Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow -- apparently all the books in the scheme have been chosen because they deserve to be better known. I enjoyed and was challenged by Bellow's Augie March, so I'm hoping Humboldt's Gift will do the same. And if I don't like it? Well, I can always abandon it and take it back -- I didn't choose it, after all.
Hell's Belles!. Brenda is a large lady with an unusual past (she's escaping from it by running a b&b), and Effie is a witch in denial (she owns a junkshop). They live in the atmospheric Goth haven of Whitby, and they fight evil (particularly the malevolent Mrs Claus, who runs a perpetual Christmas at her cliff top hotel) -- it's a bit like Mma Ramotswe, but with monsters.
3. Time Team are digging up a rare Anglo Saxon hall. Two of the archaeologists are introduced to the joys of flyte, a ritualised insulting competition -- in this instance a sequence about shovels. Phil and Matt then spent the rest of the dig swapping jeers about their equipment (and if that made you snigger, you've got the basic idea of Anglo Saxon insults).