Saturday, July 2, 2011

A special kind of magic

Don't you love that special kind of magic that happens when you open a book and start reading a well-crafted story? There are few pursuits that engage the imagination in such a powerful way.

Love this from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. (p8)

"How long did I sit on the stairs after reading the letter? I don't know. For I was spellbound. There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic."

So that's my inspiration for today.



  1. I was reading a book by Alexander McCall Smith today, and the style was so warm and gentle, and oozing with so much good sense and kindness that it reminded me of Sandy Fussell's work, which reminded me of you. The first book in the series is called "The No. 1 ladies' Detective Agency" and it's set in "a place of peace", Botswana.

    I rarely read outside of YA specfic, but I love this series. Here's a bit from page 2, so you know what I'm talking about:

    In idle moments, when there were no pressing matters to be dealt with, and when everybody seemed to be sleepy from the heat, she would sit under her acacia tree. It was a dusty place to sit, and the chickens would occasionally come and peck about her feet, but it was a place that seemed to encourage thought. It was here that Mma Ramotswe would contemplate some of the issues which, in everyday life, may so easily be pushed aside.

    PS I'm looking forward to your "The Inside Story" talk on Friday 29th.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this. A lovely piece of storytelling. I have only read the first in this series, but remember it fondly - especially Mma Ramotswe. What a wonderfully warm and wise character. Haven't thought of it before, but I can see how you made the connection between The No 1 Ladies and Sandy's writing!

    Look forward to meeting you on the 29th!

  3. It's an unusual series because I honestly think the first book is the weakest (and the darkest - at least out of the few I've read).

    Louise Curtis

  4. Hi again. I'm dropping back into this post to say I'm sick, and won't be seeing you on Friday after all. Have a great time in Canberra.

    Louise Curtis

  5. What a shame, Louise! Hope you are feeling better. Take care.