Friday Poetry: Don Marquis

Happy Friday!

I chose this poem because we have a Tom Cat who terrorises our poor cats and does anything he possibly can to get into our house. Thankfully we have a very clever cat flap that will only let our cats in.

 

The Tom-Cat

At midnight in the alley

A tom-cat comes to wail,

And he chants the hate of a million years

As he swings his snaky tail.

 

Malevolent, bony, brindled,

Tiger and devil and bard,

His eyes are coals from the middle of Hell

And his heart is black and hard.

 

He twists and crouches and capers

And bares his curved sharp claws,

And he sings to the stars of the jungle nights

Ere cities were, or laws.

 

Beast from a world primeval,

He and his leaping clan,

When the blotched red moon leers over the roofs

Give voice to their scorn of man.

 

He will lie on a rug tomorrow

And lick his silky fur,

And veil the brute in his yellow eyes

And play he’s tame and purr.

 

But at midnight in the alley

He will crouch again and wail,

And beat the time for his demon’s song

With the swing of his demon’s tail.

 

Don Marquis

 

I couldn’t get a picture of the annoying Tom Cat so I took a picture of my cat Pan instead.

 

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A P. G. Wodehouse Pick-Me-Up! by P. G. Wodehouse (Review)

A P. G. Wodehouse Pick-Me-Up! Goodbye to All Cats by P. G. Wodehouse

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About the author

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Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse wrote more than ninety novels and some three hundred short stories over 73 years. He is widely recognised as the greatest 20th- century writer of humour in the English Language. In 1936 he awarded the Mark Twain Prize for ‘having made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the happiness of the world’. He was made a Doctor of Letters by Oxford University in 1939 and in 1975, aged 93, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He died shortly afterwards, on St Valentine’s Day.

Blurb

A Wodehouse pick-me-up that’ll lift your spirits, whatever your mood.

Review

I picked up this book when I was last in Bath. I picked it up at the counter. I must admit a lot of bookshops tend to sell me an extra book at the counter.

This is a very quick read but a very fun read that contains three short stories.

Goodbye to All Cats

This story is the first in the book and I must admit my favourite and made me laugh out loud a lot! This story is all about Freddie’s experience with cats that made him dislike all cats in general for the foreseeable future.

The story is hilarious but at the same time I did feel sorry for Freddie who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Ukridge’s Dog College

I was surprised by this story as I had just presumed all the stories would be cat related. I was so pleased to see this assumption was wrong because I love dog stories. This story focuses on the eccentric Ukridge, who will do anything to make a quick fortune that doesn’t involve hard work. A fantastic little read for dog lovers.

Ukridge’s Accident Syndicate

This is an interesting story but for me lacked the humour of the other two stories. I just found the story dragged a little. The basic concept is a group of friends who pool all their money to buy insurance for their friend and wait for the friend to have an accident. Oh and it does involve a dog, which is always good.

All in all I loved the book and think I will purchase the other three books in the series as they are quick fun reads that you can read in one sitting or one story a day. I highly recommend the book especially for animal lovers and anybody who just wants to read a light hearted fun book. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons! Pan loves the book as well.

Purchase Links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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Star Trek The Next Generation Cats by Jenny Parks (Review)

Star Trek The Next Generation Cats by Jenny Parks

About the author

Jenny Parks is a scientific illustrator that also happens to be a shameless nerd, with a penchant for drawing animals, dinosaurs, imaginary creatures… and occasionally, people as cats. Somehow, she found herself with a bit of internet fame with the illustration ‘Doctor Mew’, and has been baffled ever since. With a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts, and a graduate degree in Science Illustration from UC Santa Cruz, she now resides in Denver, CO as a freelance illustrator, fulfilling her destiny to make a living drawing cute, fuzzy things.

Blurb

The cats are back in their continuing mission: to boldly go where no one has gone before. This companion to the bestselling Star Trek Cats brings the many adventures of Star Trek: The Next Generation to life in a faithfully feline homage to the hit series. From encounters with the Borg to adventures on the holodeck, Captain Picard and the rest of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D crew are reimagined as cats with lovingly detailed and eyebrow-raising scenes from throughout the award-winning series, perfect for Star Trek fans across the Galaxy.

Review

I was so excited to see there was a sequel to the Star Trek Cats and that this book was just as good as the previous one. The first thing I loved was the choice of cats for the characters especially the choice of cat for Captain Picard.

The book is like the previous book where it does not follow a story but instead has snapshots from different episodes. I have some favourite scenes which include Relics where the cats are kittens. My ultimate favourite is where the cats are playing poker and I must admit I would love to have it as a picture on my wall. However, I must admit the Borg cats are a little bit scary.

I love this book and I highly recommend it to other Star Trek and cat fans. I give this book a big 5 out of 5 Dragons and I thoroughly hope Jenny Parks does Star Trek Voyager soon!

Lyra loves the book as well!

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Star Trek Cats by Jenny Parks (Review)

Star Trek Cats by Jenny Parks

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About the author

Jenny Parks is a scientific illustrator that also happens to be a shameless nerd, with a penchant for drawing animals, dinosaurs, imaginary creatures… and occasionally, people as cats. Somehow, she found herself with a bit of internet fame with the illustration ‘Doctor Mew’, and has been baffled ever since. With a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts, and a graduate degree in Science Illustration from UC Santa Cruz, she now resides in Denver, CO as a freelance illustrator, fulfilling her destiny to make a living drawing cute, fuzzy things.

Blurb

Captain’s log: We have entered a galaxy where beloved illustrator Jenny Parks has conjured an astonishingly vivid homage to the original Star Trek series with an unexpected twist: a cast of cats. Featuring a hilarious new take on iconic characters and scenes—from Kirk in the Captain’s chair to Spock offering his Vulcan wisdom—this eye-opening adventure stays true to the tone of the classic TV show. Playful, loving, and from a strange new world, Star Trek Cats is the perfect gift for fans of, well, Star Trek and cats.

Review

I could not believe my eyes when I accidentally discovered this book and I immediately bought it for my husband for Valentine’s Day, obviously I had to read it myself. I love Star Trek and I have seen every episode of the original series and I am now working my way through the films so I was overjoyed to read this book.

The book doesn’t follow a story and is instead snapshots from different well known episodes of the series. The book doesn’t have a lot to read as it is mainly the amazing illustrations but that does not matter as the book is a joy to behold. Every scene is brilliantly done but a few are my favourites. One is Scotty holding his bottle of Scotch Milk and the other is a scene from the episode The Trouble with Tribbles.

This book is brilliant for Star Trek fans and cat fans alike. The illustrations are amazing and very cleverly done as the cats have been chosen to reflect the Star Trek characters perfectly. I will never see Scotty the same way again after seeing his cat version. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a giggle and a quick read to brighten up their day. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

P.s. Lyra my cat likes the book as well.

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

 

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New Books 18/02/2020

I have bought my first fun books for 2020! I have bought a lot of books this year but they have all been for my Masters, but I have given in and treated myself a little.

 

Star Trek Picard: The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack

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I am so excited about this book even if to be honest the TV series is painfully slow and in certain places annoying beyond belief. This book is written by Una McCormack and her previous Star Trek novels are just amazing so I am looking forward to her take on the new series.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Cats by Jenny Parks

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This one I could not resist, I bought the first one in the series for my husband as he loves Star Trek and cats and after reading it I immediately bought the second one.

 

So only two books as I am trying to be well behaved this year as I have so many books to read already and I know I won’t get to read many non study related books.

 

Happy reading

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Be More Cat by Alison Davies (Review)

Be More Cat: Life Lessons from our feline friends by Alison Davies

About the author

Alison Davies is an author, columnist for Child Education and a freelance writer for a range of magazines including Nursery World and Mother and Baby.

Blurb

Careful observation of the behavioural quirks of our favourite felines can actually be very revealing. From living in the moment, to trusting our sixth-sense instincts, to taking cat naps, and even going feral, there are real benefits to being more cat! In Be More Cat, Alison Davies explores nine key traits we can take on board to be more cat-like and live a happier, healthier, and all around ‘feline fabulous’ existence. With practical tips and exercises, interspersed with folklore and fun facts about our kitty gurus, there’s something for everyone in this cute, fully illustrated guide!

Review

I received this book as a Christmas present off my cats, maybe they are hinting that I am too stressed and need to be more relaxed like a cat. This is essentially a mindfulness book, linking mindfulness with cats’ behaviour and how we can use things that cats do to become more relaxed.

I really enjoyed this book and it did make me giggle a lot and I must admit I read it in one sitting as I just could not put it down. The other element I really liked was that the book has nine chapters like a cat has nine lives and each chapter was somehow cat related.

The book gives helpful little exercises that should help us and are what cats do, for instance cats will stare at a wall for hours on end in our case we would meditate. There are a lot of these different exercises in the book to help us be more mindful but I must admit some do tend to repeat themselves. There are also some cat related tips in the book which are also very amusing and very factual.

The other thing I loved about this book was the wonderful little cat illustrations that run through the book. The book is also scattered with cat related quotes which I really enjoyed.

This book is basically a self help book and the exercises are all basically yoga or meditation based but linking them to cats is brilliant. I really enjoyed this book and give it 4 out 5 Dragons. The only reason it did not get the full 5 Dragons was because it was a little repetitive. Highly recommend to all cat lovers out there!

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Happy Reading!

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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.