By Julie Levy ~ Posted Tue, 07/15/2008 - 10:23am
"Utterly enchanting....It is impossible to come away from an Alexander McCall Smith novel without a smile on the lips and warm fuzzies in the heart." -- Chicago Sun-Times
To me, the above quote is a perfect summary of what a good summer read should embody. In a few of my previous blogs, I've written the accolades of Alexander McCall Smith and his many books. One of the things that I adore about him as an author, is that he is truly passionate about the characters he has created as well as his readers and fans. His books take place in Botswana, Edinburgh (Scotland) and Germany so through reading at home, you are transported to another land and culture (perfect for a stay-at-home get away).
For adult readers, there are 4 series to choose from and enjoy:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
44 Scotland Street
Isabel Dalhousie Novels
Portuguese Irregular Verbs Series
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was recently turned into a movie (produced by the late Anthony Minghella) which aired this past spring on BBC and which HBO will be airing to kick off a mini-series based on the books. The movie and series takes place entirely in Botswana, which was a motion picture first.
The 44 Scotland Street series has books that compile McCall Smith's stories originally printed as serials in the Scotsman newspaper. His writing style is refreshingly different, with each chapter containing its own mini-novel structure due to the fact that they were published in a daily newspaper.
For children, Alexander McCall Smith also offers a variety of reading, including:
The Harriet Bean Series
The Max and Maddy Series
Various short stories and African folk tale collections
I am a huge proponent of any quality book series for children, especially considering that a solid series of books which includes plenty of individual titles can provide a beginning or reluctant reader with plenty of books to read in their area of interest. McCall-Smith's children's books are crowd pleasers for parents and children alike!
So, if you're looking for some interesting, feel good, unique and intellectually stimulating books to read this summer (for you or your kids), pick up an Alexander McCall Smith book and enjoy your journey!