Admin Tackles London Books, Concedes Defeat
I can’t go on. I thought I could review every London book that came out, just a few words, but even that has defeated me. They’re pouring in, thousands of the buggers. I can only review the ones I buy – I’d be broke if I tried to buy them all, so let me just recommend the two I did purchase this month, Brian Girling’s charming ‘Lost London In Colour’, basically a lot of old postcard recoloured, and while some look distinctly strange and lurid, there are gems, notably the shots of festivals and markets, rainy night shots and the Blitz..
They’ve also revamped the ‘Guide to the Architecture of London’, an essential book for anyone writing about the city, from Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward, which highlights as many mistakes as masterpieces, with pocket descriptions of the buildings and attendant problems, and maps.
There are new books on the animals of London, living and mythical, on ‘other’ London, from its peripheries to its alternative tribes, but as yet – a surprising omission this one – nothing on London’s ethnic populations and their cultures, cuisines etc.
Please, though, don’t anyone else write a history of underground London – it’s been done to death!