Monday, October 19, 2015

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World



Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. Vicki Myron with Bret Witter. 2008. Pages: 224. [Source: I borrowed it from the library]


Now, I read this one before I went and read The Rings of Time, but it wasn't until now that I realised that it wouldn't be all that bad if I reviewed this one. I mean, its about a cat! A lovable, adorable, personable cat! When I saw someone on a blog was going to read it, I knew I had to go and find a copy. I had relatively given up finding it (actually, it was more like I had forgotten about it), but then I found it when I was looking for books about ducks, which my brother needed for a project. It was in the section filled with non-fiction books about cats.

I read the reviews on the back-side of the jacket, and I knew that the ending was going to be sad, but I borrowed it anyway.

The story of Dewey starts out on a cold winter's morning in 1988. Vicki, the author, heard something in the book drop in the staff room and went to investigate. And there she found a tiny, orange and white kitten, buried under a pile of books. After Vicki pulled him from that cold, metal box, she let him soak up her warmth, and then she let him meet the rest of the staff. After that meeting, Dewey fell in love with everyone and became one of the most people-loving cats I have have heard or read about.

I love cats. I love cats so much and everyone knows it. I have three cats to my name - Pebbles, Domino, and Marcelle - my Nintendo Network ID is 'CatCrazyAuthor', and next spring I plan to start a cat-exclusive kennel for northern- and central-Alberta. So, when I read about Dewey, I instantly connect to him and fell in love with him. It made me wonder why I had never heard about him - he died in 2006, when I was 11 years old. I love cats so much, have all my life (I grew up with one named Muffy until I was 9. She ran away one morning and I never saw her again).

According to this lovely memoir to a lovely cat, he got quite famous. So why had never heard of him before I read this book? I'll have to ask about it.

Some people in the small town of Spencer, Iowa (small? Spencer had 10,000 people during Dewey's lifetime. Does that mean that my hometown is small too? We only have 8,000 or something residents), had a problem with Dewey being in the library, which I find rediculous. I don't know why some people don't cats. It's a mystery that will never be discovered I guess. People worried if he would pose as an allergy problem to some. Dewey loved boxes, etc. You'd have to read the book in order to learn everything about the 'Dewkster' (or 'Dewey Deedamore Booksa' - I think. I may be wrong).

Throughout the book there are chapters about Vicki and how she came to be the head librarian at the Spencer Library. I kind of found it strange since the book was supposed to be about Dewey, but helped to explain how much Dewey meant to Vicki and how much Dewey saw Vicki as 'Mommy'.

I'd give this book the rating of 'A Good Uplifting Read For Someone Who Needs a Good Pick-Me-Up'. Make sure you are alone when you read the ending, though, if you don't want someone to overhear you crying, lol. My mother asked me why my eyes were glassy and red-rimmed when I emerged from my room to find and cuddle my cat after I was done.

I don't like crying because it makes my face blotchy and my head ache, but Dewey's story was worth it. I don't think I've cried over something in a book since I read the beginning of the first Mandy story, but oh well.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Star Trek: The Rings of Time by Greg Cox

The Rings of Time. (Star Trek: The Original Series). Greg Cox. Based on the TV series created by Gene Roddenberry. 2012. Pocket Books. Pages: 304. [Source: Bought.]

Cover image
 
This was rather interesting. I liked it, and I got to learn about some of Star Trek history.
 
In this adventure, you're introduced to a crew of four original characters - Colonel Shaun Christopher, son of US Force Captain John Christopher (which we've met in the The Original Series episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday"), Alice Fontana, Dr. Marcus O'Herlihy, and Zoe Querez . Throughout the novel, you switch back and forth between Shaun's point of view and Kirk's.
 
It was an engaging read, and it had quite a few laugh-worthy moments. But there are a few things I didn't like about it.
 
In the 23rd Century, it seems the need to swear has disappeared almost entirely. There's only a few times where words that have been said have ever jumped to the PG-13 level (such as in the movies, and books). In The Rings of Time, because it jumps between the 23rd and 21st Centuries, you go from having calm waters (in terms of expletives), to an almost raging river in 2020. Fontana is definitely the most vocal in that respect, but thankfully she never uttered (or the author never revealed) anything that would have made me flinch if I was watching it on TV.
 
The second thing that got me was the fact that Kirk gave into temptation when he was locked in an airlock with Zoe. As you can suspect, they got a little handsy, so I skipped the scene. Thankfully, it wasn't very long. Really, Greg?! We didn't need to see that!
 
In the end, all I could do was facepalm with a sigh, because its Kirk we're talking about. The most notorious ladies man of the Star Trek franchise. This is why I prefer Picard over Kirk.
 
I enjoyed the novel because of the suspense most of all. I love a good tense adventure. There was certainly a lot of Spock in the novel, which I liked because, you know, I'm a big Spock fangirl. Again, I wished it was a little longer, but it can't be helped - I didn't write it! lol.
 
The Rings of Time gives a brief peek into the life of Earthlings and how the societies of Earth were functioning before the Vulcans arrived on the scene. Oh, and before World War III decimated most of the planet. 

















Friday, October 9, 2015

Another November

"But in reading literature I become a thousand [people] and yet remain myself."
~ C.S. Lewis
 
Another November is on its way, and yet it seems like I just blinked and left June in the dust. This will be my second November NaNoWriMo, and I will be writing a novel called The Infinity Machine. I'm so psyched because I thought of the idea for this story back when I was writing By Diadem's Light, and the title came to me not long after. And the title makes sense.
 
With By Diadem's Light, it was more of a production name than an offical name. I had no idea what to call a novel that was basically a re-try of a novel I wanted to call "Terra Nova". But with The Infinity Machine, the name holds wonder and suspense for what I will put in the novel. I am really excited, and the yummy icing on the cake is that I found a really great way on how to structure my story, and I'm getting how the author who made it has explained it. I can't wait to finish planning.
 
Now, let's see how many words I'll be able to write when I try to not hide in my room all day and be more sociable with my family this November, lol.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Wait...Seduction?

That's one thing that makes me crinkle my nose in disgust more often than not - the fact that if a mystery show has a female detective on the hunt in the case, she has to use her feminine wiles in order to get by something one couldn't get by if they tried to just talk through it.

This came to mind when I was watching an episode of Remington Steele - "Steele Away With Me" I think - (warning: spoilers if you haven't watched the show yet!) where the female protagonist show took on the role of a rich, snobby party girl in order to get to a drug dealer/smuggler (can't remember which) in order to get the information she needed. She goes, in one scene, from wearing a dress that only goes to mid-thigh, to wearing a super-skin-tight bathing suit that bears all (!) basically in the next scene! I mean, the bathing suit had a high-collar, but it was see-through and it showed every curve.

This show is old, not really old, but not something you'd see a re-run of. Which brings up the question in my mind, "How will the world view my Private Investigator if she doesn't sleuth with sex and seduction in her repertoire???" I want to provide a clean mystery where my protagonist, Estelle Evans (no longer De Sauveterre), doesn't have to be immoral in order to get the information she wants. I want her to be the Nancy Drew for adults and older teenagers. But how?

Well, unfortunately, this is where I'll just have to test the waters, see where interests lie. Because I'm pretty sure that people will read a good story if its interesting enough. Not everything has to be a part of today's sex-culture.