Friday, March 29, 2013

"The Full Cupboard of LIfe," by Alexander McCall Smith

The Full Cupboard of Life is one of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, about a "traditionally built" and down-to-earth Botswanan detective who solves most of her cases through cleverness.  I loved the first book, a charming, warm-hearted, unusual bit of writing.

The Full Cupboard of Life retained much of that charming speech and quiet observation, but the plot unfortunately lacked a lot.  The central premise could have been quite interesting--Mma Ramotswe trying to decide if a rich lady's four suitors are sincere--but it gets very little screen time.  She doesn't even make it to the third and fourth suitors.  The other subplots aren't all that gripping either.

I still liked the descriptions of the land and the lifestyle, and would read more by Alexander McCall Smith.  

My rating:  3

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Arizona Wildflowers at Lake Pleasant

Mexican Poppies and Lupin, Lake Pleasant, Arizona, March 15

Lake Pleasant, Arizona.  Pipeline Trail.
Desert Hyacinth against a field of poppies, Lake Pleasant Arizona

Wildflower season in Arizona is short.  If you want to see the spectacular contrasts of a desert in bloom, go within the next week or so.  These were taken at Lake Pleasant, a desert lake just northwest of Phoenix.  This is the Pipeline trail, the best place there to see wildflowers.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Skagway Gold Rush

Go Nomad published another of my articles, this one about Skagway Alaska, and its wild history.  It's a fascinating place, and beautiful.  Click to read "Gold Rush Fever and Tales of Soapy Smith in Skagway, Alaska."

Downtown Skagway, Alaska, with its frontier facades  designed to make customers think the businesses inside were more respectable than they really were.
Lower Dewey Lake, a short hike from Skagway
If you want to know more about how to see Alaska for yourself, 
check out my new book on Amazon:   Cruising Alaska on a Budget,