Trains and Lovers – Alexander McCall Smith

I haven’t been blogging much lately as I haven’t felt much like reading due to pressures of work etc. So on my way through the library today I picked up an Alexander McCall Smith I haven’t read before. It was apparently just what the whole house needed, as everyone has conveniently napped or gone to bed early so I could read it all in one afternoon/evening. Just what I needed rather than the stop-start of 10 pages here or there that I have been doing lately. I used to love reading novels like that, just picking one up or buying one on the way home from work, and barely putting it down again until it was finished. This is not however good for insomnia.

“I’ll tell you,” he said

Trains and Lovers is not the sort of book that can’t be put down however. It just a quiet meandering through the lives of four strangers, as they open up, or not, to the people they happen to be sharing a table with on the way from Edinburgh to London. There are links through the railway, metaphors on what this journey is part of and just an unburdening.

This may partly appeal to me because I am one of those people who will talk to strangers on trains. On occasions I’ve found I’m closer to those strangers in terms of common links than might be expected. Then there is of course also the railway theme. I’m a bit of a train spotter, and hoped for more of a description of that train, even if I have a mental image of what it must surely be.

But above all it is an Alexander McCall Smith book, in which nothing terrible can happen, the language flows smoothly and there are just enough hints of intellectualism to make the pleasure of such a light book less guilty.

How do you get out of a reading slump?


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