Now 2022 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Ascender, Volume 4: Star Seed by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen (Illustrator)
Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Bear Country by Doreen Cronin and Stephen Gilpin (Illustrations)
Body and Soul Food by Abby Collette and L. Malaika Cooper (Narrator)
Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay and Allyson Ryan (Narrator)
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa and Louise Heal Kawai (translator)
Christmas Cookie Murder by Leslie Meier and Karen White (narrator)
Coached Red-Handed by Victoria Laurie and Rachel Dulude (Narrator)
COVID-19 in Three to Five Words by April Murphy
Crowned and Moldering by Kate Carlisle
Death in Four Courses by Lucy Burdette
Digging Up Trouble by Kitt Crowe and Tina Wolstencroft (narrator)
A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert and Suzie Althens (Narrator)
Friends Forever by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Illustrations)
Gone but Not Furgotten by Cate Conte and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Guys and Dolls by Damon Runyon
The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
A Little Ferry Tale by Chad Otis
Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire and Emily Bauer (Narrator)
A Murder Yule Regret by Winnie Archer and Emile Durante (Narrator)
A Nancy Drew Christmas by Carolyn Keene
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 13 by Adachitoka
Okoye to the People by Ibi Zoboi
Sex, Murder and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis and Gabra Zackman (Narrator)
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie, Volume 1 by Keigo Maki
Spy x Family, Volume 5 by Tatsuya Endo
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
The Trainbow by Nina Laden

Miscellaneous
August 2022 Sources

August 2022 Summary

Previous month



Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2022-2023

Beat the Backlist 2022



Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.


The Cat Who Saved Books: 09/27/22

The Cat Who Saved Books

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa and Louise Heal Kawai (translator) (2017) is metafiction about books and their magical place in the world. Rintaro Natsuki is facing moving in with an aunt he barely knows and the shuttering of a used bookshop he and his grandfather ran now that the grandfather is dead. That is until an orange tiger cat calls on Mr. Proprietor to help him traverse four labyrinths to save some books.

I couldn't help but compare this novel's cat to the one who travels with Coraline in Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel. Both cats clearly know more about these alternate worlds than they are willing to share and both are ultimately dependent on their young human companions to set things right.

For Rintaro's quests, he is sent to four book themed labyrinths, with each one having a minotaur like character who represents one aspect of books. The first is an avid reader who reads once and then holds onto his books as if they are precious works of art (regardless of their actual value). The second is someone who wants to abridge books to make reading easier and less time consuming for busy people. The third is the CEO of a giant publishing house. The final one is an avatar for the books themselves.

Each journey while a metaphysical and metaphorical exploration on the nature of books, reading and writing, they are ultimately rather simplistic parables. There are those who like to read a lot and aren't as inclined to re-read as others (I am one of these readers, though I give away most of the books I read in a year). There are plenty of people who will listen to audiobooks at 2x speed to get through things more quickly, or who prefer the Readers' Digest abridged versions. Publishing does produce things at excess amounts and yet not make things easily available to readers (see Barnes and Nobles current trend on not stocking new books lacking in preorder numbers). Despite the simplicity of these scenarios, I found the novel compelling and one I will want to re-read.

Rintaro's journeys also put this novel on the Road Narrative Spectrum. Rintaro is a literal orphan (FF) traveler. His journey though to various other world locations is ultimately home (66) in that these quests help him realize that the bookstore is his home and somewhere he wants to stay. Finally his route is as the cat describes, through the labyrinth, both in that each trip has a singular path in and out and collectively these journeys serve to transform Rintaro's character, giving him the confidence he needs to stay and run the store.

Five stars

Comments (0)


Lab puppy
Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2022 Sarah Sammis