Mini-Reviews of Short Non-Fiction

May 4, 2014 non-fiction 22

18167018Title: How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity
Author: Patricia Carlin
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Parts of this book really worked for me. Other parts, not so much. Many of the jokes were punny and ridiculous and over-the-top, but I enjoyed them because of the love of cats underlying the jokes. Some of the jokes were truly hilarious, regardless of context, and made me laugh out loud as I read. I was a bit disappointed with the focus on making fun of celebrity culture though. This isn’t because those parts weren’t funny to me. I just hoped for more of a focus on cats, which interest me far more than celebrities. There were a few suggestions for things to do with your cat that could be harmful to your cat. While to me it was obvious this suggestions weren’t meant to be taken seriously, I personally wouldn’t ever bet against human stupidity. The responsible choice, I think, would have been to leave those suggestions out. However, those small complaints aside, I definitely got enough amusement out of this book to justify the time spent on it. The funny cat pictures alone are enough reason to pick this up, if you love cats and are looking for a fun, short read.

FictitiousDishes hc c.JPGTitle: Fictitious Dishes
Author: Dinah Fried
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆

Although I loved the idea of taking photographs of recreations of meals from classic books, I was concerned the resulting book would be too insubstantial to be enjoyable. I was wrong. Each two page spread includes a picture by Dinah, a quote from the book, and some fun facts. The pictures are beautifully done, with incredible attention to detail. Since I’m not used to reading coffee table books, I initially had to make myself slow down to appreciate the pictures. I quickly became engaged enough by the pictures that I lingered over them naturally. The passages from the books complemented the pictures perfectly and the fun facts gave me a little something extra to think about. All in all, an enjoyable and beautiful book. The final product was just as cool as the premise, making this a great gift for the classic lover in your life (even if that means gifting this to yourself).

22 Responses to “Mini-Reviews of Short Non-Fiction”

  1. Birgit

    Not much of a cat person here though I can see the appeal of the book for Grumpy Cat fans! The second book on the other hand is right down my alley – I enjoy coffee-table books a lot, though sometimes I need to remind myself not to rush through them. It’s all about savoring the book, in this case, quite literally.

    • DoingDewey

      It’s true, I think it would be perfect for fans of Grumpy Cat! I don’t think I’d ever read a coffee table book before, but by the end, I was really enjoying taking my time and appreciating the details of the pictures. I thought it was very well done.

    • DoingDewey

      The pictures were just so well done, the little bit of writing was enough. The snippets from the books were almost always enough that I got what was going on, even if I hadn’t read the book. It also made this a fun way to sample some of the classics. I ended up having a lot of fun reading it.

    • DoingDewey

      That’s a brilliant idea! I love the idea of having a book themed party some day and this really would be helpful for getting food ideas.

    • DoingDewey

      It was very cool! Like I said, I was worried it would be too insubstantial to be enjoyable, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had reading it 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks for mentioning the NPR feature! I went and checked out their interview with the author and really enjoyed reading it. It was a pretty awesome book 🙂

  2. Allison @ The Book Wheel

    I read about the Fictitious Dishes and it sounds pretty neat. But, I’m not a foodie so I usually gloss over those parts of books, which means I probably won’t get this book and will rely on you and the internet to give me the highlighted photographs 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      I’m not a foodie either, but I did still enjoy it. I don’t know that I’d have gotten to it if I hadn’t gotten a review copy either though. It’s great that you can find so many of the pictures online!

  3. tanya

    I had been toying with the idea of reading the cat book because I love cats. Part of what is holding me back is that I’m pretty sure my cat is not destined to be an internet sensation regardless of how hard i try.

    • DoingDewey

      Haha, yeah, I’m pretty sure my cat thinks she’s too awesome already to work at it! It was a funny book, but I’d recommend it more to people who want to laugh about pop culture than I would to people who love cats.

  4. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Fictitious Dishes sounds really cool! Were the dishes mostly from Classic literature? I’m the kind of person who skims over pictures too, but I think I would enjoy taking my time over that book!

    • DoingDewey

      Yep, they were all from classics, especially if by classics you just mean older books. A few of them, I hadn’t heard of, but that certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t considered classics! Most of them I had at least heard of though and I’d read maybe one in three, which I thought was a good number. It was exciting to see the ones I’d read and for the ones I hadn’t, it was fun to sample a little bit 🙂

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