Ariana's Reviews > The Full Cupboard of Life

The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
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Mar 12, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: fun, detective

I am only half-way through this book now, but I am really enjoying it. I think Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni are the sweetest couple. I'd say it's more a literary fiction novel than a mystery, but I don't mind. I love the voices of all the characters, but especially the one belonging to Mma Ramotswe. One of my favorite quotes from her is:

"Traditional Botswana men like ladies who are more traditionally shaped. You and I, Mma. We remind men of how things used to be in Botswana before these modern-shaped ladies started to get men all confused." The word "traditional" is used throughout the book to refer to large women. I wouldn't mind if that caught on in the U.S. :)

It was frustrating to me that I had no idea how to pronounce Mma or Rra, so I finally looked it up online. This is a great site where you can actually hear these words spoken aloud: www.gov.bw/tourism/culture_and_his/la...

This is the first book I've read in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, but I am looking forward to reading the others. I'm not really interested in the case Mma Ramotswe is working on, but I do enjoy reading about life in Africa and the little pearls of wisdom all the characters share with one another.

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Quotes Ariana Liked

Alexander McCall Smith
“Traditional Botswana men like ladies who are more traditionally shaped. You and I, Mma. We remind men of how things used to be in Botswana before these modern-shaped ladies started to get men all confused.”
Alexander McCall Smith, The Full Cupboard of Life
tags: humor


Reading Progress

March 12, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
March 13, 2008 – Finished Reading
August 12, 2008 – Shelved as: fun
November 19, 2009 – Shelved as: detective

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Aubrie (new)

Aubrie What type of genre is this book? I think I will like it though I don't like some genre because they sound good but aren't


Ariana It is supposed to be a mystery book, but there isn't much mystery in it. The main character is hired to work on a case, but that is not the focus of the book. The characters in the book are lovable and funny. They spend a lot of time sharing their views on life and tricking people into doing things. Mostly I like how they think and talk. The author describes their lifestyle well. It just seems really relaxed and enjoyable. It's a fun book to read.


Riannon Hi Ariana,
I agree with you about the book, I loved the setting and reading about the lifestyle. Some of the insights expressed by the main character were really good, but there'd be the occasional one (I can't remember particulars just at the moment) that I totally disagreed with.
Also I felt like I didn't have too much in common with the main character, she's always reflecting to herself how nice it is to just sit and think but I get bored easily and become very restless if I'm inactive for long.
That being said though, I still enjoy the books. Some books make you think hard, others disturb you or make you want to work on becoming better, but these books are enjoyable when you are just in the mood for rest. Relaxing is the first adjective I'd choose to describe them.


message 4: by Aubrie (new)

Aubrie I love having time to sit and reflect. For me it is amazing if I get the time to do that with my busy schedule so I can see how I can relate to the main character easly.


Georgann I think you would LOVE to listen to the books. The reader does a beautiful job. My husband and I both like to listen to her, and we've both read the books.


Ariana Georgann wrote: "I think you would LOVE to listen to the books. The reader does a beautiful job. My husband and I both like to listen to her, and we've both read the books."

Thanks, Georgann! I will look into the audio versions.


Gabbi Anyone who likes these books should try them on audio. The voices are awesome. Great accents.


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