Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What are you reading, Gilbert Bailey?

I typically am not a reader, as I usually can’t sit still long enough to get through a book. Being out on Medical Leave from my staff position as Controller has changed that, at least temporarily. I follow in the footsteps of my father, as I don’t recall seeing a book in his hands the whole time I was growing up. My mom got him to reading some books after retirement, at which time my dad told me I had to read the books by Lilian Jackson Braun (The Berkley Publishing Group) about a cat that thought it was a detective. Remembering the recommendation from my dad, I finally got around to checking them out while recuperating.

Mr. Qwilleran (Qwill) is a newspaper reporter (or retired reporter – depending upon which book) who is always following clues to a mystery. He has a bushy moustache that signals him with a twitch when a pertinent fact is before him. He owns two Siamese cats. The male, Koko, has extra ordinary senses and talents with which he tries to lead Qwill toward clues. Koko’s female counterpart, Yum Yum, is the affectionate one typically more in the background.

There are about thirty The Cat Who… books that don’t need to be read in order, but there is a common thread that runs between them. There are facts in each book that aren’t necessary to be known for the enjoyment of the other books, but you start feeling like you already know some of the characters and their background after reading more of the books. For example, in the first book, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, you learn how Qwill obtained Koko.

So far I have read The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, The Cat Who Saw Red, The Cat Who Played Post Office, and The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare. These are all quick reading books that are hard to put down, good purely for your enjoyment and forgetting about the stresses of the world and college. I would recommend at least one for everyone during the Winter break to help you unwind. I’m about to finish The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, and think I’ll read The Cat Who Went Underground next. Enjoy.

Gilbert Bailey is the Controller at Hope International University. He has a long history with the University having lived in the PCC dorms while taking classes at CSUF.

The Cat Who ... books by Lilian Jackson Braun can be purchased through, Barnes & Noble, and Better World Books.

Check your public library if you prefer to borrow these books. Most public libraries have The Cat Who ... series in their collections.

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