Friends this is my review of the book The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith, which I read recently, or as I like to think of them – My next Bertie fix.
So this continues the saga of characters that have become well known to us, wrapping them around everyday life in Edinburgh. To start with Matthew and Elspeth get married and go off to Australia for their Honeymoon, where poor Matthew is attacked by a freak wave, and suffers at the hands of the Australian Police.
We then have a large Glaswegian gangster dropping dead on the steps of the Art Gallery and the consequences of this with respect to the stolen painting he was trying to get rid of.
But this is all eclipsed by Bertie wanting to join the scouts, to his mothers displeasure, but he ends up as a scout cub with Tofu. Then much to Bertie's horror Olive his non girlfriend becomes their sixer. This leads to several adventures with Olive eventually being demoted.
Then of course there is Dr Fairbairn's replacement Dr Roger Sinclair and how Bertie deals with him.. This is not to mention the Jacobites, and the exploit’s of Cyril the dog, but to say any more would just spoil the plot.
This book is a fantastic humorous snapshot of life, and a really enjoyable read. This was
This was book 31 week 24 fiction 28 (7 on audio) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book – the World According to Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith.
Though I had not planned to read this book next, I have a small pile of books waiting to be read by my bedside, and this was not in that. I choose this book from our bookshelves as I wanted a book that would hopefully provide some cheer whilst not being too mentally challenging. From the other books that I have read in the series so far, this should meet the criteria. If you want to know why I am choosing such a book just look at the book that I have read previously.
So getting back to the book, this is the ongoing saga of life in 44 Scotland Street, building on the characters that we have met already. This includes Cyril the dog, who is arrested and is potentially under threat of extinction for biting. But it turns out (beware plot spoiler) this is a case of mistaken identity and he is duly freed by the courts.
Bertie of course has a leading role in the book and he now has a baby brother called Ulysses, that is causing chaos in the family. Even more so when (beware plot spoiler) Bertie starts to ponder allowed to various adults including his Dad that Ulysses, looks just like his psychotherapist, that his mother is so keen on.
Berties overpowering mother has the idea that (beware plot spoiler) bertie should play with girls and so arranges this with one of her friends daughters. They play nurses and patients. The nurse taking Berties blood for real. Sadly the consequences of this action could not be foreseen, but I will not give the game away.
There is lots going on with the other characters as well but you will have to read the book to find out what that is.
A good enjoyable read as book 5 week 3 – fiction 5 (0 on audio) non fiction 0
This is my review of the book Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith
When I was reading this I asked Pauline, which characters do you like best, and interestingly though we did overlap on some others also appealed. This is what makes this series of books so clever, they appeal to lovers of different genres of writing equally.
One of the characters that we both agreed was a favourite, was Bertie. Maybe an alternative title of this should have been Bertie's adventures in Paris, or even his encounter with the police. The characters are so rich that though there is no beginning and end that does not matter. It is a humorous tapestry of life, that could just be real.
So having said all that – which bits appealed to me most. Matthew and the Glasgow gangsters – Aloysius O'Conner. Bertie-Pierre de-constructing Jean- Francois Francois with the principles of flight. The kidnapping of Cyril and his subsequent repatriation were I thought some of the best bits.
All in all this was a very enjoyable book, and I look forward to reading the next one. This was book 39 week 27 fiction 37 (11 on audio) non fiction 2
This is the second novel recounting the residents of 44 Scotland Street, and was a delight to read. The hotchpotch of life portrayed here bring back memories of a time that seems ages ago now. Though the characters are quite unique in their personality they all fit together so well.
For me the two main stars of the book were Bertie and the nudist picnic in Moray Place. Firstly the idea of a nudist picnic in cold Edinburgh itself just brings a smile to the face. It would have to be a very sheltered sunny garden just to even get me to take off my jumper, let alone anything else.. I won't spoil the event if you have not read the book, but Domenica does attend the picnic..
Then we come to Bertie, he is just the star of the whole book, with lots of lovely story lines. His trip to Glasgow with his Dad to collect their car was one of the best. As a six year old boy he ends up playing cards with a notorious Glaswegian gangster Lard O'Connor and much to everyone’s amazement wins.
Having collected their car from Glasgow on the way home, it comes to light that the car now has one too few gears, and where the gear has vanished brings a smile back on to my face just recollecting it.
Then there is of course the whole story line of Bruce wanting to set himself up as a wine merchant, and his various exploits at trying to get a partner for the business and buy stock, without be had.
All in all a very enjoyable book as book 25 week 17 fiction 24 (8 on audio) non fiction 1
Well this was about as different from “The spy who came in from the cold” as chalk is to cheese. Though I have listened to adaptations of Alexander’s books on the radio and watched the TV versions of the Detective Agency, I have never actually read one of his books. They have sat on the side waiting to be read and other ones have jumped the queue.
Well maybe it was because of the grey wet weather outside, but I just felt like a change and so picked up this book. Now I am thinking why did I wait so long. I loved Bertie, a small boy, who set light to his father Guardian newspaper, and then needs to be psychoanalysed. He asks his mum all the “wrong” questions and does inappropriate things.
The rest of the characters in the house are so easy to relate to, and I am sure anyone who has lived in a flat/house share for a while will relate to the antics going on. Alexander must have spent many happy hour people watching to make up his rich tapestry of characters that make up the story. It is so nice to read a book where the humour is gentle and funny but does not have to resort to crudity.
I am now faced with a dilemma as to when to read the next book, as we have most in our house. They make a good contrast to murder mystery books so I think I will wait for a few weeks. So this was book 14 week 8 fiction 14 (6 on audio) non fiction 0
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.