Archive for January, 2011

January 27, 2011

Mr Vertigo: Paul Auster

by Andy

The thing with Paul Auster (and many other authors besides) is that when he’s good he’s really very good, and when he’s not he’s not.  With Mr Vertigo he’s very good indeed, possibly at his best and, if you’ve tried any of his others, maybe his most uncharacteristic.  Relying more on simple storytelling and much less on his usual themes of metafiction, intertextuality and existentialism (amongst others) rampant in later novels, it is at heart a terrifically simple, amazing tale wonderfully told and brilliant to read.  Desperately sad in places, ridiculously funny in others and rather fantastic as a whole, I cannot recommend it enough whether you’re a fan of his or not.  [And when you’re done give The Book of Illusions a go, which is just as good albeit quite, quite different.]

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January 21, 2011

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: Muriel Spark

by Andy

A short but brilliant modern classic, the brevity of which is amply compensated by the thrilling and incomparable Miss Jean Brodie, a schoolmistress very much in her prime who handpicks her favourites and sets them on course for exciting – if not altogether welcoming – futures.  Funny, sad, and compelling (and un-put-down-able  were it not such a trite thing to say), it’s one of those books that linger long after you’ve finished it, with the added bonus of Maggie Smith ringing in your ears as you read, something the world could do with having more of.

 

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January 13, 2011

Derelict London

by Team Riverside

Paul Talling, £9.99

An alternative London that eschews the sights and locales we’re all familiar with in favour of the derelict and forgotten landmarks slowly rotting away in front of us.

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January 12, 2011

The London Compendium

by Team Riverside

Ed Glinert. £12.99

The tales of hidden London, area by area, street by street, building by building, comprehensively catalogued by a man that has walked them all; riots, murders, rock & roll, espionage, gangs, the lot.

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January 11, 2011

London the Biography & Thames Sacred River

by Team Riverside

Peter Ackroyd, £16.99 (London), £14.99 (Thames)

The book of London (the clue is in the title) and the book of the River Thames (from sea to source and everything in-between).  Both bestsellers since the day they were published and neither – rightly – looking like losing that crown anytime soon.

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January 9, 2011

The London Cookbook

by Team Riverside

Jenny Linford, £14.99

Food writer Jenny Linford combines her own recipes with those of other food-loving Londoners -delicatessan owners, market stall owners, chefs and restaurateurs – in this celebration of London’s food culture.

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January 9, 2011

Brewer’s Dictionary of London Phrase and Fable

by Team Riverside

Russ Willey, £15.99

The essential London reference book you did not know you needed; a heady, witty and surprising  mixture of the people , places, events, myths, anecdotes and slang.

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January 9, 2011

London Encyclopeadia

by Team Riverside

Ben Weinreb, £30

The most comprehensive book on London ever published, revised and updated with over 6000 entries and 500 drawings, prints and photographs covering all that is relevant to the city’s culture, economy, government and history.  The definitive London reference work.

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January 6, 2011

50 Things to Spot in London

by Team Riverside

 

Usborne, £5.99

A pack of pocket-sized cards to help recognise and learn all about 50 of London’s famous landmarks.  Each card has a detailed illustration, with information, facts and statistics on reverse.

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January 3, 2011

Lost London 1870-1945

by Team Riverside

Special Price: £19.99

A spectacular collection of more than 500 of the best images from the former London County Council archive of photographs, held by English Heritage for 25 years, but by no means a nostalgic lament for the city.


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