The Cat Who Turned On And Off - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Saw Red - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Played Brahms - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
The Cat Who Played Post Office - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Sniffed Glue - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Went Underground - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Talked To Ghosts - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Lived High - Lilian Jackson Braun
Bleachers - John Grisham
The Cat Who Knew A Cardinal - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Moved A Mountain - Lilian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who Wasn't There - - Lilian Jackson Braun
TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS READ THUS FAR in 2008: 14
12 were books I'd read before
02 were first time reads
dragonmuse also expressed interest in hearing my comments about the books I read each month. So . . .
The Cat Who . . . books are a series of books featuring an unusual crime solving partnership of a man and his two Siamese cats (Koko and Yum Yum). James Qwilleran (known to all as Qwill (spelt with a QW)) is a newspaper writer who inherits a fortune with one condition: he moves from the city (known as 'Down Below') to a small town and lives there for five years (he actually ends up staying).
The books begin with Qwill still living Down Below, and just getting back into the market after having problems with alcohol following the break-up of his marriage. In the first book he meets and ends up adopting Koko, and in the second book Yum Yum joins the team. Koko has 'amazing' powers for a cat, whereas Yum Yum is really just a sweet, loving, endearing cat.
They are a very nice, gentle, easy read, the kind of book you can devour very quickly and give you a feel good factor. Whilst they are a series (of which I'll be reading more in February) you can pretty much pick up the thread at any stage as the writer always gives a brief background of Qwill and Koko, even if it's just a line or two. The characters are well rounded, they are more than just names on a page and you get a great feel for small town/community America, where people know one another and get involved and enjoy life. In each book there is a crime and between them Qwill and Koko usually end up solving it. I like them, I've read them before and if you're looking for a light read, I'd recommend them.
The Uncommon Reader is a short book (given to me for Christmas by caffyolay) about the Queen suddenly getting extremely interested in reading and how those around her don't approve and how it does start to interfere with her duties and the ways the people around her try to stop her from reading. It's a fun read, it made me laugh in places, has a touch of poignancy and was very enjoyable. Well worth a read.
Bleachers is one of John Grisham's non-legal thrillers. I bought it because I'm a bit of a completist and confess that I didn't actually read the blurb in detail. As such I was a tad surprised to find that it was about American football. Or in particular about how the coach of a particular team had such an impact, for both good and bad, on his team and how they both loved and hated him, but how he affected their entire lives. The coach is dying and his old boys are returning the town and we see the background through the eyes of one ex-player in particular.
I didn't think I'd enjoy it, given I know zilch about American football and at one point nearly gave up - but as the book is fairly short I stuck with it. I'm glad I did, as it was interesting to see just what the life of someone considered to be a school hero was like. I think I'd have got more out of it had I understood the game as there is one part in particular when they are listening to a recording of a critical game, a game that involved a secret which the team kept until the coach died. Nonetheless the book touched me, I found myself getting involved with it and caring about the people and it was poignant, it had some very good emotional moments. I'm not certain it'll be a re-read, but nonetheless I did end up enjoying it.