Imagine spending the afternoon with a slightly eccentric foreign uncle. He's amusing in a doty, understated, dry-British-humor sort of way. His puns and set ups are deliberate. Not a rock-concert, or a frat party, but you enjoy yourself all the same. This is what reading an Alexander McCall Smith book is like for me.
The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, as the second Smith book that I've read (the first being Portugese Irregular Verbs). He's much better known for his #1 ladies detective club books, and I keep meaning to pick one of those up... AMS is an academic, born in Africa but Sottish.
tULoS is an episodic novel that revolves around the lives of a small cadre of characters that live in and around #44 Scotland street in Edinburgh. The characters are all for the most part well drawn and it seems a bit like a Seinfeld episode if reimagined with a larger cast and more elaborate problems by a BBC writer with a slight 'comedy of manners' bent and a desire to make social commentary. I think it's the fourth or fifth in the series and there may be merit to starting at the beginning, but I think it stands by itself as well. (But to be honest I enjoyed Portugese Verbs more).