Adventures in Books… Under the Paw

under the paw

“For years, Tom Cox might have seemed like a regular, hard-living sort of bloke — a lover of late nights, rock music and beer — but he had a dark furry secret. Tom was a cat lover. Always had been, in fact. For a while, he kept his passion in check, but there was only so long he could postpone his true dream, especially after he met Dee, his moggy-loving soulmate. In 2001, Tom left London and his job as a rock critic behind, and he and Dee, replete with Dee’s cat Janet and three new kittens, moved to a remote part of Norfolk, a county where they knew not one living human soul. They thought it would be easy. They thought their cat madness had reached its limit. They were very wrong on both counts. In UNDER THE PAW, Tom records the chaos of owning seven of the most charismatic, idiotic and duplicitous cats in the country. How exactly does a person go from living a fancy-free young metropolitan life to suddenly thinking it is normal to be on 24-hour call for multiple sets of whiskers? What are the essential rules of disposing of a dead pheasant? How do you learn to love your wife’s ex’s favourite pet? Tom addresses all these issues and much more, encountering death, depression, flying fur and the first human sentence spoken by a feline along the way. Running through all the maelstrom is the heartbreaking story of his long and chequered relationship with The Bear, his oldest cat: a “painfully sensitive” survivor moggy who may or may not be an evil genius.”

This is the first book about Tom and his 6 cats and focuses on how he came to be a cat owner himself after leaving home and finding his own life. The story focuses on the cat man, rather than the cat lady (the stereotype) and it is nice to see someone being so honest about their life with cats.

I really enjoyed Talk of the Tail so was happy when this also came down in price for the Kindle. It’s a heart-warming story about how life if impacted by little creatures who are extremely self-sufficient in some ways, then stupidly not in others.

I enjoyed the stories about introducing new cats to the other cats and knowing that sometimes it just does not work and having to accept that. There is also heart break with the story of a young cat living life to the full and unfortunately getting hit by a car. It was sad to read and think about.

I realised that I find the lives of animals much more interesting than the lives of people. I enjoyed reading about Tom’s life, but was really reading to see how the cats reacted! I’m just being honest!  I also understood how he and his wife ended up with 6 cats as I would not be able to turn any away if they needed to live with me and got on with the other cats. It was interesting to see how they worked around the cats and always did what was best, even leaving The Bear with a previous boyfriend as he preferred it there. It must have been really hard, but they did what was best for the cat at the time – and had no problem taking him back when the guy moved out of the country.

The one thing I didn’t realise was that cats can and will wander off for days or even weeks. I am constantly debating my decision to keep my two as house cats and taken them out into the garden on leads. However I know it would cause me a lot of stress and worry if they didn’t come home one time and I would not like to go back on letting them out freely and try and keep them as house cats after. It would not be far to do it that way round, so I am keeping them in and giving them lots of different toys (although loo roll middles are their favourite things!).

Okay, back to the books. Another really enjoyable quick read that was perfect for my week off work. I would recommend Tom’s books for any cat lover out there.

Adventures in Books… Talk to the Tail

talk to the tail

“Following on from Tom’s life with six cats in UNDER THE PAW, he now picks up the story in TALK TO THE TAIL, updating readers on what has happened with his feline friends as well as looking back for more confessions about his animal-loving past. 
Readers of Tom’s previous book will be delighted to read what has happened to his six eccentric cats. Why does Janet keep bringing 1980s sweet wrappers into the house? Will 24-hour surveillance of The Bear, using a state-of-the-art cat GPS system, finally solve the mystery of his wanderlust? Tom also writes about his bumbling forays into the remainder of the animal kingdom. He attempts to overcome his crippling fear of horses with disastrous results, chase ostriches in Kenya, put his hand into a tiger’s mouth for 0.9 seconds and he meets his ‘alter-doggo’ — the spaniel Tom regularly walks who likes to roll around in dead animals. Where will it all end? Will he give in to temptation and get a dog, a goat or even more cats? With this soppy creature-obsessive, anything is possible.”

I’m reading these in the wrong order, but when they go to 99p for Kindle I just jumped at this one and then the first book went to 99pm once I was in the middle. The second book is still more expensive so am holding off for a while.

I love cats! This has expanded exponentially since getting two of my own and so I have an amazon wishlist full of cat books at the moment. I read A Streetcat Called Bob last year and loved it. I sometime find it hard to read non-fiction, but these kinds of books are just a different kind of story.

This book is all about Tom and his life with 6 cats. How he came by having 6 cats is told in another book. It is funny and real and shows that all cats have a life and personality of their own. It is also shows how every decision you make always comes back to the cats. For example buying a house and the type of garden you want. It is also says a lot about how relationships are impacted and it is just as complicated with pets if a relationship ends.

Cats notice change and feel stress and emotions just as we do, but we are not always good at interpreting what they need.  This books has made me more aware of the little character differences between my cats and making sure I treat them well in the ways they need and want.

This was a lovely quick book to read and made me smile. I read it all in one day while I was on leave from work and very much enjoyed that day of relaxation.  I hope there are more books about the adventures of The Bear and Tom and all the other cats he meets along the way.

Adventures in Books… Bones Never Lie


“For a decade, Temperance Brennan has been haunted by the one who got away.

The killer of young women. The monster.

And the one who has now come back.

Feeding on fear, grief and rage.

Killing again. Killing girls.

Getting closer.

Coming for Tempe.”

I needed a good crime novel from one of my favourite authors. I love this series of books and was super happy when this was annoy he’d and pre-ordered it for my kindle, which is something I haven’t done in a while.

I loved at it came just before I had a week off so I finished it over three evening if reading. It would have been two but I just could not keep my eyes open on the second night.

This was a great story. Intriguing and full of twists. I admit I guessed part of the ending but not all of it. I still live to see how they follow the evidence to get to the offender. I like the science included in these books and this one was no exception. It is well explained for the casual reader but will enough information that you could follow up if you wanted to.

I was really happy Ryan was back in the book and can’t wait for the next one to see how their relationship continues tater the ups and downs it has taken so far.

The crimes committed in this books were quite disturbing but well written and the desire to find the perpetrator was clear throughout. I was drawn into the story straight away and read with interest how it developed and the relationships between the characters. It was a page turner and just what I needed right now.

Adventures in Books… City of Heavenly Fire


“Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian – but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance… Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final instalment of the Mortal Instruments series?”

I read this one as I needed to finish the series but I still prefer the other series set in this world.

Overall I enjoyed the book and the rounding off of the series. I don’t want to give anything away so I will keep it vague. I think I preferred the first three books with this set of characters, but it did take an interesting direction with this set of three.

We learnt more about the shadow world and the downworlders and their relationships to each other and the politics. We lost some characters I wasn’t expecting and gained some new ones that linked well to the other series.

I really like the history and relationships that have developed over time. The names that have withstood time and still hold meaning for people.

I am intrigued to see where the next story goes. The book is left open enough to guess there will be another set of books.

Overall they are quick and easy young adult fantasy novels that don’t require much thought, but are entertains and engaging to the reader. I enjoyed them.

Adventures in (Audio)Books… Grave Peril


“Harry Dresden’s faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago area phone book. But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: the spirit world’s gone loco. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble – and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone – or something – is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself …”

Audible sent me through an offer I couldn’t resist – £1.99 a month for 3 months, compared to the normal £7.99 a month! I had to sign back up and this was the perfect excuse to get the next Dresden Files book, which is narrated by James Masters! I love his narration so much!

I enjoyed this book although I got a bit lost on where the story was going in the middle but it was interesting and there was some character development and as this series just realised something like book 15 I felt like I needed tolerance bait more about Harry.

I loved being able to listen once I was in bed as I’ve been struggling to read once I’m tried but need something to help me unwind.

I don’t think there was a major jump in overall story but there were some new characters introduced and some background to previous characters. I have no idea where the overall story is headed but am intrigued to see if there is a big bad (still use this term from Buffy) that will become a major plot line. Otherwise I like the style of crime and fantasy mixed together.

I plan on continuing to get these as audiobooks as I love them in this form.

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