[Vicki Myron] Â Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World [european-literature PDF] Ebook Epub Download ☆ I didn t expect this book to be quality literature and of course it wasn t It was a feel good book, only I ve noticed that most feel good books actually make me feel nauseous instead of good Especially those that idealize small town America.
I thought I was going to scream if I had to read another paragraph about how amazing the town of Spencer, Iowa is To give you a taste That s another of Spencer s unique and valuable assets its people We are good, solid, hardworking midwesterners We are proud but humble We don t brag Sure they don t I have just read a 275 page long eulogy to Spencer and its people.
Try as she might Vicki Myron didn t fool me Under a heavy sugar coat I could see rotten flesh bubbling with old grudges, grievances and hostilities I would love to read about that but I guess it was a no go as the people s real names were used.
The book was really chopped a bit like my review There were parts about Dewey, bits about Vicky s life, and the history of the town all thrown in together They didn t blend very well but I was slightly entertained by some chapters so I am giving it two stars.
Oh yeah, the cat was cute.
Vicky Myron s Dewey is a book about many things life in small town Iowa, Vicky s own life history, the important role a library can play in the life and identity of a community and, of course, Dewey read books, one of the best known and well loved cats in the world.
Despite the variety of topics Myron writes about, her book holds together so well through her decision to write honestly about everything Some of her personal and family history was obviously difficult to write about, but its her willingness to do so that makes this book much than a simple book about a library cat.
Dewey was, of course, the catalyst catalyst for writing the book and his story is a great one His adventures as a library cat make for entertaining reading and any cat lover will appreciate Dewey s spirit and personality Even , cat lovers will nod knowingly as they read about the strong emotional bond Dewey has with those closest to him.
While Myron was Dewey s mom , she also has the wisdom and the insight to understand the impact one special cat can have on individual lives as well as an entire community She also does a fine job honoring and respecting that one special cat and the impact he had on her life.
I thought I was reading a book about a cat, but I wound up reading a book about a woman with a lot of troubles in her life For every chapter that was actually about Dewey, there seemed to be 2 or 3 that were just about her I m very sorry for the losses in this woman s life, and the things she went through, but that s not what I set out to read I expected a good, light hearted story about a cat, but every time I reached a point where my spirits were lifted, Ms Myron brought it all crashing down with the next crisis drama involving herself and her family There were some very sweet stories about the cat, which pushes it from one star to two I wish there had been I also think it would have been a good idea to include actual testimony about Dewey from people he had touched Also, some of the articles written about Dewey could have been included instead of the little notes recreated They may have been cute, but honestly, by the time the longer ones were put in there, I wasn t even reading them.
Yet another book that I had to force myself to finish.
There is a common idiomatic phrase,it does exactly what it says on the tinWell in the case of Dewey The small town library cat who touched the world by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter, it doesn t The book is a bit of a hotch potch It starts out as a very promising and touching animal story The librarian of a small town library in Spencer, Iowa, discovers a tiny, frozen, furry bundle in the drop box of her library Incredibly, the bundle proves to be a kitten who is still alive, though barely Which animal lover could not fail to be moved by such an opening especially knowing that it was a true story The next few chapters describe how the kitten wins everyone s hearts, both staff and public Sometimes the events are moving, sometimes comical, just as all encounters with domestic animals are in real life Eventually the long haired ginger kitten becomes formally adopted as a library cat, and namedDewey after the library system read books .
A charming story I was looking forward to the rest Then quite a lot about the town, Spencer, s history started to intrude Fair enough though it put everything in context Spencer had had a chequered past, with changing farming and industrial needs, the Depression, the recession Various new developments had been proposed As a reader I went along with it, wondering when I could chuckle at Dewey s antics again Chapter 5 was entitled,Catnip and rubber bandsAh yes I knew about those I settled down happily Gradually it shifted focus From the introduction we had learnt a little about Spencer and the state of Iowa This was useful information, especially for non American readers And the book says that even Americans tend to think of Iowa as aplace you fly over on your way to somewhere elseIowa is predominantly devoted to the farming industry growing corn, and manufacturing all the by products of corn, such as corn starch, xanthan gum, ethanol etc All the additives which 21st century life seems to need Apparently a startling 70 per cent of the average American diet is corn, in one form or another But then in addition to all the history, the shift of emphasis to facts and figures about trade and industry, we also begin to get autobiographical information about Vicki Myron her ancestors, her friends and co workers, the bigwigs in the town, her current family So now we have three different components Searching for bits about the cat Dewey began to feel like searching for gold within the corn of Iowa.
Vicki Myron s family certainly had a rough life They seemed to have than their fair share of bad luck and poverty, illnesses such as cancer and depression, and alcoholism and suicide Vicki Myron herself had a troubled marriage, had to fight for the right to have a professional job, to bring up her daughter on her own, to cope with teenage alienation, and to deal with her own chronic ill health Many of Spencer s inhabitants suffered, some in similar ways Life was hard, and continues to be so for many small town folk It would be wrong to lessen in any way the courage shown by these individuals, who have to work so hard to survive, and to continue in their community s way of life The message of the book is that Dewey helped Because they began to care about him, people began to regain their self respect when they lost their jobs, or when times were tough and the future looked bleak They began to smile , and to fight to survive There are stories about disabled children, or children who would never speak until they met Dewey Dewey brought people together, and made the library a focus for the community And there are stories of visiting families from all over the world, as the fame of this little cat grew, of articles published in magazines, and even a small slot in a Japanese film.
I have no doubt this is true Animals have a remarkable facility to make humans feel better Stroking a pet has been shown to lessen stress, and slow down the heart rate But the blurb of the book says,This is the heart warming and unforgettable story of a truly idiosyncratic cat with a strong sense of loyalty and love, and a taste for fast food .
There is just too much history of Iowa, too much ethnography, and far too much biography and autobiography, however admirable these people are Perhaps it would interest some readers in itself, but it is of only limited interest in a book supposedly about a cat.
The book really needed to decide its focus from the beginning, and state it honestly The idea came from Vicki Myron, but it was either ghost written or developed into a full length book by Bret Witter It feels very much as though it was artificially expanded On his writer s page Bret Witter describes himself as,a full time professional writer who specializes in contemporary nonfiction, usually working with a co author to tell their inspiring true story which also goes a long way to explain the occasional lapses into sentimental schmaltz, such as,Is that what Iowa is all about Maybe the heartland isn t just the place in the middle of the country maybe it s also the place in the middle of your chest Unfortunately there s quite a lot of that tweeness Pure corn With apologies to Iowa s farming industry for the pun This reader has a sneaky suspicion that the saviour side of Dewey is overly stressed to fit the role he is cast in to save this small town and its people I ve no doubt he was popular, and all cats have their unique special abilities, buttouched the worldThere are sequels too, which is probably primarily a business decision The material here about Dewey would have been better presented as a short book and been far entertaining too.
My local library also has a cat I almost fell over him one morning when I went through the main door he was lapping at a saucer of milk Sometimes I find him asleep in the children s section, next to the radiator He s also a ginger cat, similar to Dewey This book is worth buying for the cover alone, which has a beautiful picture of Dewey in his prime I love cats, and reading about animals, providing the book is not overly twee.
But this book does not do what it says on the tin.
A great library doesn t have to be big or beautiful It doesn t have to have the best facilities or the most efficient staff or the most users A great library provides It is enmeshed in the life of a community in a way that makes it indispensable A great library is one nobody notices because it is always there, and always has what people need A non fiction book about an adorable cat and a small town s history The cat helps change that history and give the town s heart a bit beat Until they acted like asses at the end of his life and started taking that for granted typical people It really comes across as an almost miraculous story when the little bundle of kitten was discovered in the mail slot like discarded trash I m sure the librarians never imagined how popular the cat would eventually become and how much it would affect the life of the librarian, Vicki.
While some of the town lore was interesting, I admit to skimming some of it The fun antics of Dewey captivated me I m a cat lover myself so could relate to some of the chilling spots, box obsessions and personality quirks, but there were new cat weirdness situations that was new to me For example, Dewey LOVES rubber bands, so much so that they had to keep them under lock and key The cat s adorable, and if you ever wanted to know how a cat would adapt to living in a library, here you go Cats and books go together, right It s not just a long book about staring at a cat, but how Dewey changed the lives of several with their own histories When Dewey started becoming one of the furry famous, the stories of interviews and different cat food commercials were interesting that you d think judging off description alone Sweet stories overload There s a tragically handicapped girl who smiled for the first time in years with Dewey s attention, people not wanting to disturb the cards because Dewey was laying in the box, people coming across the country in family trips to find the legendary cat Dewey doesn t just dish out the sweet stuff, though it talks about the naysayers, the political library committees grrr , and of course how people were less accepting of the cat who had done so much for the town with revenue and aid when he gets older and less pleasingly fuzzy The ending is, of course, sad I knew what was coming so that softened the blow, but I was surprised and touched with how much Vicki was affected for life I won t spoil the ending with how she changes her life in a huge way, but it adds a sense of loyalty and charm to a book that was already unique and special.
Besides being a treat for cat lovers, it digs into the details of how special libraries are and how much they offer patrons, especially in small towns that struggle Through economic woes, factory shut downs, numerous changes, the librarian and Dewey stuck around to do what they could in the small amount of time life allotted them After reading the stories of Dewey and all his little habits, Vicki s life and her struggles with her daughter and cancer, I came to really feel like I knew both of them in a way That s one of the best things a non fiction book can do for a person, be authentic enough to give that personal connection read it for the cat, read it for the memories of the small town in Iowa, read it for the library ambience it s worth a look even if it s just for the adorable pictures that grace the chapter headings.
A little disappointing I was expecting a book about Dewey but he hardly featured at all I enjoyed the sections about the other cats but again they were out weighed by long anecdotes about their owners which did not really interest me The best bits are the photos especially the one of Dewey on the cover He was a real beauty.
I really found myself relating to Vicki even when she went off on tangents about the town s history or her family I grew up in a small town, and my corner of Ohio is often surrounded by cornfields as much as her spot in Iowa seems to be, once you get out of the city a little way Vicki s library stories also make me so thankful for the little branch library I had available when I was in school by the time I was in high school, the branch library had been relocated and plopped square between the middle school and high school buildings and was adjoined to them via the high school library, so if the school library didn t have something I could pop through the door to the branch and be right back to school again in a minute Now, here in Akron, we have branches all over the place and several of those Little Free Library spots, but I m enormously spoiled by the main library I can just imagine trying to have a library cat there poor thing would probably get lost and we wouldn t see him for days But Dewey seems to have been a perfect fit for that little library in Iowa.
I really appreciated Vicki s voice in this book she came through so clearly, aided no doubt by Susan McInerney s excellent narration in the audiobook Reading this was like talking pets, books and life with a friend casual, but to the point and expressive Like my own pets cats or otherwise , Dewey will always have a place in my heart, alongside Cleo, Lava and all the other wonderful animal stories out there.
If you ever had a cat growing up then you have to read this book Much like pets, embarking on this comparatively short 275 page journey, you re signing up for the little guy to warm you over, make you smile, and eventually break your heart after a 19 year run With pets, we know what we re getting into and but we just have to do it anyway To outsiders our pets may be labeled just a stupid cat or just a dumb mutt However, if you ve grown up with one before you ve felt that connection You ve shared that special bond, that love Preaching to the choir aside, Dewey is a simple story of cat, helping people through their turbulent lives, with his warm unwavering love Man, I m a sap How Much Of An Impact Can An Animal Have How Many Lives Can One Cat Touch How Is It Possible For An Abandoned Kitten To Transform A Small Library, Save A Classic American Town, And Eventually Become Famous Around The World You Can T Even Begin To Answer Those Questions Until You Hear The Charming Story Of Dewey read books, The Beloved Library Cat Of Spencer, IowaDewey S Story Starts In The Worst Possible Way Only A Few Weeks Old, On The Coldest Night Of The Year, He Was Stuffed Into The Returned Book Slot At The Spencer Public Library He Was Found The Next Working By Library Director Vicki Myron, A Single Mother Who Had Survived The Loss Of Her Family Farm, A Breast Cancer Scare, And An Alcoholic Husband Dewey Won Her Heart, And The Hearts Of The Staff, By Pulling Himself Up And Hobbling On Frostbitten Feet To Nudge Each Of Hem In A Gesture Of Thanks And Love For The Next Nineteen Years, He Never Stopped Charming The People Of Spencer With This Enthusiasm, Warmth, Humility For A Cat , And, Above All, His Sixth Sense About Who Needed Him MostAs His Fame Grew From Town To Town, Then State To State, And Finally, Amazingly, Worldwide, Dewey Became Than Just A Friend He Became A Source Of Pride For An Extraordinary Heartland Farming Town Pulling Its Way Slowly Back From The Greatest Crisis In Its Long History While this is not a great literary book, I give it high rating because it touched my heart and is such a strong reminder of how much animals add to our lives If you have ever saved or rescued an animal, you know how grateful they are and how much love they give back They bring us though hard and sad times in such a special way This little guy touch the hearts and lives of an entire town and, through this book, continues to touch hearts.