Blessings Enumerated

There are trends in fiction, and it seems right now we’re in a dark trend. Sad stories, tragic stories … there’s a lot of that going around. “Dark” is good drama, I guess, but after so much of that, a reader needs a little light.

And that’s why I’m so fond of Alexander McCall Smith. (I’ve written about him before, though it’s been awhile.) There’s always something interesting going on in his books, always something I soon realize I needed to know.

Like these thoughts on counting one’s blessings from *The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds:

Isabel looked down at the floor. It made her uncomfortable to hear her blessings enumerated—nobody welcomed that, least of all those who, like Isabel, were aware enough to know that all the good things that we have in life are on temporary loan, at best, and can be taken away from us in an instant. The borderline between good fortune and disaster, between plenitude and paucity, between the warm hearth of love and the cold chamber of loneliness, was a narrow one. We could cross over from one to the other at any moment, as when we stumbled or fell, or simply walked over to the other side because we were paying insufficient attention to where we were. It was well to remember one’s good luck, but it was not always helpful to be reminded of it by one who was not equally blessed. Or to be reminded of it in public, when Nemesis, whose radar is said to never to be switched off, picks up the echo and begins to take an interest.

I have been both up and down this year, but in this Thanksgiving week (in particular) I am aware of my many, many blessings. Thank you, friends, for reading. If you enjoy a particular post, will you please take a moment to comment? Or share it with your friends?

All the best to you! Here’s wishing you a bounteous Thanksgiving.

*Transcribed from page 29 of the first American edition, Pantheon Books, © 2012.

 

Tweet: Blessing Enumerated: Thoughts on counting one’s blessings.
Tweet: Sad stories, tragic stories … there’s a lot of that going around. So try some Alexander McCall Smith.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Books You Might Like, Miscellany | Tagged as: , , | Bookmark the permalink | Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

5 Comments

  1. Ellen says:

    I like his books, and his sunny disposition and light, ironic touch. Haven’t read him lately, though. He seemed to have this tic: using the word that in every few words. Has he changed that?

    • Jamie says:

      No, he’s British. It’s not just AMS; British writers in general tend to overuse “that.” Of course, they think we underuse it. :)

  2. LOVE his stuff. I’m reading the latest #1 Ladies Detective Agency aloud in the car as we travel to family through these holidays. Blessed Thanksgiving to you, Jamie!!

    • Jamie says:

      Thank you, Diana! We had a little stomach bug whip through this house Monday night, which effectively canceled Thanksgiving. We may try some turkey in the coming weeks.

    • Jamie says:

      Oh — I think #1 Ladies read aloud sounds DELIGHTFUL!

  3. […] Under the Sea (Jules Verne) Twenty Years A-Growing (Maurice O’Sullivan) Ulysses (James Joyce) Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, The (Alexander McCall Smith) Under the Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes) Unlocking the Gates (Taylor Walsh) […]

One Trackback

  1. By The Bonus Round (2013 Edition) on 4 February, 2014 at 10:30 am

    […] Under the Sea (Jules Verne) Twenty Years A-Growing (Maurice O’Sullivan) Ulysses (James Joyce) Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, The (Alexander McCall Smith) Under the Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes) Unlocking the Gates (Taylor Walsh) […]