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Somehow, June is already nearly half over. Summer is well and truly underway. Time to find the shade of a tree or a lazy hammock and do some reading. And in the spirit of relaxation, here is some lighter fare to enjoy on a quiet summer day.


James Cat


This jaunty novel is made up of episodes featuring James, a very particular cat. He visits various tenants in his apartment building. All is done on his terms and his schedule. Then again, he is a cat.

James, who loves Laphroaig single-malt whiskey and would turn his nose at any ordinary whiskey — let alone gin or vodka — had, so far as I could tell, no taste in food. He was perfectly content with a can of food. ~ Loc. 248

The entire book is light-hearted and fun. Think of the meaningless entertainment of a Jeeves story. No deep meaning or special symbology. In fact, it would probably be enjoyed by younger readers as well.

Open Road Integrated Media
File Size: 594 KB
Print Length: 137 pages
Publisher: Open Road Media (February 10, 2015)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English


THE LAST DRIVE (and other stories) by Rex Stout

Fans of Nero Wolfe (of which I am one), will recognize the bouncy tone employed by Rex Stout in this serialized mystery. Firmly planted in the pulp genre, the story is centered around a golf course and the players of the game (amusingly, Stout himself did not play or even follow the game). This predates Archie Goodwin but there is a reluctant detective named Canby Rankin and Stout’s familiar tone is evident.

Everybody had come in from the links; all playing had ceased. In the dining-room members had left their luncheon to get cold on the tables, and when returned to sit and talk in hushed tones. There was a buzz everywhere. The mystery of the thing had grasped everybody. ~Loc. 270

The title also features other short stories by Stout published in other literary magazines. They include: “The Paisley”, “Billy Du Mont, Reporter”, “Barnacles”, “The Pickled Picnic”, “Two Kisses”, “Ask the Egyptians”, “This is My Wife”, “Second Edition”, “It Happened Last Night”, and “Old Fools and Young”.

File Size: 1819 KB
Print Length: 294 pages
Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road (May 26, 2015)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English



This nonfiction compiles the tales of some of the best known office supplies, even though their inventors and designers are long forgotten. Pens, paper, clips, erasers, notebooks, highlighters — they are all visited. He explores the history of the precursors and gives his anecdotal evidence for why one design out-survived another.

Papyrus remained the most important material for thousands of years until a dispute between King Eumenes II of Pergamon and Ptolemy V of Egypt sometime around 190 BC. The dispute resulted in the supply of papyrus to Pergamon being prohibited. Pliny writes that is was here that “parchment was invented.” … Despite this, there was some resistance to its widespread introduction — the Roman physician Claudius Galenus was supposed to have complained that the shiny surface of parchment strained his eyes. Such delicacy — the poor man would no doubt have been blinded by the very pages you are reading right now. ~Loc. 911

The book bounces along and the reader is constantly surprised by the small stories and just how interesting an item of stationery can be.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Touchstone (April 21, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476799865
ISBN-13: 978-1476799865
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches