Friday, 8 May 2015

52 book challenge - week 19

In honour of VE day I decided to change tack and reread one of my favourite books - La's Orchestra Saves The World by Alexander McCall Smith. Alexander McCall Smith is one of my favourite authors, he seems to be a sweet gently man, but as a medical lawyer I am sure he is much more steely underneath. This novel is slightly different to his others, he tends to write series of books, the Scotland series, the Corduroy Mansion series, the Ladies Detective series. I have read all of the Ladies Detective Agency series and dipped in and out of the others and loved them all. La's Orchestra is a stand alone novel, a one off.

It was first published in 2008 and was a Christmas present to me from one of my two sons. I am afraid I can't remember which one, if it wasn't one then it was the other. I must be a terrible mother. Anyhow, La is recovering from a failed marriage and moves to the Sussex countryside just at the beginning of the second world war. She feels the community need to do something to help keep up their spirits amongst the worry and restrictions of the war. So, she decides to form an orchestra. The musicians come from all walks of life with varying degrees of expertise. Amongst them is Felix, a Polish prisoner of war interred and working on a local farm. Gradually they build up a close friendship through their music.

La's Orchestra Saves The World is another of these stories that I love, a story where not much happens to people I grow really fond of. A story that doesn't really have a dramatic story. A little like the Archers on radio 4, "an ordinary story of ordinary folk" . Except of course, La is terribly middle class, of middle England., but then I suppose so are many of the characters in the Archers. To the uninitiated, the Archers are a wonderful British institution. I used to listen with my Granny to the radio, and now 50 years later I can still tune in at 2pm to the Archers and pick up the story without any problems.

I actually had a malfunction last weekend. I had written my blog, linked up and published and also scheduled a quilty blog post. No idea how or why but both seemed to remain unpublished until my return from Italy. So, although my blog posting may be out of sync at times I am still on target for completing my challenge. I read 6 books last weekend in Italy! It was meant to be a long weekend of reading and relaxation and it was great. I read:
Erica James, "Tell It To The Skies", it was saying goodbye to a friend when it finished
Adele Parks, "The Place We're In", ok but not as enjoyable as the Erica James
Adrian Magson, "Death On The Pont Noir", I will be reading more Adrian Magson, very good
Samantha Tonge, "Games Of Scones", least said soonest mended, passes a Ryan Air flight
Alexander McCall Smith, "La's Favourite Orchestra"
and nearly finished
Jonas Jonasson, "The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden", so far very good.
I didn't read my book group book "A Prayer for Owen Meaney" by John Irving.

I have another world war 2 book to read over the coming weekend in London, "The Undertaking" but as I will probably make a visit to Daunt Books the chances are I will read something different.


linking in with 52booksin52weekschallenge
sorry Robin, try as I might, I couldn't bring myself to read any Proust!


  1. Wish I could have met you here in Italy... sounds as though you had a relaxing weekend. You're tempting me with the La's orchestra book, my Mum lent me one of his books and I loved it!

  2. We are definitely on the same wavelength as I read a war themed book this week too!

  3. Boom Boom! :) happy reading

  4. Happy reading Helen....I'll add this to my list ;)
    Hope you had a wonderful time in Italy,
    Have a lovely Sunday!
    Susan x


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