Natsuki Books was a tiny second-hand bookshop on the edge of town. Inside, towering shelves reached the ceiling, every one crammed full of wonderful books. Rintaro Natsuki loved this space that his grandfather had created. He spent many happy hours there, reading whatever he liked. It was the perfect refuge for a boy who tended to be something of a recluse. After the death of his grandfather, Rintaro is devastated and alone. It seems he will have to close the shop. Then, a talking tabby cat called Tiger appears and asks Rintaro for help. The cat needs a book lover to join him on a mission. This odd couple will go on three magical adventures to save books from people who have imprisoned, mistreated and betrayed them. Finally, there is one last rescue that Rintaro must attempt alone . . .
Second book of 2022 complete and it’s only the second week of January!
Where do I start with The Cat Who Saved Books? A few months back while hitting a popular online bookshop for some much needed retail therapy, I came across this title and thought to myself that it would be a lovely read; I like cats and I like books so clearly would be a good choice. I read the blurb and figured if it’s an adult book with a talking tabby cat as a character, then that’s a book I seriously need in my life! And I’m wasn’t disappointed in the slightest!
Standing at 217 pages it’s a small book but there are plenty of sentences and paragraphs which have a massive impact on the reader and the characters are whimsical but so very strong in personality!
I adore how Tiger the talking tabby cat pops up one day in Rintaro’s hour of need (in my view Rintaro doesn’t know it’s his hour of need but as I got toward the end of the book it hit me that he really needed help from the cat rather than the cat needing help from him) and really brings Rantaro in to his own skin, so to speak, and takes him on this fantastical adventure that only someone with a life long love for books could possibly feel the true meaning of.
For me, this was the perfect short read to break up my habit of crime thrillers and I can’t rave about it enough! I’d give it a full on 10/10 and whenever I picked it up to read and Tiger came along, I heard Eddie Izzard’s voice in my head for the whole of his narrative! because it’s a translated book there’s use of Japanese words and culture throughout the translation giving it a truly original and cultural feel.
Sosuke Natsukawa is a doctor in Nagano, Japan. His first book Kamisama No Karute (‘God’s Medical Records’) won the Shogakukan Fiction Prize and received second prize at the Japan Bookseller Awards. It sold over 1.5 million copies and was adapted into a film in Japan.