Book Review – Artful Cats by Mary Savig.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Princeton Architectural Press for providing me with a free – temporary – electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. The decision to read this book is my choice and any reviews given are obligation free.

I have to say I am not that much of an art expert, and I did request to read ‘Artful Cats’ simply for the cat link… I’m really not a cat expert either!

But I am a lover of art, cats, expression and being true to yourself and I feel that ‘Artful Cats’ gives the reader a tiny look into the private world of renowned artists via their shared love of the same. It’s not really a book on art… or cats… It’s a book on how the two topics blend and aid creativity to individuals known for art.

Although this isn’t the sort of book I would normally read, I am proudly eclectic and could see myself enjoying it as a waiting room read… and trust me, I spent a LOT of time in waiting rooms, being a mum of three ND kids. 😉 So what I’m trying to say is that if one of the many waiting rooms I am a regular “waiter” in had ‘Artful Cats’, I would look forward to reading it each time I was there.

Please don’t think this is me dismissing it as a boring book. No, it is an art history book (so to me NEVER boring) but it also comes across as a “Coffee Table” type book. As in, one of those big, beautiful, glossy pictured books found on coffee tables… in waiting rooms. And it is one that would draw me to it time and again to keep reading about the connection between these artists and their cats. So, me calling it a waiting room book was meant as a compliment!

I loved the linked theme of cats and their artists. Sometimes it is a companionship, sometimes it is a muse like relationship. But what I felt the most, from the different stories shared, was that these artists were everyday people too, linked to the rest of us by their fur babies.

And, to be honest, I felt the cats were a cunning way to draw more people in to reading about art, art history, and some of the most talented artists of modern times. So the cats were bait to make more people realise the importance of art, how artists and “us” are connected via our love of cats and so on. If this is the case, I really don’t mind… as I said, I like cats and art. Plus also enjoy learning new things. So, for me, this was a very interesting read. Though, I have to say, it’s not something I could sit down and read from cover to cover in one sitting. I needed to come back to it time and again as a bit of ME time. This, in my busy life, was a good thing to have waiting for me when I was due some ME time. 😉

To the book nerd side of things, I liked the almost eclectic layout. Although I was reading an electronic version of ‘Artful Cats’ it still had an almost portfolio feel to it… once more bringing a link to art and the artists. But never fear, there is also the more standard book layout also used, when the author talks more about the artists, their art, their cats, etc.  It was a good blend, and helped make the book all the more attractive.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. What can I say? It’s a book on art, artists, and the linking love of cats. I can’t say people who love cats will, by default, love this book… But those who are cat and art lovers will at least enjoy reading the connected history of the two… if that makes sense?

So yes I would recommend this book to others, but really to those more interested in art than in cats.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Sadly – no. I mean, I don’t regret reading it at all and it is in no way a bad book. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t tend to leave public reviews for bad books! What I want to say is yes I enjoyed reading it… but stand by my belief that it would make a better waiting room book than one I would have in my own home. Especially as I feel this book is better seen in paper format, and I really don’t have the room for more paper books… nor is it a book I would want to read regularly enough to justify having it in my own home. It deserves to be read and shared, so much better suited to being a waiting room or library book. Trust me, I am saying these things as a compliment. This book needs to be shared, like the art it includes.

In summary: A book on artists, their art and their cats… a fabulous history of all three.

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