- Winner selected by random.org
- Book courtesy of the publlisher
An empty mailbox 🙂 I’ll use this space to wish all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving a lovely holiday and safe travels. Except for announcing the winner of The Little Book of Bob (US readers click the link below if you haven’t yet entered. Giveaway ends on Tuesday 11/26) this will be a quiet week at Bookfan. I’ll be back with reviews the first week of December.
Last week on Bookfan:
Reading plan for this week:
I was reminded by Stacy’s review that this has been on my Kindle for a while – so I’ll be reading/listening this week while prepping for our family Thanksgiving.
The Little Book of Bob
Life Lessons from a Street-wise Cat
By James Bowen
Published: October 2019 – Thomas Dunne Books
Giveaway book courtesy of the publisher
“An international phenomenon” –Library Journal
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Street Cat Named Bob comes an uplifting book of wisdom and advice from the most street-savvy cat of them all.
In spring of 2007, street busker James Bowen found an injured orange tabby in the hallway of his shelter home in North London. Their friendship changed both of their lives and led to the internationally bestselling book A Street Cat Named Bob.
But fame hasn’t gone to James or Bob’s heads. In Bob, James found a model for friendship, steadfastness, balance, and joy that we can all apply to our own lives. The Little Book of Bob is a heartfelt and wholesome book about how to be kinder to ourselves and kinder to the world around us.
Cats are amazing creatures, as all animal lovers know. Tender and wise, this is a little book with a big heart. (publisher)
About the author:
James Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of A Street Cat Named Bob. He found Bob in 2007 and the pair have been inseparable ever since. They both live in north London.
Praise for A Street Cat Named Bob
“Thank heavens for Bob, whose steady gaze and cool composure are a welcome tonic to the surrounding sentimentality.” – The New York Times
“Stellar…A beautiful never maudlin story of second chances for both man and beast and a poignant testimony to how much caring for someone – or some feline – can give you renewed direction where you’re down and out. Understandably, this was a best-seller in England.” – Booklist (starred)
“A rich, moving story of the link between a street-wise cat and a man who earns his living on the streets – perfect for cat lovers.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Move over, Marley. A stray cat from north London could be heading for the lap of luxury as the cinema’s next box office pet sensation.” – The Times (UK)
“A simple, sweet and ridiculously heartwarming story.” – The Huffington Post
“A book with the strong ingredients that made Marley and Me and Dewey big successes…A warm and poignant memoir.” – The Guardian (UK)
GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED
click here and fill out the form
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
Published: November 2019 – St. Martin’s Press
Book courtesy of the publisher
Description: Daniel Mayrock’s life is at a crossroads. He knows the following to be true:
1. He loves his wife Jill… more than anything.
2. He only regrets quitting his job and opening a bookshop a little (maybe more than a little)
3. Jill is ready to have a baby.
4. The bookshop isn’t doing well. Financial crisis is imminent. Dan doesn’t know how to fix it.
5. Dan hasn’t told Jill about their financial trouble.
6. Then Jill gets pregnant.
This heartfelt story is about the lengths one man will go to and the risks he will take to save his family. But Dan doesn’t just want to save his failing bookstore and his family’s finances:
1. Dan wants to do something special.
2. He’s a man who is tired of feeling ordinary.
3. He’s sick of feeling like a failure.
4. He doesn’t want to live in the shadow of his wife’s deceased first husband.
Dan is also an obsessive list maker; his story unfolds entirely in his lists, which are brimming with Dan’s hilarious sense of humor, unique world-view, and deeply personal thoughts. When read in full, his lists paint a picture of a man struggling to be a man, a man who has reached a point where he’s willing to do anything for the love (and soon-to-be new love) of his life. (publisher)
My take: It’s so tempting to write my thoughts about this book in a list because I just spent a few hours reading a book that is written in lists. I’m kind of tired of lists. That said, I liked the idea of the novel. My feelings about Dan the list maker ranged from sympathetic, annoyed, horrified, back to sympathetic, relieved. I enjoyed the secondary characters (Dan’s wife, his new friend Bill, his employee Steve). I mention them because it surprised me to connect to them only through list mentions. This is the first book by Matthew Dicks that I’ve read and I will look into reading more. Recommended to people looking for something a little different in fiction.
About the author:
Matthew Dicks is a writer and elementary school teacher. He has been published in the Hartford Courant, featured at the Books on the Nightstand retreat, and is a Moth StorySLAM champion. He is the author of four previous novels, Something Missing, Unexpectedly Milo, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, an international bestseller, and The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs. His novels have been translated into more than 25 languages. Dicks lives in Newington, Connecticut, with his wife Elysha, and their two children.
Meet Matthew Dicks:
11/20 That Book Store – Wethersfield, CT
11/21 Simsbury Public Library – Simsbury, CT
11/22 RJ Julia – Madison, CT
11/23 Connecticut Historical Society – Hartford, CT
The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland
Published: Oct. 29, 2019 – St. Martin’s Griffin
Book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley
For fans of Josie Silver’s One Day in December, The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae is a wholly original, charismatic, and uplifting novel that no reader will soon forget.
Ailsa Rae is learning how to live. She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that—just in time—saved her life. Now, finally, she can be a normal twenty-eight-year-old. She can climb a mountain. Dance. Wait in line all day for tickets to Wimbledon.
But first, she has to put one foot in front of the other. So far, things are as bloody complicated as ever. Her relationship with her mother is at a breaking point and she wants to find her father. Then there’s Lennox, whom Ailsa loved and lost. Will she ever find love again?
Her new heart is a bold heart. She just needs to learn to listen to it. From the hospital to her childhood home, on social media and IRL, Ailsa will embark on a journey about what it means to be, and feel, alive. How do we learn to be brave, to accept defeat, to dare to dream?
From Stephanie Butland, author of The Lost for Words Bookshop, The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae will warm you from the inside out. (publisher)
My take: Take one completely engaging lead character (Ailsa), add a life-threatening condition, a sparkling cast of characters with issues of their own, and tango – well that’s a recipe for a novel that made me happy I’m a reader.
Ailsa was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and has managed to stay alive until the age of twenty-eight when a compatible heart becomes available. She thought the journey to that day was hard. And it was. But she learns that living with her new heart has a new set of challenges, not the least being brave enough to put herself out there in this new life.
The story is told through the blog she set up related to her condition, emails and texts with various people, and the story of past relationships. I hesitate to expand but I can say I’m very glad to have had the chance to read Stephanie Butland’s second novel. It’s an emotional novel and one that left me with a happy heart.
About the author:
STEPHANIE BUTLAND lives with her family near the sea in the North East of England. She writes in a studio at the bottom of her garden, and when she’s not writing, she trains people to think more creatively. For fun, she reads, knits, sews, bakes, and spins. She is an occasional performance poet and the author of The Lost for Words Bookshop.
Book-buy link: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250242174