Thursday, May 11, 2017

We've all heard of the "crazy cat lady" but what about the crazy cat men?  There must be some out there.  Author Sam Kalda takes a look at some famous men throughout history who loved their feline friends in Of Cats and Men.

Starting in the 10th century with Welsh King Hywel the Good (who recognized the value of cats as cheap vermin controllers and therefore protected them through law) on down the centuries to the present day, many influential men have been inspired, amused and comforted by cats.  This colorful book takes a page to describe the man in question, his history, and his connection to cats.  Each page also includes a drawing of the man and his inspirational cat.  There are many cat-admiring quotes sprinkled throughout the book as well.

Anyone who loves cats will be entertained by the many achievements of cats -- while their owners may take credit, it's really the cats who were responsible for inventing the cat flap (Sir Isaac Newton), alternating current (Nicola Tesla) Companion cats have also inspired poetry, musicals, art and even dance performances.  It was also somewhat surprising for me to learn that somewhat stereotypically "gruff" men, including Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain and Winston Churchill are among the famous cat lovers. You can even follow some of the more outgoing modern cats on social media.

This book is a charming look at how cats have been loving, loyal and amusing companions to some of history's greatest leaders, artists and scientists.  Those ancient Egyptians, who revered cats as gods, were certainly on to something!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of Of Cats and Men from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review

Monday, May 1, 2017

While we all need to earn money to survive, equally important is having an enjoyable and healthy life away from work.  In Wellth, author Jason Wachob looks at various components that make up a happy and well-balanced life.

The book is divided into sections such as Eat, Move, Thank, Laugh, etc.  The author gives experiences from his own life for each section, and also usually has an expert on the topic give further information.  He quotes the doctor and author Aviva Romm's instructions for visualization and justification for why this practice is so important. However, most of these experts are introduced with, "My friend so-and-so . . ." (except for the instances where the quoted expert is his "good friend). There are also small "blurbs" scattered throughout the book from famous authors/speakers (but we are mercifully spared his relationship to them).

While there are some words of wisdom throughout the book (mostly in the "Quick Deposit in Your Wellth Account" summary at the end of each chapter), the book is more of a biography of the author and how he got where he is today.  The first chapter, Eat, starts out stating that no diet can work for everyone, because we're all different.  He then goes on to tell (throughout the entire rest of the book) the way he does things -- although to be fair,  he usually gives alternatives in case his way doesn't appeal to you. I just found the book to be too centered on the author, his background, education, business failures and personal life, to be useful to a general audience.  For instance, he goes into great detail about a health scare his wife had and includes the sentence, "The next day Colleen's sister Kerry came by to see us with her fiance (now husband) Eric, as well as Tara Stiles and Michael Taylor."  Now what possible interest could that be to anyone who isn't personally acquainted with these people??? He also mentions his current business venture many, many times (including on the cover of the book).  If you can skim through the ends of each chapter to the "Wellth Account" advice, you'll save a lot of time.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of Wellth from Blogging For Books in exchange for this review.

About Me

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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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