Friday, March 09, 2007

BOOKS: Feel-Good Friday

Are you sick of me talking about how much I love Alexander McCall Smith? Do you find yourself wanting to say, "If you love him so much, Doppelganger, why don't you MARRY him?"

No? Goody!

44 Scotland Street
by Alexander McCall Smith (#5)
I feel like, after my
last post, I should ease into the weekend on a somewhat more upbeat note. And after reading notanillusion's touching concern for my mental wellbeing, what with the distressing literary and cinematic fare I've been taking in, I feel a need to reassure you all that I knew exactly what I needed after finishing The Year of Magical Thinking. I needed a book that is funny without being acidic or jarring. I needed a book that is warm and gentle and life-affirming. I needed a book that could wrap me up in a big fuzzy hug and hold me and pat my hair and whisper, "There, there. There, there." And once again, McCall Smith comes to the rescue.

I can't even tell you what the plot was. Vaguely Douglas Adams-ish (think Dirk Gently, not Hitchhiker's Guide), minus the loopiness. Something about a painting? And a secret underground tunnel? I'm pretty sure there's a dog in there somewhere, extremely charismatic, as dogs in novels tend to be.

But the thing is, it doesn't matter what the story was. If you're in a fragile state, or even if you're not, read it. Like me, you may not remember it when you're done, but that's all to the good. You can re-read it later.

TGIF! Group hug?


Rustybelle said...

In order to keep your AMS love, please don't read The Sunday Philosophy Club. It was the first one I read after inhaling the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency and it has put me off all his books.

JAM said...

Oh, man, do I ever need a group hug. What a week! (And the weather here is all grey and cranky today, which isn't helping.)

I've been hesitant about Alexander McCall Smith for a while. But I trust your judgment -- it's not treacly, right? I'm afraid of things that seem mostly billed as being heart-warming and whatnot, because my inner snark immediately assumes the literary equivalent of "Touched by an Angel." Or something.

Anonymous said...

So glad you liked it! And I have Espresso Tales right here waiting for you.

You know I haven't picked up a book for nearly 4 weeks? (I've been a little distracted.) Shocking, but I think Blue Shoes and Happiness might be the one that breaks the spell.

Mrs. Mancuso said...

No offense to rustybelle, but I loved The Sunday Philosophy Club. It's very different from the Precious Ramotswe books, in that they are very African while it is very Scottish. I loved the sequel, Friends, Lovers, & Chocolate, too.

Rustybelle said...

Pixie, no offence at all. I'm from the NE of Scotland myself and it just didn't resonate with me. As ever, differnet strokes.

Beth said...


I also luuurve all things Alexander McCall Smith! AND, I got to meet him (albeit briefly). You can link to the hilarious speech I saw him give at the DC National Book Fest this past August from my post about it. It cemented my love for him.

tinylittlelibrarian said...

I loved this one, too! Very soothing. I'm am trying to get around to Espresso Tales - soon, soon. Like Rustybelle, I was very disappointed by Sunday Philosophy Club. It didn't put me off him, but it put me off any desire to read the rest of that particular series. I still have to attempt the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.