Best Books of 2004

ROSLYN rosgross at
Sun Jan 2 08:22:51 EST 2005

Melissa writes:

> _The Oracle_ was finally published here as _The Oracle Betrayed_, and 
> after
> all that talk about it, I snatched it up when I saw it in the store. 
> (Ditto
> _Mortal Engines_, but that's another tale.)  Hallie, have I mentioned that
> you're probably the person I depend most heavily on for books that I know 
> I
> will love?  I loved the world, I loved the story, and I went and ordered
> _The Archon_ from rather than wait any longer.

Ditto re Hallie's recommendations! (I loved the Catherine Fishers also, 

> **Best New Series: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall
> Smith
> "New series" in this case does not mean that the series is new, but that
> I've begun reading it for the first time this year.  I picked up the first
> book in this series for a dollar at the thrift store because it was in 
> great
> shape and because the title intrigued me.  Despite the "detective" in the
> title, this is not a mystery series.  Precious Ramotswe used her 
> inheritance
> from her father to set up a detective agency in her homeland of Botswana.
> She's a smart and observant lady and is really good at what she does.  The
> books are very low-key, not fast paced, and part of the beauty of them is
> the descriptions of Africa and its many different people.  Titles in the
> series are:
> The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
> Tears of the Giraffe
> Morality for Beautiful Girls
> The Kalahari Typing School for Men
> The Full Cupboard of Life

I've enjoyed these books also, except that I haven't yet read the last two. 
I wasn't overly impressed by the first book--I thought it was charming but 
not worth the hype it seems to have been given, at any--but the second 
really impressed me. There's now another book in the series also, that's 
recently come out here: _The Company of Cheerful Ladies_. And the author--a 
Scottish doctor who has somehow managed to capture the voice and world-view 
of a Botswanan (is that the right word?) woman--has just had published the 
first book in a new series (set in Britain, I think) called _The Sunday 
Philosophy Club_, which I haven't read yet.


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