Today we welcome guest blogger Tina Hartas of www.tripfiction.com. I love to read books about the location I’m visiting before, during and after. TripFiction was created to help you locate the books that are most relevant to your trip.
There is so much going on this year in London, the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen, the Olympics, not to mention the usual summer events taking place in the metropolis: Wimbledon Tennis, Henley Regatta, the wonderful concerts that are part of The BBC Proms at the Albert Hall and all the usual art, theatre, street life, shopping and a generally fabulous buzz in this cosmopolitan city. Four million people are expected to descend on London. Will you be one of them?
If you are heading for London, guidebooks in hand, then make sure you really capture the flavour of the city by choosing a couple of books and novels that are set there. An author who knows a place well can offer you a way of seeing things that add just that bit extra to the travel experience, and can convey the sights, smells and atmosphere through writing; the feel of the place can just lift off the pages and transport you into a world in a new and wonderful way. Just try it with some of these recommended books!
Underground London by Stephen Smith
The author has managed to bring the world beneath the concrete and glass city of London to vibrant life. He offers a history that is just so vivid with the sights and sounds of London in present and past times, whether he is looking at burial crypts, excavated Roman Walls, the remains of Henry VIII’s tennis courts or the “Tube” as it is today. Plus loads of interesting facts — you will never see the Tube in the same way again!
Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend by Jenny Colgan
This light and entertaining read is set in the Old Kent Road, just south of central London –and it’s on the British Monopoly Board! Sophie is a girl about town, knowing all the right people, the good parties but one shocking event turns her life upside down. And yes, it is true, the British really do eat baked beans straight from the tin!
On the Floor by Aifric Campbell
Nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012, this novel captures the era in London, 1990s, when the banking sector was beginning to teeter on the edge of insanity. Geri Molloy is earning a huge salary working at a London investment bank just before the 1991 invasion of Kuwait. She is in on the verge of a breakdown, her boyfriend has left, she hardly sleeps and eats, and she has become a heavy drinker. Her position at work is dependent on the patronage of an iconoclastic hedge fund manager in Hong Kong. Where does it go from here….. (well, we know the answer to that!)
Saturday by Ian McEwan
This book is by one of England’s most well known authors, who captures the feel of London in this intriguing novel.
Henry Perowne lives right in the centre of London and is up very early one Saturday morning. He looks out of his window and sees a plane crashing. His day gets no better when he is assaulted, and with huge consequences that play out on his values and what he holds dear.
— Tina Hartas, TripFiction