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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler

The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British

The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British - Sarah Lyall It was okay. I think the intro said it all when she said something to the effect that this would have been a different book if she'd been working in a pub in a suburb. Indeed. It's really a field guide to the *rich and powerful* British, including politicians, landowners, and entertainers. I learned very little about your average-income Brit. She attempts to get hold of what makes the British British, especially in comparison to Americans. Some of her insights are obvious, like the observation that Americans are fond of shouting "We're number 1!" and generallly bragging and chest-puffing, while the British are self-deprecating and make a hobby of saying "Oh, it was nothing." Others are more interesting, like relating the punishing post-war years (where rationing went on and on and on) to the fact that the food is often bad in Britain and that many Brits take a kind of pride in that. Or that British men are so sexist, prone to schoolboy antics, boob jokes, and spanking the bottoms of female co-workers. While we are more Puritanical, I do appreciate that if someone got up in congress to talk about funding breast cancer research, there wouldn't be hooting and the motions of pushing breasts up. Seriously. And some observations were reaching. Yes, there are some seriously intense animal rights groups there, but is that any different than here? PETA, anyone? Overall, I enjoyed much of it, but found her tone sometimes condescending and some of her conclusions only applicable to the upper crust Brit.