What to Read Before Going to London
London is such a literary city. It makes my job here both easy and incredibly difficult. Where to start? There is a London that is light and sunny. There is a London that is dark and moody. There is a London for every person in every season of life. Here is a list of books to read before you go to find your own London.
London: A Travel Guide Through Time by Matthew Green. If that isn't a title designed to capture the hearts of Pages to Passport readers, I don't know what is! This book covers six of London's most poignant and interesting periods of time.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith. A sweeping, vibrant novel that moved between North West London to West Africa. It shows the Jazz Age of London with a distinctly brown perspective. Honorable mention: White Teeth by the same author.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. This book slips through the cracks of reality, showing a London of dark, mysterious, and alternative history. A must-read for sci-fi fans.
Elizabeth's London by Liza Picard. Picard tells a tale of 16th century life as it was for England's first great queen. If London's royalty is a fascination for you (raises hand), this one's for you.
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. This funny novel follows the romantic failings of a young record store owner.
London by Edward Rutherfurd. Yes, another one of Rutherfurd's epic sagas has made it on to a list of mine. I can't get enough of his sprawling historical novels. This one about London is one of my favorites of his.