A week or two ago, I was suddenly hit with an intense desire to relax. You know--enjoy the summer without working. Not that I've been working all that much, but.... Well, what prompted it was an email in which my mother asked me if I'd started a novel that she'd lent me, and I realized in writing back to her that I hadn't been reading fiction. Forgive my italics, but it shocked me.
So--rather than reading Cloud Atlas, the erudite and clearly fabulous novel from my mom (I started it and was liking it, but I lost my train of thought)--I've been reading Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series. They start off as "mysteries," but lose that moniker pretty quickly; mostly Isabel reflects on moral philosophy, cooks risotto, and drinks wine with her youthful paramour. They're delightful, cozy, and easy on the brain (which sounds insulting, but I don't mean it that way. Look, I didn't want to work! This is a good thing). And they usually end up with some really sweet reflection on love or kindness or something. I like them.
The novels are set in Edinburgh, which brings me to my gratuitous pictures. I spent almost a week in Edinburgh back in '07, and I loved it. Today I browsed through the pictures that I took on my trip there; some of them are quite nice, so I'm sharing. Enjoy!
(And yes, all of them were taking in Edinburgh, even the ones that look like they couldn't possibly be urban--that was Holyrood Park, where I spent one of the nicest mornings I can remember.)