Thursday, February 24, 2022

Bear on the Loose


I’m currently enjoying yet another book by Alexander McCall Smith, who either started writing right out of the womb or has the record for the fastest production rate of any writer in history. His series include The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (19 books), the Isabel Dalhousie series (12 books), the 44 Scotland Street series (12), and 16 more in assorted other series.

His books tend to drift off into philosophical musings, and The Second-Worst Restaurant in France is no exception. It was published in 2019, but this passage that I read yesterday was eerily prescient considering today’s world news:

One of the characters said, “. . . he understood how jumpy the Russians were and how they didn’t like having NATO forces on their borders, because Russians have always felt threatened by the West – they just have. They’re paranoid about it and you have to be very careful not to make their nightmares any worse.  You keep your distance. But he said some of his counterparts didn’t see it that way. They said that it was better to eyeball-to-eyeball with them.”


  1. That is truly prescient and scary. We are looking at a very angry bear right now, which is taking its anger out on Ukraine, which deigns to want democracy.

  2. That is a great painting of a Russian bear. I am in awe of how many books McCall Smith writes, so many and of high quality. Smith had a full career in another field and didn't start writing til middle age or older. How does he accomplish so much?

  3. I love the bear picture. Haven't read any of McCall-Smith, I probably should one day. That total is only 59 books though, hardly the fastest production rate, but again, he didn't start writing at a young age.

  4. Sorry, but no so prescient if you follow history and world news. Putin is like every unattractive, insecure and physically small man who has to pay for "love." He has to prove himself with threats and violence every step of the way. We are too polite(?), legally respectful(?), timid or hopeful to do anything about it.

  5. McCall Smith's books are very enjoyable but maybe I couldn't read too man of them one after the other.
    I've read several of the Botswana ones and 44 Scotland Street also. I am sure I will find my way to more of them.

    A war in Europe, unthinkable. I am quite apprehensive about it. For the life of me I cannot see a way out unless someone puts an end to Putin, literally.

  6. One drawback to being a decent, rational person is we often attribute those same characteristics to others, unable to imagine someone behaving any other way. A phenomenon we experienced all too often with our last administration.


Thanks for stopping by and I'd love to hear what you think.