What Am I Reading – Chapter Fourteen

Hi Everybody!

We’re halfway done with this year! Can you believe it?

I finally finished all four volumes of A Polar Bear in Love recently. I’m also currently reading Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: Making a Legend by Simon Van Booy and Harvey Briggs. And today, I have two new titles to show you!

One of them is…

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter is about Dewey Readmore Books – the library cat of Spencer, Iowa. At a few weeks old, he was stuffed into a return slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next day by the library director Vicki Myron, who had struggles of her own. Dewey won her and the staff over by nudging each of hem in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next 19 years, he charmed the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility (for a cat), and his sixth sense about who needed him the most. As his fame grew locally, then statewide, and then internationally, Dewey became a source of pride in the Heartland farming town pulling its way slowly back from the greatest crisis in its long history.

I’ve been needing a cat fix for awhile ever since the one that I knew passed away recently. This is a very good substitute so far. I’m only less than 10 chapters in, and Dewey has already charmed me with his lovability and determination to get attention at almost any cost. I mean, look at that face! Don’t you want to hold him in your arms after looking at him? (Hey, if you’re allergic, I totally get it.)

Of course, Myron makes it clear that it wasn’t all a walk in the park. She hilariously recounts the times where she had give Dewey a bath with mostly disastrous results. He apparently also had a habit of chewing on rubber bands and possessed a sixth sense of where to find them even in closed drawers.

I look forward to reading about Dewey’s rise in fame and his overall impact on the people of Spencer, Iowa.

Now, let’s move onto the second and final book of this latest installment…

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates is about a slave named Hiram Walker. When he was a boy, his mother was sold away, and he was robbed of all memory of her. However, he was gifted with a mysterious power. That same power saves his life years later when he almost drowns in a river. This brush with death empowers him to perform a daring scheme: to run away from the only home he’s ever known. Hiram goes on an unexpected journey that takes him far and wide. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

I started this yesterday, and this is very compelling so far. The story immediately begins with the near-drowning episode, and then, it dives into (no pun intended) Hiram’s backstory growing up on a Virginia plantation called Lockless as the black son of the plantation’s owner. Even though I need more time to process my thoughts on it, it’s got me hooked right now.

Part of this is because of the audiobook narration done by Joe Morton. Morton has appeared in movies like Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Speed. He even won an Emmy for his role as Eli Pope – Olivia’s father – on Scandal. He is no stranger to audiobooks as he has recorded over 20 of them, including that of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. His narration on this novel is pretty good so far. He makes clear distinctions among various black and white characters. Also, when he has to sing as Hiram, he gives his all like his life depended on it, and it helps that he has a beautiful singing voice. I’m looking forward to listening to more of this book.

We now have come to the end of the fourteenth chapter of “What Am I Reading?”

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Published by emilyblakowski

I work at two public libraries in southeast Michigan, and I facilitate a book club for one of them. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in History and Theatre from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI; a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI; and a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration also from Wayne. In my downtime, I love hanging out with friends, listening to music (like classic rock and K-pop), and watching shows like "Monty Python's Flying Circus"!

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