I’m currently reading the book for the monthly “Those Witty Brits” book club: “The Glimpses of the Moon,” by Edmund Crispin.  I am also reading “Dodger” by Terry Pratchett and listening to “Anansi Boys” by Neil Gaiman.  In addition to this, in the last two weeks I have  watched two seasons of “Downton Abbey” and am trying to cram in the third season before tomorrow night’s season finale. I’m swimming in a kaleidoscope of British culture ranging from the 1830’s to the present day.

“Dodger” is about the Artful Dodger who so far has rescued a damsel in distress; met Mister Charlie (Dickens), a newspaperman; relieved Sweeney Todd of his razor; and prevented a robbery at the newspaper offices where Dickens works.  I’m a huge fan of Terry Pratchett and this book is a delight.

“Downton Abbey” takes place just before, during, and after World War One.  If you haven’t seen it, I won’t put any spoilers here.  It is worth watching.

“The Glimpses of the Moon” is set in the 1970’s, but it reads more like it was written in the 1940’s.  There are three murders (nice, clean murders a la Agatha Christie), at least two murderers, a fox hunt, a thief posing as a man from the utility company, a church fete, and too many policemen – pretty much all at the same time.  It’s very readable and fun.

“Anansi Boys”  is written in the present day.  The main character has been embarrassed by his father all of his life.  Upon his father’s death he is told that his father was Anansi and that he has a twin brother who inherited the powers of a god from their father.  Neil Gaiman reads the audio version, which I am enjoying as I drive.

Am I confused by reading these various stories at the same time?  Not really.  I can see murders happening at Downton Abbey; Anansi stories in Glimpses of the Moon; and Dodger popping up to save the day in Anansi Boys.  But each story line is distinct and easily separated from the others.  If any of these books appeal to you, please consider joining us At the New Haven Branch on the third Wednesday of each month for “Those Witty Brits.”  Each of the above authors have been read and approved by the book club.  Contact the branch for current titles (421-1345).


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