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The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa (Paperback)

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa (Paperback)

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Fiction - Contemporary Fantasy - Magical Realism - Animals

Translated by: Louise Heal Kawai

RELEASE DATE: 3/14/2023

The #1 Japanese bestseller—a celebration of books, cats, and the people who love them, infused with the heartwarming spirit of The Guest Cat and The Travelling Cat Chronicles.

Awkward high school student Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the secondhand bookshop he inherited from his beloved grandfather. For this bookworm by blood, shutting down Natsuki Books is no easy task—it’s been his sanctuary and hideout from the demands of school and the world. But before the bookshop’s doors are shut for good, a talking cat appears with an unusual request. The feline needs the teenaged bookworm’s help in saving books from abusive and negligent owners, and it won’t take no for an answer.

Their mission sends this odd couple on an amazing journey to set books free. Through their travels to strange dimensions, the cat and Rintaro meet a businessman who leaves his books to perish on a bookshelf, a scholar who cuts pages into snippets to encourage speed reading, and a publishing drone who cares only about bestsellers. Their adventures culminate in one final, fantastic challenge—the last labyrinth leads Rintaro down a realm where a certain soul hangs in the balance . . .

Translated from the original Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai.


Sosuke Natsukawa is a doctor in Nagano, Japan. His first book Kamisama No Karute (God's Medical Records) won the Shogakukan Fiction Prize and received 2nd Place at the Japan Bookseller Awards. It sold over 1.5 million copies and was adapted into a film in Japan.

“Combine The Elegance of the Hedgehog with Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and you might get a feel for this delightful novel.”—Washington Post

 “Cats, books, young love, and adventure: catnip for a variety of readers!”—Kirkus Reviews

“This whimsical novel will have many a reader at it’s title.”  -The Observer (London)
"Charming." -Publishers Weekly
“Bibliophiles will dote on this charming import from Japan, smoothly translated by Louise Heal Kawai.”-Library Journal
"Natsukawa's empowering Bildungsroman [manages] to be both whimsical and wise." -Shelf Awareness
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