Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Little Book of Bob by James Bowen

In the spring of 2007, a ginger street cat named Bob needed the assistance of a London-based busker and addict named James Bowen. And, Bowen needed Bob just as much. Bowen tells how he switched to selling the street newspaper, The Big Issue, and went straight. He tells that story in the worldwide bestseller A Street Cat Named Bob. The Little Book of Bob, subtitled "Life Lessons from a Streetwise Cat" is the eighth book about Bob. There was also a movie about Bowen and Bob.

If the book is any indication, James Bowen uses Bob's life as an inspiration as to how to live a happy, contented life. Bowen observes Bob for lessons in friendship, what we need to be happy, how to get the most out of life, how to survive all that life throws at us, how to be good to ourselves, and lessons in day-to-day life. Many of the short anecdotes and observations may seem simplistic, but, put together, it's a collection of wise comments about life.

Here are just a few of Bowen's observations. "While every day may not be good, there's something good in every day." Bob lets go of the bad parts of the day, and relaxes into the good moments, the contented moments with James or a patch of sunlight or a toy. I liked, "If you see a chance, take it." Bob doesn't hesitate.

While none of the anecdotes and observations last more than a page, there is some meat to the book. The chapter headings sound simplistic, but Bob's lessons really are not. There's a chapter based on Bob's life; "What do we need to be happy?" There's an extensive list, but it includes "We all need to be noticed;" we need to be independent.

The collection has short lessons as to how to get the most out of life, and how to be good to ourselves, all based on Bob's life. There were a couple times I was a little teary. The story of the woman who had lost her son, and just wanted a moment with Bob made me choke up.

The Little Book of Bob is just a short book. And, there are few lessons in it that haven't been written before. But, that book jacket and the sketches of Bob are enough to warm the heart of anyone who loves cats. And, Bowen's life- and cat-based stories are worth reading.

James Bowen and Bob have a website at

The Little Book of Bob by James Bowen. Thomas Dunne Books, 2019. ISBN 9781250215369 (hardcover), 166p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


SandyG265 said...

I’ve read a couple of the Bob books and enjoyed them

Netteanne said...

I had never heard of Bob - but they are all in our library so I hope to become acquainted with him.. Ginger/marmalade kitties are the best, needless to say I have one and he is named Marmalade. Thanks so much for introducing so many books to us.

Your Boucheron pictures were great and it looked like you had a marvelous time in Dallas.

Lesa said...

I had only read the first one, Sandy, but I enjoyed this one.

Lesa said...

Netteane, Start with A Street Cat Named Bob so you meet James and Bob. My very first cat was named Marmalade, and if he hadn't been such a wonderful cat, I wouldn't have adopted the others.

I did have a marvelous time in Dallas! Thank you!

Sandie Herron said...

I'm always ready for a good story featuring a cat. You can bet I'll be looking up Bob in my bookstore. Thanks for the heads up.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Sandie. And, I have a copy of Cleo Coyle's new book for you. Despite the cold, I'm going to try to get some boxes out this week.

Dora William said...

The author is my inspiration to start writing novels. I used to get the first few reviews for my book.

Lesa said...

Good luck, Dora.