Quiet and withdrawn, he appeared lost in his own world. Then one day a small back-and-white stray cat appeared in her garden and George’s face lit up. George bonded with Ben and began to open up to his mother as well. For three happy years, the trio was inseparable and George made remarkable progress. But then disaster struck, Ben went missing and George regressed. The weeks turned into months, and Christmas was fast approaching, but on Dec. 21, Julia got a call from a family more then 50 miles away, which finally offered a ray of hope

Genuinely touching, The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas is a story about devotion, love and a holiday miracle.

Julia’s Cat’s, Julia Child’s Life in the Company of Cats, by Patricia Barey and Therese Burson.

When Julia Child arrived in Paris in 1948, she was a 36-year-old newlywed, a late bloomer about to begin a journey that would transform her and forever change the way Americans eat and think about food.

Madly in love with her husband, Paul, and the sights, sounds, and tastes of her beautiful new city, she thought her happiness was complete, until the day an adorable French kitty appeared at the door. Minette came to catch mice in the kitchen but captured Julia’s heart, igniting a passion for poussiequettes she would always identify with that magical time in Paris and the blossoming of her new life. As Paul once confided, “a cat, any cat, is necessary” to Julia’s happiness. Filled with rare personal photos, and based on fresh anecdotes found in Julia and Paul’s letters and on the reminiscences of people who knew her best, Julia’s Cats tells the story of Julia Child’s charmed life in the company of cats, from Paris to Provence, Cambridge to California. The book follows her progress from insecure culinary novice to TV superstar and beloved American icon, and the parade of pussy cats that helped put the joie in her joie de vivre.

A Street Cat Named Bob, And How He Saved My life, by James Bowen

James is a street musician struggling to make ends meet. Bob is a stray cat looking for somewhere warm to sleep. When James and Bob meet, they forge a never-to-be-forgotten friendship that has been charming readers from Thailand to Turkey.

A Street Cat Named Bob is an international sensation, landing on the bestseller list in England for 52 consecutive weeks and selling in 26 countries around the world. Now, James and Bob are ready to share their true story with readers in the United States.

When street musician James Bowen found an injured cat curled up in the hallway of his apartment building, he had no idea how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London, barely making enough money to feed himself, and the last thing he needed was a pet. Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent but very sick animal, whom he named Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining that he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.

This is a tale unlike any you’ve ever read, and Bob is a cat who possesses some kind of magic.

Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter. How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can’t even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa. Dewey’s story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next 19 years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility (for a cat), and above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most. As his fame grew from town to town, then state to state, and finally, amazingly, worldwide, Dewey became more than just a friend; he became a source of pride for an extraordinary heartland farming town pulling it way slowly back from the greatest crisis in its long history.

On Cats,

by Doris Lessing.

Doris’s love affair with cats began at a young age, when she became intrigued with the semi-feral creatures on the African farm where she grew up. Her fascination with the handsome, domesticated creatures that have shared her flats and her life in London remained undiminished, and grew into real love with the awkwardly lovable El Magnifico, the last cat to share her home. On Cats is a celebrated classic, a memoir in which we meet the cats that have slunk and bullied and charmed their way into Doris’s life. She tells their stories, their exploits, rivalries, terrors, affections, ancient gestures, and learned behaviors, with vivid simplicity. And she tells the story of herself in relation to cats; the way animals affect her and she them, and the communication that grows possible between them, a language of gesture and mood and desire as eloquent as the spoken word. No other writer conveys so truthfully the real interdependence of humans and cats or convinces us with such stunning recognition of the reasons why cats really matter.

By Arlette Dubord

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