Random Fiction

Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers (44 Scotland Street, #9) by Alexander McCall Smith

This book’s title seems to be a misnomer because Bertie seems to appear completely more towards the latter half of the book and focus on the other characters ( Not that their lives are any less riveting or entertaining). Also Bertie doesn’t seem to ruminate on how to handle his mother or life as the title suggests.

This book is another installment of the eccentric neighbourhood of Scotland street. Lives are changing for everyone involved. Bertie is turning seven and is looking forward to the fanfare that is supposed to go with it. Angus and his new wife have visitors. The triplets are a handful, Big Lou is considering some big changes. Pat and her father have new issues to talk about. All this above information, usual to a book jacket, are obviously for the already initiated into this madcap world with its subtle humour.

For the uninitiated, this series is reasonably self-explanatory and consists of a few hidden guffaws and several small smiles. I myself have not been reading this in order and as mentioned in the previous post, I plan to rectify this habit by making sure I follow through and grow with the changes in the characters instead of haphazardly intruding into their lives.


I realised a little late that all my reading life I have skimmed without pronouncing the words that are not often used in daily conversation, written or otherwise. Since I stumbled on quite a few random ones with this book and I did try to enunciate it in my head I thought it would be interesting to type them out along with their meaning to add something different to this post.

Disclaimer:Some of these may not necessarily make your list but try saying the word aloud and you would probably get why it made this list

  • Eschatological: the part of theology concerned with death, judgement, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.
  • Ignominy: Public shame or disgrace
  • fatuous: Silly,pointless
  • apposite: apt in the circumstances or in relation to something.
  • facetious: flippant
  • excursus: a detailed discussion of a particular point in a book, usually in an appendix.(a digression in a written text)
  • chiaroscuro: the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting.
  • aetiological: the branch of medical science that studies the causes of diseases and the factors underlying their spread
  • concomitant: adj :naturally accompanying or associated.
  •                           noun:a phenomenon that naturally accompanies or follows something.
  • Teuchter: is a Lowland Scots word originally used to describe a Scottish Highlander, in particular a Gaelic-speaking Highlander.


This is a blatant attempt to add some different flavour into my regular posts now that I have reached triple digits ( check back into home page for confirmation 🙂 ) . It could also help indicate the language used by the book and help you decide if you would like to hunt down the book and read it.


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