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Alexander McCall Smith's Mysteries of Philosophy

Alexander McCall Smith has written more books in 10 years than many people have read in as much time -- more than 50, including four series of novels. Perhaps the best known of those series is the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, which have become international bestsellers.

His Sunday Philosophy Club series stars a single, serious, inquisitive and adventurous character of a certain age named Isabel Dalhousie. McCall's heroine is insightful, kind, and not to be dismissed as such.

Dalhousie, the editor of The Review of Applied Ethics in Edinburgh, explores the mysteries of ethics and philosophy as she sees them present themselves in everyday life. The latest novel in this series is The Right Attitude to Rain.

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Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.