Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Win a Kindle!

I truly love the social networking world. I have so many contacts from the many facets of my life, many of whom I've never actually met. It's great! One of my writing colleagues posted this Win a Kindle contest which is being hosted by a different writing colleague of hers who is now another contact of mine - complicated right?! - not really. So in short, I now follow her blog "My Overstuffed Bookshelf", hope to take part in the 100+ Reading Challenge she is hosting (but not until 2012 because 2011 is almost over and I'm not even close to having read 100+ books this year), and really really hope to win the Kindle she giving away to celebrate 2-years of steady blogging!

Cheers to you Amy J!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Kalahari Typing School for Men

Ok now folks, I’ve finally gotten to books that I am actually reading at the present time. I was also one of the lucky winners during the month of July so I guess the grand people running the POC Reading Challenge allowed my “back entries”. That means all smiles and another wonderful book to add to my colossal collection. On to the review…

“The Kalahari Typing School for Men” is novel number four in The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. As I near the end of my stay here in Gaborone, Botswana, the places described in these novels will soon be distant memories. With that said, it is because I can recognize almost every setting described in the touching tales of main character, Mma Ramotswe, that I love these stories.

As a student of English Literature, I do feel it necessary to critique the writing style used in the collection. McCall Smith’s use of language and sentence structure is quite under-developed and mediocre at best. Like I have said in each review, however, his character development and knowledge of Batswana culture is what makes these novels well worth the read.

“The Kalahari Typing School for Men” focuses on Mma Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe’s assistant and a woman who has taken on only a minor role in each of the previous novels. In this fourth edition of the series the reader is taken into both the professional and personal life of Mma Makutsi as she creates the novel’s title business and becomes the centre of one of Mma Ramotswe’s investigations. Without revealing too much of the plot, I will simply say that the case involving Mma Makutsi is one that involves a certain member of the opposite gender with whom she fraternizes. In keeping with the gender complications, this novel also deals with a rival detective agency, Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency, run by a man who boasts of hailing from New York. In addition to the issues typical to The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency novels, “The Kalahari Typing School for Men” also deals with the very real issue of gender inequality, giving it another unique aspect and allowing the novel to differ, if only slightly, from the first three in the series.