Music and Reading

Hello my fellow book dragons!

Over the last few days I have been pondering something that happens to me and I was wondering if it happens to any of my fellow readers.

As a musician music is a massive part of my life and so is reading and often the two go together as I do like to listen to music and read at the same time. However, when I reread a book I notice I associate certain parts of the book with certain songs. This happens the most when reading Harry Potter. When I first discovered the Harry Potter series I was visiting my sister in Scotland and read the books on the car journey to and from her house. At this time I also had a massive Linkin Park addiction and so now whenever I read one of the first four Harry Potter books I think of certain Linkin Park songs.

Now this evening whilst teaching one of my flute students I also had the same experience. My student is currently learning a piece I performed at university and had to write a massive essay on comparing 4 different performances of the same piece. This meant for weeks I was constantly listening to this piece, I was also commuting back and forth to university on the train and when I wasn’t writing essays on the train I was reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Now when I hear this piece I think of the book and it brings back very nostalgic memories of one of my favourite books.

This happens a lot with me whilst reading and I was wondering if anybody else experienced it or similar situations? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please drop me a comment.

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p.s My cat Lyra wanted to feature in the photo as well but wouldn’t keep still.

My Cat is a Dick by Malcolm Katz (Review)

My Cat is a Dick by Malcolm Katz

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About the author

Malcolm Katz is a distinguished feline behaviourist and author. Some of his most famous work includes peeing in his owner’s school bag, bringing in a bat someone else had killed, and sniffing the eye of anyone who comes close enough.

Blurb

No matter how much of a cat lover you are, you have to admit those loving feelings can be pretty one-way. Cats are total dicks. And here is the photographic evidence.

Review

A few Christmases ago I bought this book for my husband and since then I had forgotten about it until friends who visited for a few days spotted it and commented about it, so then I decided to kill ten minutes and give it a read along with a cup of tea.

Now since living with two cats I have come to realise more and more that cats can be complete jerks! I must admit I am a dog person because a dog always shows love and affection and a cat just ignores your existence.

There is not much to read in this book as it is just photos of cats with a catchy caption to go with it. The pictures are very funny and have some very cute cats however in my opinion some of the captions do not quite fit and are not very amusing.

Some pictures and captions were a bit disappointing and the book could have done without them but overall it was a good book and filled a quick ten minutes. This book would be an excellent gift for cat and animal lovers, especially people who watch a lot of cat videos. I gave it 3 out 5 Dragons.

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Lyra thinks the book is great!

Purchase Links:

Waterstones

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The Time for Murder is Meow by T. C. LoTempio (ARC Review)

The Time for Murder is Meow (Purr N’ Bark Pet Shop Mystery #1) by T. C. LoTempio

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This book was gratefully received by me through NetGalley and Midnight Ink in exchange for an honest review.

About the author

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LoTempio is the national bestselling author of Meow If It’s Murder, the first book in the Nick and Nora Mystery series.

She has been a staff reporter at a young adult magazine for over a decade.

Her love of mysteries started when she was first introduced to the Nancy Drew mysteries at the age of 10. She also owns four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and Rocco. LoTempio and her four feline companions currently live in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes away from the Big Apple.

Blurb

Shell and her two furry sidekicks must cat-ch a killer to save their pet shop

Crishell “Shell” McMillan sees the cancellation of her TV series as a blessing in disguise. The former actress can now take over her late aunt’s pet shop, the Purr N’ Bark, and do something she loves.

While getting the shop ready for re-opening, Shell is asked to loan her aunt’s Cary Grant posters to the local museum for an exhibit. She finds the prospect exciting–until a museum board member, who had a long-standing feud with Shell’s aunt, votes against it. When she discovers the board member dead in the museum, Shell becomes suspect number one. Can she, her Siamese cat Kahlua, and her new sidekick–her aunt’s Persian Purrday–find the real culprit, or will her latest career go up in kitty litter?

Review

This is my second book that I have received from NetGalley and I was so happy to receive it. I must admit I was hooked from the beginning and very pleased to see two wonderful cats involved in the story and a big friendly dog called Rocco make an appearance as well.

I loved the idea of Shell giving up her life in Hollywood to come and take over an old pet shop and let her love of animals take her life somewhere different. I immediately sensed that Shell was no pushover but a strong independent woman who was happy to make bold decisions in her life.

I also really liked her co-star and friend Gary, who came over to stay with her and help in any way he can. He was the perfect friend to Shell, he noticed things about her, knew how she played with the string of her tea bag, when she was making an effort with her appearance and so forth. In my opinion he was the perfect gentleman and the unsung hero of this story.

The main issue I had with this story was the fact that Shell got so worked up and upset about some movie posters not being displayed by the local museum. I can understand that yes the collection was her aunt’s and a great collection, but surely if Shell was so desperate to loan them out to be viewed by the public she could have gone to another museum? She didn’t have to go completely mental and start arguing to the museum board members about it. This whole part of the story for me a was bit unbelievable and stopped me giving the story 5 out of 5 Dragons and instead only 4.

The story was well written and flowed brilliantly, in fact I struggled to put it down. I could tell that LoTempio is a true animal and cat lover by her cat characters Purrday and Kahula. I loved Purrday the cat and found him a true hero of the day kind of cat, a true gentleman and friend to all who know him. Kahula had too much of a chip on her shoulder for my liking and needed to be taken down a peg or two.

I loved this book and hope there will be many more in the series to come of the same excellent quality. I gave this book 4 out of 5 Dragons and highly recommend it to people who love cats and crime thrillers.

This book will be released on the 8th August 2019.

To preorder from Waterstones

 

Lady Book Dragon.

 

Mid Week Quote

Happy Wednesday!

This weeks quote stays with the theme of cats, because cats is a brilliant theme.

 

“When I play with my cat, who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me?

 

Michel de Montaigne

 

Montaigne was a French philisopher in the 1500’s who through grief came up with philosophical essays on life, death and what it is to be human.

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Lyra fully agrees with this weeks theme of cats!

Lady Book Dragon.

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot (Review)

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, illustrated by Edward Gorey

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About the author

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Edward Stearns Eliot born 1888 in St Louis, Missouri, USA. He settled in England in 1915 and published his book of poems in 1917. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats began life as a collection of poems dedicated to his godchildren, it was published in 1939. Eliot received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 and sadly died in 1965.

About the Illustrator

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Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was an American writer and artist well known for his macabre and humorous illustrations. His first book, The Unstrung Harp; or, My Earbrass Writes a Novel (1953) was followed by many more. He illustrated work by T. S. Eliot, Edward Lear and Saki, among others.

Blurb

Cats! Some are sane and some are mad. And some are good and some are bad.

Review

I read this book as soon as I brought it home, but I read it in a very special way. I put on the musical movie starring Elaine Paige and John Mills and read the poems along with the musical, I might have also sang along as well. In short I had way too much fun and my poor husband had to endure a great deal.

I absolutely loved this book, I love the poems and I love the illustrations. It is all wonderful and I’m not sure I can choose a favourite poem because how can anyone choose a favourite cat?

The main thing I love is how all the different cats have attributes you can see in real life cats. I can certainly see many familiarities with the cats in the book with my own cats. T. S. Eliot clearly owned and had a lot of love for cats in his lifetime.

My favourite poem and cat was The Rum Tum Tugger he is just the epitome of cats. When you offer a cat some yummy food they would rather have something else, when you offer them fresh water they would rather drink from a puddle and so on.

I had amazing fun with this book and to be honest I keep going back to it now and reading my favourites. I also loved how the illustrations perfectly complimented the poems. I can not recommend this book enough to people especially if they are cat lovers, a quick read and would make a perfect gift to the cat lover in your life. I gave this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Lady Book Dragon.

Purchase from Waterstones

 

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Friday Poetry

This week it is another cat poem because I have discovered the perfect poem for our fat cat Pan and here it is!

Have a good weekend everyone.

 

Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town

 

Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones –

In fact, he’s remarkably fat.

He doesn’t haunt pubs- he has eight or nine clubs,

For he’s the St James’s Street Cat!

He’s the Cat we all greet as he walks down the street

In his coat of fastidious black:

No commonplace mousers have such well-cut trousers

Or such an impeccable back.

In the whole of St James’s the smartest of names is 

The name of this Brummell of Cats;

And we’re all of us proud to be nodded or bowed to

By Bustophers Jones in white spats!

His visits are occasional to the Senior Educational

And it is against the rules

For any one Cat to belong both to that

And the Joint Superior Schools.

For a similar reason, when game is in season

He is found, not at Fox’s, but Blimp’s;

But he’s frequently seen at the gay Stage and Screen

Which is famous for winkles and shrimps.

In the season of venison he gives his ben’son

To the Pothunter’s succulent bones;

And just before noon’s not a moment too soon

To drop in for drink at the Drones.

When he’s seen in a hurry there’s probably curry

At the Siamese- or at the Glutton;

If he looks full of gloom then he’s lunched at the Tomb

On cabbage, rice pudding and mutton.

So, much in this way, passes Bustopher’s day-

At one club or another he’s found.

It can cause no surprise that under our eyes

He has grown unmistakably round.

He’s a twenty-five pounder, or I am a bounder,

And he’s putting on weight every day:

But he’s so well preserved because he’s observed

All his life a routine, so he’ll say.

And (to put it in rhyme) ‘I shall last out my time’

Is the word for this stoutest of Cats.

It must and it shall be Spring in Pall Mall

While Bustopher Jones wears white spats!

 

T. S. Eliot

 

My very own Bustopher Jones!

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Lady Book Dragon

Friday Poetry

I have a little confession, I am absolutely obsessed with Cats the musical and love the poems by T. S. Eliot, so I thought it was high time I put a cat poem on my blog. I have put my favourite cat up first, because who doesn’t love a mystery cat?

 

Macavity: The Mystery Cat

Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw-

For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.

He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:

For when they reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!

 

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,

He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.

His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,

And when you reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!

You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air-

But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!

 

Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;

You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.

His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;

His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.

He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;

And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.

 

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,

For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.

You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square-

But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there!

 

He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)

And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard’s.

And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,

Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke’s been stifled,

Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair –

Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! Macavity’s not there!

 

And when the Foreign Office find a Treaty’s gone astray,

Or the Admirality lose some plans and drawings by the way,

There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair –

But it’s useless to investigate – Macavity’s not there!

And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:

“It must have been Macavity!” – but he’s a mile away.

You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumbs,

Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

 

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,

There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.

He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:

At whatever time the deed took place-

MACAVITY WASN’T THERE!

And when they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known

(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)

Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time

Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!

 

T. S. Eliot

 

Happy Friday Everyone!

The cat in the picture is my cat Pan, even though he is not ginger and rather large, he is never there and very difficult to find, just like Macavity. Also if something happens in our house it generally is Pan, but you can never catch him in the act. He is also very difficult to photograph, this is probably the best picture I have of him.

Lady Book Dragon.