Monday, February 16, 2015

Book:Catsong by T.J. Banks


"Serenade:A musical performance given to honor or express love for someone,  often by one person."



When I finished reading Catsong, by T.J. Banks, and  was pondering what would be the best word to sum up the spirit in this touching book, the word serenade kept appearing in my mind.

In it's traditional sense, the word "serenade" is typically defined as,   "a musical greeting performed for a lover, friend, person of rank or other person to be honored. The classic serenade usage would be from a lover to his lady love through a window."

While a serenade is normally directed towards a female from a male, in my opinion, it also is an appropriate word to describe what author Banks has created in Catsong.

To me, Catsong is not only a compilation of Bank's best cat stories, it is much more than that. It is a songbook  of SERENADES. It, is a collection of essays that are in reality, SONGS. My reference to "songs" for the purpose of this review would be words that honor by using the most beautiful of lyrics. The words written in Catsong are vehicles that convey love, a love of the purest and most genuine kind. The "serenades" in Catsong are essays dedicated to the many cats who have graced T.J. Bank's life.

From Catsong: For all the cats who have graced our lives-the strays and the purebreds, the soul-cats and the heart-cats, the generals and the goofballs. You all gave us so much.

  Songs that convey love evoke the strongest of emotions. While often these memories are beautiful, inspiring and happy, they also can be full of grief  that often seems unbearable. Catsong is a beautifully woven compilation of these emotions.

Many who will, or have read Catsong, have had numerous cats touch their lives.  Sadly, I have only had three, (an abandoned newborn calico kitten that was in my life for merely a month when I was fifteen, my Angel Bobo, and my Cody). Whether or not one has had one cat, three, or dozens, the intense love and raw emotion that was so beautifully conveyed in Catsong, will be recognizable and felt by all.

 Catsong  was the winner of the 20007 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award


ISBN:978-1-63263-540-2
Published by BookLocker.com, Inc., Bradenton, Florida


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:T.J. Banks is the author of Sketch People:Stories Along the Way, A Time for Shadows,  Derv & Co.: A Life Among Felines, Souleiado and  Houdini a novel which the late writer and activist Cleveland Amory enthusiastically branded "a winner" and which I had the pleasure of reviewing.  A Contributing Editor to laJoie, she has received writing awards from the Cat Writers' Association (CWA), ByLine, and The Writing Self. 


I was not compensated for this review. I was sent a copy of  Catsong in exchange for my honest review. It is my pleasure to share a book as marvelous as this one with my readers.









41 comments:

  1. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful book! We'll have to check it out.

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  3. Oh that really sounds like a sweet and touching book......our pets' paws leave their mark on our hearts always and forever.............

    Hugs, Pam

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  4. Looks like it is worth a read. Cat's do have a way to stir emotions.

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  5. What a beautiful review, Caren! T.J. Banks is one of the most gifted writers I know. You are so right: "serenade" is a perfect word to capture the spirit of Catsong.

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    1. Ingrid thank you!!! You left a lovely cover comment on the book and she referenced you (as you know), a number of times! I agree, she is incredibly gifted. I am honored to have reviewed two of her books so far. Thank you so much, since you read the book, and I deeply value your opinion, that means a lot!

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    2. Ingrid thank you!!! You left a lovely cover comment on the book and she referenced you (as you know), a number of times! I agree, she is incredibly gifted. I am honored to have reviewed two of her books so far. Thank you so much, since you read the book, and I deeply value your opinion, that means a lot!

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  6. Looks like another book I need to add to my "to read" list! Thank you for sharing it with us, Caren.

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    1. Oh it sooo is! You will LOVE it, (have Kleenex ready though)....you are most welcome!

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  7. Sounds like a terrific book. Mom will put it on her amazon wish list.

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  8. I wonder if that would be good for our book club on Twitter? I'm going to mention it.

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    1. Yes, yes and YES!!! Absolutely. You, in particular will love it.

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  9. We love the front of it, too.
    Gorgeous!
    Happy Monday!

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  10. Pretty cover. Sounds like a wonderful book.
    Sue B

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  11. That sure sounds like a great book. What a great report for it too. I will put it on my list of things to read. Take care.

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    1. Marg it truly is. TJ Banks writes so beautifully. Thank you for appreciating the review as well. Have a great day! xoxo

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  12. Sounds like a wonderful book! We will have to check it out for sure!

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  13. I heard of another book by T.J. Banks called Houdini, and I've been trying to get it from the library for months! I'll add Catsong to my list too!

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    1. I reviewed that one as well and linked to it in the About the Author section of this post. It is also superb

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    2. To make it easier, here is the link to my review of Houdini: http://www.catchatwithcarenandcody.com/2014/08/cat-book-houdini-by-tj-banks.html

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  14. Great review.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. thanks so much Sandee! You have a fabulous day too!

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  15. That sounds like a great book to enjoy! Meowmy thinks us kitties sing serenades to her and pawppy a lot...the most being when we come back after being out of their sight for long hours...
    We sing love ditties to our mousies as well!

    Simba and Toki, two of our angel kitties would serenade the peeps a lot, MOL!

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  16. I think we could all sing along with that one!

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  17. Great review! Looks like a lovely book :)

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  18. What a beautiful way of describing this book. I've had a few kitty serenades in my life, all as sweet as can be.
    xo GG

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  19. That is a wonderful description of this book Cody you always give such insightful reviews.

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    1. thank you so very much dear furiend. Actually, it was Mom who did this one but I will be sure to tell her! Love, Cody

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  20. Sounds like a nice book, but it would probably make me cry and I try to avoid those.

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    1. It would, but it was a nice balance between happy and sad. She did a beautiful job of describing all of the different personalities of her cats and the different roles they played in her life. She celebrated them all. It is just beautiful.

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  21. It sounds like a lovely book!! Super review :) xx

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  22. Sounds a lovely book, and the cover is gorgeous.

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  23. This sounds like a purrfectly delightful book, and I am so glad you told us all about it!

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    1. thanks so much Julia! I know you would love it!

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  24. That sounds like such a wonderful book, Caren! And we just got a FB friend request from T.J., too. How cool is that? :)

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    1. it sooo is!!!! Also, that is BEYOND cool, because T.J. is truly one special, special woman.

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  25. I bet these stories are really wonderful. The human-animal bond is a really amazing thing.

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    1. you "got' the point I was making in the review, EXACTLY. They truly are as is the bond between "human-animals"

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