Today sees the launch of Ken Livingstone's latest cultural extravaganza - the Get London Reading campaign. A bunch of famous authors are gathering at Canary Wharf at noon to plug read from their latest novels, and later in the week there'll be some evening events involving librarians. Sounds thrilling? But hey, there's also a surprisingly detailed website full of 'books about London' (tons of them) which is well worth a look. Discover authors and books based in each London borough, and find out what other Londoners are reading. Great listfuls of fine books about London, and just in time to add to my birthday wishlist (cheap plug - see last Friday for full details).
They've identified 12 books for London to give particular prominence to - on posters, in campaigns and on giveaway bookmarks. Not a bad selection either. I've read the following four of them so far, how about you?
• London Orbital by Iain Sinclair: A walk round the M25 on the Eve of the Millennium. Beautifully written, but disappointingly inconsequential.
• London by Edward Rutherfurd: Lengthy saga follows London families from the Roman invasion to the present day. History-lite.
• Do Not Pass Go by Tim Moore: Street-based London travelogue looks at the real-life Monopoly board. Wish I'd thought of doing that.
• High Fidelity by Nick Hornby: A music-obsessed listaholic with one failed relationship behind him. Hmm, who does that remind me of?
But that's only four. Here's another eight London books I'd add to the list to make 12. Four tube-related, four not. Please click away.
• Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: A dark twisted underworld living in the tubes beneath London. And one of those one-off classic TV series they never repeat, sob.
• 253 by Geoff Ryman: Unique set of character portraits on board a crash-bound Bakerloo line train. Started as a webpage, so you can go read it right now...
• Tunnel Vision by Keith Lowe: Bloke attempts to visit all London's tube stations the day before his wedding. You can guess how it finishes.
• King Solomon's Carpet by Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendell): An odd thriller with a bunch of misfit characters all linked through the tube.
• Spanky by Christopher Fowler: I could have picked any of his books, most of which are set in nightmarish London, but this modern Faust just swings it. Fab.
• Demonized by Christopher Fowler: OK, just one more. This is his new collection of horror stories, and I'm still reading my signed copy. See, I bought something this weekend. Good it is too.
• The Long Firm by Jake Arnott: 60s East End gangland beautifully evoked, and currently being filmed by the BBC. Can't wait.
• London Compendium by Ed Glinert: After all that fiction, the best stories about London are still the non-fiction ones. Arranged here by postcode. Dip in and enjoy.