Currently I’m reading The Right Attitude to Rain, the third Isabel Dalhousie novel by Alexander McCall Smith. It’s the sort of book that makes me pause whilst I’m reading it and think about what I’ve read. It’s not a book to rush through at top speed to find out what happens, but rather a book to savour for its characters and settings, for its interaction bewteen the characters and the images it evokes.
It’s also the sort of book that reminds me of other books I’d like to read and this morning when I read Isabel’s and Tom’s discussion about Mary Queen of Scots I began to think of a couple of books I’ve been meaning to read and wanting to read them right now. These are:
- Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser, a detailed and long biography (over 700 pages)
- Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley by Alison Weir, another long biography(600 pages)
I also want to read these books I’ve borrowed recently from the library:
- The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono, the story of an imaginary shepherd hoping to plant thousands of trees. I saw this reviewed on Simon’s blog and thought it looked good. It’s only52 pages, so I could read that right now.
- The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves, crime fiction set in the Pennines featuring DI Vera Stanhope. This is yet another long book (over 500 pages)
- and, bringing me back to Alexander McCall Smith, the fifth Isabel Dalhousie novel, The Comfort of Saturdays.
I have to settle for the fact that I can only read one book at a time, so it’s back to The Right Attitude to Rain – right now, along with a cup of tea.
6 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon – Books I’d like to Read Right Now”
There must be something deficient in me because I am the only person I know who doesn’t like McCall Smith. I’ve tried books from each of his series and got nowhere with any of them. Is this malady fatal, do you think, or is there any hope of a cure at all?
Study Window, I resisted reading any McCall Smith book for a while, mainly because everyone was raving about them and I couldn’t believe they could be as good as all that. The Isabel Dalhousie books are the only ones I’ve tried. I’m still reluctant to try any of the others and suppose the answer is that it’s not possible for everyone to like the same books.
I love the Isabel series and agree it’s not to be rushed. Study Window, you might try listening to Mma Ramotswe on audiobook. I did that recently and loved it.
Karen, I’m not sure about the Mama Ramotswe books – I haven’t read any but I watched the TV series and wasn’t too taken with them – a bit twee, I thought, butI know that not everyone agrees. I’m probably in the minority there.
I think you may have cracked the mystery for me. I need to read the Isabel Dalhousies (and for that matter each of his series) differently from the others. I too enjoy the slow pace, and the inter-relations but now I realize I just have to stop waiting for “something to happen.” THey’re not thrillers, and never were meant to be. These are going onto the re-read shelf, because I think I might have a better appreciation now that I’ve processed your take on them.
Oo, Margaret, do read The Man Who Planted Trees – it’ll take about 20 minutes, but is really memorable.
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