What I’m Reading Now


Another in the occasional series and another that I’ve just finished. The timing could not be more auspicious. Alexander McCall Smith’s The Lost Art of Gratitude is one of those books that has been on my Kindle since my summer road trip, but it concluded just in time for Thanksgiving.

AMS has done himself well again with this sixth book in the Sunday Philosophy Club series, featuring Scottish philosopher Isabel Dalhousie. This time she faces off against an investment banker who may or may not be a crook, who may or may not be threatening the father of her child, etc. etc. Isabel has her own dilemmas, mostly involving her niece. Cat still has not recovered from the fact that Auntie Isabel is having a serious affair and has had a child with Cat’s former boyfriend. To vary the cliché, complications don’t just ensue; they pile up with excursions into the art world and animal husbandry. All resolves itself, though AMS takes byways far more circuitous than the walking paths that cross Scotland.

Just so gratitude doesn’t become extinct, here’s my list:

  • Larry and all his wonderful family. You all offer me a window into a world I’ve never known.
  • My creative and loving cousins Ash and Kathryn who have expanded my horizons in ways that I could never have fathomed. These include new understanding of what drove my home state to become what it is. Also for friendships new and renewed during our work on the project.
  • My friends and family who are contributing to the James Family Film project. You have given generosity a new meaning. Thank you!
  • The veterans’ writing workshop at Russell Library. “We Were There” has also expanded my horizons: the veterans; my friend and compatriot Christy Clark Billlings; the chance to meet other amazing people including the folks who are mounting Letter From Italy and the Posse Vets at Wesleyan.
  • The staff at Middlesex Hospital who daily offer nurturing, life, light, and beauty to people who are suffering. I look forward to contributing my part by offering Reiki.
  • The chance to make the house smell like Thanksgiving and then give away the mince pies to people who truly appreciate them.

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