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review 2018-08-19 17:40
If Cats Disappeared from the World
If Cats Disappeared from the World - Eric Selland,Genki Kawamura

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

An enjoyable read with an important message about the value we give to life, what we do with our lives, and what we’d be ready to sacrifice to extend them. Confronted to the prospect of dying very soon, in the next few months if not the next few days, the narrator is offered a bargain by the Devil itself, and a tempting one at that: for each thing he erases from the world, he gets to live one more day. Which quickly raises a lot of questions and conundrums, because if it’s worth earning more life time, it has to be a sacrifice… but if we sacrifice too much, is it worth keeping on living?

The chapter with the talking cat was well done, too: first because of the cat’s voice, second because he was very… feline (those bipeds never understand anything to cats, do they?), and third due to his selective memory, something that was sad, but also a reminder that we don’t know how animals think, and what we take for granted may not be what is important to them.

I did find the story too predictable, though, in that the message was obvious from the beginning, and completely expected considering the type of stories it usually goes with. There’s no real twist, nothing I didn’t see coming, and no ‘revelation’ either, if this makes sense—other novels on a similar theme already did it, and this one doesn’t go far enough with the associated tropes to rise above them all. (I also think that the Devil imposing choices about what to make disappear removed the possibility of things going awry because of the narrator: ‘he made me do it, so it’s not my fault’. I prefer when my protagonists make their own mistakes, and then atone for / learn from them.)

3.5 stars.

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text 2018-08-17 04:31
Halloween Bingo 2018: A wall of bingo fabulousness. And a cat who thinks he's fabulous.

Found an envelope on the coffee table waiting for me when I got home from coffee this morning:

 

 

How gorgeous do all those cards look? Moonlight Reader really has outdone herself designing individual cards for us all.  (She has a physical card too, but it arrived with mine last week, and I forgot to put it in the picture.)

 

I think I have everyone's mailing address except Moonlight Reader's.  They'll go out on the 25th of August, except for Darth Pony's:  for once, the expat in Aussie will get something first rather than last.  ;-)  Yours goes out on Monday.

 

And now, because it's Friday:

 

I'm a fabulous puddle of happy.  Get out of my sunshine.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-12 22:17
Cats Like Cream by Renee Miller
Cats Like Cream - Renee Miller

Cats Like Cream by Renee Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being a successful employee at a real estate agency, Elwin strives to help people find their dream homes - but as it turns out, they get more than what they bargained for. With strategically installed cameras, he's able to watch the new residents settle in and, oftentimes, witness them at their most private of moments. But he can't touch, no matter how much he wishes to, as touching only leads to bad, and bloody, things.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I decided to read something shorter than my usual, as my mood craved a story more direct and to the point; you know, with less time to invest in but without sacrificing that valuable punch. I’m therefore glad I picked up this one, as despite my personal distaste of the cover, the tale within was incredibly unsettling. I always find it considerably more disturbing when the monster isn’t supernatural in origin, but very much human. The mere thought of just how much a person’s mind can figuratively short circuit, to the point where they consistently justify their depraved behaviour, well, it’s downright scary, but also deeply fascinating on some level.

This is the second time I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of reading about trichophagia, which is essentially the compulsive disorder of eating hair. Certainly not for the squeamish, as even with having a strong stomach it nearly had me gagging. Miller was able to portray Elwin in such a way that depicted him a victim to some inner demon that craved gratification. The blame for his misdoings was thus placed upon this evil entity, with little to no responsibility falling upon Elwin himself. With intimate knowledge of his troubled thoughts, some more relatable than others, I couldn't help but appreciate the work put into his psyche. However, even though I consider myself an empathetic individual, I found him to be a vile beast of a human being with little to no redeeming qualities.

Being approximately fifty pages long, the pace didn't loiter. It was difficult for me to tear myself away for this very reason, as the situation just kept getting increasingly more thrilling. When that ending finally arrived, it was hard to accept that it was over.

In conclusion: I very much enjoyed this venture into the life of a serial killer. A quick but satisfying read, and one I won't soon forget.

Notable Scene:

The beast clawed at the underside of his lungs. Elwin told it to be patient. It roared in reply.

© Red Lace 2018

 

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/08/12/cats-like-cream-by-renee-miller
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review 2018-08-10 11:45
TWILIGHT by Erin Hunter
Twilight - Erin Hunter
The Clans are still settling into their new homes and problems are developing between those who feel the Clans should still help one another and those who believe there were always four Clans and each Clan is responsible for itself.  There is also the visions that the medicine cats are receiving that none can interpret.  They can see blood and violence but not the who or why. 
 
I did not cry as badly in this book.  Probably because the battle scene was interrupted by my having to close the book to get off the bus in the middle of the battle scene which was towards the end.  I still teared up though.  This story is more of Leafpool and her feelings.  It also shows the resentment Clans have towards one another but how it is necessary at times for them to help each other.  And the battle still rages between Clan born and kittypets.  Midnight makes another appearance.  I like the respect shown to her.  The bond between those who traveled to the sun-drown place is still strong but fraught with problems because of the division of the Clans.  A surprise appearances occurs.
 
I enjoyed this book.   I look forward to the next book.  I want to know about Leafpool's one vision.  What does it mean for the future?  And why the appearance of an old friend?
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review 2018-07-22 04:12
The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

This book alternated between being compulsively readable and making me wonder where the heck the author was trying to go with things. There is a lot of interesting information but sometimes it was like the author was confused about whether he should be arguing to deal with cats in a certain way, or he'd bounce around topics while really you just wanted to know whether he found his cat Augusta safe and sound in the end after one of her little escapades. I really wish he had just stopped letting her go outside. I couldn't take the suspense.

 

The infamous chapter 7, while sad, was quite good, and made me bump up my rating from 2.5 stars.

 

I guess I'd describe the book as being about understanding cats rather than being about cats, with a bit of science thrown in.

 

Previous updates:

72 of 235 pages (Balou likes to be loud)

7 of 235 pages (questionable cat hearing data)

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