1. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold - John le Carre. I know I'm a few decades late on this one but better late than never. Which is also what Leamas must have said about finally meeting a nice girl before things got ugly.
  2. Scoop - Evelyn Waugh. I know. I'm embarrassed for me too but hey, I was busy. It should be noted, though, that the racism in this book is eye wateringly hideous.
  3. Leo Africanus - Amin Maalouf. It's got everything one could want in a book, including turbans. Loved it.
  4. London Under - Peter Ackroyd. Did you know that the Victorians' sewers got so bad they walled them up and years later, when some poor workers opened them up they DIED because of the gasses? No? Hum. Sounds like someone needs to this book.
  5. Stardust - Neil Gaiman. I know. You read back when it first came out just like you listened to Coldplay before anyone had heard of them. I dug the sky pirates.
  6. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush - Eric Newby. A narrator so delightful and engaging you'd go anywhere with him, including the Hindu Kush.
  7. It's Hard to Be Hip Over 30 - Judith Viorst. Bless you, Judith, for this trenchant poetry collection.