One-Minute Book Reviews

December 10, 2008

Late Night With Jan Harayda — Dewey Is Not Marley

Filed under: Nonfiction — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:47 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My library wouldn’t let me take out the story of Dewey the Library Cat today because I owe $38 in fines. I was willing to pay the fines, but the library refused to take my money. A staff member said I have to bring my overdue books back first. Apparently I am the literary equivalent of a drunk who has had so many accidents, she can’t get bail until she goes into rehab.

I read bits and pieces of the book before my privileges got cut off, and here is my opinion of Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (Grand Central, 288 pp., $19.99), the No. 1 bestseller by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter. Dewey is not Marley, because Vicki Myron is not John Grogan. Not close. And Marley was a bad, bad dog. Dewey was a good, good cat that, as a kitten, got dropped into a metal after-hours book-deposit slot at a library in Iowa on a freezing winter night.

Dewey a sweet memoir by the librarian who found him the next day with frostbite, and I might give it to a couple of people for Christmas. But I had the feeling that after 50 pages or so, you’d wish this cat would show a little of Marley’s spirit and start destroying priceless first editions of The Son Also Rises. What would the visitors to Dewey’s Facebook page think of that idea

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  1. Apparently I am the literary equivalent of a drunk who has had so many accidents, she can’t get bail until she goes into rehab.

    Oh no! This line made me laugh — have you gotten back into their good graces since then?

    Comment by sarahsk — December 19, 2008 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks, Sarah. Embarrassingly enough, I haven’t, because I still have two books out that I’m planning to review within the next week or so. One is “WordPress for Dummies,” which I’m hoping (intensely) will help me keep my New Year’s resolution of working out some of the technical glitches on this site.

    Happy Holidays!

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — December 19, 2008 @ 8:03 pm | Reply

  3. Well, we all appreciate your delinquent status as you bring us these reviews and great blogs. I’ve enjoyed this site so much this year. Happy Holidays to you, too!

    Comment by sarahsk — December 22, 2008 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

    • Sarah: To my joy I just finished one of the books today, so I am nearly out of the hole. Thank you so much for all your kind comments in 2008. Have you found a wonderful book that you’re planning to read over the holidays?

      Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — December 22, 2008 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  4. I’ve just started “This Republic of Suffering” by Drew Gilpin Faust, about death and the Civil War and wow, that doesn’t sound very cheerful, does it?? I’m also hoping to read “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” as for some reason it passed me by when I was younger and I’ve always been curious about it. Congrats on finishing one of your books and getting nearer to the light 🙂

    Comment by sarahsk — December 23, 2008 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  5. One of the things you might like about “This Republic of Suffering” is that it has many references to the literature of the era that could inspire further reading. And I’ll bet when the Pulitzers come out in April, you’ll be smiling (at least about how far ahead of the curve you were even if you don’t love the book).

    My predictions have fallen wide of mark this year, but “This Republic of Suffering” was a deserving finalist for the National Book Award. And I’ll be surprised if it’s not at least a finalist for the Pulitzer (and possibly also the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction, the shortlist for which will appear in late January and I’llpost on this site).

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — December 23, 2008 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

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