Thursday, July 25, 2013

Just borrowed

I borrowed a couple of new books at work last week & I think they're so funny & true & beautifully done that I wanted to share them. Nikki McClure's How To Be A Cat is one of the loveliest picture books I've seen in ages & I buy picture books as part of my job so I see a lot of them.

Black & white drawings with a splash of blue. One word per page. There's no story as such, it's about a kitten watching his mother & learning the skills he will need to be a cat.

This book is for anyone who loves cats. You don't need to be three years old to see the truth in the observation of the cats that's gone into creating this book. I make no comment on this picture at all but there are days when I feel I do nothing but open doors for Lucky & Phoebe.

The other book is by Jen Campbell. A few years ago she published a book called Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops. It was exactly that. A collection of weird, wonderful, mad, funny, incomprehensible things that customers or patrons say when they walk into your bookshop or library. Jen works at the Ripping Yarns Bookshop in London & began collecting the odd things people said. The idea grew into the book & other booksellers & librarians began sending in their own examples. Now, she's published the sequel More Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops. Jen has a blog where she talks about her books, her poetry & more weird things that have come her way. Here are just a few of my favourite weird things from this latest book.

Customer: Pride and Prejudice was published a long time ago, right?
Bookseller: Yep.
Customer: I thought so. Colin Firth's looking really good for his age, then.

Customer: I don't like biographies. The main character pretty much always dies in the end. It's so predictable.

Customer: Can you recommend a book of spells to raise pets from the dead?
Customer: Just animals, you understand - not people. I don't want my husband coming back.

If you laughed at any or all of those examples, you will enjoy this book. The line drawings throughout are by The Brothers McLeod.


  1. On my Lyn list, thanks Lyn!

    1. You have a Lyn list?? I'm flattered! Hopefully these will both be in your local library, Rose. They're lovely but very quick reads.

  2. A friend and colleague has recently been diagnosed with cancer - caught early, thank goodness. Anyway, I promptly sent her a copy of Jen Campbell's book to throw in her bag when she has treatment and she keeps giggling her way through the stories.

    p.s. - your blog used to takes ages to load but I've switched to Chrome and now you pop right up!

    1. Jen Campbell's book would be perfect for any stressful situation. Easy to read & funny, as well. What a good idea. It's funny how some browsers load faster than others. I've never had any trouble with Firefox or IE but other people have told me it makes a difference.

  3. Love the cat book! Think I might put that on my Christmas wish list for DH to pay attention to. Last year he bought me The Cats of Moon Cottage which brought a tear to my eye more than once. I know what you mean about opening doors for Lucky and Phoebe and am in much the same position with my cat Jamie. We live in the Scottish countryside and he is a great hunter, so I feel a cat flap would only serve to bring carnage into the house.

    Why is it though that so many book blog authors write about their cats? Book lovers appear to be cat lovers too.

    A friend of mine has a copy of the bookshop book and lent it to me. Really, you couldn't make up some of the stories it contains.


    PS. How are Lucky and Phoebe these days?

    1. I think reading lends itself to having a cat snoozing on your lap so books & cats seem to go together. I've read the Moon Cottage books & they were very moving. Lucky & Phoebe are very well & enjoying the winter evenings by the heater or on my bed.

  4. I will make a point of looking out for both of the books - How to be a Cat would definitely be a good purchase for my grand daughter Isabella either for Christmas or her third birthday in January as she adores our three cats and the kitten bears a striking resemblence to our senior cat Marlow.
    Having worked in a book shop in the past, I have my own fund of stories about what customers say but all three you quoted made me chuckle!
    Talking of cat picture books, one of my favourites as to be Tony Bradman's 'Dr Xargle's Book of Earth Tiggers' in which alien teacher Dr Xargle explains cats to his pupils just before they make a school trip to Earth.
    I found it in my son's infant school classroom 15 years ago when I was waiting for the class to come back from assembly ( I used to help with reading one day a week). By the time the class came back in, I was doubled up with laughter at just how true the depiction of cats was!

  5. I've just reserved the Earth Tiggers from work, it sounds wonderful. I think the Cat book would be perfect for a child who knows cats, it's very true to their nature.