Joining in with Laura...
Last month's book of choice was Cranford. I really enjoyed it; there's something I love about stories set in communities where women dominate the social scene (I suppose another series of books which is similar in this respect is the Anne of Green Gables stories - those of you who have been reading Mitenska for a while will know all about my long-standing love of them).
Cranford appealed to me in all kinds of ways: the 'elegant economy' principles by which the ladies lived; the gently comic way in which Gaskell describes the social mores of the time; the episodic format (the book was initially a set of papers, later put together). Verdict: recommended!
This month's choice is a world away from the twentieth century classics I've been reading of late. I'm jumping through time and continents (in my imagination, at least) to modern day Botswana.
A friend suggested I read The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency several years ago, just as it took off in terms of popularity. I was a little dubious as I'm most keen on fiction set from around 1900 to 1960 (give or take). I'd never read anything set in Africa and the only detective novels I'd gone for were by Agatha Christie.
But read it I did, and was hooked. Alexander McCall Smith's books are wonderfully uplifting, funny and life-affirming. They transport you to Botswana and its slower pace of life; you can almost feel the warmth and dust and smell the sun-baked earth. To me, they represent total escapism and feel-good reading. High-brow? Maybe not. Pleasurable? Most definitely.
So April's choice is The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, the latest in the series. To be honest, I've already made a start so it's likely I'll have finished it within the week... Good job as I collected The Goldfinch from the library on Tuesday. It's huge! And I can only have it for a fortnight as it's an 'in demand' title. Can't see that going well somehow.
P.S. We've just returned from the Scottish Borders and I was so disappointed to learn that Alexander McCall Smith is giving a talk at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles in May. It's located at the end of the very street we stayed on! Oh, and the photos are from another visit to Barter Books on our way home (via Northumberland). On a chilly day the fires were lit, the aromas of cake and coffee were in the air, and 1940s music was being played. Comfy old chairs, books on top of books. A bibliophile's heaven...
Purchases were made.
Happy April reading.