Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alexander Mccall Smith is widely recognized as the author of the very popular #1 Ladies Detective Agency novels. I’ve enjoyed those along with everyone else, but have actually preferred the Isabel Dalhousie series by A.M.S.

Here are the books in that series (to date):
The Sunday Philosophy Club (2004)
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (2005)
The Right Attitude to Rain (2006)
The Careful Use of Compliments (2007)
The Comfort of a Muddy Saturday (2008)
The Lost Art of Gratitude (2009)
The Charming Quirks of Others (2010)

I’ve just been listening to the audiobook of ‘The Comfort of a Muddy Saturday’.
In this installment, Isabel recognizes that she feels compelled by conscience to assist a moral neighbor. She thinks that we have a moral duty to forgive others, and there are several instances requiring forgiveness throughout the story.
There is also discussion of the distinction between the rational line of guilt and a neurotic one which may produce an undeserved sense of shame.
Isabel feels herself very fortunate to be in love with a wonderful person, to have a beautiful baby son, a job she treasures, a more-than-comfortable home, and no worries about her financial future. Is it any wonder that she has the time to spend philosophizing upon other people’s problems?
As the editor (and owner) of the Review of Applied Ethics, Isabel suggests that letters/papers with moral merit are often dull. As a reader of Mccall Smith’s books about Isabel and her issues of moral merit, I would argue that when the issues are cleverly presented in a novel, the reading can be delightful, insightful, and thought-provoking.

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