If you are coming along to the Ealing Library Panel for Cityread you can pre book via the library or just turn up, but tickets are £2. Or if you let me know you are coming, I can let the library know your name – however you still have to pay!
Why would I want to sit at the computer on a day like this? Luckily the lot of an independent publisher is such that I can take books out into the garden to read, and still be working! Thank god for the cordless/ mobile phone.
So I’m off to sit in the garden, very probably with a cat or two, as well as the four or five books I plan to talk about for the Cityread panel at Ealing Library this Saturday afternoon, and work out (to some extent) what I’m going to say, and which illustrative quotes I’m going to want . If you are in the area come along!
So, as part of CityRead, which starts on April 2nd, I’m going to be on a panel at Ealing Library, together with Sarah Parker of Cityread London, Amma Poku Community Services & Volunteer Co-ordinator at Ealing Libraries, and Hazel Talbot of Ealing Arts Saturday 27th April at 2.30, talking about books set in London.
In preparation, I’m reading the keynote book, A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks, and thinking about reading other books of literary and London-based merit. Apart from a couple of favourites I had a bit of a blank out, so I asked our lovely authors for recommendations, and this is what they came up with:
– the last bit on each line is where the book is set. Those in bold got multiple recommendations. I’ve already read quite a few of these – marked with an * (and some I’d never heard of) and I certainly don’t have time to read them all! Anything you think is missing? Any you would particularly recommend?
Anthony Cronin – The Life Of Riley – Camden
Arthur Ransome – Bohemia In London – Chelsea
*Barbara Vine – King Solomon’s Carpet – West
Bobbie Darbyshire – Truth Games – Camden Town, Finchley Road, Highgate, Hackney, Fulham and Balham
Colin Mcinnes – Absolute Beginners – Notting Hill
Diana Evans – 26a – Neasden
Dorothy Richardson – The Tunnel – Bloomsbury
*Elizabeth Bowen – The Heat Of The Day – Regents Park
Gautam Malkani – Londonstani – Hounslow
*Geoff Ryman – 253 – Lambeth North, Waterloo, Elephant & Castle
George Gissing – The Nether World – Clerkenwell
Gerald Kersh – Fowlers End – Teddington
*Grossmith – Diary Of A Nobody – Holloway
Iris Murdoch – Under The Net – Hammersmith
J G Ballard – Crash – West
*Jeremy Gavron – An Acre Of Barren Ground – Brick Lane
John Lanchester – Capital – Telegraph Hill
Lloyd Shepherd – The English Monster – Wapping
Maggie O’Farrell – The Hand That Once Held Mine – Hampstead/Soho
Martin Amis – London Fields – Hackney
*Monica Ali – Brick Lane – East
*Muriel Spark – The Girls Of Slender Means – Kensington
*Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere – London Below
*Nick Hornby – A Long Way Down – North
*Nick Hornby – High Fidelity – North
Norman Collins – London Belongs To Me – Kenington
Patrick Hamilton – Hangover Square – Earl’s Court
Patrick Hamilton – 100 Streets Under The Sky – Soho
Penelope Fitzgerald – Off Shore – Chelsea
Penny Rudge – Foolish Lessons In Love And Life – South
Peter Ackroyd – Hawksmoor – East
Ruth Rendell – A Demon In My View – West
Ruth Rendell – Going Wrong – West
*Sarah Waters – Night Watch – East/City
Shena Mackay – Heligoland – Crystal Palace And Norwood
Tim Parks – Tongues Of Flame – Finchley
Tony White – Foxy T – East
*Wilkie Collins – The Woman In White – St John’s Wood, Hampstead
Yvette Edwards – A Cupboard Full Of Coats – East
*Zadie Smith – White Teeth – North West
Zadie Smith – NW – North West
I do have to say I have read piles of London books I wouldn’t recommend, some because they don’t get the geography right ( a bit of a bugbear – as can be attested by authors and would be authors for Stations – ignore the street layout or depth of the railway cutting at your peril!) some because I just didn’t like them. I will restrain myself from the lengthy list of books thrown across the room in rage!