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Denzilicious (Sheffield, UK)

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The Good, The Bad and The Furry: Life with the World's Most Melancholy Cat and Other Whiskery Friends
The Good, The Bad and The Furry: Life with the World's Most Melancholy Cat and Other Whiskery Friends
by Tom Cox
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.35

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and funny true story, 25 Oct 2013
The thing I like about Tom Cox's cat books is that as he is a former journalist and professional writer, his books are well written in that chatty magazine article sort of way.

Most cat books are not - the sheer numbers of badly-written sentimental sob story cat books is appalling. Tom Cox (who needs no ghost writer as others do) writes well and knows not to vomit schmaltz in the face of the reader or to knit some awful pity party to roll around in (SO MANY cat books do this, as if their purpose is to make an overemotional and feeble readership cry).

There are some great kids books and adult fiction too, the best of which recently IMHO is A Cat Called Dog.

But this is my favourite author of non-fiction about cats - with tales which are funny and touching. Perfect easy reading for a bit of indulgent cat fun and games.


Under the Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man
Under the Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man
by Tom Cox
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny coffee table book, true tale of cats, 25 Oct 2013
This is a funny book and easy to read - a true life tale of a man and his cats. It's the sort of book to read as a sort of extended magazine article, which carries you along on its rambles as it explores the world of cats. Thankfully not too sentimental or about a disorder or how a cat helped someone cure an illness etc.

I'd say this writer is my favourite for non-fiction on cats. My favourite fiction is probably A Cat Called Dog or maybe Terry Pratchett's cat book.


The Great Gatsby (Wordsworth Classics)
The Great Gatsby (Wordsworth Classics)
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Jazz Age Novel, 9 Sep 2013
This is a must-read for any serious reader.

It's short - 50,000 words - but very dense and so should be read at least twice to appreciate it. This is certainly F Scott FitzGerald's best book.

The Jazz Age bits are superbly written, and the characters too come to life. The car crash scene is unforgettable.

For me, the symbolism - the eyes on the poster/placard by the road - really don't work; but then this was written in 1925 when things like that were all new and exciting (Hollywood has made them trite clichés for us). The portrayal of African-Americans also has to be seen in context (apparently some libraries in the USA have removed this from the shelves because it's not 'politically correct' - ironically it used to be books that showed blacks and whites together, like Mark Twain's novels, that used to get removed, for equally racist reasons.

This is a book to read and re-read.


We Need To Talk About Kevin (Serpent's Tail Classics)
We Need To Talk About Kevin (Serpent's Tail Classics)
by Lionel Shriver
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

3.0 out of 5 stars A Better Film than Book, 5 Sep 2013
I much preferred the film to the book in this case and would advise everyone not to bother with the book but to rent the DVD instead.

It is what it is - but the writing style is pretentious and bloated.

It makes a great movie though!


Bumble the Brave Kitten: In association with Cats Protection
Bumble the Brave Kitten: In association with Cats Protection
by Samantha Hay
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Children's Book for a Good Cause, 4 Sep 2013
This is a perfect book to buy children - the stories here of Cats Protection cats and their scrapes are written in simple and clear language. Adults can take a peek too, of course!

This is just about my favourite non-fiction children's book about cats.

Adults may prefer some of the more sophisticated fare such as A Streetcat Named Bob (non-fiction) or A Cat Call Dog (adult fiction), but this is ideal for younger readers.

I know someone who uses it to teach English to foreigners too - though students from some countries think all animals in the house are dirty (and there are also places in the world where dogs and cats are eaten...)


The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat
The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat
by James Bowen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.80

5.0 out of 5 stars A modern cat classic, 28 Aug 2013
This has now become something of a classic, and is the undisputed leader of all true life story cat books.

Truly the story is about a man more than a cat - although Bob is the brainiest cat I have ever seen too.

For me it's a bit sentimental in places, but it is what it is - and even though ghost written, James Bowen can be rightly proud.

I usually prefer fiction to non-fiction, and my favourite recent book would be A Cat Called Dog in that, though I have a soft spot for Terry Pratchett's cat book too and also some of the kids books.

But this is THE true life story cat book - and is way more memorable than the scores of sob story pity parties about how a cat saved my health or marriage or child or sanity or library etc that have followed in its wake.


The Happy Prince and Other Tales
The Happy Prince and Other Tales
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Stories, incl the masterpiece The Happy Prince, 29 Jan 2013
The Happy Prince is one of the best stories ever written, and has been turned into lovely animated short films too on occasion. The Selfish Giant is less to my taste and more religious.

But in general, everyone who can read should read these stories at any age; and if they can't read, they should have these stories read to them!


The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Mark Twain
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Mark Twain soundbites for living and life!, 26 Jan 2013
Mark Twain is SUCH a great writer - my favourite 19th c US writer, and better than most in the 20th century too - though I prefer his humour pieces to his famous novels.

I find it hilarious that his novels (Huckleberry Fin etc) were taken off library shelves in his day because it showed blacks and whites associating with each other (which that society was against) and are taken of the political correct library shelves now because they supposedly show black people as Uncle Toms (they don't). He would have loved that!

His epithets and witticisms are perfect, way less smug than Oscar Wilde, way more rational than most from his age or ours. I particularly love his put-downs of Jane Austen:

'Jane Austen? Why I go so far as to say that any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen. Even if it contains no other book.'

and

'She makes me detest all her people, without reserve. Is that her intention? It is not believable. Then is it her purpose to make the reader detest her people up to the middle of the book and like them in the rest of the chapters? That could be. That would be high art. It would be worth while, too. Some day I will examine the other end of her books and see.'


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