Getting back into the swing of things has taken a bit of effort on my part. It seems that, with everything going on outside of the blogging world, my poor blog has taken a tragic hit. I've been so neglectful of consistent posting...though I do have several (perhaps ten or so) drafts in the works to be edited. Wow. So, to help aid my way back into consistent blogging, I'm participating in this week's edition of "Why I Love". I've been participating in this blogging meme for a while now, but have missed weeks recently. However, here's my attempt at getting back in the groove! This week's topic is Favorite Series.
There are so many series that I absolutely love. The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, Harry Potter by JK Rowling, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan...and on and on. But I'm not going to talk about any of those, mainly because I've written about every single one of them in some capacity; especially Harry Potter. Instead I'm going to explain why I absolutely love Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series.
First, the characters are eccentrically awesome! There are a multitude of characters who force you to either love them, hate them, or feel ambivalent toward them. These characters range from Bertie, the six year old saxophone and Italian prodigy who just wants to play with boys his age, to Bruce, the egotistical man-whore who thinks everyone (EVERYONE) worships the ground that he walks on and that he can do no wrong, from Domenica, the elderly world-traveler who is always looking for new adventures, to Angus, a portrait painter and friend of Domenica who wants their relationship to go a bit further, from Cyril, the overly-intelligent and human-like dog with a gold tooth owned by Angus, to Big Lou, the owner of a local coffee bar who is more sensitive than she lets on and who offers great advice to others. Plus a ton of others who stand out and make an impact on these characters.
Second, the chapters are incredibly short. Because this series was originally written as a serial column in The Scotsman newspaper (much like Dickens when he first started), the length of the chapters had to fit within a finite space. This makes any book in 44 an ideal book to carry with you and read when you have a little time to kill.
Third, because of the short chapters, these books are quick reads and always have fresh hijinks for the characters to partake in. In addition, Smith is constantly bringing new characters in and phasing characters out...only to bring them back later in an unexpected way. They're so much fun!
I'm so glad that my friend Mandy introduced me to this series. Not only do they remind me of her, but they remind me of Edinburgh. I can walk through the cobbled streets along with the many characters. I can experience the feel of the city just as they are. It's magical.