If you've always wanted to learn more about London's development, but have been put off by the chunkiness of the history books, then help is at hand.
30-Second London offers 50 short introductions to the 'key visions, events and architects that shaped the city, each explained in half a minute'. To pick a few topics at random, this includes London on film, the Bloomsbury Group, crime and Roman London.
As promised, it's a quick, compact introduction to the city — though only a speed-reader could get through each section in 30 seconds. Seven contributing experts ensure that the text is brief but informative, and the volume is beautified by some rather lovely montage artwork courtesy of Nicky Ackland-Snow.
It's a punchy and pretty bluffer's guide to the city; the perfect gift for anyone who's new to London, or for those who need a bit of poking to go out and explore.
30-Second London, edited by Edward Denison, is out now from Ivy Press.