Thursday, November 6, 2008

Literary Jewels

I couldn't read while I was in the hospital, or for the first few weeks at home. I've finally got enough functioning brain cells to read again; how I've missed it.

Grandma Flo had a button box that, to me, was as good as any jewelry box on the planet. There were a few exotic carved wooden buttons, beautiful rhinestone buttons, some irridescent pearl and abalone buttons. And there was a pair of fabulous bakelite buttons that looked like little pineapple upside-down cakes. I never tired of playing with them; it was a thrill every time I opened the button box.

I feel that way about Alexander McCall Smith's books. I always know I'm in for a good read and he's never let me down. There are eight books in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series. I just finished the sixth, "In the Company of Cheerful Ladies," and each one is more charming than the last. They are almost written as folk tales although the modern-day Botswana characters have modern-day dilemmas.

Why hasn't anyone made a movie or six out of these? Or even a TV series? Initially I imagined Oprah as the protagonist, Precious Ramotswe. But I've changed my mind; I think Queen Latifah is a better choice if she can manage the accent. (She has to be a woman with "a traditional build.") And Mma Makutsi, her sidekick/assistant...I can see Jada Pinkett Smith although it might be a stretch for her to play "plain." Really, Hollywood, get with it already.

I have to read them in order and I'm waiting for "Blue Shoes and Happiness" but in the meantime, I have David Sedaris' "When You Are Engulfed in Flames." Sedaris is a laugh-out-loud author, occasionally a scream-out-loud and laugh-til-you-cry author. The only thing better than reading his books is getting them on tape/CD and hearing the author read them. Sedaris is a whole 'nother button box.


Holly said...

I remember reading Sedaris' "Me Talk Pretty One Day," while floating around in the tub, and had to fling the book over the edge so I didn't drop it in the water, because I was laughing so hard. The language class trying to explain Easter; the clogged toilet; buying things in multiples so he didn't have to "sex" the noun. Priceless!

Much like the button tin I inherited when my grandma died. I think I need to pour through them again soon!

Hope you're feeling better Madame Coot!

La Cootina said...

The very first time I heard David Sedaris, he was reading an essay on NPR that's become a classic. He was viciously "reviewing" a children's Christmas play as if it were a Broadway production. I had to pull off the road!

La Cootina said...

(Uh, I was driving at the time; guess I should have said that.)