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Old 12-16-2005, 07:38 PM
chestnutmare is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: NoVa
Posts: 135

Need ideas for easy read novels set in London

I am taking/chaperoning 3 teenage girls on a trip to England where we will spend 2.5 days in London on their way to an exchange program in Bath.

I would like to give them a novel that will be an easy read on the plane since they will already be sleep deprived when they board and won't have the energy for the 'classics'.

My real objective is to give them a book that will allow them to identify with the more mundane things that make London unique. For example, as a huge Absolutely Fabulous fan just seeing Harvey Nichols made me say "Sweetie dahling, Harvey Nicks" and gave me an urge to say LaCroix. M&S made me think of Bridget Jones Diary.

So does anyone have some suggestions on what books I should look to get for them.

Oh and this is coming out of my pocket, so paperbacks are a must!
Old 12-16-2005, 10:42 PM
Mahaloth is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 地球
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Frell, that is one specific request.

Sorry I don't have an answer.
Old 12-17-2005, 12:48 AM
BethCro is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Tulsa OK/London UK
Posts: 142
The Shopaholic series of books by Sophie Kinsella are very light plane reading, and name drop a lot of shops and places in London - very Bridget Jones type books. Another author I've enjoyed on long flights is Marian Keyes. I'm quite sure some of her books are set in London, however, as I gave 90% of my books to charity shops when I moved back to Oklahoma, I can't recall which ones. Also, some of Freya North's books are set in London as far as I can remember.

Have a wonderful trip, sorry I couldn't be more help (tis late, but I will try to think of some others tomorrow).
Old 12-17-2005, 01:29 AM
Walloon is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
London fiction for teens? Beats me.

But I was in London last May, and will recommend these non-fiction travel guides:

Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide to London
Frommer's London With Kids
Frommer's Irreverent Guide to London (Amazon page)
Old 12-17-2005, 04:25 AM
Waterman is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Richland
Posts: 965
Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Old 12-17-2005, 06:02 AM
Martha Medea is offline
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Posts: 1,384
Apart from just about every English chick-lit novel kicking around, High Fidelity and About a Boy by Nick Hornby have London as their setting.

For chick-lit, I think Getting Over It by Anna Maxted is a cut above.
Old 12-17-2005, 06:36 AM
betenoir is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 3000 miles from home
Posts: 6,209
May not be what you're looking for but:

could definitly come in handy. And a fun read.

I like the Nick Hornby idea. Or...there are a lot of British comic book writers who take London as one of their character (Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison). Of course it might give them some very strange ideas...
Old 12-17-2005, 06:56 AM
chestnutmare is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: NoVa
Posts: 135
Thanks for the thoughts

I have read all of the Nick Hornby stuff, but I don't recall much in the way of London itself. His books are very character driven and his characters aren't exactly motivated to hit the town

I saw one of the Shopaholic books on my last bookstore trip, but didn't realize it was set in England so I will look at those today. I will also look at Freya North and Anna Maxtead.

As for the actual tourist stuff, I have a pretty good idea of what we will be doing although I am going to let the girls select their 3 "must see" sites and then I will fill in around those. However, I have a slightly different take on tourism and I won't be frog-marching them to every historical location I can get to in 72 hours.

Any other ideas for books?
Old 12-17-2005, 08:42 AM
Idlewild is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Slumerville
Posts: 1,614
Get them Neverwhere to read on the plane back, once they're already in love with London Above.
Old 12-17-2005, 03:24 PM
La Llorona is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: S of Canada, N of Mexico
Posts: 464
I have only ever actually read this book, which is not at all what you're looking for (kids on scavenger hunt in NYC), but it's quite charming. The sequel, however, which I have not read, might just work for you--kids on scavenger hunt in London--but it might be a bit youngish for the kids you're talking about.
Old 12-18-2005, 12:33 PM
chestnutmare is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: NoVa
Posts: 135
Bumping back to page 1.

Thanks for the helo
Old 12-18-2005, 01:09 PM
jjimm is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 28,707
For chick-lit, try Thirtynothing by Lisa Jewell.

If any of them like crime, try Rancid Aluminium - not the best book in the world, and maybe a bit racy for your audience, but entertaining and mostly London-based. A slightly more "intellectual" crimey novel - bit hard to pin down the genre - is Armadillo.

Tony Parsons has written a few Hornby-esque (chick-lit for/about guys - or would that be dick-lit?) London-based novels, beginning with Man and Boy.
Old 12-18-2005, 05:36 PM
Harriet the Spry is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: noitacol
Posts: 4,562
Not set in London, but in England. You might consider An Unkindness of Ravens by Ruth Rendell, especially if the girls are a little goth.

Here is a link to Amazon reviews.

Some of the themes are adult, but as I recall they are handled with British discretion, not Amercian style Jerry Springer-esque crassness.

Enjoy your trip!
Old 12-18-2005, 05:56 PM
Cat Fight is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: I'm right behind you!
Posts: 7,176
Another vote for the Shopaholic books, especially for teen girls. And doesn't quite a large chunk of that damn Da Vinci book take place in London?
Old 12-18-2005, 06:10 PM
EmeraldGrue is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: T. O.
Posts: 464
Oh! I know! V for second thought, not such a good idea.

Seconding Neverwhere, it'll make the subway that much more interesting.


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