Stanfords Staff Selects: London Fiction

Here at Stanfords we sell maps and books from all over the world, but sometimes there is no place like home. We currently have a buy one get one half price offer on a selection of our favourite London books, gifts and guides. To give you a real taste of this wonderful city, here is some of our favourite London fiction:


NW by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith’s love letter to her native Willesden, here we see the neighbourhood (and the city) live and breathe. A broad range of characters are interwoven into their surroundings, constrained by race, class and sexuality, all representing the rich tapestry of life in cosmopolitan 21st century London. NW’s London is one of conflict; between black and white, rich and poor, good and bad but perhaps crucially, occupies the space in the middle. – Greg, Sales Assistant

Brick Lane by Monica Ali

Brick Lane by Monica Ali is a riveting book which is particularly relevant to the London of 2018. It evokes life on the vibrant streets of the East End for one young immigrant and tells how she comes to terms with her strange new life in London. – Chris, Head of Design

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London is the introduction to PC Grant’s not entirely willing dive into a magical London. Confronted with the unenviable task of taking a witness statement from a dead person, PC Grant is plunged head and shoulders into a world that is as dangerous as it is baffling and hilarious. Ben Aaronovitch has forged his own world within one that is recognisable to every Londoner, and his love for the city shines through his writing to make this essential reading for any Londonphile. – Hugh, Sales Assistant

Neverwhere  by Neil Gaiman

Heroes. They’re great. They save the day etc etc. But did you ever find yourself wondering if they ever had normal lives, with run of the mill jobs complete with desks and colleagues and pints afterwards? Boyfriends/girlfriends to spend weekends with, admiring paintings, shopping, and no more stress than remembering to book that nice restaurant? Richard is normal. Generous and kind, yes, but normal. Until he helps a person on the street and then his life is turned so completely upside down, he doesn’t even remember what normal is anymore. This is by far one of the most fun books I have read in a long time, a brilliant appreciation of this magnificent, vast and at times terrifying city. It is also pretty much an origins story- the ”making of” a brilliant hero. Oh, and I definitely want to be Richard Mayhew when I grow up. – Lizzie, Floor Manager

The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon

Looking at 1950s London through the eyes of a West Indian immigrant, Sam Selvon so perfectly captures this time in the city’s history. Writing in the Caribbean vernacular, Selvon wonderfully portrays the feelings of the characters who are introduced to post-war London, a place so vastly different from where they have just come from. This book is particularly poignant at the moment, in the wake of the Windrush scandal. – Jude, Marketing Manager

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