Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Typically British for 2010: A Reading Challenge

I love Britain so this challenge is my cup of tea. My former mother-in-law was a Londoner and introduced me to all things British. It's in honor of her that I still have afternoon tea.

I remember being in a Pub with her when she told me to ask the burly guy at the counter for a "Spotted dick." It took a lot of coaxing until I reluctantly went up to him. My first thought was that I may not be walking right later. I'm still here and the Spotted dick* he handed me was a delicious dessert.

Since I'm trying to clear my library clutter this year, I went through my stacks to find works of fiction for this challenge that were first published in Great Britain. I found four books which will qualify me for "Gordon Bennett" standing.

The Book Stops Here by Ian Sansom
Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth
The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd
Hello, Darling, Are You Working? by Rupert Everett

Thanks to Book Chick City for hosting this challenge.

*Spotted dick is a steamed suet pudding with currants and served with custard.


  1. I read my first Ian Sansom novel last week, The Case of the Missing Books, and thoroughly enjoyed it! I have also joined this challenge and look forward to reading all the British reviews.

    I am not sure that I would have the guts to order a "spotted dick" --- but I do enjoy a good custard (although I am a bit leery of suet pudding, as we often used suet in the bird feeder).

  2. I am doing this challenge as well! Both my parents are British and immigrated to the US just before I was born

  3. Molly--I'm glad you liked The Case of the Missing Books. It's on my shelf too. I was able to snag both books recently when a used bookstore closed on Kauai. It was a shame to lose the store but their books were overpriced for being used. Custard by the way is a favorite of mine. On our trips to Canada we'd buy a mix to bring home.

    Helen--That's interesting about your parents both being British. My mother-in-law came to the states but kept her British passport.

    I'm looking forward to seeing both of you in the Typically British challenge!

    Aloha from Rob

  4. Update to Molly--I meant to say that I also have "Mr. Dixon Disappears" on my shelf too.

  5. I'm not British but I am part of the Commonwealth (I'm an expat Canadian!) and am an Anglophile as well. Afternoon tea is the best!

    The Brits have quite a way with naming their dishes, don't they? Toad in the Hole is another one that always struck me as not particularly appetizing-sounding.

    I'm doing this challenge as well. Good luck!

  6. Lesley, what part of Canada are you from? I love visiting there. My favorite places are Victoria and Ottawa.

    The current issue of Reader's Digest has a quiz on English food names (Dec 09/Jan 10 issue, page 168). Anyone for a Bubble and Squeak?

    Aloha from Rob

  7. I am from Newfoundland but also lived for many years just outside Halifax, Nova Scotia and for a time, in Vancouver. The two coasts are my favorite! I miss living by the ocean, since I am in land-locked Atlanta, Georgia now.

  8. Lesley, I never had the chance to visit Newfoundland. I only got as far as Quebec City. Canada is a beautiful country and I'm sure you miss being there. Aloha from Rob


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