Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising by Francesco Marciuliano

Claw the System Poems from the Cat Uprising by Francesco Marciuliano

Cats are done with humans’ crap. For too long they have put up with baby talk, the humiliation of holiday costumes, and the social injustice of being told, “No.” They will not sleep through this anymore. We humans have woken the beast, and in this book they have gathered together to reclaim their voice, loudly and repeatedly until we pay attention. Watch the uprising unfold, through anthems such as “Redefine Terms,” “Accepted,” “Decide,” “A New Dawn,” and “Just What Do You Think You’re Doing?” Show support for your feline friends and try to understand why they’re so spitting mad.

Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising by Francesco Marciuliano

I’m not a poetry person. I had to spend a whole semester at university studying it, and I hated every moment of it!

However, this isn’t your usual poetry book! Grumpy cats are always hilarious (to me, at least!), and you don’t need to be a fan of poetry to enjoy reading Claw the System. I knew I would like it as soon as I saw the cover.

This is the kind of book any cat owner would appreciate.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

 

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The Week: 15th – 21st October

The gorgeous Friday we had in Canberra!

1 Currawong Garden Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 15th october 2018 Australian Birds Nature

2 Currawong Garden Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 15th october 2018 Australian Birds Nature

We had some beautiful spring weather in Canberra this week, but every time I tried to work outside, this currawong would steal my chair the second I stepped away from it!

What a stunning by-election result in Sydney last night. Maybe a message to the Federal Government to remind them Australia didn’t vote for the far-right government we were handed behind closed doors a few weeks ago…? May we please have an election NOW?!

Also, what stunning news out of Queensland. I didn’t expect it.

So many terrible things in the world this week. A question: when a Russian guy goes on a shooting rampage in Ukraine’s Crimea, killing more people than in high-profile Parkland, Florida, why does nobody seem to care? Why do we treat lives in one country as so much more important than lives in any other?

In fact, I was taught in *first semester* journalism at university that the media DOES consider people of different countries to matter more. We were taught (in one of the top two journalism courses in Australia) to start thinking of different countries as holding different levels of importance. It disgusted me back then, and it disgusts me more with each year.

Judy Blume on the Big Screen

My review of The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley

Want to Read: Dominion by Peter Ackroyd

Royal Wedding

12 October 2018 Newlyweds Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank leave following their wedding at St George_s Chapel in Windsor, England. © Getty Images +

Coming Up for Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

Want to Read: Dominion by Peter Ackroyd

Released last week, I saw Dominion reviewed in Canberra Weekly, and now I *have* to have it! This is the fifth of six planned instalments about the history of England, and the time period it covers (1815-1901) is probably the one that fascinates me the most.

Dominion: The History of England from the Battle of Waterloo to Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (The History of England #5) by Peter Ackroyd

Dominion The History of England from the Battle of Waterloo to Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (The History of England #5) by Peter Ackroyd

The fifth volume of Peter Ackroyd’s enthralling History of England

Dominion, the fifth volume of Peter Ackroyd’s masterful History of England, begins in 1815 as national glory following the Battle of Waterloo gives way to a post-war depression and ends with the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901.

Spanning the end of the Regency, Ackroyd takes readers from the accession of the profligate George IV whose government was steered by Lord Liverpool, whose face was set against reform, to the ‘Sailor King’ William IV whose reign saw the modernisation of the political system and the abolition of slavery.

But it was the accession of Queen Victoria, at only eighteen years old, that sparked an era of enormous innovation. Technological progress―from steam railways to the first telegram―swept the nation and the finest inventions were showcased at the first Great Exhibition in 1851. The emergence of the middle-classes changed the shape of society and scientific advances changed the old pieties of the Church of England, and spread secular ideas among the population. Though intense industrialization brought booming times for the factory owners, the working classes were still subjected to poor housing, long work hours, and dire poverty. Yet by the end of Victoria’s reign, the British Empire dominated much of the globe, and Britannia really did seem to rule the waves.

#SAD! Doonesbury in the Time of Trump by G. B. Trudeau

#SAD! Doonesbury in the Time of Trump by G. B. Trudeau

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist whose acclaimed Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump blew up the bestseller list, comes the sequel millions prayed would be unnecessary. #SAD!: Doonesbury in the Time of Trump tracks the shocking victory, the inept transition, and the tumultuous eternity of POTUS’s First 500 Days.

Citizens who rise every morning in dread, braced for disruptive, Randomly Capitalized, atrociously grammarized, horrably speld, toxic tweeting from the Oval Office, can curl up at night with this clarifying collection of hot takes  on the First Sociopath, his enablers, and their appalling legacy. Whether resisting or just persisting, readers will find G.B. Trudeau’s cartoons are just the thing to ease the pain of remorse (“Could I have done more to prevent this?”) and give them a shot at a few hours of unfitful sleep.

There are worse things to spend your tax cut on.

#SAD! Doonesbury in the Time of Trump by G. B. Trudeau

We all know that Donald Trump is throwback to the days of Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin. We all know he is an outspoken misogynist, proud racist, enthusiastic supporter of murderous Vladimir Putin – and an idiot to boot.

Well-known American cartoonist G. B. Trudeau has covered Trump for years. As he writes in this book: Trump is severely sensitive to ridicule. Anything anti-Trump isn’t going to change the minds of his cultists, but it is a surefire way to get to him when nothing else will.

Unfortunately, the review copy I had of #SAD! was nearly inaccessible (I got mostly scrambled pages with a bit of text), but Trudeau’s work can be widely found, and is worth seeking out.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein

Video game villains and real-life dictators dominate daily life for eleven-year-old Ali

Ali Fadhil has very simple likes and dislikes. It is 1991 in Iraq and all Ali wants to do is read his comics and play football and video games. But President Saddam Hussein has other plans. After he invades neighbouring Kuwait, the U.S. and their allies launch Operation Desert Storm to force him out. Over the next forty-three days, Ali and his family would survive bombings, food shortages and constant fear.

Cinematic and timely, this is the story of how war changed one boy’s destiny forever and would one day bring him face to face with Saddam himself at the UN trial.

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy

Based on the childhood of Ali Fadhil, who went on to become an interpreter during the trial of dictator Saddam Hussein, this book shows what life was like for the people of Basra, Iraq during the beginning of the war in 1991.

While this is definitely a book geared towards children, who – of course – were not even born when these events took place (in fact, they weren’t even born when Hussein was executed), it is an interesting read for anyone who remembers the events of the 1990s and early 2000s.

A side note: I had no idea what “Atari” was, and had to look it up. I feel like it’s something I should have known!

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

How to Speak Cat: A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman

How to Speak Cat A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander and Newman Gary Weitzman National Geographic Kids (Editor)

We know cats are beautiful, secretive, and independent … but even the most loyal cat owners are often baffled by their own pet’s behavior. With veterinarian expert Dr. Gary Weitzman as guide, this fun book helps kids understand what cats are trying to communicate by their body language and behavior. So if you’ve ever wondered what Fluffy means when she’s purring or moving her tail emphatically from left to right – this book is for you! It’s full of insights, expert advice, and real-life cat scenarios, and showcases more than 30 poses, so you’ll soon learn what each meow and flick of the tail means!

How to Speak Cat: A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman

Apologies to people who don’t visit this blog for reviews about cat books!

 

How to Speak Cat might be marketed as a being for younger readers, but I actually think it’s one of the best books you could pick up to learn about cat care and cat behaviour.

I should have expected National Geographic to put together an excellent guide: they definitely did. Anybody who’s been around cats will know quite a bit of the information already, but what I loved best was that the author took all the theories that are often stated as fact, and questioned them. I learnt more about cats from this than any other “how to” sort of book I’ve read on the subject.

A note, however: DO NOT get this in ebook form! The formatting is – predictably – a mess. The pictures are grey and broken up over a few pages. Some of the text, which I guess is a different colour in the paper version, is in a very light, nearly unreadable shade.

That said, I’d recommend this.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

 

The Week: 20th – 26th August

U.S. Senator John McCain @SenJohnMcCain , Ukraine's friend and greatest US supporter.

Edit: R.I.P. to John McCain.

What an absolutely stupid week in Australian politics. We seem to change Prime Ministers faster than Donald Trump changes staff!

Weirdly, on Thursday afternoon, right after some of the worst drama in Parliament here in Canberra unfolded, I stepped outside and a group of fighter jets flew straight over me. (I’ve been around them many times before, but GOD, those things are loud). People in Canberra were joking that a military coup had begun.

Maybe we need one!

One Week

My review of Watchmaker’s Heart by Juli D. Revezzo

Children’s Book Week

This Is Not My Hat (I Want My Hat Back) by Jon Klassen

Curious Zelda in a Book!

Curious Zelda The Cat

On this day: Human Rights in Canada

Ukrainian Independence Day

National Dog Day