Seattle Picks: Books for Anglophiles

The Perfect Gentleman
The Perfect Gentleman A Muslim Boy Meets the West : A Memoir By Ahmad, Imran Book - 2012 305.69709 Ah513A 2012 Available in some locations

Annotation:Packed with self-deprecating humor and charming witticisms, Ahmad's debut is a poignantly honest and intimate memoir recounting his early struggles with race, religion, and relationships. Having emigrated as an infant from Pakistan to England, Ahmad grew up consumed with conflicting desires to adapt to his Western surroundings while maintaining his family's Muslim beliefs... (from a Publishers Weekly review)

In the Kitchen
In the Kitchen A Novel By Ali, Monica Book - 2009 FIC ALI 2009 Available in some locations

Annotation:A hellish hotel kitchen is the metaphor for Chef Lightfoot's struggle toward restaurant ownership -- complete with fire, screaming, chaos, misunderstandings and suspicions.

The Uncommon Reader
The Uncommon Reader By Bennett, Alan Book - 2007 FIC BENNETT 2007 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 9 copies

Annotation:The Queen pays an unexpected call to the local bookmobile in her neighborhood and learns what the common folk do with books.

The Old Romantic
The Old Romantic By Dean, Louise Book - 2011 FIC DEAN 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:Gruff and crabby, an elderly father is convinced he will die soon and tries to make peace with his estranged son, with mixed results.

David Copperfield
David Copperfield By Dickens, Charles Book - 1991 FIC DICKENS 1991 Available in some locations

Annotation:This memorable story of a boy’s coming-of-age in 19th-century London is filled with the characters whom Dickens made immortal and who still come to mind on a Thames Street stroll.

Past Imperfect
Past Imperfect By Fellowes, Julian Book - 2009 FIC FELLOWE 2009 Available in some locations

Annotation:Millionaire Damian Baxter is dying and wants to will his estate to the child he thinks he fathered in the 1970s, so asks a friend to query his past lovers in a humorous look at British classes and their milieu.

Old Filth
Old Filth By Gardam, Jane Book - 2006 FIC GARDAM 2006 Available in some locations Holds: 4 on 13 copies

Annotation:Sir Edward Feathers, a widowed and retired barrister, struggles to overcome old animosities and personal issues left over from his career in Hong Kong at the end of British rule and to ameliorate his own guilt.

Cold Comfort Farm
Cold Comfort Farm By Gibbons, Stella Book - 1994 FIC GIBBONS 1994 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 4 copies

Annotation:Stranded and penniless in London after the death of her parents, Flora Poste takes refuge with her Starkadder relatives on the farm where she tries to improve their quality of life.

Gone With the Windsors
Gone With the Windsors A Novel By Graham, Laurie Book - 2006 FIC GRAHAM 2006 Available in some locations

Annotation:Maybell Brumby, a wealthy American friend to Wallis Simpson, journals about her friend’s confessed machinations in landing the Prince.

A Spot of Bother
A Spot of Bother A Novel By Haddon, Mark Book - 2006 FIC HADDON 2006 Available in some locations

Annotation:Many areas of George Hall’s dysfunctional life are bothering him, but none so much as the spot on his hip. Is it cancer? Will he die? Will anyone notice?

Bath Tangle
Bath Tangle By Heyer, Georgette Book - 2011 FIC HEYER 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:Social intrigue and drama ensue when Serena Carlow is orphaned and her new legal guardian is her former rejected suitor in this gentle comedy of manners set in the early 19th-century.

Mr. Chartwell
Mr. Chartwell A Novel By Hunt, Rebecca Book - 2011 FIC HUNT 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:Winston Churchill’s bête noire (“black dog”), Mr. Chartwell, rents a room in Esther Hammerhans’s London flat in a fantasy tale of psychological demons and their banishment.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry A Novel By Joyce, Rachel Book - 2012 FIC JOYCE 2012 Available in some locations Holds: 14 on 21 copies

Annotation:Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance. (Library catalog summary)

Something to Tell You
Something to Tell You A Novel By Kureishi, Hanif Book - 2008 FIC KUREISH 2008 All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:London psychoanalyst Jamal Khan reviews his own issues – his ex, his son, his obsession with his first love and a huge shameful secret – and finds them much like everyone else’s, except he has no one to tell.

Small Island
Small Island By Levy, Andrea Book - 2005 FIC LEVY 2005 All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:A Jamaican couple moves in with their new friend, Queenie Bligh, at the end of World War II, which infuriates her husband whose view of Britain doesn’t include multi-racial immigrants.

Thinks By Lodge, David Book - 2001 FIC LODGE All copies in use Availability details Holds: 2 on 1 copy

Annotation:In a love story that symbolically pits literature against science by pairing a widowed writer with an artificial intelligence specialist, Lodge wittily exposes opposing philosophies.

One Day
One Day By Nicholls, David Book - 2010 FIC NICHOLL 2010 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 6 on 7 copies

Annotation:The separate lives of Dex and Em are glimpsed one day at a time, always on July 15, over twenty years as they mature and finally have a chance at love.

The Hand That First Held Mine
The Hand That First Held Mine By O'Farrell, Maggie Book - 2010 FIC OFARREL 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:Postwar and contemporary London collide in the lives of two young women coping with unusual circumstances in two time periods and the life changes that accompany motherhood.

London Holiday
London Holiday By Peck, Richard Book - 1998 FIC PECK 1998 Available in some locations

Annotation:Three middle-aged friends with disappointing and difficult lives take a vacation in a London bed-and-breakfast inn, having fun together and rediscovering their dreams.

An Unsuitable Attachment
An Unsuitable Attachment By Pym, Barbara Book - 2008 FIC PYM 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:Balancing humor with an undercurrent of tragedy, Pym provides readers with an entertaining view of matchmakers and meddlers in 20th-century middle-class London as two parish newcomers provide grist for the rumor mill.

A Surrey State of Affairs
A Surrey State of Affairs By Radford, Ceri Book - 2012 FIC RADFORD 2012 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 4 copies

Annotation:Constance Harding's comfortable corner of Surrey is her own little piece of heaven. She lives in a chocolate box house complete with an Aga and a parrot, her bell-ringing club is set to dominate the intercounty tournament, and she is sure she can get her son, Rupert, to settle down if she just writes the perfect personal ad for him. Naturally, things turn disastrous rather quickly. And she's about to learn that her perfect home conceals a scandal that would make the vicar blush. (publisher's summary)

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand A Novel By Simonson, Helen Book - 2010 FIC SIMONSO 2010 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 12 on 20 copies

Annotation:When his Pakistani neighbor, Mrs. Jasmina Ali, unexpectedly visits his house, widowed Major Pettigrew finds himself opening up to potential friendship, despite village social mores.

I Capture the Castle
I Capture the Castle By Smith, Dodie Book - 2003? FIC SMITH All copies in use Availability details Holds: 3 on 8 copies

Annotation:Cassandra Mortmain’s coming-of-age occurs in a crumbling castle in the midst of a wacky family of misfits, with the hope of rescue by the handsome American men next door.

White Teeth
White Teeth A Novel By Smith, Zadie Book - 2001 FIC SMITH 2001 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 7 on 14 copies

Annotation:Two mixed-race families, the Jones’s and the Iqbals, brought together by accident during World War II, remain friends through the generations in this picaresque satire of modern life in multi-cultural London.

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English
Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English By Solomons, Natasha Book - 2010 FIC SOLOMON 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:World War II émigré from Berlin Jack Rosenblum is determined to assimilate into British society but is stymied when his Jewishness prevents his membership in a golf club. So he decides to build his own golf course.

The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise
The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise By Stuart, Julia Book - 2010 FIC STUART 2010 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 16 copies

Annotation:A Yeoman Warder, Balthazar Jones, stocks the Tower of London with the Queen’s menagerie of misfit animals, living among them and the other strange denizens of Britain’s oldest prison.

Get Me Out of Here
Get Me Out of Here By Sutton, Henry Book - 2011 FIC SUTTON 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:Matt Freeman, the narrator of this extremely funny, macabre book, may or may not be knocking off his girlfriends and might be selling arms to North Korea and Iran, and is probably a paranoid psychopath.

Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair A Novel Without A Hero By Thackeray, William Makepeace Book - 2004

Annotation:Unscrupulous vixen Becky Sharp, much maligned for her lower class roots, manipulates everyone and every situation to her own advantage in this early 19th-century classic.

Just Enough Jeeves
Just Enough Jeeves By Wodehouse, P. G. Book - 2010 FIC WODEHOU 2010 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 9 copies

Annotation:Bertie Wooster needs his man Jeeves to keep him upright and tickety-boo with his world of do-little aristos and general mischief makers.

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A list of great books for Brit watchers! Anglophiles with different tastes in reading should find much to savor here; from serious to self-deprecating to truly hilarious, these books will make you want to hop a flight to the “small island.”