Okay, I'll admit it. Usually, any book titled anything as hopelessly sappy as Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World would leave me cold. If I was really feeling myself, I'm guessing I would class such a book among the ranks of titles like Tuesdays with Morrie or Marley & Me.
But, in my weakened state, I'll admit it. I picked this book up because of the beautiful orange cat on the cover. So sue me: I like cats. I'll admit the library aspect had some appeal too. And then I read the whole thing, even though it's no great work of literature (which is typical when a book shares authors; this one is by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter).
It's the story of Dewey Readmore Books, an orange kitten that Myron found in her library's bookdrop one cold Iowa morning. She nursed the kitten back to health and he became the library's cat, living in the Spencer Public Library for nineteen years and eventually becoming famous the world over for his story and personality. Yup. Unadulterated pap. And I ate it up with a spoon.
Although I must admit that I found Vicki Myron's personal stories almost as interesting as those about Dewey. In one chapter she details how, when she had her daughter, the doctor gave her a double dose of inducing drugs because he was in a hurry, which caused her to have serious and continuing health problems in her early twenties. A short while after that, she went to the hospital for exploratory surgery and woke up to learn the doctor had removed her ovaries and her uterus. Christ, people. I don't care how long ago that was (early 1970s). Can you believe that sort of thing was ever acceptable? And yet Myron relates these tales with an admirable lack of rancor.
So the final word should come as no surprise: if you've got a soft spot for cats, libraries, small towns, or amazingly stoic women who undergo serious health problems but just keep fighting, go ahead and pick this one up. If any of those storylines make you want to gag, avoid it.