Friday, December 20, 2013

Betty Smith - Joy in the Morning

Joy in the MorningJoy in the Morning by Betty  Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published by Buccaneer Books
Borrowed @ Central State Library, Chandigarh.

The book is set in the early 1900s.  The heroine, Annie has just turned 18.  She has packed her bag and left home to travel to where her boyfriend, Carl lives.  Carl is a law student in the university town of --.  They go straight to get married.  They have barely any money.  All they have is love for each other and a hankering to be together for ever.

Times are hard.  Carl works part time and studies.  Annie also finds work and they manage to scrape by, counting pennies and living cheap.

It is a heartwarming tale of young love.  Not the starry eyed kinds you find in romance books, but the kind that gives you the reality behind love stories.  Annie and Carl fight, and kiss and make up.

This is a story of their early life together.  The story is based on the author's own experience.

I read an excerpt of this book in an old issue of Reader's Digest.  I loved it instantly.  Almost by serendipity, I found the book in my local Central State Library.  The book was every bit as good as the excerpt.  This happened nearly fifteen years ago.

On a recent trip to the same library, I chanced upon the same book once more.  I just had to pick it up again to read it once more.  I was charmed anew by this lovely story.  But this time, I managed to write about it.


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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Alexander McCall Smith - The Sunday Philosophy Club Series or Isabel Dalhousie Series



Isabel Dalhousie (The Isabel Dalhousie Series, #10)Isabel Dalhousie by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read the entire series of Isabel Dalhousie/Sunday Philosophy Club. I actually bought the entire series, which is something I have NEVER done. I had to buy the books because they were not available in the library.

The fact that I was willing to spend my money on so many of these books speaks of the love I have for the Isabel Dalhousie series.

These books are not flashy fiction. Readers of action thrillers will do well to keep far away from these books. Readers who love Jane Austen, Anne Tyler, Ruskin Bond and similar authors will love these series.

The books have a gentle laid back tone. Isabel Dalhousie is a rich woman. She edits a philosophy journal (Review of Applied Ethics) and had once founded Sunday Philosophy Club. The club closed down as the members did not have time for it.

Ruminating on philosophical aspects is what comes naturally to Isabel. She is a bit of an old fashioned girl. She likes following social niceties. She likes her old fashioned house that she inherited from her parents. She loves her unfashionable green Swedish car. She loves living her quiet, sedentary life in Edinburgh.

She brings to mind a leisurely era when people had time to lunch and dine gracefully, go to concerts, visit museums and art galleries, or merely walk about the town. Although she lives in our times, there are no mentions of mobile phones and dish TV. Emails and internet are referred to, but clearly, Isabel is a woman who prefers her letters handwritten or, at the very least, printed.

The mysteries that Isabel solves, are almost the side plot in each book. At times, the mystery is not satisfactorily solved even. But she likes what she learns out of each encounter. She likes meeting new people and she likes being allowed to look into their world.

I have completed all the nine books in the series. And absolutely adored all of them.Alexander McCall Smith

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