Paperback: Pies and Prejudice, by Stuart Maconie

In a week when a generation was utterly mortified at being called "middle class", this affectionate and philosophical look at northerners, "plastics" and deracinated peoples from above the Watford Gap is a timely look at the structure of modern Britain. Maconie aims his anthropological travelogue at people who can go out in October without a coat on, cheer at motorway signs to "The North" and still remember a £2 pint, but also at their southern softie cousins. His chapters about the glorious north are more enjoyable than the one on the grim south, but his search for his northern soul has just the right balance of pies and prejudice to be right good.