Reading Around the World: London

Reading Around the World is a new feature that combines my love of travelling with my love of reading. Each month I plan to spotlight either a city I have visited, or a city I plan to visit in the near future, and recommend some of my favourite books set there. After all even if you can’t visit these cities yourself the next best thing has to be reading about them and living the experience through the eyes of the characters.

London (1)

London is a city very close to my heart. A mixture of old world and new there are buildings like the Tower of London, which have been standing for centuries, a few streets away from skyscrapers like the Shard, which is now the highest point in London. I live just outside of England’s capital and work in the heart of Central London, so to say I spend a lot of time there is a fair understatement. There is plenty to see and do, and every time I travel there I discover something new about London I was previously unaware of.

London (11)

London (3)

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The two series I’ve read that I’m going to recommend for London will likely come as no surprise to anyone, because they’re two of my all-time favourite series.

The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab is set in an alternate version of London, or more accurately it’s set in four alternate versions of London; Grey London, Red London, White London and Black London. Grey London is the version closest to the real London I live and work in, but I’d much rather live in Red London, a world where magic is real.


The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon is also set in an alternate version of London. This time however it’s an alternate version where England’s history has branched off and taken a different path, creating a future where clairvoyants are real but feared and hunted down. This series doesn’t stay in London, but the first two books are set there.

The Bone Season2

Also set in London are Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices trilogy and Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series. I haven’t read either myself, but the Infernal Devices trilogy has been recommend to me and I’ve heard amazing things about the Rivers of London series.

Books Set in London

Have you ever been to London before; what was your favourite part of the city to see and explore? Also what are some of the amazing books you’ve read set in London, or England, that you’d recommend?

Let me know in the comments.

63 thoughts on “Reading Around the World: London

  1. When I was 12, I almost made a detour to visit London!!! It’ll always be on my top 5 places to visit now. There’s just so much history and so many things to discover there. Your pictures just make me want to quite life and take a ride to London ASAP!! Haahahah Yep, yep. I have a good feeling about this feature. You’re going to make us all drop $$$$$ on travelling really quick, really soon! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s a shame you didn’t manage to make it to London back then, but maybe if you came now you’d find you’d enjoy it a little more. There is definitely a lot to discover over here, and so much the city has to offer as well.
      Ha, that’s good to hear, kind of the reason I started this feature and started with London, I want everyone to fall as in love with the city as I am! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to go to London. I just feel like I belong there? I really, really hope that I can get the opportunity to travel there one day because I have such major wanderlust. 😍

    I adored Shades of Magic to pieces. One day soon I have GOT to read The Bone Season!!

    Super excited for more posts in this feature, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In that case I really hope you manage to make it to London one day Lauren. I’m sure you’ll love it over here as well. I feel the same way about London, I already live close to the city but honestly I can’t even begin to imagine living anywhere else. 🙂
      Shades of Magic is amazing, and yes you need to read The Bone Season. I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I did.
      Thanks Lauren, I have a lot more planned so there’s still plenty to come! 😀 ❤


  3. I loved this! I love your photos! They bring me back! I had such a great time when I went a few years ago. I still have yet to read The Bone Season, but it is sitting on my shelf patiently waiting for me to pick it up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a fantastic new feature Beth! I really love it! ❤
    I have been to London once in my life so far. For my 18th birthday my parents planned a trip for me to London, as it was a city that I wanted to visit for years. I spent around 5 days there and it was simply amazing! I loved the combination of old and new buildings. I definitely hope to go to London once again in the future! 😀
    As soon as you picked London as your first city I knew you would choose the Shades of Magic series to represent it! 😉 I have read The Infernal Devices and I simply adored them! I definitely prefer them to The Mortal Instruments, which might have to do with the fact that they are set in Victorian London.
    Great post Beth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Anna! ❤ I'm really glad you loved it.
      Oh that sounds like it must have been a brilliant trip, and the fact that it was for your birthday and a surprise must have made it all the better as well. Hopefully you'll manage to make it back to the city one day.
      Ha, yeah it's one of my all-time favourite series so I just had to feature it in this post. Plus it does have a brilliant London-style setting. I still haven't read The Infernal Devices but I've heard good things about those books.
      Thanks again Anna! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth, I miss London so, so much. I need to go back soon, I wish I could go back there right now. Thank you for sharing these stunning pictures as always and I’ll never tell you enough how lucky you are to be working there and living there half the time ❤
    The Shade of Magic trilogy is so incredible, it's so great to see this city in a whole other light, filled with lights and magic and everythin Red London (I'm going to stick with Red London here haha) brings. I love it 🙂
    This is such a lovely feature, I'm eager to see where you'll take us next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I wish you could be here right now as well Marie. Or maybe not right now because it’s late on a Sunday as I write this and everything would be either closed or closing, but you know what I mean. 🙂
      That’s all right, ❤ I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, and yeah I love working and living so close to London. 😀
      Shades of Magic is one of my all-time favourite series, there was no other option for books set in London I could have picked! 😀 The world building was incredible, and yes Red London was amazing, I almost wish I could love there instead! 😀
      Thanks again Marie ❤ I have posts for this feature already planned for the rest of the year so there's plenty still to come! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do know what you mean ahah. Nex time I’m in London, we should have a whole afternoon together at Waterstone’s in Piccadilly ahah 😀
        OHH really, how are you planning SO FAR AHEAD, Beth?!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your photos of London are so beautiful; they gave me some serious nostalgia. I used to live there when I was a kid, and I adored it. Been meaning to visit, but haven’t really gotten the chance. A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC is such a brilliant series, and I loved how Schwab constructed FOUR versions of London. THE BONE SEASON is wonderful too.

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Aimal. These are photos taken over a few day trips to London over the years, which is why the weather is so different in many of them! 😀
      Oh well hopefully you’ll get a chance to visit again soon, I’m sure it would be a great experience to go back even if just for a day.
      Shades of Magic and The Bone Season are two all-time favourite series of mine, I couldn’t not feature them in this post talking about books set in London! 😀


  7. I’ve been to London a couple of times on day trips, but would love to spend a bit longer there! You’re photos of it are gorgeous ❤ I bought the first Shades of Magic book on one of my day trips there, which seems fitting! ahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a fascinating city, and as many times as I’ve been there there’s always something new to discover which I just love!
      Thanks so much Ashleigh, ❤ and yeah that is fitting actually. I buy so many of my books from London now, just a better selection overall! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this new feature! It’s a pleasure to travel with you 😀
    If everything goes according to plan, I should be in London around next summer *fingers crossed*. I am so looking forward to exploring the city, as it’s been my top destination for so long. I love the pictures you added to the post, they are brilliant and it’s almost as if I were there already!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Meggy, I have plenty more planned for this feature so much more travelling to come! 😀
      Oh wow that is very exciting, well if you need any recommendations of places to go/things to see let me know. I can probably give you a whole list for in and around London! 😀 Thanks so so much, and I hope you love London when you’re here for real. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love London ❤️ It certainly is somewhere where you just continue to find new things in all the time! I didn’t know the Bome Season was set in London (truth be told I’ve never read the blurb) but I’m infinitely more intrigued to read it now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such an incredible city, and I’m definitely not just saying that because I live near there! 😀 Oh yes, the first book is set more outside London than in but the second comes back to London again. Either way it’s a series I’d highly recommend, an all-time favourite of mine! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely feature, Beth! Very clever to combine your two favorite activities 😀 London looks so beautiful. I plan to go one day! The pictures are so beautiful! And no, I’m not surprised by seeing Shades of Magic and Bone Season on there haha. What would a Reading Every Night post be without them haha. I love the Infernal Devices series! Haven’t heard of Rivers of London but I may just check it out 😀 Very creative post, Beth! Can’t wait to see what you choose next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Azia, and yep now I’ve settled into blogging I’m working on combining blogging with my other loves. I have another feature planned for this month which does the same! 😀
      London really is beautiful, and hopefully you will get a chance to visit son.
      I couldn’t talk about London and not feature the Shades of Magic series, I feel like there should be law against it on this blog.
      The Infernal Devices is on my to-read list and I want to check out the Rivers of London series. Like I said I’ve heard some good things about it. 🙂
      Thanks Azia, I have these posts planned out for the rest of the year so plenty more to come! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I haven’t been to London, but is on my list of places to visit. I am trying to save money so that maybe I can go one day in the near future. I am waiting for an awesome West End play or something that I am dying to see. (I am still bitter about being a broke college student when Helen McCrory did Medea in 2012!)

    As for books! You should check out Her Fearful Symmetry, also set in London, and it’s a ghost story set around Highgate Cemetery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well in that case I hope you manage to make it to London one day Lauren. It’s a brilliant and beautiful city so I think you’d really love it. Oh going to see a West End play would be a great experience, I think you’ll enjoy whatever one you see though it’s a shame you missed Medea.
      Ohh, thanks for the recommendation, I’ll be sure to check that out. 🙂


  12. This is such a cool idea, I live just outside of London for university and I love the city! I haven’t read A Darker Shade of Magic but I’ve heard great things about it and it’s on my TBR. I /love/ The Infernal Devices, you should definitely read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. It’s an idea I came up with really recently and I thought ‘why not?’ I’m pleased with the way this post has turned out. 🙂
      Shades of Magic is a brilliant series, and one of my all-time favourites so I’d highly recommend it, and I have The Infernal Devices high on my to-read list so hopefully I’ll get around to it very soon! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Agh, I love this feature! I’m so glad you decided to go with London your first one! 🙂 I really want to visit London and other places in England one day. Haha, I KNEW you would choose the Shades of Magic trilogy! The premise of four Londons was the thing that made me really want to read the series. And agh, The Bone Season! I really want to read it now after all the times you’ve mentioned it on your blog! I’ll have to see if it’s available in my library. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much May! 😀 Considering I live near enough to London to call it my home I kind of had to start here. I hope one day you make it to London May, it really is a beautiful city and I think you’d really love it here as well.
      Ha, I couldn’t not pick the Shades of Magic series. The concept of four Londons was what grabbed me as well, and yes definitely pick up The Bone Season when you get a chance, that’s another brilliant series! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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