Tooth & Claw, a new FREE short story inspired by actual events, available 7 September.
Aspasía S. Bissas
Aspasía S. Bissas
Given that libraries have kept cats as far back as Ancient Egypt, it’s probably safe to assume that bookstores have had resident cats for as long as there have been bookstores. Besides stopping rodents from destroying the books, cats are a soothing presence to (non-allergic) staff and visitors, act as a store’s (or library’s) public face, and add life to what can be a sterile environment. On top of all that, cats and book people are simply a natural combination. Here’s a small sampling of the bookstore cats who keep books safe and hearts warmed…
Parrot, from Pegasus Books in Oakland, California, may be grumpy but she still gets fan mail.
The Wild Rumpus (Minneapolis, Minnesota) kitties:
Booker T (who loves strollers)…
Trini Lopez (has a thing for tasty crickets)…
…and Walter Dean (the youngest and the biggest of the three). Wild Rumpus has several other store animals too, including Ferdinand the Ferret and Thomas Jefferson the tarantula (my kind of place!)
Kona Stories on Kailua-Kona in Hawaii also has two cats in residence:
Noble (once a twosome, along with “Barnes,” who found a forever home with a garden)…
…and Chloe (who adores attention). They have their own page on Kona Stories’s website.
Copperfield’s in Healdsburg, California, is also a multi-cat store:
Sweetpea (who lives up to her name, although she thinks she’s tough)…
…and Jack (who’s a bit of a bully to visiting dogs).
Does your favourite bookstore (or library) have a cat? Share in the comments 🙂 You can read more about the history of library cats here.
I love old houses (old buildings in general, actually). While I can appreciate the practical benefits of a new house, they leave me, well, bored. Old houses have style. They have personality. They have soul. Throw in a resident writer and you’ve got a house worth living in (or at least visiting). Here are 10 writers’ houses that are worth checking out…
Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, England: The cottage where Thomas Hardy was born. I love the thatched roof and garden.
Galmpton, Devon, England: Greenway Estate, home to Agatha Christie, was designated a World Heritage Site in 2004. Christie set several of her novels in the area.
Danville, California, USA: Eugene O’Neill wrote The Iceman Cometh and Long Day’s Journey Into Night at Tao House.
Rodmell, East Sussex, England: Not only is Monk’s House where Virginia Woolf worked on Mrs. Dalloway, it was also where she hosted the Bloomsbury Group.
Amherst, Massachusetts, USA: With a house like this, I can understand why Emily Dickinson was a recluse. The poet didn’t spend her entire life at the Homestead, but she was born here, and after moving back as a young woman spent the rest of her life here.
Draveil (former village of Champrosay), France: Can I just go ahead and move into Alphonse Daudet’s home, located a few kilometres south of Paris? Daudet finished Letters from My Windmill here, and also held famous weekly gatherings of the luminaries of the French arts scene (Zola, Proust & Rodin were among the regulars).
Nohant, Indre, France: More gorgeous French style at George Sand’s home. Sand wrote many of her books here, as well as hosting artists, musicians, and writers (Frédéric Chopin lived, and composed, here for several years). The house has been classified as a National Historic Monument of France.
Hartford, Connecticut, USA: Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in this house’s billiards room, which also doubled as his study.
Lenox, Massachusetts, USA: Edith Wharton’s grand home, The Mount, was where she wrote most of her novels, and where she presumably implemented the advice from her first book (co-authored with Ogden Codman), The Decoration of Houses.
Concord, Massachusetts, USA: Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women.
What’s your favourite writer’s home? Share in the comments…
Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to our neighbours to the south!
Wishing all my friends to the south a happy Independence Day!
Are you looking for good books to help appreciate the day? Here’s Goodreads’s list of Best Non-Fiction American History Books. Or check out Bustle’s list of books to help you understand the United States’s complicated history, or The Odd Historian’s 10 Best Books for American History Buffs. Happy reading 🙂