books, books about books, bookshelves, bookstores, bookworm, fantasy genre, HarperVia, Louise Heal Kawai, Sosuke Natsukawa, The Cat Who Saved Books, Yuko Shimizu

Tiger the Tabby

There I was perusing the bookstore shelves, when this cover caught my eye.

I wasn’t planning on buying any books, as my to be read list was already overwhelming. I figured I’d just take a photo to remember the title. After wandering the rest of the store and taking a few more photos of future tbr titles, I circled back and found myself face to cover with the above book. It was meant to come home with me. You can’t argue with that kind of feeling. Well you can, but I didn’t want to, so I carried the book to the register happy to be bringing home a new friend.

No, I didn’t start reading right it away. Well, to be honest I did read a few pages, but that’s all, as I had to finish the book I was in the middle of first. Once I’d finished The Last Cuentista, I eagerly gazed at the cover of The Cat Who Saved Books. The illustration by Yuko Shimuzu made me feel as if I’d somehow already entered the atmosphere of Natsuki Books the secondhand bookstore in the tale.

The story’s protagonist, Rintaro Natsuki, is a hikikomori who has just lost his grandfather and inherited the secondhand bookshop. Soon after, a talking cat who quotes The Little Prince and offers Zen philosophy enters the store requesting his help and Rintaro is drawn into the first of four labyrinths (a reference to the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur) through which he journeys toward his own self-discovery. His grandfather’s words, ‘Books are very powerful’ will serve him on his journey and will, along the way, gain a broader meaning for him and, as was my experience, for the reader who embarks on the journey with Rintaro.

There are a number of poignant passages I’m tempted to type out just to share with you, but I think it’d be better if you find them on your own. Let me know when you do. I’d love to discuss them.

As for me, I’m about 25% through the book for the second time around and Rintaro’s soon to be heading toward the second labyrinth.

Let me know if you take a chance on The Cat Who Saved Books and what you think about it.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Alif, The Unseen, books, Essays, Euphoria, fantasy genre, fiction, G. Willow Wilson, genre, ghazel, Heavy, Kiese Laymon, Lily King, Mary Oliver, memoir, poetry, World of Wonders

Your Reading Path

What do I mean by a reading path? Good question, especially since I just made the phrase up.

What I mean is, how does your present reading inform your future reading? Does it? It’s okay if it doesn’t. Mine does, but I don’t know if it works that way for others, and that’s why I’m asking. For instance, a couple of weeks ago I ready Lily Kings, Writers & Lovers and because of that I borrowed and am at the beginning of her book Euphoria. I also borrowed Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Oceanic which I was drawn to after reading her book of essays, World of Wonders.

Even a recommendation on a book’s cover can change or further my book path. While reading World of Wonders, I noticed Kiese Laymon’s recommendation for the book. The next time I heard his name was while driving to one of the schools I work at. He was being interviewed on NPR and after he spoke his interviewer mentioned his memoir, Heavy. That book is now in library inter-loan transit soon to be added to my TBR stack. Amazing how one writer can lead you to learn about another.

Within my TBR stack I have a book that I wouldn’t have necessarily looked to find except for the fact I was in the poetry stacks looking for Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s and Padraig O Tuama’s books and found Upstream, Mary Oliver’s book of essays.

My book path is most of the time obvious, but I always like when serendipity shows itself in a selection or a reference to something I’ve just read or learned of. I was listening to a podcast of Poetry Unbound and heard about a form of poetry called a ghazel. That night I was reading the book Alif, The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson and came across the same form of poetry mentioned by a character in the book. Hearing an unfamiliar term twice in one day is amazing. It’s funny how often that type of thing happens.

What’s your book path? Please share, I’d love to hear about it.