To me, the perfect holiday read is anything by Alexander McCall Smith. I freely admit I am filled with excitement every time I realise he has a new book out, because I am absolutely 100% sure I will enjoy it.
He is prolific (thank goodness – having written about 80 books to date) and, best of all, he is easy reading. You are guaranteed quality writing that sweeps you along with the fortunes of, almost exclusively, rather nice people.
Bertie’s Guide to Life & Mothers is no exception. Bertie is about to be 7 years old and he is a lovely boy who is made, by his misguided mother, to do all manner of things he cannot abide – yoga, Italian lessons and the like. What he really wants is a Swiss army knife, but his mother only sees violence in such a gadget. His father is not much help, being a gentle man who doesn’t stand up to his wife. However, things are about to change for Bertie…
Alexander McCall Smith is a national (soon to be Scottish if the Yes vote wins the day?) treasure, who lives in Ediburgh and is a professor of medical law-turned-novelist. I discovered him through his No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series but soon wanted to read some of this other works including the 44 Scotland Street novels, of which Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers is the ninth. It is as engaging and witty as we have come to expect…you certainly won’t be making a mistake if you pack it in your suitcase. Enjoy.