My husband and I are planning a trip to England and Wales this summer, and looking for suggestions for "pre-reading" for the trip. When we went to Scotland a few years ago, someone on this board happened to mention "Raw Spirit" by Iain Banks, and I found a used copy somewhere. Reading it before our trip was an immeasurable gift, and enriched our experience so much...from the joys of driving in Scotland, to regional differences, to restaurant recommendations, and of course the search for the perfect dram. It was also such a fantastic snapshot of a place and a moment in time that really opened our eyes before we even got on the plane, so that we were so much more ready to drink in (no pun intended) the people and the culture when we arrived.
We’ve read (and I’m sure will re-read) the histories and classic fiction, and will brush up on our pop culture as well, but do you have any favorites about England and Wales that we shouldn’t miss? I picked up a copy of “Notes from a Small Island” by Bill Bryson, and have also ordered “The English: A Portrait of a People” by Jeremy Paxman and “Watching the English” by Kate Fox. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!