As soon as I finished reading Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, I immediately jumped into the sequel (a good sign, I think!). And in the introduction I came across the following quote, which really represented the first book to me: “People appreciate Spencer, Iowa. They like our cornfields and architecture and they also like what we represent: simplicity, old-fashioned hard work, but also creativity, commitment, and love.” This is what the first book was about – the simple life and love, represented by a wonderful lovable cat. The entire time I was reading it, I was reminded of a book series I read when I was younger which began with a book called At Home in Mitford. This book series is about the life of a small town pastor and his every day adventures. The one word which comes to mind when I try describe this series and Dewey is “wholesome”. They both focus on the little (and sometimes not so little) troubles and joys of life. And even though I’m a sci-fi/fantasy reader much of the time, sometimes the down-to-earth description of another human being’s life can be very moving. This book was one such book, both heartwarming and a tearjerker. I very much enjoyed the author’s style, which often included beautiful descriptions without becoming over-the-top poetic prose. I also liked the parts where I really felt like we were right there with the author, something she accomplished through writing such as the following: [While approaching the library in the cold morning] “Whose idea was it to build a concrete and glass building in northern Iowa? I needed my coffee.” Perhaps it is because I currently live in Iowa that I empathized so much with her feelings at that exact moment, but I think most people have experienced similar early-morning feelings 🙂 I would like to offer the caveat that you should not just read this book for a good cat story, but for a good people story. Some reviewers on Goodreads have complained that the author spends too many chapters on her own life and not enough time on cute cat stories. While I did notice that some chapters were all about her, they were short chapters, and I felt like the context made the stories about Dewey all the more moving. If you read and enjoy Dewey, I would also highly recommend the sequel, Dewey’s Nine Lives. This book is not simply a sequel with more stories about Dewey, but a collection of particularly moving stories the author heard from others as a result of publishing the first book. However, I think the author has done an exceptional job choosing stories which represent Dewey’s character well. I also enjoyed getting to hear the happy continuation of the author’s own life story, which is included to a lesser degree in this second novel. Although there is less about the author herself, Dewey’s Nine Lives does have a strong human component as well, but again I found that really made the stories more moving. The writing is also very similar to the first, in its’ pleasant story-telling style. Summary Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World and Dewey’s Nine Lives – 4 stars – Wholesome, heart-warming, a tearjerker… A moving, well-written story about the simple life and the love and commitment of a wonderful cat.