For years I was under the impression that Watership Down was a science fiction book. I knew it was about rabbits, but thought they must be of some alien variety and their “ship” goes “down”. About 50 pages in I finally let go of this mistaken notion and began to...
A visceral, brutal, and spare historical novel. England, 1612. King James I is ruling, and any remaining Catholics have fled to Lancashire. The law there uses their power to retaliate, rape, abuse, and torture, whether their victims be accused of sympathizing with the pope or of witchcraft. Alice Nutter is...
On a cold, snowy English night in January, 1910, Ursula Todd is born with her cord wrapped around her neck, and dies the same day. On that same night, Ursula Todd is born again, and lives. We follow Todd through many lives, many experiences, many circumstances, many choices and chances....
It is 1740, and life isn't easy if you're not one of the upper class. Louise Fletcher is a country dairy maid, summoned to the coast and Harwich to become a lady's maid to Rebecca, a captain's daughter hoping to marry well. We follow Louise's story as she learns the...
Alex Woods hasn't had a typical life. Struck in the head by a meteor at age 10, he developed epilepsy. He's bookish and a target for bullies at school, and finds his friends elsewhere--in the scientist who first examined "his" meteor, in his neurologist, and, by chance, in Mr. Peterson,...
Sometimes you find answers in unexpected places. I found the most succinct description I've ever seen of how England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom relate to each other in a library newsletter about travel guidebooks:
London is the capital of England.
England is a country.
Britain is an area that consists of England and the country of Wales.
Great Britain is the name of the island that is home to the countries of England, Wales, and Scotland.
The United Kingdom (UK) is a country that is a union of the countries on the island of Great Britain, along with the country of Northern Ireland (which shares the island of Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.)
[The Republic of Ireland is] a separate country that is not part of the UK.
It pays to play the king (or queen, as the case may be.) Whether it's comedy or drama, on television or the big screen, we love a good portrayal of the British royal family. And a small number of talented actors and actresses have been rewarded for just that--delivering award-winning performances as British monarchs.
I've been a Colin Firth fan since I first saw him in Shakespeare in Love as the snobby and sniveling Lord Wessex, and I've been an Anglophile for as long as I can remember, so there was no way I was going to miss him play the stammering King George VI in The King's Speech. I saw it this past weekend, and it actually rendered me speechless--a rare moment. Firth is magnificent in this clever film, which is about much more than George's speaking difficulties.
No Cable? No Problem! The library has a premium selection of TV shows! The BBC, BBC America, ITV and other British channels have produced riveting dramatic, comedic and science fiction television shows. See what's on across the pond! Which is your favorite?
I woke up this morning and realized that today is July 15th, a major theme of the novel I'm currently reading - One Day by British author, David Nicholls. I can't tell you everything since I'm only in the middle of it but I couldn't resist writing about it on this day.
Nicholls follows two characters over twenty years of July 15ths, tracing the path of their changing lives and relationship. They say if you like Nick Hornby, author of A Long Way Down, About a Boy, and High Fidelity, you'll love this. ; It's all the rage in the UK. I don't have a verdict yet but am compelled enough to keep going - it's easy summer fare.