Review: Library Journal

A writer and broadcaster specializing in popular culture, British native McAlpine (BBC America’s Anglophenia blog) has put together a book equivalent of “one-liners”—stand-up routines touching upon many British idiosyncrasies and eccentricities. The focus of this humorous and easy-to-read book is on differences between British and American culture intended to initiate Americans on a range of topics that go beyond language, dialect, and spelling differences. Among the many topics are entries for sports, pubs, British food, television, movies, the Royals, and the special relationship between the British people and their BBC, all of which give us an irreverent view of the culture. An index or table of contents to direct to topics or sections of interest would have been helpful. That said, a series of nonsequential short (two-to-three page) chapters can be read with enjoyment in any order.

VERDICT: This is as much about British dislikes as “Stuff Brits Like,” but the audience for this book is the American who wants not-too-serious insights into contemporary British popular culture.

—Herbert E. Shapiro, Lifelong Learning Soc., Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton

Library Journal, 1 July 2015