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The Best Books About Or Featuring London

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“What are the best books about & set in London?” We looked at 330 of the top London books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 44 books, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Lond” book lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 275+ titles, as well as the lists we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 44 London Books



43 .) 1984 by George Orwell

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Whizzpast

“Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching…

A startling and haunting vision of the world, 1984 is so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the influence of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.”

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42 .) A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • The Guardian

From one of our most important contemporary Chinese authors: a novel of language and love that tells one young Chinese woman’s story of her journey to the West—and her attempts to understand the language, and the man, she adores. Zhuang—or “Z,” to tongue-tied foreigners—has come to London to study English, but finds herself adrift, trapped in a cycle of cultural gaffes and grammatical mishaps. Then she meets an Englishman who changes everything, leading her into a world of self-discovery. She soon realizes that, in the West, “love” does not always mean the same as in China, and that you can learn all the words in the English language and still not understand your lover. And as the novel progresses with steadily improving grammar and vocabulary, Z’s evolving voice makes her quest for comprehension all the more poignant. With sparkling wit, Xiaolu Guo has created an utterly original novel about identity and the cultural divide.

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41 .) Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Goodreads

After Alison Temple discovers that her husband is cheating on her, she does what any jilted woman would do-she spray paints a nasty message for him on her wedding dress and takes a job with the detective firm that found him out. Being a researcher at the all-female Fitzgerald’s Bureau of Investigation in London is certainly a change of pace from her previous life, especially considering the characters Alison meets in the line of duty. There is her boss, the estimable Mrs. Fitzgerald; Taron, Alison’s eccentric best friend, who claims her mother is a witch; Jeff, her love-struck, poetry-writing neighbor; and last, but not least, her psychic postman. Clever, quirky, and infused with just a hint of magic, Alison Wonderland is a literary novel about a memorable heroine coping with the everyday complexities of modern life

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40 .) Bedlam: London and its Mad by Catharine Arnold

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • Wikipedia

“Bedlam!” The very name, derived from a nickname for the Bethlehem Hospital, conjures up graphic images of naked patients in filthy conditions, or parading untended wards deluded that they are Napoleon or Jesus Christ. This common image of madness can be traced to William Hogarth’s 1735 Rake’s Progress series, which depicts Bedlam as a freak show providing entertainment for Londoners between trips to the zoo, puppet shows, and public executions. That this is still the most powerful image of Bedlam, more than two centuries later, says much about the prevailing attitude to mental illness, although the Bedlam of the popular imagination is long gone. The hospital was relocated to the suburbs of Kent in 1930, and Sydney Smirke’s impressive Victorian building in Southwark took on a new role as the Imperial War Museum. Following the historical narrative structure of Necropolis, this history examines the capital’s treatment of the insane over the centuries, from the founding of Bethlehem Hospital in 1247 through the heyday of the great Victorian asylums to the more enlightened attitudes that prevail today.

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39 .) City of Sin: London and its Vices by Catharine Arnold

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • Wikipedia

For over a thousand years, England’s capital has been associated with desire, avarice and the sins of the flesh. In this text, Catharine Arnold turns her gaze to the city’s relationship with vice through the ages. She takes us on a journey through the fleshpots of London from earliest times to present day.

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38 .) Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Lists It Appears On:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Rick Steves

Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read. She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something . . . just a little something.

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37 .) Constitutional by Helen Simpson

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • The Guardian

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36 .) Do Not Alight Here: Walking London’s Lost Underground and Railway Stations by Ben Pedroche

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • Randomly London

Abandoned tunnels, derelict stations, old trackbeds and much more; all are included in “Do Not Alight Here”, an entertaining and informative book that guides the reader through London’s many remaining disused Underground and main line railway structures. They can be viewed in a series of 12 guided walks and short tube and train journeys, devised and investigated by the author, each of which takes in a sample of these forgotten and fascinating remains, with most of the entries illustrated with recently taken colour photographs.

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35 .) Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • Wikipedia

This unusual fictional account, in good part autobiographical, narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and society.

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34 .) High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Lists It Appears On:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Rick Steves

“Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films; top five Elvis Costello songs; top five episodes of Cheers.

Rob tries dating a singer, but maybe it’s just that he’s always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think that life with kids, marriage, barbecues, and soft rock CDs might not be so bad. “

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33 .) Howards End by E.M. Forster

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Whizzpast

The self-interested disregard of a dying woman’s bequest, an impulsive girl’s attempt to help an impoverished clerk, and the marriage between an idealist and a materialist — all intersect at a Hertfordshire estate called Howards End. The fate of this beloved country home symbolizes the future of England itself in E. M. Forster’s exploration of social, economic, and philosophical trends, as exemplified by three families: the Schlegels, symbolizing the idealistic and intellectual aspect of the upper classes; the Wilcoxes, representing upper-class pragmatism and materialism; and the Basts, embodying the aspirations of the lower classes.

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32 .) In Search of London by HV Morton

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • The Great Wen

H. V. Morton turns his traveler’s intuition and his reporter’s eye for detail to the city that has fascinated him since childhood—London past, present, and timeless. He explores the City and the Temple, Covent Garden, SoHo, and all the “submerged villages beneath the flood of bricks and mortar,” uncovering layer upon layer of London’s history. Morton follows the thread of imagination back and forth across the city, tracing unforgettable scenes: the Emperor Claudius leading his war elephants across the Thames. . .the grisly executions at the Tower. . .the world of Shakespeare, Dickens, and Queen Victoria. . .and the shattered yet defiant city of the Blitz as well as the postwar London of “ruins and hatless crowds.” Morton’s quest for London’s heart reveals how its daily life is rooted in a past that is closer and more familiar than we might think, making the book as informative, entertaining, and rich in human color today as when it was written fifty years ago.

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31 .) In the Presence of the Enemy by Elizabeth George

Lists It Appears On:

  • Rick Steves
  • Goodreads

“Ten-year-old Charlotte Bowen has been abducted, and if Luxford does not admit publicly to having fathered her, she will die. But Charlotte’s existence is Luxford’s most fiercely guarded secret, and acknowledging her as his child will throw more than one life and career into chaos. Luxford knows that the story of Charlotte’s paternity could make him a laughingstock and reveal to his beautiful wife and son the lie he’s lived for a decade. Yet it’s not only Luxford’s reputation that’s on the line: it’s also the reputation—and career—of Charlotte Bowen’s mother. For she is Undersecretary of State for the Home Office, one of the most high-profile Junior Ministers and quite possibly the next Margaret Thatcher.

Knowing that her political future hangs in the balance, Eve Bowen refuses to let Luxford damage her career by printing the story or calling the police. So the editor turns to forensic scientist Simon St. James for help. It’s a case that fills St. James with disquiet, however, for none of the players in the drama seem to react the way one would expect.

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30 .) London by Edward Rutherfurd

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Rick Steves

In the tradition of his phenomenal bestseller Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd now gives us a sweeping novel of London, a glorious pageant spanning two thousand years. He brings this vibrant city’s long and noble history alive through the ever-shifting fortunes, fates, and intrigues of half-a-dozen families, from the age of Julius Caesar to the twentieth century. Generation after generation, these families embody the passion, struggle, wealth, and verve of the greatest city in the world. . .

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29 .) London Under by Peter Ackroyd

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • Wikipedia

“In this vividly descriptive short study, Peter Ackroyd tunnels down through the geological layers of London, meeting the creatures that dwell in darkness and excavating the lore and mythology beneath the surface.

There is a Bronze Age trackway below the Isle of Dogs, Anglo-Saxon graves rest under St. Pauls, and the monastery of Whitefriars lies beneath Fleet Street. To go under London is to penetrate history, and Ackroyd’s book is filled with the stories unique to this underworld: the hydraulic device used to lower bodies into the catacombs in Kensal Green cemetery; the door in the plinth of the statue of Boadicea on Westminster Bridge that leads to a huge tunnel packed with cables for gas, water, and telephone; the sulphurous fumes on the Underground’s Metropolitan Line. Highly imaginative and delightfully entertaining, London Under is Ackroyd at his best.”

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28 .) Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • The Guardian

In Mrs. Dalloway, the novel on which the movie The Hours was based, Virginia Woolf details Clarissa Dalloway’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life.

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27 .) Night Haunts by Sukhdhev Sandhu

Lists It Appears On:

  • The Great Wen
  • The Guardian

Traditional depictions of London at night have imagined a lawless orgy of depravity and pestilence. But is Britain’s capital after dark now as bland and unthreatening as an evening in any new provincial town? Sukhdev Sandhu journeys across the city to find out whether the London night really has been rendered insipid by street lighting and CCTV. Night Haunts seeks to reclaim the mystery and romance of the city—to revitalize the great myth of London for a new century.

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26 .) Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Rick Steves

Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological character. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1912. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech. The play is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a commentary on women’s independence. In ancient Greek mythology, Pygmalion fell in love with one of his sculptures, which then came to life.

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25 .) Rumpole of the Bailey by Sir John Mortimer

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Rick Steves

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24 .) The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Whizzpast

“Originally published in 1951, The End of the Affair was acclaimed by William Faulkner as “”for me one of the best, most true and moving novels of my time, in anybody’s language.”” This Penguin Deluxe Edition features an introduction by Michael Gorra.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.”

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23 .) The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Whizzpast

Like the May of Teck Club itself―”three times window shattered since 1940 but never directly hit”―its lady inhabitants do their best to act as if the world were back to normal: practicing elocution, and jostling over suitors and a single Schiaparelli gown. The novel’s harrowing ending reveals that the girls’ giddy literary and amorous peregrinations are hiding some tragically painful war wounds.

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22 .) The London Encyclopaedia by Ben Weinreb

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • The Great Wen

The London Encyclopaedia is the most comprehensive book on London ever published. In its first new edition in over ten years, completely revised and updated, it comprises some 6,000 entries, organised alphabetically, cross-referenced and supported by two large indexes – one for the 10,000 people mentioned in the text and one general – and is illustrated with over 500 drawings, prints and photographs. Everything of relevance to the history, culture, commerce and government of the capital is documented in this phenomenal book. From the very first settlements through to the skyline of today, The London Encyclopaedia comprehends all that is London.

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21 .) The London Scene by Virginia Woolf

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • Wikipedia

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20 .) The Lost Rivers of London by Nicholas Barton

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • The Great Wen

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19 .) The People of the Abyss by Jack London

Lists It Appears On:

  • Londonist
  • The Great Wen

This collection chronicles the fiction and non fiction classics by the greatest writers the world has ever known. The inclusion of both popular as well as overlooked pieces is pivotal to providing a broad and representative collection of classic works.

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18 .) The Sugar Girls by Duncan Barrett, Nuala Calvi

Lists It Appears On:

  • What Should I Read Next?
  • Wikipedia

“On a crisp September day in 1944, Ethel Alleyne stood outside Tate & Lyle’s factory at Plaistow Wharf, on the shining curve of the Thames. Looking up at the giant gate, Ethel felt as if she’d been preparing for this moment all her life. She drew herself up to her full height and did her best to hide her nerves as she headed into the factory.

She was quite unprepared for the sight that met her eyes…’

During the Blitz and the years of rationing, the Sugar Girls kept Britain sweet. The work was back-breakingly hard, but Tate & Lyle was more than just a workplace – it was a community, a calling, a place of love and support and an uproarious, tribal part of the East End. From ambitious Ethel to irrepressible Gladys, lovelorn Lilian to fun-loving Joan – and Miss Smith, who tries to keep a workforce of flirtatious young men and women on the straight and narrow – this is an evocative, moving story of hunger, hardship and happiness. “

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17 .) Yardie by Victor Headley

Lists It Appears On:

  • Suitcase Mag
  • What Should I Read Next?

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16 .) A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Lists It Appears On:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Rick Steves
  • Superhero You

“The world’s most famous detective uses his celebrated skills of deduction in A Study in Scarlet, the tale that introduces Dr. John Watson. Recently discharged from the military, Watson takes a room with an amazing young man — the arrogant crime expert, Sherlock Holmes. Their investigation of a bizarre crime proves to be an auspicious beginning for one of the most illustrious crime-solving partnerships of all time.
The second tale, The Sign of Four, is an incredible story of greed and revenge in which Holmes and Watson accompany a beautiful young woman on a mission that leads to a terrifying, one-legged man in the dark heart of London.
A thrilling experience for legions of Holmes fans, these exciting tales will also serve as an excellent introduction to readers who have never made the acquaintance of this incomparable detective and his colleague.”

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15 .) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Lists It Appears On:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Esquire
  • Goodreads

Aldous Huxley’s profoundly important classic of world literature, Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order–all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls. “A genius [who] who spent his life decrying the onward march of the Machine” (The New Yorker), Huxley was a man of incomparable talents: equally an artist, a spiritual seeker, and one of history’s keenest observers of human nature and civilization. Brave New World, his masterpiece, has enthralled and terrified millions of readers, and retains its urgent relevance to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying work of literature. Written in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Brave New World likewise speaks to a 21st-century world dominated by mass-entertainment, technology, medicine and pharmaceuticals, the arts of persuasion, and the hidden influence of elites.

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14 .) Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton

Lists It Appears On:

  • Esquire
  • Suitcase Mag
  • Whizzpast

Adrift in the grimy pubs of London at the outbreak of World War II, George Bone is hopelessly infatuated with Netta, a contemptuous, small-time actress. George suffers from occasional blackouts, during which one thing is horribly clear: he must murder Netta.

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13 .) London Belongs to Me by Norman Collins

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Suitcase Mag
  • Whizzpast

Also known as Dulcimer Street, Norman Collins’s London Belongs to Me is a Dickensian romp through working-class London on the eve of the Second World War. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Ed Glinert, author of The London Compendium. It is 1938 and the prospect of war hangs over every London inhabitant. But the city doesn’t stop. Everywhere people continue to work, drink, fall in love, fight and struggle to get on in life. At the lodging-house at No.10 Dulcimer Street, Kennington, the buttoned-up clerk Mr Josser returns home with the clock he has received as a retirement gift. The other residents include faded actress Connie; tinned food-loving Mr Puddy; widowed landlady Mrs Vizzard (whose head is turned by her new lodger, a self-styled ‘Professor of Spiritualism’); and flashy young mechanic Percy Boon, whose foray into stolen cars descends into something much, much worse…

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12 .) London Fields by Martin Amis

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Goodreads
  • Suitcase Mag

London Fields is Amis’s murder story for the end of the millennium. The murderee is Nicola Six, a “black hole” of sex and self-loathing intent on orchestrating her own extinction. The murderer may be Keith Talent, a violent lowlife whose only passions are pornography and darts. Or is the killer the rich, honorable, and dimly romantic Guy Clinch?

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11 .) Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Esquire
  • Goodreads

Richard Mayhew is a young London businessman with a good heart whose life is changed forever when he stops to help a bleeding girl—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed. Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Here in Neverwhere, Door is a powerful noblewoman who has vowed to find the evil agent of her family’s slaughter and thwart the destruction of this strange underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life and home, he must join Lady Door’s quest to save her world—and may well die trying.

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10 .) Saturday by Ian McEwan

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Rick Steves
  • Superhero You

In his triumphant new novel, Ian McEwan, the bestselling author of Atonement, follows an ordinary man through a Saturday whose high promise gradually turns nightmarish. Henry Perowne–a neurosurgeon, urbane, privileged, deeply in love with his wife and grown-up children–plans to play a game of squash, visit his elderly mother, and cook dinner for his family. But after a minor traffic accident leads to an unsettling confrontation, Perowne must set aside his plans and summon a strength greater than he knew he had in order to preserve the life that is dear to him.

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9 .) The House by the Thames by Gillian Tindall

Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • Wikipedia
  • Londonist

49 Bankside is an 18th century house; the last survivor of what was once a long ribbon of houses overlooking the Thames. Rich with anecdote and colour, with celebrities from history, as well as ordinary people, this is social history at its most enjoyable.

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8 .) The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Esquire
  • Whizzpast

Looking for a better life a group of West Indians face harsh conditions in London, including racism, bad weather, loneliness, and hard times

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7 .) Brick Lane by Monica Ali

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Rick Steves
  • Superhero You
  • The Guardian

“After an arranged marriage to Chanu, a man twenty years older, Nazneen is taken to London, leaving her home and heart in the Bangladeshi village where she was born. Her new world is full of mysteries. How can she cross the road without being hit by a car (an operation akin to dodging raindrops in the monsoon)? What is the secret of her bullying neighbor Mrs. Islam? What is a Hell’s Angel? And how must she comfort the naïve and disillusioned Chanu?

As a good Muslim girl, Nazneen struggles to not question why things happen. She submits, as she must, to Fate and devotes herself to her husband and daughters. Yet to her amazement, she begins an affair with a handsome young radical, and her erotic awakening throws her old certainties into chaos.”

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6 .) Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Lists It Appears On:

  • Rick Steves
  • Goodreads
  • Superhero You
  • Barnes & Noble

Bridget Jones’s Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud account of a year in the life of a thirty-something Singleton on a permanent doomed quest for self-improvement. Caught between the joys of Singleton fun, and the fear of dying alone and being found three weeks later half eaten by an Alsatian; tortured by Smug Married friends asking, “How’s your love life?” with lascivious, yet patronizing leers, Bridget resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult and learn to program the VCR. With a blend of flighty charm, existential gloom, and endearing self-deprecation, Bridget Jones’s Diary has touched a raw nerve with millions of readers the world round.

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5 .) Londoners by Craig Taylor

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Londonist
  • Superhero You
  • Wikipedia

In Londoners, acclaimed journalist Craig Taylor paints readers an epic portrait of today’s London that is as rich and lively as the city itself. In the style of Studs Terkel (Working, Hard Times, The Good War) and Dave Isay (Listening Is an Act of Love), Londoners offers up the stories, the gripes, the memories, and the dreams of those in the great and vibrant British metropolis who “love it, hate it, live it, left it, and long for it,” from a West End rickshaw driver to a Soldier of the Guard at Buckingham Palace to a recovering heroin addict seeing Big Ben for the very first time. Published just in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games, Londoners is a glorious literary celebration of one of the world’s truly great cities.

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4 .) Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Suitcase Mag
  • Superhero You
  • The Guardian
  • Whizzpast

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3 .) Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Goodreads
  • Suitcase Mag
  • Superhero You
  • The Guardian

As the interminable case of ‘Jarndyce and Jarndyce’ grinds its way through the Court of Chancery, it draws together a disparate group of people: Ada and Richard Clare, whose inheritance is gradually being devoured by legal costs; Esther Summerson, a ward of court, whose parentage is a source of deepening mystery; the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn; the determined sleuth Inspector Bucket; and even Jo, the destitute little crossing-sweeper. A savage, but often comic, indictment of a society that is rotten to the core, Bleak House is one of Dickens’s most ambitious novels, with a range that extends from the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to the poorest of London slums. This edition follows the first book edition of 1853, and includes all the original illustrations by ‘Phiz’, as well as appendices on the Chancery and spontaneous combustion. In his preface, Terry Eagleton examines characterisation and considers Bleak House as an early work of detective fiction.

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2 .) London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • East London History
  • Londonist
  • Rick Steves
  • Suitcase Mag
  • Superhero You
  • Wikipedia

Here are two thousand years of London’s history and folklore, its chroniclers and criminals and plain citizens, its food and drink and countless pleasures. Blackfriar’s and Charing Cross, Paddington and Bedlam. Westminster Abbey and St. Martin in the Fields. Cockneys and vagrants. Immigrants, peasants, and punks. The Plague, the Great Fire, the Blitz. London at all times of day and night, and in all kinds of weather. In well-chosen anecdotes, keen observations, and the words of hundreds of its citizens and visitors, Ackroyd reveals the ingenuity and grit and vitality of London. Through a unique thematic tour of the physical city and its inimitable soul, the city comes alive.

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1 .) White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Lists It Appears On:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Bookriot
  • BuzzFeed
  • Esquire
  • Goodreads
  • Rick Steves
  • Suitcase Mag
  • Superhero You

At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London’ s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.

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The 275+ Additional Best Books About London



 

#BooksAuthorsLists
(Titles Appear On 1 List Each)
4478-87 London YouthWikipedia
4584, Charing Cross RoadHelene HanffRick Steves
46A Christmas CarolCharles DickensGoodreads
47A Conspiracy of Paper (Benjamin Weaver, #1)David LissGoodreads
48A Curious Guide to LondonSimon LeylandLondonist
49A Far Cry from KensingtonMuriel SparkGoodreads
50A History of LondonStephen InwoodRick Steves
51A Journal of the Plague YearDaniel DefoeGoodreads
52A Journey Through Ruins: The Last Days of LondonPatrick Wright
What Should I Read Next?
53A Life In A MomentStefanos LivosGoodreads
54A People’s History of LondonJohn Rees and Lyndsey GermanyLondonist
55A Pin to See the PeepshowF. Tennyson JesseWhizzpast
56A Survey of LondonLondonist
57A Tale of Two CitiesCharles DickensGoodreads
58A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)Elizabeth GeorgeGoodreads
59A Traveller’s History of EnglandChristopher DaniellRick Steves
60A Walk in LondonSalvatore Rubbino
Pages And Margins
61About a BoyNick HornGoodreads
62ADRIFT IN SOHOCOLIN WILSONEsquire
63Alys, AlwaysHarriet LaneBookriot
64
Amazing and Extraordinary London Underground Facts
Randomly London
65An Equal MusicVikram SethBookriot
66Any Harry Potter bookJ.K. RowlingBarnes & Noble
67At Bertram’s HotelAgatha ChristieBarnes & Noble
68AtonementIan McEwanGoodreads
69Automatic WomanNathan YocumGoodreads
70BabycakesArmistead MaupinBuzzFeed
71
Bacon’s up to date street map of London 1902
East London History
72Behind Those EyesAmanda GreenGoodreads
73Belgrave Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #12)Anne PerryGoodreads
74Bloomsbury and the PoetsWikipedia
75Bohemia in LondonWikipedia
76
Boris v. Ken: How Boris Johnson won London
Wikipedia
77Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2)Hilary MantelGoodreads
78Brutal LondonStandard
79Buckingham Palace Gardens (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #25)Anne PerryGoodreads
80Call The Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950sJennifer Worth
What Should I Read Next?
81CapitalJohn LanchesterSuitcase Mag
82Charmes de LondresJacques PrévertLondonist
83City of the MindPenelope LivelyBuzzFeed
84ConceitMary NovikGoodreads
85Cross River Traffic: A History of London’s BridgesChris RobertsLondonist
86
Curiocity: In Pursuit of London
Standard
87CURIOSITIES OF LONDONJOHN TIMBSThe Great Wen
88DamageJosephine HartBuzzFeed
89Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2)C.J. SansomGoodreads
90David CopperfieldCharles DickensGoodreads
91Derelict LondonPaul TallingLondonist
92Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton GardenRachel LichtensteinLondonist
93Dining Out Around the Solar System (Dining Out Around The Solar System, #1)Clare O’BearaGoodreads
94Do Not Pass Go: From the Old Kent Road to MayfairTim MooreLondonist
95Dombey and SonCharles DickensGoodreads
96DownriverIain SinclairThe Guardian
97Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeRobert Louis StevensonBarnes & Noble
98Eat My Heart OutZoe PilgerBookriot
99Ed Glinert, Allen Lane, ISBN 0713996889Paul Simenon out of the Clash!
East London History
100Elizabeth’s LondonLiza PicardRick Steves
101Ernö Goldfinger: The Life of an ArchitectNigel WarburtonLondonist
102
Essays in London and Elsewhere
Wikipedia
103Farewell To The East EndThe Last Days of the East End Midwives
What Should I Read Next?
104Fever PitchNick HornbyRick Steves
105Forever AmberKathleen WinsorGoodreads
106From the Slopes of Olympus to the Banks of the LeaMatt Haynes and Jude RogersLondonist
107Georgian LondonLucy InglisLondonist
108Girl on a TrainA.J. WainesGoodreads
109Goodnight LadyMartina Cole
What Should I Read Next?
110Great ExpectationsCharles DickensBarnes & Noble
111Great Houses of LondonJames StourtonLondonist
112Great Pubs of LondonStandard
113Greater London: The Story of the SuburbsNick BarrattLondonist
114
Guide to London’s Blue Plaques
Standard
115Guide to the Architecture of LondonEdward Jones and Christopher WoodwardLondonist
116
Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies
Wikipedia
117
Haunted London Underground
Randomly London
118Her Fearful SymmetryAudrey NiffeneggerBuzzFeed
119Hope of IsraelPatricia O’SullivanGoodreads
120IN CAMDEN TOWNDAVID THOMSONThe Great Wen
121Jack MaggsPeter CareyGoodreads
122
Japanese Bankers in the City of London
Wikipedia
123Keep the Aspidistra FlyingGeorge OrwellGoodreads
124KILL YOUR FRIENDSJOHN NIVENEsquire
125King RatChina MiévilleBuzzFeed
126Leadville (book)Wikipedia
127Letters from LondonJulian BarnesRick Steves
128Lights Out for the TerritoryIain SinclairLondonist
129Little DorritCharles DickensGoodreads
130
Lockie’s Topography of London
Wikipedia
131Loitering with IntentMuriel SparkGoodreads
132London and the ReformationSusan BrigdenLondonist
133London at WarPhilip ZieglerLondonist
134
London Burning: Portraits from a Creative City
Wikipedia
135London CemeteriesHugh MellerLondonist
136
London Film Location Guide
Wikipedia
137London in the 19th CenturyJerry WhiteLondonist
138London LoreWikipedia
139London Past and PresentWikipedia
140LONDON PECULIARSPETER ASHLEYThe Great Wen
141London PerceivedV S PritchettStandard
142London Revealed: Uncovering London’s Hidden HistoryJulian Shuckburgh
East London History
143London Then and NowDiane Burstein
East London History
144London Through a LensTime Out BooksLondonist
145London TriptychJonathan KempGoodreads
146London TriumphantSydney R JonesLondonist
147London UncoveredStandard
148LONDON UNDER LONDONRICHARD TRENCHThe Great Wen
149London Underground Guide 2015Jason CrossLondonist
150London: A History in MapsPeter BarberLondonist
151London: A Short HistoryAN Wilson
East London History
152LONDON: THE UNIQUE CITYSTEEN EILER RASMUSSENThe Great Wen
153London’s Boroughs at 50Wikipedia
154
London’s Disused Underground Stations
Randomly London
155London’s Docklands: A History of the Lost QuarterFiona RuleLondonist
156London’s Hidden WalksStephen MillarLondonist
157London’s LabyrinthFiona RuleLondonist
158London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s GuideTom BoltonLondonist
159London’s Secret PlacesDavid Hampshire and Graeme ChestersLondonist
160London’s Disused Underground StationsJC Connor
East London History
161Londoners Through A LensTime Out BooksLondonist
162LondonistanMelanie PhilipsLondonist
163LongitudeDava SobelRick Steves
164Look Inside LondonJonathan Melmoth and Peter Allen
Pages And Margins
165Lost London: 1870-1945Philip DaviesLondonist
166Love, NinaNina StibbeBuzzFeed
167Mansions of MiseryStandard
168Mapp and LuciaE. F. BensonRick Steves
169Martin ChuzzlewitCharles DickensGoodreads
170Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, #1)P.L. TraversGoodreads
171Model Under Cover: Deadly By DesignCarina AxelssonGoodreads
172Mr LovermanBernardine EvaristoBookriot
173Mrs P’s Journey: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Created the A-Z MapSarah HartleyLondonist
174MURPHYSAMUEL BECKETTEsquire
175My East End: Memories of Life in Cockney LondonGilda O’Neill
East London History
176Nairn’s LondonIan NairnLondonist
177NarcissistSuzi SladeGoodreads
178Necropolis: London and its DeadCatharine ArnoldLondonist
179Night and DayVirginia WoolfWhizzpast
180Notes from a Small IslandBill BrysonRick Steves
181Notes on a ScandalZoë HellerBuzzFeed
182Now You See Me (Lacey Flint, #1)Sharon BoltonGoodreads
183NWZadie SmithGoodreads
184Oliver TwistCharles DickensGoodreads
185One Pair of HandsMonica DickensGoodreads
186OracleJ.C. MartinGoodreads
187Our Mutual FriendCharles DickensGoodreads
188Our Street: East End Life in the Second World WarGilda O’Neill
East London History
189Palliser novelsAnthony TrollopeGoodreads
190PaybackKimberley Chambers
What Should I Read Next?
191Pentecost Alley (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novels)Anne Perry
What Should I Read Next?
192Permanent LondonersJudi CulbertsonLondonist
193Peter Pan in Kensington GardensJ.M. BarrieGoodreads
194Peter: The Untold True StoryChristopher Daniel MechlingGoodreads
195Pigeon EnglishStephen KelmanBookriot
196Power (Hikers Trilogy #1)Lauren AlgeoGoodreads
197Prime DeceptionCarys JonesGoodreads
198Progressing Through Change, The Recent History of City University LondonAllan PO Williams
City University Of London
199
Prostitution, Considered in Its Moral, Social, and Sanitary Aspects
Wikipedia
200Public Sculpture of the City of LondonPhilip Ward-JacksonLondonist
201Queer CityWikipedia
202Quiet LondonSiobhan WallLondonist
203Real BloomsburyWikipedia
204Rebel Footprints: A Guide to Uncovering London’s Radical HistoryDavid RosenbergLondonist
205Restoration LondonLiza PicardLondonist
206
Riot City: Protest and Rebellion in the Capital
Wikipedia
207
River Effra: South London’s Secret Spine
Standard
208Rivers of LondonBen AaronovitchBuzzFeed
209Rodinsky’s RoomRachel Lichtenstein and Iain SinclairSuitcase Mag
210Rough JusticeGilda O’Neill
What Should I Read Next?
211Samuel Pepys’s DiarySamuel PepysLondonist
212ScarpNick PapadimitriouLondonist
213SchemerKimberley Chambers
What Should I Read Next?
214Second-Class CitizenBuchi EmechetaBuzzFeed
215
Secret Underground London
Randomly London
216Sense and SensibilityJane AustenGoodreads
217Shadows of the Workhouse (Ulverscroft Large Print Series)Jennifer Worth
What Should I Read Next?
218SHAPING LONDONTERRY FARRELLThe Great Wen
219Silent Fear (A novel inspiredtrue crimes)Goodreads
220Silvertown: An East End Family MemoirMelanie McGrathLondonist
221Small IslandAndrea LevyGoodreads
222SohoKeith WaterhouseThe Guardian
223Sounds Like LondonWikipedia
224Spiritus Mundi Book I: The NovelRobert SheppardGoodreads
225
Spitalfields: The History of a Nation in a Handful of Streets
Standard
226SS-GBLen DeightonRick Steves
227St Pancras StationSimon BradleyRick Steves
228Streaking for MotherMark ShearmanGoodreads
229
Streetlife: The untold history of Europe’s twentieth century
Wikipedia
230SUBTERRANEAN RAILWAYCHRISTIAN WOOLMARThe Great Wen
231
Suggs and the City: My Journeys Through Disappearing London
Wikipedia
232Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetStephen SondheimGoodreads
233Tainted LoveKimberley Chambers
What Should I Read Next?
234Tales From the Terrific RegisterCate LudlowLondonist
235Tales From the Two PuddingsEddie JohnsonLondonist
236Terence Conran on LondonTerence ConranLondonist
237Thames TriumphantSydney R JonesLondonist
238Thames: Sacred RiverPeter AckroydLondonist
239Thank You, JeevesP. G. WodehouseRick Steves
240The Architecture of WrenKerry DownesLondonist
241The Ballad of Peckham RyeMuriel SparkBuzzFeed
242The Blackest Streets: The Life and Death of a Victorian SlumSarah WiseLondonist
243The Blood DoctorBarbara VineGoodreads
244The Boiler PlotEmily McDaidGoodreads
245The Boss of Bethnal Green: Joseph Merceron, the Godfather of Regency LondonJulian WoodfordStandard
246The Buddha of SuburbiaHanif KureishiRick Steves
247The Building of London: From the Conquest to the Great FireJohn SchofieldLondonist
248The BusinessMartina Cole
What Should I Read Next?
249The CarerScott NelsonGoodreads
250The Case of Jack the Nipper (The Chronicles of Mister Marmee, #1)H.L. StephensGoodreads
251The Case of the Wayward Fae ~ A Chronicle of Mister MarmeeH.L. StephensGoodreads
252The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #1)Anne PerryGoodreads
253The Children’s BookA.S. ByattGoodreads
254The City UniversityS. John Teague
City University Of London
255
The City: London and the Global Power of Finance
Wikipedia
256The Complete Sherlock HolmesArthur Conan DoyleGoodreads
257The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1)Anne PerryGoodreads
258The First BohemiansWikipedia
259The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Chronicles, #1-3)John GalsworthyGoodreads
260The Gentle Author’s London AlbumThe Gentle AuthorLondonist
261
The Geo-Politics of the City
Wikipedia
262The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf (Hobson & Choi #1)Nick BryanGoodreads
263The Great Fire of LondonPeter AckroydGoodreads
264The Great StinkClare ClarkRick Steves
265The Groundwater DiariesTim BradfordLondonist
266The History of ClerkenwellWilliam PinksLondonist
267THE HISTORY OF LONDON IN MAPSFELIX BARKER AND PETER JACKSONThe Great Wen
268The Hyde Park Headsman (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #14)Anne PerryGoodreads
269The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s LondonSarah WiseLondonist
270The Jupiter MythLindsey DavisRick Steves
271The Last LionWilliam ManchesterRick Steves
272THE LIKES OF USMICHAEL COLLINSThe Great Wen
273The London Compendium: A Street-by-street Exploration of the Hidden MetropolisEd Glinert
East London History
274
The London Complaint: A Celebration of the Capital’s Maladies
Standard
275The London HangedPeter LinebaughLondonist
276The London Nobody KnowsGeoffrey FletcherLondonist
277The London RichPeter ThoroldLondonist
278The Longest Night: Voices From the BlitzGavin MortimerLondonist
279The Lost Baggage of Silvia GuzmánMike RobbinsGoodreads
280The Man Who Was Thursday: A NightmareG.K. ChestertonGoodreads
281The Napoleon of Notting HillG.K. ChestertonGoodreads
282The Night WatchSarah WatersBuzzFeed
283The Paying GuestsSarah WatersRick Steves
284The Picture of Dorian GrayOscar WildeGoodreads
285The QuincunxCharles PalliserGoodreads
286The Road HomeRose TremainBuzzFeed
287The Romance of SohoE Beresford ChancellorLondonist
288The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1)Daniel O’MalleyGoodreads
289The RunawayMartina Cole
What Should I Read Next?
290The Runaways and the EverlastingMonifa AndersonGoodreads
291The Second-Last Woman in EnglandMaggie JoelGoodreads
292The Seven Curses of LondonJames GreenwoodLondonist
293The Silent Cry (Inspector William Monk Mystery)Anne Perry
What Should I Read Next?
294
The Silent Traveller in London
Wikipedia
295The Sleeping AngelMargarita MorrisGoodreads
296The Spell of LondonHV MortonLondonist
297The Subterranean RailwayChristian WolmarLondonist
298The SwapNancy BoyarskyGoodreads
299The Threepenny OperaBertolt BrechtGoodreads
300The TrapKimberley Chambers
What Should I Read Next?
301The Uncommon ReaderAlan BennettGoodreads
302The Unfortunate Traveller and Other WorksThomas NasheGoodreads
303The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ LondonJudith FlandersLondonist
304The Waste LandT.S. EliotGoodreads
305The Whitechapel Conspiracy (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #21)Anne PerryGoodreads
306The WrongedKimberley Chambers
What Should I Read Next?
307The Yard (Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad, #1)Alex GrecianGoodreads
308
The Zoo: The Wild and Wonderful Tale of the Founding of the London Zoo
Standard
309Thirty Seconds to Die (Thirty Seconds to Die, #1)S.G. HolsterGoodreads
310This is LondonMiroslav Sasek
Pages And Margins
311This Other London: Adventures in the Overlooked CityJohn RogersLondonist
312Through Time: LondonRichard Platt
Pages And Margins
313Times History of LondonHugh Clout
East London History
314Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, SpyJohn le CarréGoodreads
315Tired of London, Tired of LifeTom JonesLondonist
316Too Many MothersRoberta Taylor
What Should I Read Next?
317Trueman Bradley – The Next Great DetectiveAlexei Maxim RussellGoodreads
318Tunnel VisionKeith LoweSuperhero You
319Twenty Thousand Streets Under the SkyPatrick HamiltonGoodreads
320Two WomenMartina Cole
What Should I Read Next?
321Underground LondonStephen SmithLondonist
322
Underground: How the Tube Shaped London
Randomly London
323
Underworld London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City
Wikipedia
324VIOLENT LONDONCLIVE BLOOMThe Great Wen
325Walk the LinesMark MasonLondonist
326Westminster AbbeyRichard Jenkyns
East London History
327With No One as Witness (Inspector Lynley, #13)Elizabeth GeorgeGoodreads
328With Wings Like EaglesMichael KordaRick Steves
329Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)Hilary MantelGoodreads
330WormwoodG.P. Taylor
East London History


19 Best London Book Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
Barnes & Noble 10 Books Set in London, the World’s Best City
Bookriot DONE WITH DICKENS: BOOKS ABOUT LIFE IN CONTEMPORARY LONDON
BuzzFeed 26 Books To Read Before You Move To London
City University Of London Books about our history
East London History Some very good books about London and the East End of London
Esquire The Best Novels Set In London
Goodreads London fiction
Londonist What Are The Best Books About London?
Pages And Margins Picture Books about London
Randomly London Want To Be A Tube Sherlock? Then Read These Books About London Underground’s Abandoned and Disused Ghost Stations
Rick Steves London: Recommended Books and Movies
Standard The best books about London
Suitcase Mag 10 BOOKS EVERY LONDONER SHOULD READ
Superhero You 10 Great Books About London
The Great Wen Best books about London
The Guardian 10 of the best books set in London
What Should I Read Next? Books with the subject: England–london–east End
Whizzpast 10 vintage books you should read if you love London
Wikipedia Category:Books about London