" I said to him that Zululand sounded fine, but that every man has a map in his heart of his own country and that the heart will never allow you to forget this map."

This is a sentiment so tenderly and matter-of-factly stated, and so pure in its simplicity.  It is how I felt on my recent trip to the Philippines.  This is the sentiment I couldn't explain to the hubby, that despite the squalor and miserable circumstances we were now viewing, I sustained a deep passion for the land from whence I came.

"She loved her country, Botswana, which is a place of peace, and she loved Africa, for all its trials…I love all the people whom God made, but I especially know how to love the people who live in this place.  They are my brothers and sisters…"

Early in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, I was captivated by Alexander McCall Smith's simple lyricism and was surprised to find he'd authored 60 works, from criminal law to childrens' books.  I picked this copy up from the Friends of the Library bookstore, on the recommendation of an English teacher volunteer.  So I suppose this is up my alley, but I wouldn't have guessed so.  What I love is the distillation of the ordinary into something quite true and touching.  There's something here like your favorite great uncle reading to you as you sit in a large, comfy chair drinking hot chocolate, dreaming of sitting under a large acacia tree, seeing the dry wind in the lions' manes…

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