Episode 104: British fiction



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Welcome, everyone, to Books and Beverages! This week we are discussing British fiction.

We are the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and we support all types of libraries. This is our book group podcast, where we discuss different genres of books each week, while we all sit in our comfy chairs and drink our beverages. And you are, of course, an important part of this book group. So if you do not already have a nice beverage please go get one, so you can join the experience.

There are no “right” or “wrong” books to read and chat about for our book group – we are just here to explore all kinds of books. We love books, and want to talk about them – and we want you to share what you are reading. All of us will take away at least a title or two that we want to read at the end of our time together!

Who is joining us this week? Our regular hosts Angie and Mary are here. This week our guest host is Susan Schleper, from Centra Care Health hospital library in St. Cloud.

And happy birthday to one of our best podcast guests: Chuck! Thanks for your support!



We have guests, we have our genre. We just need our beverages. Fortunately, we all came prepared with something to sip while we talk about our books. Each week we like to connect the theme of our books with our beverages. Each beverage will have a recipe or a link on our episode page, so you can try them yourself!  Obviously, feel free to sip along with us with any beverage that is right for you. Just join us in celebrating books, and discussing books!

Tea! “The traditional way of making tea is:

  • Boil some fresh cold water. (We use an electric kettle.)
  • Put some hot water into the teapot to make it warm
  • Pour the water away
  • Put one teaspoon of tea-leaves per person, and one extra tea-spoon, into the pot
  • Pour boiling water onto the tea
  • Leave for a few minutes
  • Serve”


post iconGin & Tonic  a classic British drink


  • 1 1/2 oz. Gin
  • Fill with Tonic Water


  • Combine in a Highball or Bucket glass with ice
  • Drop in a lime squeeze – this is mandatory


A modern bottle of Pimm's No. 1 CupPimm’s Cup

“A gin-based potation made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, and spices. Pimm’s Cup is still the traditional drink of Wimbledon, with visitors to the matches consuming some 40,000 pints a year.


  • 1/2-inch thick English cucumber wheel
  • 1/2-inch thick lemon wheel
  • 2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
  • 4 ounces 7UP, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale
  • lemon twist

Gently muddle the cucumber and lemon slices in a chilled highball glass. Pour in the Pimm’s and 7UP, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale, and stir to combine. Add ice to fill the glass and garnish with the lemon twist.”



Genre Suggestions

Wikipedia has some ideas on what defines British Lit: “British literature is literature in the English language from the United KingdomIsle of Man, and Channel Islands. Anglo-Saxon (Old English) literature is included, and there is some discussion of Latin and Anglo-Norman literature, where literature in these languages relate to the early development of the English language and literature. There is also some brief discussion of major figures who wrote in Scots, but the main discussion is in the various Scottish literature articles.

The article Literature in the other languages of Britain focuses on the literatures written in the other languages that are, and have been, used in Britain.

Irish writers have played an important part in the development of literature in England and Scotland, but though the whole of Ireland was politically part of the United Kingdom between January 1801 and December 1922, it can be controversial to describe Irish literature as British. For some this includes works by authors from Northern Ireland.”

Goodreads list of Best British and Irish literature (in our podcast we are only looking at British literature, so we can devote attention to each in separate episodes)

Top 75 British Literature Titles

The 100 greatest novels of all time: The list (from The Guardian; not all are British, but many are)

12 Essential English Novels Everyone Should Read

The 25 Greatest British Novels from the BBC

10 Teaching Literature Ideas from the New York Times (not all on British Literature; but some good suggestions on both teaching and reading across literature)

Teaching British Literature – Help for Your Homeschool (or Group!)

EdX classes (MOOCs – free!)



Books Discussed




Thank you so much for joining us for this discussion! We will be back next Tuesday with another genre, more book group hosts, and all kinds of books to share and discuss. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a single episode! And if you want to hear more about the work we do in libraries – which is surprisingly fun! – subscribe to our podcast Linking Our Libraries. Our final episode for Season Two drops this Thursday.

Bring your book ideas, bring your beverages, and join us back here for more book discussion next Tuesday!


We support libraries!