Alexander McCall Smith

(copied from my MySpace blog) 

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Current mood: thoughtful Category: Writing and Poetry Does talking about an author fit into “Writing and Poetry”? I found it odd that there’s no blog subject for “Books.”  Does that mean that the MySpace creators assume we aren’t reading??  But, then, there’s that “I’m reading” thing one can post on the blog.  Hmmm….. I’m newly a part of a book club.  At least, I think I am.  It was a new start-up, and I went to the first meeting. I’m forever reading, b/c I home school my kids.  We’re reading through The Cricket in Times Square right now, which has been pleasing to all of us.  And in the curriculum we use, most of the resources are actual BOOKS, not texts.  But, there hasn’t been a lot of personal reading on my part, which is why I was so happy for the book club.  The idea is (was?) to read one contemporary author (or contemporary-ish), and one classic.  Our first book was The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.  I never, never would have just picked this up on my own, even though I like mysteries.  The hokey title alone would have ensured that I didn’t even peruse the dust cover.  But, I’m now glad that I was “forced” to read it.  It is a delightful book.  But, not “delightful” as in frilly & light.  The book isn’t drudgery, to be sure, but it’s not really a light read, either.  It has emotional depth, and addresses rather significant situations.  In Africa.  In Botswana, to be exact. No. 1 is written by a Scotsman who was born in Africa, and taught in Botswana.  One of the things I found most engrossing about the book is its un-American perspective.  Not ANTI-American, but un-American.  I’m not sure how Mr. McCall Smith got to understand the psyche of women so well, let alone a Batswana.  But, he seems to have done so, completely. Now, I just finished reading the fourth book in the series, and have the fifth awaiting me.  There is also a sixth that just came out that I’ve seen at the library, but have not yet checked out.  I’ve liked them all, though the first still seems most magical.  I don’t know if that’s because it was an altogether better book, or if it just seemed so, b/c it was totally NEW to me.  I also read the first book in another series, The Sunday Philosophy Club, but I didn’t like it as much.  Its set in Edinburgh.  Now, I love Scotland;  I’ve been there twice.  But it wasn’t nearly as compelling reading about the gentle life of a 40-ish woman in Edinburgh as it was reading of a 30-ish woman in Gaborone.

Currently reading : The Full Cupboard of Life By Alexander Mccall Smith Release date: By 25 January, 2005

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on January 5, 2006, in Books I'm Reading. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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