Wednesday, the 5th of October, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

This week my pick is actually a very recent entrant on my e-shelves shelves, but one I couldn’t resist writing about since it is a cat-ty book! Nine Lives: A Cat of London in Peace and War (1941) by Alice Grant Rosman. Alice Grant Rosman (1882-1961) was an Australian author who began her career with stories published in the Observer and Chronicle and later went on to work for the Daily Herald and The Bulletin for which she wrote a gossip column. She moved with her sister to England in 1911 where she worked for the British Australian magazine and later Grand Magazine. Among her various writings are 17 novels of which Nine Lives appears to be the last.

Nine Lives takes us to London during World War II (again the initial days, based on when the book was published) where we meet Samuel Penguin, the cat and his family. Written by one of his people (a young woman as far as I can make out), the book describes the family’s life in the city from when Samuel Penguin came into their lives to the initial years of the war, all focusing on Samuel himself.

I chanced on this book on Fadedpage, and being a book about a cat, I, of course, had to download it. Goodreads has no reviews and I couldn’t find much beyond a one line description, so have no idea as to the tone of things, and really what to expect overall (Another of Rosman’s books which centres on a dog has been favourable reviewed on Goodreads). But there are some lovely illustrations (all of Sam, as far as I can see from scrolling) by Diana Thorne. A book I’m certainly keen to read.

Have you read this one or anything else by Alice Grant Rosman? I’d love to know since she’s an entirely new to me author. Any other such stories that you’ve come across? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Cover image, description and book from fadedpage (here); author information via wikipedia (here)

Incidentally I am eyeing another book with the same title (Nine Lives) listed on NetGalley which is a mystery featuring a cat!


14 thoughts on “Shelf Control #202: Nine Lives: A Cat of London in Peace and War by Alice Grant Rosman

  1. I always find it interesting to read books written during the war, when the author had no idea how events would progress. This certainly sounds a unique approach, and a book I’ve never heard of! I’ll look forward to hearing how you find it, especially as there’s so little online about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly; in retrospect one always sees things so differently than when it would have really been like living it. The cat angle seems interesting as well, and from my skim through the book, it isn’t one which is anthropoorphising things

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have not read it, nor have I heard of the author. But, a book about a cat can’t be all bad! I hope you enjoy it, Mallika.


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