Of Cats and Men by Sam Kalda

Book Review


Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History's Great Cat-loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and StatesmenBook Genre: Non-fiction, History

Book Series: N/A

Released: 4/2017 by Ten Speed Press

Pages: 101  Price: $16.oo Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Bio, More Info

Buy the Book: Amazon Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History’s Great Cat-Loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

A stylish, illustrated gift book from an award-winning artist that profiles notable cat-loving men throughout history in words and pictures.

Of Cats and Men presents a fresh approach to cat entertainment that’s smart, sweet, and driven by beautiful art (instead of tacky photography, as many cat books are). Appealing to both men and women, the “cat men” approach is a fun twist on the “cat lady” stereotype and makes for a highly giftable book. The 30 men profiled range from writers and artists such as Haruki Murakami, T.S. Eliot, William S. Burroughs, and Ai Weiwei, to historical luminaries such as Sir Winston Churchill, Nikola Tesla, and Sir Issac Newton. In addition to the portraits, the book features beautifully hand-lettered quotes about cats by some of the men, including Twain’s “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.”

My Review:

The synopsis is pretty spot on for this book.  It is a charming little gift or coffee table book featuring profiles of famous cat-loving men throughout history.  Many of them you will know but some might be surprising.  The book is handsomely illustrated and features quotes from many of the men profiled in the book.

The book isn’t very long and would make a great gift for the cat man or woman in your life.  I have been fortunate to share my home one and might save my copy for him for Father’s Day.  After all, our cats are our children and he might appreciate the recognition and to see what great company he keeps.

Not a lot more to say.  It was a quick read and of exceptional quality printing wise. I liked it but wasn’t overly excited about it.  It was interesting but nothing profound inside its pages.  I still think it is a tad overpriced at $16.00 but at least you get something worthy of giving.

My Rating: 3 Stars


The Illustrated Book of Sayings by Ella Frances Sanders

Book Review


Book Genre: Non-Fiction, Coffee Table Book, Art

Book Series: NA

Released: 9/13/16 by Ten Speed Press

Pages:162   Price: $14.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s SiteMore InfoAuthor Bio

Buy the Book: Amazon The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program.

Book Synopsis:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller, Lost in Translation, come this collection of 52 artistic renderings of sayings from around the world that illuminate the whimsical nature of language.

Ella Frances Sanders’s first book, Lost in Translation, captured the imagination of readers with its charmingly illustrated words that have no direct English translation. Now, the New York Times-bestselling author is back with an illustrated collection that addresses the nuances of language in the form of sayings from around the world. From the French idiom “to pedal in the sauerkraut,” (i.e., “to spin your wheels,”) to the Japanese idiom “even monkeys fall from trees” (meaning, “even experts can be wrong”), Sanders presents sayings that reveal the remarkable diversity, humor, and poignancy of the world’s languages and cultures.

My Review:

What an interesting little book!  I was hesitant to request this title as I wasn’t exactly sure what it was all about.  I took a chance because it was the only book they offered for review that peaked my interest and I so happy to have received this title.  Sometimes it is worth taking a chance, sometimes it pays off!

I thought it was going to just be a coffee table book of sayings, idioms from around the world with some illustration.  To be honest I was expecting something kinda boring… sorry.  I thought my husband might find it interesting and I could pass it on to him after I read it.  I still plan to let him read it but this little gem is staying in my library.  What I didn’t realize was that the author went into detail about the history of each idiom and gave us some of the history or quirkiness associated with each phrase.  That is what made this book for me, totally.  It also didn’t hurt that two of the sayings I enjoyed the most were Bulgarian (where my husband is from) and Turkish (what my husband is: Bulgarian Turk).  Those two pages I quizzed him and covered the translation and made him read the sayings in their original language.  Pleased to report each one was translated correctly and he was delighted to see a part of his heritage in the book.  A couple other of my favorites were from Japan and India (Hindi).

This is such a delightful little book it would make a great gift to someone you might know that travels the world or simply wishes to travel. A linguist or philosopher would also find this book delightful as well.  Perfect for a college grad too.  The price isn’t too high, would love to see it around $10, but for the quality of the binding and being hardcover $15 isn’t unreasonable.  I really can’t find any fault in this book and plan to check out the other title by this author.

My Rating: 5 Stars

The Time Chamber by Daria Song

The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book
Links to Goodreads

Companion coloring book to The Time Garden: Published 10/13/15: 80 Pages

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through blogging for books for an honest review

 More Info : Author BioRead Chapter One

Book Synopsis:

Korean artist Daria Song’s sequel to The Time Garden takes readers on a visual journey into a magical nighttime world seen through the eyes of a fairy.

This second book in best-selling Korean artist Daria Song’s coloring series features the voyage of a fairy who, when the cuckoo clock chimes midnight, enters the human world. To the tiny fairy, everything seems enormous and magical, from the curtains to the chandelier to a mystical rowboat that takes her further into an inky adventure. Filled with the imaginative, intricately detailed illustrations Song’s readers have come to love, The Time Chamber presents a view of our world made new—and ready for coloring.


My Review:

I had the opportunity to review the companion book by this author about the little girls side of this story and found it delightful. When I found this book available I wanted to add it to my library as well. It is full of the same beautifully intricate drawings by this talented artist, Ms. Song.

Much of what was said about The Time Garden in my review can be said for this book also.  It is of excellent quality, made from thick paper that I put to the test this time with markers.  The pages held up and not one drop bleed through to the other side with any of the colors I used.  I did not use sharpies, but standard craft quality markers you can find someplace like Target.  My only complaint again is that I wish the pages could be lain flat to make coloring in the inside by the binding easier.

The story is cute and again a nice change from standard coloring books out there.  The pictures are lovely and quite intricate, probably best for more experienced color artists and those with a steady hand.  Slow and steady though and eventually all the illustrations will become colorful expressions of an afternoon or evening spent relaxing.  I plan to keep this book and its companion on my coffee table for movie watching and when ever I need to unwind.

The books would make lovely gifts for most anyone, but I recommend for those friends you might have that are in need of finding some inner peace through recapturing a bit of their youth.  Who wouldn’t smile to find one or both of these books with a fresh package of colored pencils waiting for them on their desk at work or their favorite comfy chair. Or perhaps pick them up and treat yourself to an afternoon tech free finding your own happy spot.


My Rating: 4 Stars

The Time Garden by Daria Song

The Time Garden: A Magical Journey and Coloring Book
Links to Goodreads page


Book one of companion coloring books: Released 9/1/15

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Book for an honest review

More Info  &  Author Bio

Book Synopsis:

Journey through the doors of a mysterious cuckoo clock into its inky innerworkings to discover a magical land of clock gears, rooftops, starry skies, and giant flying owls—all ready for you to customize with whatever colors you can dream up.

Cuckoo . . . cuckoo . . . cuckoo . . . When the clock strikes midnight, you’ll wonder, was it all a dream?

The Time Garden features extra-thick craft paper, ideal for non bleed-through coloring, and the jacketed cover with flaps is removable and colorable. Special gold-foil stamping on the cover and spine and a To/From page make it perfect for gifting to adults and kids alike.

Then, explore the magical world outside the clock through the eyes of a fairy in the sequel, The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book!

My Review:

I’m sure many of you have heard or read articles about the latest craze of adult coloring books.  They are all over the book stores and libraries and nursing homes are starting up coloring clubs for color enthusiasts of all ages.  My own library has started up a program and when I came across this title I had to give it a shot.

The book is simply beautiful, worthy of any gift giving occasion with the lovely foil stamping on the cover and spine.  The pages have a nice feel to them and take a colored pencil well.  The designs are very intricate and perhaps even a bit intimidating for those returning to the world of coloring.  What I liked most about this coloring book though it that isn’t simple a collection of pictures based upon a theme and bound together.  This coloring book has a story to go along with the beautiful artwork inside.   The images then proceed to take us along with the main character on a great adventure!

Like I said the pictures are very intricate and I would use very fine tipped markers or colored pencils with a sharpener on hand.  This book would be great to keep someplace where you can spend a few minutes or longer working on a picture as you “watch” a movie with the spouse or visit on the phone or wait for an appointment.  Actually this book would be perfect for those times you are stuck waiting on tech support to fix some issue because it might actually succeed in keeping you calm.

This is my first adult coloring book and I’m afraid it has probably set the standard pretty high for the next that I add to my home library.  There is only two things I would have changed about this book.  The first is I wish it was bound different, with pages to are able to lay completely flat.  To get to the inside of the pages for coloring you are going to have to break the binding.  Also I would have mixed in some less intricate pictures so that “artists” of all skill level could enjoy picking out a picture to spend an afternoon with.  It is simply a charming book though and I look forward to seeing the companion book that tells the story from the fairy’s perspective.  This book is the beginning of a colorful and creative new hobby for me!

My Rating: 4 Stars