Two cat-re­lated book events

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO -

A tale of two fe­lines Charles Dick­ens was a cat per­son. He loved his cat, Bob, so much that af­ter the fe­line’s death in 1862, the au­thor had one of his paws stuffed and af­fixed to a let­ter opener. Dick­ens’ pre­oc­cu­pa­tions in this area may or may not be dis­cussed in “Charles Dick­ens in the 21st Cen­tury,” a lec­ture by Robert L. Pat­ten, emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor of English at Rice Univer­sity and co-edi­tor of The

Ox­ford Hand­book of Charles Dick­ens, a brand-new com­pen­dium of schol­arly es­says forth­com­ing in Novem­ber. Es­says — in­clud­ing “Oliver Twist: Ur­ban Aes­thet­ics and the Home­less Child,” by Galia Ben­z­i­man, and “Dombey and Son and the Ques­tion of Re­pro­duc­tion,” by Michal P. Gins­burg — look at Dick­ens’ writ­ings through a mod­ern lens. Top­ics cov­ered in­clude en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion in the in­dus­trial age, law, and char­ity.

Nine-year-old Philom­ena, a res­i­dent of Lamy and the pro­tag­o­nist of Marc Ro­manelli’s The Imag­i­na­tion War­riors (Lit­tle Ro­man Press), is also quite fond of cats — es­pe­cially Daisy, a talk­ing cat who takes the train to the Lamy de­pot from New York City to help her solve im­por­tant mys­ter­ies. Daisy can do more than talk: She also has ex­trasen­sory per­cep­tion and a pas­sion for nov­els about the West — and she is ready to use ev­ery skill she has to aid her de­ter­mined friend. The novel, meant for read­ers ages nine to four­teen, fea­tures il­lus­tra­tions by Odessa Sawyer. — Jen­nifer Levin

Re­ne­san In­sti­tute for Life­long Learn­ing presents “Charles Dick­ens in the 21st Cen­tury” at 1 p.m. Thurs­day, Oct. 18, at St. John’s United Methodist Church (1200 Old Pe­cos Trail). Ad­mis­sion is $15. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 505-982-9294 or go to re­ne­san.org.

Marc Ro­manelli reads from and signs copies of The Imag­i­na­tion War­riors at 4 p.m. Sun­day, Oct. 14, at Col­lected Works Book­store (202 Gal­is­teo St., 505-988-4226). For more in­for­ma­tion, go to col­lect­ed­works­book­store.com.

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