Book Review ~ Dewey by Vicki Myron

51vqjqdidrl__ss500_2Summary ~ DEWEY ~ THE SMALL -TOWN LIBRARY CAT WHO TOUCHED the WORLD (From Publishers Weekly):
One frigid Midwestern winter night in 1988, a ginger kitten was shoved into the after-hours book-return slot at the public library in Spencer, Iowa. And in this tender story, Myron, the library director, tells of the impact the cat, named Dewey Readmore Books, had on the library and its patrons, and on Myron herself. Through her developing relationship with the feline, Myron recounts the economic and social history of Spencer as well as her own success story—despite an alcoholic husband, living on welfare, and health problems ranging from the difficult birth of her daughter, Jodi, to breast cancer. After her divorce, Myron graduated college (the first in her family) and stumbled into a library job. She quickly rose to become director, realizing early on that this was a job I could love for the rest of my life. Dewey, meanwhile, brings disabled children out of their shells, invites businessmen to pet him with one hand while holding the Wall Street Journal with the other, eats rubber bands and becomes a media darling. The book is not only a tribute to a cat—anthropomorphized to a degree that can strain credulity (Dewey plays hide and seek with Myron, can read her thoughts, is mortified by his hair balls)—it’s a love letter to libraries.

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In challenging times like we are facing right now, I believe it is important and good for the human soul to read a story like Dewey ~ The Small-Town Cat Who Touched the World.  To see a town and it’s citizens hit hard by financial woes, illness and all of life’s hard knocks, come together through the love of a single feline is a miracle.  The story of Dewey, the cat of the Spencer Library in Spencer, Iowa is a labor of love and respect for a cat and the lives that he affected locally and around the world. 

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This story was a great one about the love for a cat who just happened to be left in the book return bin at a library in a small town and who was rescued by a woman and her library staff who allowed him to nestle and cuddle his way into their lives and the lives of so many others.  There are so many touching and tear-jerking passages in this book, that at almost every sitting, I had to grab a wad of tissues in order to make it though the chapter.  From Dewey’s visits with the children of Spencer, Iowa when they would come to the library for story hour, to the handicapped children who brightened and became more alert in Dewey’s presence.  Vicki Myron, with the help of writer Bret Witter, does a fabulous job of giving the reader background information about the townspeople of Spencer and even shares very personal stories from her own life in order to paint a complete picture of just how powerful and important Dewey Readmore Books’ friendship and love was.

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Dewey graced the shelves and rooms of the Spencer Library for nineteen years and though he couldn’t possibly have known the impact he had on people all over the world, he knew that the time he spent with people in his library was worth while and helped bring smiles to sad hearts on a daily basis.

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I absolutely loved this book.  It was a great story about a cat that made a difference to many.  The book was very easy to get lost in and there weren’t many slow parts at all.  I would recommend this book to any animal or book lover and I must advise that you keep a box of tissues close by at all times.

{Rating ~ 4.5 out of 5}

Thanks to Library Thing’s Early Reviewer Program for sending me my free copy of Dewey.

Sunday Salon ~ December 7th, 2008

It’s been a busy weekend for me in the kitchen.  We had dinner guests over this evening and one of the dishes on the table was a Triple-Chocolate Peppermint Trifle.  I got the recipe from the December issue of Martha Stewart Living and let me tell you what, that thing was awesome to eat but a pain to make.  In all the excitement I forgot to take a picture of my own creation so here is the pic from the magazine and MarthaStewart.com

I also made Snickerdoodles again for my little friend Madi since she really liked them when I brought some over to her house a couple of weeks ago.  Now she has her own box of cookies to enjoy.  In addition to those yummy eats, I made Peppermint Bark and I think I could give Williams~Sonoma a run for their money this season.  I used a recipe by Paula Deen but added a good dose of Peppermint extract to the white chocolate. 

This Wednesday I am participating in a cookie swap and have to make six dozen cookies.  I have chosen to make Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies.  The recipe is a bit time consuming because you have to chill the dough so many times but it will be worth it.  I start that challenge tomorrow. 

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In the mean time I have been reading Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World by Vicki Myron.  I won a copy through Library Things Early Reviewer Program earlier this fall.  This book is so great and touching that I have already cried at least once per chapter.  I’m not very far along yet, and don’t see myself really having any good reading time in the next few days, but I try to read a chapter a night before fading off to sleep.  Let’s just say that my dog, Rocky, has been getting even more hugs on top of the plethora I give him each day because of Dewey. 

Well, as you can tell by the looks of this blog, I am in full Christmas mode here in Okinawa.  I’ve got the Christmas tunes synced on my iPod and I created two different Christmas playlists on my iTunes program and I have some favorite holiday internet raidio stations picked out on iTunes radio.  One of my favorite versions of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” is sung by Jewel and her Mother.  I’ve included it for you below.  Enjoy!