Monday 10 April 2023

Late post on a long weekend...

It’s 8pm on Easter Monday evening, and I’m hoping to wind down early tonight because I go back to work tomorrow and have to get up early, but I just finished a book that I want to tell you about.  Apologies:  this post will be brief.

I read three Silver Birch books last week, but I can’t write about any of them, despite the fact that they were all good, especially the third one (it’ll show up on my “Best of” list at the end of the year for sure!).  Then I read a short novel that has been translated from the Japanese called The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Matsukawa.  This delightful story tells of Rintaro Natsuki, a shy, introverted hikikomori teen who has just lost his grandfather, with whom he’s lived for more than a decade, and he is lamenting the move to his distant aunt’s place after shutting up his grandfather’s second-hand bookshop.  He’s stopped going to school and has totally withdrawn into himself, thinking he has no one who cares for him, when he receives an unlikely visitor in the shop, a talking cat named Tiger the Tabby.  The cat asks Rintaro for help to save books from the fates bestowed upon them by various people who claim to love books and reading, but whose actions do not support this claim, and it is up to Rintaro to use his wits and the wisdom his grandfather imparted or that which he gleaned from books he’s read over his lifetime to figure out how to do this.  There are a number of “labyrinths”, or problematic situations, to deal with, and as Rintaro faces each challenge, his confidence and sense of self-worth grows stronger.  But can he outwit the most cunning and difficult opponent of all?  You’ll have to read this book to find out.  It was truly delightful, a fantastical journey into the exploration of what it means to be a book lover, the fate of books and readers, and how to keep the love of reading alive for generations to come.  This could easily have been a teen novel, as the main character is in his late teens, but it works well as an adult book, too. In fact, it reminded this reader quite a lot of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  If you are a lover of books and are looking for something light, short, and inspiring to read, this might just be the book for you!  And the translator did a great job, too, as the text flowed seamlessly.

That’s all for tonight - sorry for the short post!!  

Bye for now…

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