Monday, October 08, 2007

Woman to Woman - Book Review

414244026_0aa86668d0_m[1]



This is undoubtedly one of my favorite topics to discuss - good books I've read. I read voraciously. I read when I should be doing other things. I need one of those sweatshirts (or tee shirts, except a sweatshirt would feel so much better right now) that says, "So Many Books, So Little Time!"

Here is a picture of one of my birthday gifts from my husband. He found it in the Wireless Catalog and could not resist it. The first picture is a photo of the catalog picture - the second one is a not-very-good shot of my actual pin. It's called "The Book Lady." I love it!


102_1324



102_1317


So - our assignment for this Woman to Woman is to discuss a book we've recently read, mystery or fiction. I am going to do one of each, because I've just discovered two new series. I love series, because when I finish a book I want there to be more. I read so many series it is ridiculous. Some of them improve with age, some become inferior and I eventually give up and quit reading them.


The first series is by Alexander McCall Smith - No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. There are 8 books so far and I have read the first 7. They are delightful books set in Botswana. Since my DIL is from Africa, I have cousins there,and have heard many missionaries speak, I really enjoyed this glimpse of a small part of this huge continent.


Precious Ramotswe is "traditional sized woman" (read overweight) from Botswana who uses the money she got from selling her late father's cattle to set up a ladies' detective agency - the first and only one in Botswana. She doesn't make a lot of money, but she keeps busy enough to be contented. She solves her cases with common sense and intuition.


This excerpt touched me so: "She had never been able to tolerate dishonesty, which she thought threatened the very heart of relationships between people. If you could not count on other people to mean what they said, or to do what they said they would do, then life could become utterly unpredictable. The fact that we could trust one another made it possible to undertake the simple tasks of life. Everything was based on trust, even day-to-day things like crossing the road - which required trust that the drivers of cars would be paying attention - to buying the food from a roadside vendor, whom you trusted not to poison you. It was a lesson that we learned as children, when our parents threw us up into the sky and thrilled us by letting us drop into their waiting arms. We trusted those arms to be there, and they were."


The descriptions of Botswana make one wish to go and visit. Except for the intense heat! I love these books. They are totally different from the Mitford Series, but they give me the same good feeling when I read them.


As you may be able to tell, I highly recommend this series. Begin with this book:




I recently discovered a second delightful series by Ann B. Ross, and am on the 4th book. Miss Julia is a proper southern lady from North Carolina, a recent widow. She found after her husband's death that her frugal lifestyle was totally unnecessary - she was wealthy and didn't know it until her husband died. He left behind more than money - a secret that most everyone in town knew - except Miss Julia. I won't spoil the surprise.

From a review (no name to credit) "Miss Julia is a proper widow - a lady of a certain age with a determined commitment to correct behavior and right living, which she'll tell you about in a minute since she has the sharpest tongue south of the Mason-Dixon Line."


These books are really easy reading and will not do anything to improve your mind. But they are such fun. Give them a try!


21PJ8XGFDHL._PIsitb-dp-arrow,TopRight,21,-23_SH30_OU01_AA115_[1]



26 comments:

Tammy said...

What a great job you did on this review, Dawn!
I keep seeing this series either at the library or in my catalogs, but have yet to pick one up. After reading this, I just may have to give that first one a go!

Zoe said...

How cute!! I love books with surprises!! I am going to have to check these out!

Angela said...

You have me intrigued with your Miss Julia series.What is the author's name for the series. It's hard for me to tell on the photo.

Being from NC I must check these books out.:) Thanks for sharing your reviews and for your visit and encouraging comment today.

Have a wonderful day filled with love and laughter!
Angela

groovyoldlady said...

Both sound great! I have a friend who IS a writer in Botswana -and I love mysteries. I get a little leary of just grabbing books off the shelf at the library because there ususally ends up being some sleaze or the Lords' name in vain or something to disappoint me - and those things are even worse when the book is well-written! It makes it hard to say, Yes Lord, I'll put this one back.

I love recommendations for books that are well-done, entertaining, and readable. Thanks!

Diane said...

Great recommendation! If the book is half as good as your post...it will be a worthwhile read!

And that pin! Perfect!

As for the T-shirt.....maybe Brenda can print one up for you. I think she'd have a few more purchases as well. I love a great read. Maybe after I finish my academic reading....I'll check out this series.

Thanks for the heads up!

Diane

MotoMom said...

I'm always on the lookout for a great new series. Thanks for the interesting reviews.

Tigersue said...

Thanks for the reviews. I will look them up. :)

Lei said...

Ah, here's one I've heard of a few times.... must be a sign! :)

What a lovely Fall look you have here, Dawn! It really makes me smile!

Linda said...

It was so good to hear from you Dawn. Once again we share some of the same things. I've already read all the McCall books - just absolutely love them. My Mom just finished the Miss Julia series and has recommended them to me. As soon as I finish reading all my Jan Karon again (three to go) I'll start those.
Have a great week Dawn. We will keep in touch!

Jen said...

I have heard of the detective agency series, and it sounds cute! Thanks for the reviews!

Cocoa said...

I just saw the detective agency series on the bookmobile yesterday. Now I'll have to check them out next time it comes around.

Robin said...

Thanks - I am always looking for new good books! And I love your pin - how fun!

Talk..to..Grams said...

I love to read, too! I will have to check these out!

Becky said...

Thanks Dawn. I love a good book recommendation. In fact, the Miss Julia books are on my lengthy - 'to read in the future' - list.

Have a great week.

ellen b said...

thank you. The Miss Julia books sound delightful.

Linda said...

Both of these authors sounds like my kind of reads. Will definitely put them on my list.

And what a wonderful birthday gift, and Happy Birthday.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, Thanks for the list of good books to read..I hope I can find the Miss Julia books , they sound great..I never know what books are good.... Baba

PEA said...

I so love that pin, it's precious! Your hubby has good taste and knows you well! lol I really love the sound of that first series of books so may look out for them. xox

Morning Glory said...

Both series sound interesting. This has been a fun topic.

Maine Mom said...

I'm all for reading for fun to give my mind a break :-) These series sound great. Thanks for the ideas!

Nancy said...

I love to read too and each time I visit here I find that we have more in common. I look forward to the "North Carolina" book. You had already mentioned it to me but I haven't had time to check it out yet. Thanks for sharing.

Theresa said...

I love to read and have been looking for something new, thanks.

Barb @ A Chelsea Morning said...

I've read a couple of the Miss Julia books and loved them. The lady detective series sounds really good, too. I love books that come in a big, long series.

Did you receive the email I sent you about the change in our plans?

Midlife Mom said...

The second series really interests me. What is the authors name? Sometimes I like just an easy read after a busy, stressful day. It's just so calming before I go to bed. Thanks for the reviews, keep 'em coming!

Sharon Lynne said...

I don't know what's wrong with me. I used to read and read when I was young. Now it seems like I can't sit down to relax. I have to be picking up...or folding laundry or...

This predicament might be because I live with three men. (who have time to read!)

I'm jotting down these titles, and maybe I can squeeze in a good read some time soon!

A Woman Who is: said...

Thanks for the reviews. I love to read these kinds of books before I sleep, not to intense, just a bit of fun.