Chance Developments (2015), by Alexander McCall Smith

If you agree with me that every good photograph tells a story, then I have a book for you – only, however, if you find Alexander McCall Smith’s tales “charming” or at least “inviting”, not if they strike you as “corny”.  The book is Chance Developments, published in 2015 .  He took five vintage photographs, snapshots really, of ordinary people doing ordinary things, taken from early- to mid-twentieth century, and wrote a short story for each.  If you are familiar with his work (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and others) you’ll know that pretty much everyone lives happily-ever-after, or they at least learn a valuable lesson trying.  The photos were all from an age when a photograph was not a photograph unless it was a print, which begs the question of whether people a hundred years from now will be able to look back and wonder about our photos if they are only ones and zeros on a computer.  I give this book four f-stops (out of five).

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