i have two new comments to add to this site. the first, based on my talking about reading william james's pragmatism, is rather cynical, but funny: "In my view those members of your reading group who actually understood the full meaning of William James' Pragmatism are those who declined to read the essay. My esteem goes out to them for their pragmatic decision." the second is kind, charming, and self-effacing. amazing how much personality can show in a few words, isn't it? rhys bowen comments on my review of her Royal Blood (A Royal Spyness Mystery), the royal spyness mystery that takes place near brasov, romania, where i taught american literature."I'm glad you enjoyed it and even more relieved that i got it right.
i want to remind you blog readers to read my short story about teaching in vladivostok at http://www.halfwaydownthestairs.net and even shorter short story at onepagestories.com.
i am not going to spend much time on my review of m.c. beaton's 25th hamish mcbeth murder mystery: Death of a Witch (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 25). scotland and especially the town of lochdubh are still charming. the bits of scots' language and sayings are delightful. hamish still does not want to be promoted. women still fall all over themselves at the sight of him. a few of them are women the reader has met in previous novels. but really, having his assistant josie try to drug him to get him into bed with her? if you love hamish, you will love this book. if you are just going to meet him, i suggest starting with an earlier more carefully written, more carefully plotted novel.
grand central publishing published this 246 page book.
i am almost finished with another book that takes place in scotland, an exceedingly romantic venue for alexander mc call smith's isabel dalhousie series. The Charming Quirks of Others: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel is the title of the seventh novel in the series. as anyone who reads this blog knows, i love mr. mc call smith, but i find i am getting picky. i am beginning to notice that he takes lines and paragraphs from other novels and weaves them together in this one. i balance this against the unexpected wonderful paragraphs of pure poetry that lift this reader.
for goodness sakes, sir, my one peeve with you is that for a gentle man, a philosopher of the good yourself, you sure do have it in for those of us who write with green ink. i believe in this novel you say we are 'crazy.' well, maybe i am a little bit, but not certifiably. plus, it is getting harder and harder to find green inked pens. maybe you will win your crusade, though i still might get the 'adlgiw' after you. that's the anti-defamation league for green ink writers.
the charming quirks of others is, again, a lovely 256 page, fairy tale for grownups, published by pantheon books.