I went to hang out at the bookstore for a little while today. Sometimes I just feel the need to surround myself with books for no reason at all... see what’s out, check out what’s going on in the land of cover designers, who’s hot... who’s not - those kinds of things.

It’s not a huge week for essential releases but I did find a little book called If Cats Disappeared From The World by Genki Kawamura. Not even sure why I picked it up but I’m good at being drawn to things I need to see for no reason at all. 

Here’s the official line:

Our narrator’s days are numbered. Estranged from his family, living alone with only his cat Cabbage for company, he was unprepared for the doctor’s diagnosis that he has only months to live. But before he can set about tackling his bucket list, the Devil appears with a special offer: in exchange for making one thing in the world disappear, he can have one extra day of life. And so begins a very bizarre week . . .

Because how do you decide what makes life worth living? How do you separate out what you can do without from what you hold dear? In dealing with the Devil our narrator will take himself – and his beloved cat – to the brink. Genki Kawamura’s If Cats Disappeared from the World is a story of loss and reconciliation, of one man’s journey to discover what really matters in modern life.

And that’s the question of the moment for me. What really matters in modern life? In a week/month/year in which I’ve been searching for some meaning, I did what needed to be done and brought it on home. 


As an aside to this, five years ago, I had no Japanese authors on my shelf. Now there are three or four. They sit amongst Norwegian, Spanish, Icelandic, French and Finnish writers. Five years ago, none of those were on the shelf either. We’re living in a golden age for those of us who love books. No longer confined to the English speaking world, as a veteran reader, I’m finding new styles, new trains of thought outside of the norm. 

That has to be a good thing.  

When I wandered off to pay for my cat book, I found an author table and behind it, one Katerina Diamond who some of you might know if you’re a modern crime reader.

If you can remember far enough back on the blog here, she showed up at my author event about three or four years ago (same bookshop) and we got on great. At the time, she had just signed with an agent and things were looking hopeful for her. 

Be careful what you wish for I guess because she’s just put out her fourth book with another coming down the line, and is doing just fine. I have much respect. Katerina knew exactly what she wanted to do, how she wanted to do it and the rest is history. A Sunday Times bestselling author is not to be sneered at.

If I was the type to wear a hat, I would take it off to her. Maybe one day soon we could co-host an event where we can both - with some authority perhaps - present a good evening of brain-food on traditional publishing vs the DIY route.

Any excuse to drink coffee in a bookstore.