Top 100

Top 300 Alexander McCall Smith Quotes (2023 Update)
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Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Dogs are in on our human silliness; lions are not.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Lou knew that joy unshared was a halved emotion, just as sadness and loss, when borne alone, were often doubled.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “That my philosophy of life is, as far as possible, one of enjoyment. I’m not nihilistic.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Forgiveness was never easy, but Mma Ramotswe believed in it because she knew that without forgiveness we cluttered our lives with old business.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “A very powerful theme in fiction is that of loss.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “To dispatch one’s friends to a dictionary from time to time is one of the more sophisticated pleasures of life, but it is one that must be indulged in sparingly: to do it too often may result in accusations of having swallowed one’s own dictionary, which is not a compliment, whichever way one looks at it.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I am capable of being idle.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “We can’t afford to be without God,” Feliks continued. “Even if he doesn’t exist, we have to hold on to him. Because if we don’t, then how are we to convince ourselves that we have to go on with this fight? If you take God out of it, then right and justice become small, human things. And weak things, too.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Yes, wisdom: that was something that came to everybody, although it came in varying quantities and at different times.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “There is room in history for all of us.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The realisation of our mortality came slowly, in dribs and drabs, until we bleakly acknowledged that everything was on loan to us for a short time – the world, our possessions, the people we knew and loved. But we could not spend our time dwelling on our mortality; we still had to behave as if the worst would not happen, for otherwise we would not do very much, we would be defeated and give up.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “It was not edifying to dwell on the failings of others.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Not all taxi drivers, Paul had discovered, actually wanted to take passengers to their destination; some of them, he felt, were in it for the arguments, or the opportunity to pontificate, or for the sheer pleasure of driving past those trying to summon them at the road edge. He made up his mind. What was the point of having a bulldozer if you were not going to make at least some use of it?”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “We find what we are looking for in life, her father had once said to her, which was true – if you look for happiness, you will see it; if you look for distrust and envy and hatred – all those things – you will find those too.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The problem, of course, was that people did not seem to understand the difference between right and wrong. They needed to be reminded about this, because if you left it to them to work out for themselves, they would never bother. They would just find out what was best for them, and then they would call that the right thing. That’s how most people thought.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I was staying in a house beside the machair. In front of this house was a stretch of lawn, and at the edge of the lawn there was a river. By the riverside, its door wide open, was a shed into which I wandered. Inside the shed was a large art nouveau typesetting machine. I was being called, and I turned away from my discovery of the typesetting machine to make my way back to the house and to our hostess. People in dreams do not always have names, but she did. She was called Mrs. MacGregor.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Africa was full of people in need of help and there had to be a limit. You simply could not help everybody; but you could at least help those who came into your life. That principle allowed you to deal with the suffering you saw. That was your suffering. Other people would have to deal with the suffering that they, in their turn, came across.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Yes, thought Mma Ramotswe, the world can be very discouraging. But we cannot sit and think about all the things that have gone wrong, or could go wrong. There was no point in doing that... There was much for which we could be grateful, whatever the sorrows of this world.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “She meant it, and as she spoke, she thought how strange it was that we so very rarely said complimentary things to our friends, and how easy it was to do so, and how it made the world seem a less harsh place.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “This was a townscape raised in the teeth of cold winds from the east; a city of winding cobbled streets and haughty pillars; a city of dark nights and candlelight, and intellect.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “You might imagine that the magic stopped at the airport, and to a great extent it did. When we arrived back in London, the skies were overcast and heavy. The bus driver from the airport was morose and unkempt; the streets seemed run-down and dirty, the people sour-faced. But that, I suspect, is how coming home is for everyone; Parisians probably felt the same when they returned from somewhere else.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I see no point in being despondent. We might as well enjoy ourselves during our brief tenure of this life.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Which is how most people acted when it came to temptation. They gave in. And we should never forget, thought Isabel, that every one of us is capable of doing the same thing if the game that we see for ourselves is large enough.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Antonia was very conscious of the corrosive power of envy and felt that it was this emotion, more than any other, which lay behind human unhappiness. People did not realize how widespread envy was.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I’ve always had a creative urge and I get immense satisfaction from creating something because it feels like I’m making sense of the world and imposing order on it.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “There were plenty of people who did not really believe in God, but who wanted to believe in him, and said that they did. Some people said that these people were foolish, that they were hypocritical, but Mma Ramotswe was not so sure about that. If something, or somebody, could help you to get through life, to lead a life that was good and purposeful, did it matter all that much if that thing or that person did not exist? She thought it did not – not in the slightest bit. BY.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Everybody has friends they dislike; people who they have slipped into relationships with, people they would not have chosen had they been more cautious, more circumspect.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “There were worlds within worlds, and each will have within its confines values and meaning. It may not really matter to the world at large, thought Isabel, that I should feel happy rather than sad, but it matters to me, and the fact that it matters matters.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Every novel presents a slice of life. A noir policier for example presents one slice, one that perhaps addresses social dysfunction or some sort of pathology, while mine present a slice that is more upbeat and affirmative.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Chance; pure chance. But chance was a dull explanation because it denied the possibility of the paranormal, and people were often disappointed by dull explanations. Mystery and the unknown were far more exciting because they suggested that our world was not quite as prosaic as we feared it might be. Yet we had to adjure those temptations because they lead to a world of darkness and fear.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I like you when you’re algebraic,” said Ulf – and immediately regretted it. It was a flirtatious remark – describing somebody as algebraic was undoubtedly to cross a line. You would not normally describe an ordinary friend as algebraic, and then say that you liked her that way.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “People who do that sort of thing may reap what they sow, but they also destroy the harvest of those who are around them.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Nobody is so bad that there is no chance of change.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Sociopaths are attracted to politics because the see it as a sphere in which you can be ruthless and step all over people. That fact that some politicians can tell such awful lies is another example of sociopathy. Sociopaths lie – they see nothing wrong with it.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Is it hard to raise an elephant?” It was some minutes before anybody answered. But then Debra said, “I don’t think so, Mma. It’s not hard to do anything if you do it with love.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Everything has been something before.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “How many of us dig our own graves, thought William. We dig them with vigour and determination, unaware of the implications, but with all the conviction of those who do not really know what they are doing, who are impervious to the dangers that others can see so clearly.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “We are all tempted, Mma. We are all tempted when it comes to cake.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Inside every one of us, thought Mma Ramotswe, there is the child we once were, the child that was unsure about the world and our place in it.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “There are some very inventive adults, Mma. When you listen to them, you have to divide everything they say by two, and then take away ten. As you have to do with some politicians.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “We are human and vulnerable, whatever our individual situation: The moon looks on them all The Healers and the brilliant talkers The eccentrics and the silent walkers The dumpy and the tall.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Small things may be important to us; to be a sometime anything is sometimes something.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “There are many women whose lives would be immeasurably improved by widowhood, but one should not always point that out.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Edinburgh used to be a haughty city.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The sharing of a book is a statement – a message of affection that is also an act of self-revelation. Join my club, it says. Come and sit beside me.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The point about love, the essential point, was that we loved what we loved. We did not choose. We just loved.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Emma was happy. She realized that happiness is something that springs from the generous treatment of others, and that until one makes that connection, happiness may prove elusive.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “It was easy to be moral when that was the way you felt anyway. The hard bit about morality was making yourself feel the opposite of what you really felt.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “He would sit down and consider the situation carefully. Not only did this help to identify the solution to the problem, but it also gave him the opportunity to remind himself that things were not really as bad as they seemed; it was all a question of perspective. Sitting down and looking up at the sky for a few minutes – not at any particular part of the sky, but just at the sky in general – at the vast, dizzying, empty sky of Botswana, cut human problems down to size.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “There are many temptations in this life, but cake is probably one of the biggest of them.”
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