These compelling reads curated by Karma Group Literary Luminary, Philip Blackwell, invite us into parts of London where we may not have ventured before. The hotlist includes one of the most talked about debut novels of all time ‘White Teeth’ by Zadie Smith, an unforgettable portrait of multicultural London.
1. A Short History of London by Simon Jenkins
London, a settlement founded by the Romans, occupied by the Saxons, conquered by the Danes and ruled by the Normans. This changeful place became a medieval maze of alleys and courtyards, later to be chequered with grand estates of Georgian splendour. It swelled with industry and became the centre of the largest empire in history. This book unravels some of the detailed stories of one of the world’s best cities.
2. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
One of the most talked about debut novels of all time, White Teeth is an unforgettable portrait of multicultural London. Dealing – among many other things – with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.
3. London Explored by Mark Daly
This is a unique London guidebook that opens the doors to more than sixty of the capital’s most surprising and intriguing places. A truly special guide to the city’s secret and surprising buildings. Describing the history and the character of each place, the book uncovers a wealth of stories about an endlessly remarkable place with its own unique character.
4. Square Haunting by Francesca Wade
World renowned child psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz introduces a new way of raising children that attempts to counteract the anxiety and fragility of young people today. Just as a good scaffold helps to afford a sense of structure in the early stages of development, and can then be removed once a foundation is laid, so too do children thrive when provided with building blocks in their early years that can gradually be removed to ignite independence.
5. Pretty City London by Siobhan Ferguson
Full of the unexplored and less-appreciated areas of London, this stunning guide also includes tips on how to plan and photograph your own experience of the renowned city, whether on foot or dreaming from afar. Go beyond London’s famous landmarks and discover the hidden gems of the beautiful capital in all its sprawling glory.