Sale info first! Currently on Amazon US (note, it's probably only for US and not other countries, which is always obnoxious) Catharine Arnold's Necropolis: London and its Dead is on sale for $1.99. [Amazon US link] (This has been on sale earlier in the summer by the way. In case this isn't the first time you've seen this sale.)
Minutes after typing this post: I hadn't even hit save before I discovered (via email alert), that there's another Catharine Arnold book on sale for $1.99: Underworld London.
Which was on my wish list (and the reading list I'll get to in a few paragraphs), so I've just snapped it up. And am very gleeful, because I really don't have space for more paper books right now! (Also note that I haven't read this yet, so can't give thumbs up/down on its content.)
I already own Necropolis in paper but bought it because
1) I gushed over it so in my review (which is long, warning) so I think I'll probably reread it (sooner or later) - and it's nice to have it accessible no matter where I move*,
2) I really am interested in many of Arnold's other books but so far either they aren't in ebook format (yet?) or aren't available in the US. So I have a hope that by buying this I can signal "hey there! I'd buy more on this subject!!!"
It's not at all a perfect book, or up there at the top of what I consider all time great nonfiction reads, but it has tons of interesting details of the kind that hook me. (I quoted a lot in that review, so check that for more detail - most of it is all quotes.)
Anyway, this sale reminded me that I really should make a reading list out of my bookshelf of London History and Etc, or as I've titled the list:
In case you were wondering that seems to be the most words that will fit in a reading list title (and I had to chop a few words to fit it in). It only vaguely explains what I'm going for, which is a mix of social history (more about the reality of living there in various time periods than just famous folk's lives) and personal essays. (Though if I find any biography of famous folk that is specifically about their days in London? I'll add that too.) Especially essays by people trying to describe and sort out what they love about the place and what captivates them. (Or what they hate, when I find that.)
The Past/Current/Getting Around To It part is to remind myself that I've been meaning to read (or finish) some of these. We'll see if that reminder works.
So far I have 18 books on that list, and have only read five (in process of reading two others). The rest are via recommendations, and fit into the general theme.
And I'm posting about this because of the Necropolis book reminded me - and because I realize that there are some other folk that like unusual history or London, so I figured I'd send out a call for any other recommendations. Which would probably help since this list is really heavy on the Arnold and Ackroyd books. (Meanwhile if only Ackroyd and Halliday would put their ebooks on sale, ever! I've been watching, and so far ebook prices only dip by $1 or $2. If none of those author names mean anything to you - peek at the list. I actually did buy Halliday's Great Stink of London, but it was lost in the mail. Alas. I need more sewer history!)
* Moving adventure happening in Oct. Possibly/probably. More on that when it happens. But am not going to be able to take much paper for the first bit of it, so yay, ebooks. (Having a huge inner-debate on whether I will take my Tardis cookie jar that makes dematerialization noises, because I love it so. But it's hard to put it in carry on luggage.)