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I love Alexander McCall Smith. He Tweets short stories, always has interesting things to say and write, and is the author of one of my favourite series, The No. The characters that populate these series are thoughtful and philosophical the give away is in that series title right!


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Even Cyril the dog with the gold tooth has ponderings. My issue is that reading around four pages of thoughts and ruminations put me into glazed over mode, and really doesn't keep me with the story. The thoughts really interrupt my enjoyment of the story. The redeeming feature of this book is the precocious Bertie - a boy genius who plays saxophone at Grade 5 and is fluent in Italian.

Sadly he's afflicted with a horribly overbearing mother who makes him wear pink dungarees and practice yoga.

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The Bertie sections are brilliant. He's such an amiable little soul and I looked forward to his appearances all the way through the book. Its very easy to love Bertie. I don't think I'll drop back into Scotland Street anytime soon, but it was a nice day trip on this occasion! The Scotland Street series is funny, clever, and endearing. The Edinburgh of these books is a place we'd all love to live. I'd add, except for July and August when the city is crammed with tourists who traverse the city in large packs, oblivious to all other humanity, and the obstruction they create.

Despite trying visitors, Edinburgh residents couldn't be friendlier. I was pleased that there's a reference to the Belfast poet Michael Longley in this book.

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Smith includes so many interesting comme The Scotland Street series is funny, clever, and endearing. Smith includes so many interesting comments linked to literature, history and more that demonstrate what a knowledgeable writer he is. The additions make reading him even more fun. Bertie continues to struggle with his unreasonably demanding mother but there are signs in this installment she may be turning a corner. Once again we join our favourite Edinburgh characters in their daily lives.

In this delightful instalment, McCall Smith touches on subjects as diverse as the acronyms used in internet dating, wisdom and happiness, the Masons, sincerity in animals, sensitivity or lack of it in Scottish men, the dehumanising effect of technology and the purpose of chocolate cake. Even minor characters get to say some insightful things, like equating dangerous and deluded German mental patients to Italian politicians. Once again, light-hearted, philosophical and thought-provoking: readers will eagerly await the eighth instalment, Sunshine on Scotland Street.

Feb 20, Rebecca rated it really liked it Shelves: audio-books , cozy-mysteries. This series continues to make me smile. The characters are charming and adorable even the annoying ones like Bruce and Bertie's mom and I want to have a drink with them at the Cumberland Bar. I love the way this series was written, chapter by chapter as a serial publication.

Bertie is his usual brilliant and cute self who is truly a good person deep down inside.

Alexander McCall Smith on his latest Scotland Street installment

Even when everyone seems to be struggling with a dilema, these books always have an upbeat quality to them which I love and keeps me This series continues to make me smile. Even when everyone seems to be struggling with a dilema, these books always have an upbeat quality to them which I love and keeps me coming back for more. I am very attached to these characters at this point and love learning about their lives even the mundane things. Many things seem a little far-fetched but so endearing in these books that it makes me laugh and I accept them for what they are.

I enjoy that all the books end with Domica and Angus having a dinner party and Angus reciting a poem that echoes the themes brought up in this book. Dec 26, Trelawn rated it really liked it. It looks like Bertie might finally get some peace to be the little boy he is and not a moment too soon. But I really do hate Bruce with an all consuming passion. He had better get his comeuppance by the end of this series. For everyone else, life in Edinburgh is ticking along nicely. A truly inspired set of books. View all 5 comments. See the beautiful city of Edinburgh through the eyes of the current and former inhabitants of 44 Scotland Street and its surroundings as Alexander McCall Smith catches up with them once again in this splendid new novel.

Matthew and Elsbeth, the new parents of triplets, see it through the tired eyes that are hungry for sleep and desperate for a little peace in their lives, despite their enormous love for their three tiny little boys even if they can't tell them apart! Angus and Domenica, so rec See the beautiful city of Edinburgh through the eyes of the current and former inhabitants of 44 Scotland Street and its surroundings as Alexander McCall Smith catches up with them once again in this splendid new novel. Angus and Domenica, so recently engaged, see it through the rose-tinted eyes of love as they prepare for their upcoming wedding and face the questions that all such couples ask themselves prior to making that huge commitment.

Bertie Plays The Blues (44 Scotland Street, book 7) by Alexander McCall Smith

The chance for love also appears to be on the horizon for Big Lou - will this be the man that she's been waiting for so long or will he just disappoint her like the rest? Pat, too, is facing questions of her own heart as she reconnects with her old flames Matthew and Bruce. Finally, little Bertie Pollock sees it through eyes filled with unhappiness as he continues to try to cope with his overbearing mother and aggravating classmates in his need to be "just a little boy. I always close the last page of an Alexander McCall Smith book feeling so enriched, both emotionally and intellectually.

Each page is so full of wisdom and interesting details that I have to read each slowly, savoring their depth and meaning. I frequently find myself looking up further information about the Scottish and European history and people to which Smith refers like the Oberammergau Passion Play - how interesting!

It's no wonder these books take twice the time to read as any others! It is always time well spent, however.

McCall Smith's humor is also prominent here my favorite examples? Olive's belief that God's method of punishment is pulling out the offenders fingernails, one by one or Tofu's belief that war is made through tickling! I absolutely loved this book and felt that it was one of the best in the series. I was a bit sad at the end, though, for it seems that everyone has come to a happy point in their lives even my favorite little guy Bertie and I wonder if Smith will end the series here.

Bertie Plays the Blues (#7 44 Scotland Street)

I truly hope not, for I love every visit to Scotland Street and look forward to many more. Have you heard of eBay? You could put yourself on it, you know'. Not having a computer, Bertie was unsure what eBay was, and listened attentively as Ranald explained it to him. I'm telling you. Trucks, model railways, even swords. If you've got something to sell, you put it on eBay and they have a sort of auction.

You could choose two weeks maybe. That gives people time to decide how much they w "Ranald stroked his chin.

Bertie Plays The Blues: 44 Scotland Street

That gives people time to decide how much they want to bid'". Life for poor Bertie doesn't get any easier in this most recent volume of the Scotland Street series.


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  8. In fact, life is so bad that he decides to put himself up for adoption via eBay - hoping in doing so that a nice family from Glasgow will rescue him from his nightmare of a mother, Irene. When this proves unsatisfactory, Bertie and his cub scout friend, Ranald, then decide to take matters further by going to Glasgow - directly to the doors of the adoption agency Meanwhile Domenica, recently engaged to Angus, has exciting plans and also meets an old flame; Matthew and Elspeth find life with triplets very difficult and hire an au pair.