If you've ever perused the London section of a local bookshop, you'll have some appreciation for just how many volumes about the capital are currently in print. (A point Christopher Fowler was making only a few days ago.) There are hundreds of the blighters. We even wrote our own guide to London a few years back, not that you'd have noticed it among the boundless lesser other volumes.
So where to start? Londonist M@ has compiled a list of his top 15 non-fiction books about the capital using Amazon's Listmania (definitely not to be confused with Leishmania). Sadly, there seems to be no way to embed it, so we've retyped the list below. You'll have to click through to find out why we think these tomes deserve their places. (And, yes, M@ really has read all of these cover to cover, including numbers 1 and 8.)
- London the Encyclopaedia, Christopher Hibbert, et al.
- Night Haunts, Sukhdev Sandhu
- London the Biography, Peter Ackroyd
- Lights Out for the Territory, Iain Sinclair
- London: A Social History, Roy Porter
- Lost London: 1870-1945, Philip Davies
- In Search of London, H.V. Morton
- The Annals of London, John Richardson
- Mapping London, Simon Foxell
- Medical London, Richard Barnett
- London Lore, Steve Roud
- The Times History of London, Hugh Clout
- Secret London - An Unusual Guide, Rachel Howard
- Subterranean City, Antony Clayton
- Violent London, Clive Bloom
Nominate your own favourites in the comments below, preferably with an Amazon link so we can scrape together a few affiliate-deal pennies for a cup of tea.
Update: (3 February) Londonophile Peter Watts has responded to this list by creating his own.