Londonist Christmas Gift Guide: Book Lovers' Edition

By Zoe Craig Last edited 102 months ago

Last Updated 10 December 2015

Londonist Christmas Gift Guide: Book Lovers' Edition

Here's our roundup of the best new London books released this year.

Pop one into a friend or family member's stocking and you're sure to be on the receiving end of the right kind of #GiftFace.

Only a handful of new London books received five-star reviews from us this year. The first, celebrating London hour by hour, is by our very own Matt Brown and would be a fantastic addition to any London lover's Christmas list.
London Night And Day, The Insider's Guide To London in 24 Hours, by Matt Brown, £12

This reincarnation of a guide to the river Thames first published 1829 by Samuel Leigh wowed our writers when it appeared in October this year. Panorama of the Thames is a "riparian rhapsody that every historically minded Londoner should own". And we gave it five stars when we reviewed it back in November.
Panorama of the Thames, A Riverside View Of Georgian London by John R Inglis and Jill Sanders, £27

This brilliant biography of neighbours Oscar Wilde, John Singer Sargent and James Abbott McNeill Whistler also impressed us this year. The Street of Wonderful Possibilities "is an assured and dazzling debut for the author; a top-notch read even for those unfamiliar with the aesthetic movement or the houses in which it blossomed."

The Street of Wonderful Possibilities: Whistler, Wilde and Sargent in Tite Street by Devon Cox, £19.99


One for the very young — Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat Where Have You Been? was our favourite new London book for pre-schoolers in 2015: a satisfying (read: not-annoying) rhyme, logical landmarks and some fabulous illustrations.
Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been? by Russell Punter and Daniel Taylor, £10.99

Another top book that landed on our desks this year is animal-packed Georgian Menagerie by Christopher Plumb — a surprising book "which abounds in peculiar stories. Far from being a whimsical gallimaufry of animal anecdotes, this is a scholarly take on the subject, drawing deeply from the archives and primary sources." Who isn't going to love browsing this treasure after a boozy Christmas lunch?
The Georgian Menagerie by Christopher Plumb, £16.55

The best photos from 30 years of street photography capturing the spirit of London and the people who live here. Our reviewer gave it four stars, saying, "This book reminds us of a time when every photo was precious. It captures something of the spirit of London through three decades, from the Queen riding side-saddle to the multicoloured laundry at the back of an apartment block."
Londoners: Street Scenes of the Capital 1960-1989 by Richard Hallman, £14

Finally, if you know a hard-to-buy-for tween with an X-Factor-inspired wish to be famous you could do a lot worse than buying them this stunning book from the National Theatre. Packed with amazing information, great photography and lovely illustrations, it gives a proper insight into the wonderful world of theatre. And there are enough gorgeous pictures of gone-on-to-be movie stars (hello, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Corden, Anne-Marie Duff) to whet your little ones' appetites.
National Theatre, All About Theatre, £14.99

Yes, a lot of the links we've supplied are to purchase from Amazon. Alternatively, you could pop into one of London's Best Independent Bookshops and buy from there.