books & the city

i saw a list recently compiled by my favorite bookshop waterstones with books either set in or about the city of london. this list made me think of a blog post a few months back and a request from a reader for a list of good books on london or by london writers. so although its late i think its better late than never and a great list to share for all those who love a good read like me! the area bold is the title, followed by the author in italics and in {parenthesis} is the area of london discussed/set in the books:

  1. 253, geoff ryman { elephant & castle}
  2. bleak house, charles dickens {chancery courts}
  3. brick lane, monica ali {brick lane)
  4. the buddha of suburbia, hanif kureishi {bromley}
  5. the crimson petal and the white, michael faber {notting hill}
  6. the end of an affair, graham greene {clapham common}
  7. fingersmith, sarah waters {borough/lant street}
  8. a handful of dust, evelyn waugh {belgravia}
  9. hangover square, patrick hamilton {earl's court}
  10. keep the apidistra flying, george orwell {hampstead}
  11. lady's maid, margaret forster {marylebone}
  12. london, edward rutherfurd {tower bridge & more)
  13. london fields, martin amis {portobello road}
  14. neverwhere, neil gaiman {knightsbridge}
  15. saturday, ian mcewan {cleveland street, w1}
  16. small island, andrea levy {earl's court}
  17. white teeth, zadie smith {willesdon}
  18. wise children, angela carter {brixton}
  19. the book of dave, will self {richmond}
  20. how to be good, nick hornby {camden}
  21. the line of beauty, alan hollinghurst {notting hill}
  22. the drowned world, jg ballard {leicester square}
  23. hawksmoor, peter ackroyd {spitalfields}
  24. notes on a scandal, zoe heller {islington}
  25. the ballad of peckham rye, muriel spark {peckham rye}
  26. the lonely londoners, sam selvon {notting hill}
  27. london novels, colin macinnes {notting hill}
  28. jonathan strange & mr norrell, susanna clarke {hanover square}
  29. mrs dalloway, virginia woolf {westminster}
  30. notting hell, rachel johnson {notting hill}
  31. londonstani, gautam malkani {hounslow}
  32. the adventures of sherlock holmes, arthur conan doyle {baker street}
  33. a dead man in deptford, anthony burgess {deptford}
  34. a metropolitan murder, lee jackson {baker street}
  35. diary of nobody, george & weedon grossmith {holloway}
  36. 4.50 from paddington, agatha christie {paddington}
  37. the heat of the day, elizabeth bowen {regent's park}
  38. twenty thousand streets under the sky, patrick hamilton {euston road}
  39. the long firm, jake arnott {soho}
  40. mother london, michael moorcok {notting hill}
  41. the necropolois railway, andrew martin {waterloo}
  42. only in london, hanan al-shaykh {bayswater/westminster}
  43. possession, as byatt {british museum}
  44. three men in a boat, kingston upon thames {kingston upon thames}
  45. the tiger in the smoke, margery allingham {mayfair}
  46. towards the end of morning, michael frayn {elephant & castle}
  47. the last days of newgate, andrew pepper {city}
  48. sleep with me, joanna briscoe {bloomsbury}
  49. the queen of the tambourine, jane gardam {merton}
  50. under the net, iris murdoch {camden}
  51. growing yams in london, sophia acheampong {cricklewood}
  52. harry potter & the philosopher's stone, jk rowling {kings cross}
  53. the haunting of alaizabel cray, piccadilly circus {piccadilly circus}
  54. paddington bear, michael bond {paddington}
  55. peter pan, jm barrie {kensington gardens}
  56. stoneheart, charlie fletcher {natural history museum}
  57. stormbreaker, anthony horowotiz {science museum}
  58. madeline in london, ludwig bermelmans {buckingham palace}
  59. this is london, miroslav sasek {st paul's cathedral}
  60. raven queen, pauline francis {tower of london}


enickel said...

I guess I had better get reading! How brave of James to shave. Has he started growing it out yet?

sherrie said...

well i've read one and a half of them. hp and peter pan ;) that's a long list, are you planning on reading some of them?

christine said...


I've already read a couple, but probably not the whole list. I've got too many others I want to read.


James has decided to do a bit of the 5 oclock shadow thing.

I like it better shaved off, he looks better I think.

Elizabeth C said...

I have heard of the Harry Potter and Peter Pan. Which ones do you recommend?

christine said...

I would recommend out of my list:

brick lane (seen the movie)-great
white teeth (heard amazing stuff about)
Mrs Dalloway (read the book and seen the movie- 'the hours' which is based on this book)

White Teeth (heard amazing things about)

Sherlock Holmes (read)
Harry Potter (never read)
Peter Pan (who hasn't read this?)
Paddington Bear (read & love)
and Madeline in London (love Madeline series)