02 October 2008

Ah, the joy of reading...and Amazon...

I got a new book yesterday. There's nothing quite like having the doorbell ring and going to find a nice little parcel from amazon.com sitting on the little bench on my front porch!

I love the UPS man. He's the new GE to me - he brings good things to light!

Amazon and I have a tight relationship going back to November 1998. And one of the amazing things about amazon.com is that they keep records going back to when you first started ordering - I can check and see when I bought something, who I sent things to, get receipts, print receipts, etc. on their servers under "Your Account".

Which is helpful on SO many levels. Have you ever had to find old addresses where you lived, but can't remember exactly what they were, for an application, government form, morbid curiosity? I've referred back to Amazon time and time again as they store all my shipping and billing addresses until I delete them - even the ones in the UK when I was infusing the economy of the British Isles through amazon.co.uk. And they have a set-up for organizing and recording gifts you've bought. You enter recipients, can put in birthday, anniversary, holiday alerts and they will email you prior to said event at a time frame you specify.

And have you ever heard of Amazon Prime? It's a seemingly well-kept secret guessing from the blank stares I get from folks when I ask them if they are "Amazon Prime" members. For $79 a year, you can get all Amazon Prime eligible items bought shipped to you, 2nd day air, for nothing additional. If you want next day shipping, you pay $3.99 per item. And as much as I buy from them for ourselves and books for the grandchildren, they HAVE to be losing money on me! So, no shipping, no tax, receive in two days or less. Win, win, win! (except for budget - lose, lose, lose - but I digress...)

Anyway, back to my fun book I received yesterday. You all know we lived in London twice for almost 10 years total. And loved it. But the British culture is a bit of a puzzle to figure out and I have been accused of being not quite British as well as not quite American. Those who know me well will smile wanly, nodding with understanding as if to say, "She must be forgiven. She left these sunny shores for Foreign Lands and has not been herself since". Those who know me AND lived in the UK as well know exactly of which I speak! So this book holds great interest for me (and my fellow expatriates whom I met "across the pond").

The book is "The Anglo-Files: A Field Guide to the British" by Susan Lyall. I would have liked to have lived next door to Ms. Susan - what coffee clatches we would have had! She went to the UK in the 90s as a reporter for the New York Times and ended up marrying "one of them" (a Brit, not a New Yorker...) and, being both a reporter and a spouse of a national, her perspective on the culture and mannerisms of the British make for some hilarious reading! I started it last night but decided I have to read it out loud to Mike when we travel so we can both truly enjoy it. I also found a great blog about books where there is a blurb about the book and author here.

So whether you've lived in England, traveled there or just like "all things British", order this book (or check your library) and enjoy. I'm looking forward to more books by this author!

Now, I really must go have a coffee whilst writing my daily schedule in my diary...so sorry...cheers!


Megan said...

I LOVE Amazon Prime!

I am glad you book is so good. It is always a treat to find one you don't want to put down. Happy reading.

bec said...

I'm looking forward to reading it.
Thanks for the recommendation.

Cheri (aka "The Mom Lady") said...

Well, I've gotten a couple chapters into the book and a warning - the 2nd chapter (and the 3rd maybe) have to do with the, ahem, "between the sheets" attitudes of the British and it made for some uncomfortable reading. The rest of it seems to be pretty good and "spot on" but throwing THOSE chapters in right at the beginning was disappointing.