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Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's On Your Nightstand?

The people at Five Minutes for Books have issued a "What's on Your Nightstand?" question for bloggers. How it works is you take a photo of the books on your nightstand if you like to read in bed like me or a photo of your shelf or wherever you tend to pile them if you read somewhere else. Then you write a few words about the books and share why you chose those titles. Here's my nightstand photo:

A cozy mystery lover, I am enjoying reading The Cat Who...series by Lilian Jackson Braun. I've seen these books whenever I've browsed a library's or bookstore's shelves but I have never gotten around to reading them until now. Before I took my recent vacation to Michigan, I stopped by my local public library for some light reading material. Just inside the front door, they had shelves of paperback novels for sale. For a mere fifty cents, I was able to pick up two of the Cat Who titles.

As a diehard mystery series reader, I enjoy reading a new series beginning with the first book and continuing on in order. I like seeing how the main characters develop and knowing what the references to past events are about. Fortunately, one of my purchases was the first book in the series, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards. Admittedly it took me awhile to get into the novel but once I did, I became charmed by amateur detective, Jim Qwillerman. He's a middle aged divorced man trying to resurrect a career in newspaper reporting who's forced to accept a job covering the art beat for a Midwestern city paper. The story gets more interesting with the introduction of Koko, a Siamese cat with the amazing ability to communicate crucial mystery clues to his new owner. Eventually Qwillerman learns to trust the cat's instinct and tune in to his own mustache's sensitivity to omens of trouble. Lilian Jackson Braun's stories have a gentle humor and interesting characters. They aren't scary in the least and I've found myself coming to the end without having figured out the culprit halfway through.

So far I've also read
The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (Qwillerman is assigned to an interior decorating magazine for the newspaper in this one and he acquires a second cat, Yum Yum.)
The Cat Who Saw Red (Qwillerman is assigned to review restaurants after being ordered on a strict diet by his doctor. See what I mean about her humor!)The Cat Who Played Brahms (Qwillerman takes a vacation up north to write a novel but is too busy playing detective to compose a single line.)

Currently I'm reading
The Cat Who Played Post Office (Qwillerman receives an unexpected inheritance with strings attached.)

An animal lover, I've always been partial to cats. Unfortunately, my husband's highly allergic to cats, so we can't own one. Here's a photo of my beloved childhood pet Jellybean, a tiger cat. The picture was taken circa 1977.

At the 5 minutes for books website, you can check out what other people are reading now. What a fun way to get a book recommendation.


Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Thanks for joining in!

I saw "The Cat" books on another list too. I bought one at a used bookstore myself one time, but haven't read it yet.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thanks, Jennifer.
I found out about What's on Your Nightstand? when I did a blog search for the Cat Who mysteries. I hope some of the readers of my blog will check out your site and maybe participate too.

Kim said...

Currently I'm reading Middlesex. I read a young adult book called Uglies yesterday. Next in line-- I can't decide between Love in the Time of Cholera or a J.A. Jance novel (title escapes me at the moment) and I'm too lazy to get up to look because I put out my back gardening. Another book on my nightstand is Stolen Innocence-- a biography about Elissa Wall, the young woman who testified against Warren Jeffs, leader of the FLDS polygamist cult. I read it a few days ago. They're all on my nightstand. I don't have an active blog right now so won't bother with the picture.

Like you, I'm a cat person. The Cat books are very popular. I've never read a single one.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thanks for sharing what's on your nightstand with us, Kim. I read Escape by Carolyn Jessop this summer. That's another story about the FLDS cult. It really shook me.

I miss your blog. I'm glad to hear you've been gardening. I hope your back feels better soon.