Today, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list my Top Ten Favorite Books With X Setting.
So, bearing in mind the current book I am enjoying Neverwhere is set in London, I am going to list my top ten books that are set in London and because I just realized that any book set in London just adds to my reading pleasure. I think the city setting just encourages wonderful literature.
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – I know, I know, I haven’t yet finished this book. How can I add it to this list? But, this book is seriously amaze balls. While reading this book, I was looking through London’s underground map all the time. Also reading this book, it’s obvious that Gaiman loves London, and he’s passed on the love to at least one of his readers too.
- Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger – OK, this book was just about all right for me. The story didn’t work but the London setting and Highgate cemetary in particular are real standouts. Can you believe I did not have to look up the cemetary name while writing out this list? It’s a book I read two years back, and still I remember this detail.
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I know the major scenes are set in Hogwarts, but the platform at Paddington station is so memorable that I just have to include it here.
- Bleak House by Charles Dickens – This book is one of my favorite classics and gives a wonderful insight into how London must have been during Dickensian times.
- Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding – I don’t know about you, but English chick-lit is a whole different genre altogether, and Bridget Jones is the top of the tops. I don’t enjoy chick-lit in New York but chick-lit in London? Love them all…even the most trite ones 🙂
- Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances – I have a special fondness for all her books that are based in London…Almack’s, the society gossip, the parties, the glamour, and the wit and humor…I love all her books.
- Agatha Christie’s mysteries – I much prefer Christie’s exotic mysteries (Mesopotamia! Egypt!), but her London based books are pretty good too. Think Hickory Dickory Dock, The Clocks, and At Bertram’s Hotel (ok, ok, this is one of her weaker books, but I still loved it). Agatha Christie could write in her sleep and I would still lap it up. Not for nothing is she the Dame).
- The End of the Affair by Graham Greene – Lovely book set in London and a very moving read.
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré – It’s a slow book, but very atmospheric, and London is a great city for atmosphere.
- The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud – This is a completely different London from the one we know, but the books are awesome and definitely need to be included in this list.
Do you love books in a particular setting? What makes you love that setting so? I don’t know why London is so hot for me, I think just the long history and that some of the best writers set their stories there.