Top Ten Books I want to read set in LONDON

Constitutional by Helen Simpson

Charting tantrums, funerals, pregnancy, war and love affairs, these stories unroll with piercing wit and sympathy. One woman finds grief for her lost lover is assuaged by involvement in some carpentry repair work. Another grows increasingly angry as the grim reaper scythes through her circle, with farcical and tragic results – taking in both the view and the conversations of passers-by these short stories are apparently beautiful and telling.

The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon

A beat novel focusing on poor West Indian migrant workers in 1950s London, as they live and work around Notting Hill and Bayswater. A stunning tale with fantastic reviews.


There is no yesterday, nor tomorrow, merely weather, and decay, and construction.’ In London’s changing heartland, architect Matthew Halland is aware of how the past and the present blend. It stirs memories of his boyhood, the early years of his daughter Jane and the failed marriage that he has almost put behind him. Here too is the London of prehistory, of Georgian elegance, of the Blitz. But Matthew is occupied with constructing a new future for London in Docklands, and with it he begins to forge new beginnings of his own – #perfection

Londoners by Craig Taylor

Taylor interviewed 80 Londoners to paint an oral portrait of the city as told by those who live and work here – from the tube train announcer to the Buckingham Palace guard – this sounds like the perfect nosy book!


I’ve struggled before with the author Ian McEwan but this book sounds right up me street. Saturday takes place over the course of a single day, as the neurosurgeon narrator prepares for a dinner party, navigating post-9/11 terrorism paranoia and pondering the assumed safety of the middle class life he has built.

London Fields by Martin Amis

A literary murder mystery set in the heart of Hackney, where a teminally ill writer stumbles across both a funeral-crashing young woman, and the plot that will kill her. This sounds gritty, real, and exciting and I love that cover #gorgeous.

Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller

A teacher begins an affair with a troubled student at a North London comprehensive school, risking her job and her family in the process. This sounds like the perfect book to read in the bath, surrounded by candles and chocolate, AND THAT COVER, WELL HELLO.


Recommended for Train enthusiasts, on the eve of his wedding, Andy makes a drunken bet that he can travel through every single Tube station in a single day. Fail the bet and he won’t be able to collect the Eurostar tickets he needs to get to his wedding in Paris. A fantastic tale around the tubes of London.

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Moving backwards from the post-war lives of four characters, and ending in with their wartime exploits in 1941, The Night Watchmoves around London and gives both a compelling account of the city in wartime, and of those forced to traverse it in secret, not for war, but for love. I think this sounds like a perfect Winter read.

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Finally a classic to finish the list; the book follows a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares to host a party in her affluent Westminster home, and contemplates issues of class, society, sexuality, politics and love. I think this book sounds like a brilliant read, full of excitement and secrets.

Annnnnnd there you go, Top Ten Books I want to read set in LONDON! Have you read any of these? Which were your favourites, are there any I should take off the list let me know and have a fantastic Tuesday.

3 thoughts on “Top Ten Books I want to read set in LONDON

  1. sjhigbee says:

    No – I haven’t read any of them, though obviously I am aware of some… The one I’d advise you to leave near the end would be the Ian McEwan – it isn’t one of his more popular ones and he’s an odd autor – I love some of his books (Atonement, Enduring Love) there are some I HATED. And… I have a hunch I started this one and it went flying across the room! Other than that, have a great time with these and I look forward to hearing how you get on:)

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