On My Nightstand...

...you will find:

Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O'Conner

What are YOU reading?

{Re: Last weeks selections}

 The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
Back in 2003, a friend suggested that I pick up a copy of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency since we were planning on working in Africa. I immediately fell in love with the characters that Smith had created, and upon our arrival in Botswana in 2004, everything came to life. I drove down Zebra Drive, visited Princess Marina Hospital (not as nice as it's described in the books), and lived next door to the real-life Dr. & Mrs. Moffet. However, the best feature of these books is that you don't have to travel thousands of miles to Botswana to feel like you are there. Smith has a gift for making real life jump out from the pages of his books, and The Double Comfort Safari Club is no exception.


  1. I read The Story of Liberty (Coffin) this week, but have not had time for Eagle of the Ninth (Sutcliff) and I'm dragging through Flight of Passage (Buck)...but I'll get through them! I'm almost done with Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill (Mansfield)...(and if Churchill could memorize 1200 lines from Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome, I can certainly finish reading Buck's book!) :)

  2. P.S. So did you give up on West with the Night? And I can't wait to hear what you think of Woe is I...I haven't read it, but I think I'd like to...(suddenly I'm very conscious of grammar errors in this comment...)

  3. Jamie - No, I didn't give up on "West with the Night", but I'm struggling to finish it. I really thought it would be more interesting to me (being involved in aviation and having lived in Africa), but it feels so wordy and the only reason I haven't given up on it is because I'm stubborn. ;-)

  4. Hi Carrie

    Can't believe you have driven down Zerbra Drive! I too love the Nbr 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I too think Alexander McCall Smith writes those characters beautifully... although, I have tried some other books of his set in Scotland, and I didn't enjoy them half as much! Have you tried?

    I love your blog. I have been watching for a while, loving it. All the best Carrie - you so often bring me a smile, a thought or a fresh idea.

    Kindest regards from Geneva, Switzerland,

  5. That's so amazing! I thought that all those places were made up in MacCall Smith's books!! I've just finished The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by him which was really fun too! Love his books!

  6. Ali - lovely to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to say hello. I've tried both the Isabel Dalhousie series (didn't like it at all), and the 44 Scotland Street series (which I did enjoy), but neither of them rank up there with the No. 1 Ladies, at least in my book!

    Sophie - Doesn't it make it more fun to know they are all real places? The shopping mall (been there), the hotels (been there), the banking center (been there), even Tlokweng Road is a real road. When we lived next door to the Moffets, they infomed us that McCall Smith stayed in their guest house whenever he came to Botswana to write. Guess it's true, you really are within 6 people of everyone! ;-)


A reminder: there are more than 400,000 words in the English language, please use them wisely.


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