Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Posts Tagged ‘Alexander McCall Smith’

Trains and Lovers

Posted by nliakos on April 8, 2016

by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor Books 2012; ISBN 978-0-345-80581-2)

The always fertile mind of the author of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series has here braided together the love stories of four individuals traveling on a train from Edinburgh to London together. Two are middle-aged: David, an American, and Kay, an Australian. The other two are young men in their twenties: Andrew, a Scot, and Hugh, an Englishman. Andrew begins the conversation with a comment about a fishing boat to Kay, and they begin to talk; the other two are drawn in to the conversation. Each man recalls his love (for David, a closeted homo (or bi-) sexual, it is a story in his past; Hugh and Andrew are living their stories. Kay recounts the story of how her Scottish father emigrated to Australia and how he met and married her mother.

The book made for pleasant reading on my trip to and from Baltimore by bus and light rail (how relevant!), but it’s kind of lightweight. Easy to read, easy to forget.

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The Forgotten Affairs of Youth

Posted by nliakos on March 1, 2013

As I noted in my last post on an Isabel Dalhousie book (The Lost Art of Gratitude), I needed to catch up in this series. I’ve since looked for The Charming Quirks of Others on a couple of occasions, but it has never been on the shelf, and I confess I did not place a hold on it. Finally, last week I borrowed this one and the next (latest) one, The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds. I’m pretty obsessive about reading books in order but it just didn’t happen this time, and no reference was made in the book alluding to any momentous event in the last one, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

I started the book on the bus going to work this morning and finished it before dinner. It’s fairly innocuous. Isabel helps a fellow philosopher to find information about her birth parents, and Isabel and Jamie finally tie the knot at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. Isabel makes a killing on the stock market and gives it all away. Charlie, now 2 1/2, still has a taste for olives and now likes mashed sardines. It’s pleasant reading, but forgettable. Still, I read on.

I thought I had blogged about most of the books I’ve read since I started the blog in late 2006, but this series was launched in 2004 (and I didn’t read them right away), yet I find only one previous post.  Here’s a complete list. I’ve read them all except the aforementioned Charming Quirks. And I do like them–though not as much as The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series!

The Sunday Philosophy Club Series

also known as Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries


Posted in Fiction | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »