December 2021 Indie Next List
“The Cat Who Saved Books is a love letter to book lovers, championing the emotional impact that stories have in the hearts and lives of readers. Tiger adds a bonus charming and Ghibli-esque aesthetic to this thoughtful, tender novel.”
— Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA
AN INDIE NEXT PICK!
From the #1 bestselling author in Japan comes a celebration of books, cats, and the people who love them, infused with the heartwarming spirit of The Guest Cat and The Travelling Cat Chronicles.
Bookish high school student Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the secondhand bookstore he inherited from his beloved bookworm grandfather. Then, a talking cat appears with an unusual request. The feline asks for—or rather, demands—the teenager’s help in saving books with him. The world is full of lonely books left unread and unloved, and the cat and Rintaro must liberate them from their neglectful owners.
Their mission sends this odd couple on an amazing journey, where they enter different mazes to set books free. Through their travels, the cat and Rintaro meet a man who leaves his books to perish on a bookshelf, an unwitting book torturer who cuts the pages of books into snippets to help people speed read, and a publishing drone who only wants to create bestsellers. Their adventures culminate in one final, unforgettable challenge—the last maze that awaits leads Rintaro down a realm only the bravest dare enter . . .
An enthralling tale of books, first love, fantasy, and an unusual friendship with a talking cat, The Cat Who Saved Books is a story for those for whom books are so much more than words on paper.
Translated from the Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai.
"Cats, books, young love, and adventure: catnip for a variety of readers!" –Kirkus
About the Author
Sosuke Natsukawa is a doctor in Nagano, Japan. His first book Kamisama No Karute (God’s Medical Records) won the Shogakukan Fiction Prize and received 2nd Place at the Japan Bookseller Awards. It sold over 1.5 million copies and was adapted into a film in Japan.
“This whimsical novel will have many a reader at it’s title.” — The Observer (London)
"Lovers of traditional literature and books themselves will find validation in the lessons Rintaro learns (and teaches), while the story’s structure and fanciful nature may hold appeal for a young adult audience more familiar with the conventions of gaming …Cats, books, young love, and adventure: catnip for a variety of readers!" — Kirkus Reviews
"Charming." — Publishers Weekly
“Bibliophiles will dote on this charming import from Japan, smoothly translated by Louise Heal Kawai.”
— Library Journal
"Natsukawa's empowering Bildungsroman [manages] to be both whimsical and wise." — Shelf Awareness
"Quirky and heartwarming in equal measure, The Cat Who Saved Books invites us to remember the joy of curling up with a favorite book, and savoring the tactile pleasure that comes with turning the pages and immersing ourselves in a good story." — The Japan Times
“Combine “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” with “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” and you might get a feel for this delightful novel. A talking bookstore cat persuades a young man named Rintaro to embark on a quest to save books from barbarous fates, including languishing on shelves and being “tortured” by a man whose speed-reading tutorials involve scissors.”
— Washington Post