• May 31, 2021 9:48 PM | Tina Maura (Administrator)

    Are you in the mood for something a little different to read?  I may have a book for you.  The Travelling Cat Chronicles tells the story of a man and his cat as they go on a journey.  It was a bestseller in Japan and has been made into a movie. 

    I will tell you that in this book, the cat Nana willingly goes on a road trip with Satoru, the man who adopted her.  As a cat person, I believe this puts the book squarely in fairy tale territory.  I have never known a cat who would willingly get into a motor vehicle.  But I am willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of this lovely story.

    Part of the narration is first person Nana, who starts life as a street cat and has the appropriate tough attitude.  He (yes) is won over by Satoru and fried chicken strips.  Eventually they go on the road trip together.  They visit various friends of Satoru, and the series of visits creates a sort of history of Satoru’s life.  Satoru, by the way, is a terrific guy and has a lot of fine friends.  He not only has a real connection with Nana but also with a number of his fellow human beings. 

    But why are they on the trip? For that, you will have to read the book, which I heartily recommend you do.  I will tell you that the books has sadness as well as sweetness.  It is written in a lighthearted manner but the underlying theme of love for friends, with or without fur, is a serious one.

    You can find the book and downloadable audiobook here.

    Happy Reading!

    The Book Goddess

  • May 03, 2021 3:01 PM | Tina Maura (Administrator)

    Do you love mysteries?  I have been a devotee ever since I was twelve and my mother recommended Agatha Christie. 

    These days, one of my favorite mystery writers is Louise Penny.  Several installments of her Inspector Gamache series have been a most welcome diversion during my pandemic house arrest.

    The first novel in the series, Still Life, was published to critical acclaim and several awards, and subsequent entries in the series have lived up to the first.  Her hero, Inspector Gamache of the Surete du Quebec, is a deeply sympathetic character – gifted at his job, happily married, with a strong sense of integrity and concern for humanity – which one can detect in his deep brown eyes. 

    There are many reasons I am enthusiastic about these novels – they are beautifully written; Penny is especially good at communicating emotional states and moral ambiguity; and they have fantastic settings.  Many of the books are set in Three Pines, the world’s most charming village if you don’t mind the occasional murder.  But others are set in Montreal, which apparently has a pretty gritty side; Paris, featuring sculpture gardens, patisseries, and major white-collar crime; or a remote monastery with some of the most beautiful singing on the planet.  It’s not just the settings that are varied.  The plot lines are quite different as well, and often very twisty indeed.

    Another reason to love the novels is the way they balance intense with cozy and a touch of humor.  You will encounter lovely food and drink, especially in Three Pines, but the struggle between good and evil is real and may involve appalling tradeoffs.  And there’s a really foul-mouthed duck.

    I should mention that there is a long narrative arc about the personal and professional lives of the characters which carries through the whole series.  Ideally, you would read them in order.  I am notorious for not doing this, though I did read Still Life first.  As in real life, if you walk into the middle of something, you just do your best to catch up.

    Here’s a link to the various editions owned by the Mandel Public Library (click here).  Or you can call the Reference Department at 561-868-7701 to place a hold or for even more reading recommendations.

    I hope you will love these books as much as I do.

    Happy Reading!

    The Book Goddess

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