If Cats Disappeared from the World by Genki Kawamura

If Cats Disappeared from the World by Genki Kawamura
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

The young postman’s days are numbered. Estranged from his family and living alone with only his cat, Cabbage, to keep him company, he was unprepared for the doctor’s diagnosis that he has only months to live. But before he can tackle his bucket list, the devil shows up to make him an offer: In exchange for making one thing in the world disappear, the postman will be granted one extra day of life. And so begins a very strange week that brings the young postman and his beloved cat to the brink of existence.

With each object that disappears, the postman reflects on the life he’s lived, his joys and regrets, and the people he’s loved and lost.

This timeless tale from Genki Kawamura (producer of the Japanese blockbuster animated movie Your Name) is a moving story of loss and reconciliation, and of one man’s journey to discover what really matters most in life.

A young postman is facing his early death, and the devil visits him with an intriguing proposition. The young man will die within 24 hours unless… He will get one more day on earth is he agrees to the disappearance of one thing worldwide. This can go on indefinitely.

As the man makes one thing disappear after another, he sees the results of the world and people’s lives without that item. He does a lot of reflection on society and his life. Realizations hit him such as the truth about his relationships.

Some things are easy to make disappear, and then the idea of making cats disappear comes up. This young postman has a loyal feline companion named Cabbage. Cabbage adds some humor to this situation.

Now things have become a bit too tricky for the protagonist.

This is a thoughtful book, one with an interesting premise. It is not a fast mover, but readers will be curious to see what happens along the way and in the end.

The Unseen Body by Jonathan Reisman, M.D.

The Unseen Body by Jonathan Reisman, M.D.
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

In this fascinating journey through the human body and across the globe, Dr. Reisman weaves together stories about our insides with a unique perspective on life, culture, and the natural world.

Jonathan Reisman, M.D.―a physician, adventure traveler and naturalist―brings readers on an odyssey navigating our insides like an explorer discovering a new world with The Unseen Body. With unique insight, Reisman shows us how understanding mountain watersheds helps to diagnose heart attacks, how the body is made mostly of mucus, not water, and how urine carries within it a tale of humanity’s origins.

Through his offbeat adventures in healthcare and travel, Reisman discovers new perspectives on the body: a trip to the Alaskan Arctic reveals that fat is not the enemy, but the hero; a stint in the Himalayas uncovers the boundary where the brain ends and the mind begins; and eating a sheep’s head in Iceland offers a lesson in empathy. By relating rich experiences in far-flung lands and among unique cultures back to the body’s inner workings, he shows how our organs live inextricably intertwined lives―an internal ecosystem reflecting the natural world around us.

Reisman offers a new and deeply moving perspective, and helps us make sense of our bodies and how they work in a way readers have never before imagined.

Books written by doctors about their jobs are interesting, but Dr. Reisman has a different take on things. He is a world traveler and has seen some wild things. When he relates these episodes to medicine, and specifically the human body, readers are treated to entertaining educational tidbits.

This book is written like an adventure and is quite creative. The doctor meets many people and gives the human touch to his experiences. People teach him, long after he graduates from medical school. His outside interests also come into play.

Dr. Reisman adds humor to his observations at times and some profound insights. He relates bodily fluids to other things in a way that makes sense. This is a great book that is easy to get through.

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (272 pgs)
Other: Mention of Rape
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
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Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

More twists and turns than a roller coaster is an understatement.

This isn’t my usual flavor in books, I’ll admit. I’m horrible with mystery and figuring out whodunit. But the premise intrigued me. A woman in a coma. Hmm…I wondered how this would work out.

The writing flows well enough. It’s like reading a conversation. I had to keep going. It didn’t take me long to read the book and I finished it in one afternoon. Initially, I enjoyed the book. I mean, things happen, she’s in a coma and it’s not all beer and skittles. I have to mention there is a mention of rape and could be a trigger for some readers. I’ll admit it gave me the creeps.

The thing about this book wasn’t so much the initial reading. It was the questions afterward and how I analyzed it. Amber admits from the beginning she lies. I wasn’t fond of how down in the dumps she seemed to be on a constant basis. The more I read, the more I didn’t root for Amber. I kept thinking, how can this much bad happen to one person? Now remember, she lies. So after a while I thought…how much of this is a lie and how much, if any, is the truth? See? It messed with my head. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. Doesn’t mean it was fantastic to me, either. Just…odd.

There were a few twists I wished might have been handled better, but that’s life. Things don’t always wrap up neatly.

If you want a book that will stick with you far after the last page, then this might be the book for you.