The world according to Bob – James Bowen

world according to bobTitle: The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat (Bob The Cat #2)
Author: James Bowen
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Paperback
Pages: 286
My rating★★★★★

In 2013 someone gave me ‘A streetcat named Bob’ as a December gift. As a catlover I really enjoyed that story and I wanted to read ‘The world according to Bob’ as well. It took me almost two years to finally do so.

What the book is about

‘Since Bob has appeared, I’ve made huge strides in my life. For more than a decade I was a homeless drug addict. I was lost to the world and had forgotten what was important in life. Now I’ve got myself back on my two feet, but as I put the past behind me, I’m still stepping unsteadily into the future. I still need help in the right direction. Bob is always there to offer guidance and friendship.’

James and his street cat Bob have been on a remarkable journey together. In the years since their story ended in the bestselling A STREET CAT NAMED BOB James, with Bob’s help, has begun to find his way back to the real world. Almost every day, Bob provides moments of intelligence, bravery and humour, at the same time opening his human friend’s eyes to important truths about friendship, loyalty, trust – and the meaning of happiness. In the continuing tale of their life together James shows the many ways in which Bob has been his protector and guardian angel through times of illness, hardship, even life-threatening danger. As they high five together for their crowds of admirers, James knows that the tricks he’s taught Bob are nothing compared to the lessons he’s learnt from his street-wise cat.

What I think about the book

‘A streetcat named Bob’ tells the story of how James and Bob met each other and how that has changed their lives. One could say that the story ends at the moment that the book was published, because it would make life easier for them. I agree that the story doesn’t end there. First of all I found it very interesting to read how they had lived while the book was still a work in progress, but I also know that life with a cat is never boring. I could write many stories about my cats and they never even leave the house.

I think Bob is adorable. The stories really won me over. Okay, I admit that I fall in love with many of those fur creatures so it’s not hard to make me fall in love with a cat, especially a red cat. Still I do think that the bond that James and Bob have is special. Not everyone connects with his pet on that level and I loved reading about them. Bob does things I recognize from my own cats, but still he is much more attached to James than my cats ever were. I mean, I never walked around outside with a cat on my shoulders. Mine have never followed me all the way down to the bus stop. That sure is special.

I am glad to find out that life has gotten better for both of them since the first novel came out, because they deserve it. They’ve worked hard for it. Even with an adorable cat in one’s life, it might not be easy to stay on the right path. James got a second chance and he grabbed it with both hands.

So if you love cats, memoirs, London or all of those things, then you must read these books for sure.

The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide

the-guest-catTitle: The Guest Cat
Author: Takashi Hiraide
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Pages: 140
My rating★★★✫✫

I have picked The Guest Cat up in a bookstore at King’s Cross in London. I fell for the titel and the cover, because of the cat and the green eyes that are a bit shiny. A novel about a cat sounds good to me. The cover is also full of great reviews.

What the book is about

A bestseller in France and winner of Japan s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat, by the acclaimed poet Takashi Hiraide, is a subtly moving and exceptionally beautiful novel about the transient nature of life and idiosyncratic but deeply felt ways of living. A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo; they work at home, freelance copy-editing; they no longer have very much to say to one another. But one day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. It leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. Soon they are buying treats for the cat and enjoying talks about the animal and all its little ways. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife the days have more light and color. The novel brims with new small joys and many moments of staggering poetic beauty, but then something happens .

What I think about the book

To be honest, I was a little disappointed by this book. That doesn’t mean it is technically bad or that the story isn’t good. I just don’t like the writing style and the short chapters. I think this is a cultural thing. The Guest Cat was written in Japan and some chapters just describe a short matter or a flower in the garden for example. Of course that could be very poetic, but it is not what I am searching for in a book.

There was something missing for me. I didn’t get the feeling that I got to know the author and his wife. The fact that he keeps referring to his wife as ‘his wife’ instead of writing down her name for example. It feels very distant to me. I am a very emotional woman and I want to get to know the main characters. I want to know what they are feeling and what moves them. For me, that was missing in this novel.

I did finish the book, hoping that it would get better. I just can’t put a book down halfway through, because I always want to make sure that I am not missing anything. For me this wasn’t as good as I thought it could be. Now I am just moving on to the next novel.

The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas – Julia Romp

The Cat Who Came Back for ChristmasTitle: The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas
Author: Julia Romp
Publisher: Plume
Pages: 288
My rating★★★★★

I saw this book on a book fair a couple of months ago. The cat on the front caught my attention and when I read it was not just about the cat, but also about an autistic little boy, I wanted to read it.

What the book is about

The heart-warming true story of a little boy and the cat that changed his life.

Julia’s nine-year-old son George was autistic. Quiet and withdrawn, he appeared lost in his own world. Then one day a small black-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 December 21, Julia got a call from a family more than fifty 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.

What I think about the book

First of all, I suspected that the book would be all about Ben, the cat. That wasn’t true. Julia first tells the story of how her son George was born and how the first years of their lives together were. I really liked that though. Being a partner of someone who is diagnosed with ASD I am really interested in autism and the stories of real people. It was heartwarming to read what Julia has done for her son George to make him happy, even if he didn’t always respond to her actions. I am not sure if I’d have the energy to do that, but maybe it’s different when it’s your own kid.

When Ben, the cat, walks into their lives, everything changes. George opens up a little and as reader you get to know him better. It is really sweet that this furry friend makes life so much better for both of them. I really get that, because I love cats and they are amazing friends for humans of all shapes and sizes. They can really steal your heart with their tiny paws and sweet eyes. Ben sounds like a real winner when it comes to cats.

I am really glad that Julia gave me a look into her life with George and Ben with her book. It was good to read that she still thinks that George is perfect and unique as a son. That was so endearing.

Even though the title makes you think it’s a book about Christmas, I would say that you could read this book in any season. Christmas is definitely part of the story, but in my eyes the main theme of this novel is raising a child with autism and the special bond that one can have with a feline friend.

Social media

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Roxanne has read 0 books toward her goal of 50 books.