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Joan Kyler

Your reading plan sounds like the next best thing to being there! You must be having so much fun! I've been to London several times, but not for almost fifteen years. I say that to be a great city, a large city must have a great subway system, like London, Paris, Boston, and New York.

Danielle

I am really enjoying it. I might even look for other "London" books to supplement my reading! It has been at least as long since I have been there too (unfortunately). I think I agree with you on the great city thing--I have to add San Francisco as an honorary--though they don't have an underground (some of the trains are underground but not many) they have a most excellent public transportation system. You know I bet there is a book about underground transportation! (Or there should be).

Stefanie

I am glad your journey is off to such a good start! What a beginning combination you got. The history that surrounds you in London is astonishing. Bookman and I spent 2 weeks there in 2001 and I will never get over stepping out from the tube station by the Tower on our first day to be confronted by a piece of old Roman wall that used to surround the city. We've got nothing that old in Minneapolis!

Danielle

Isn't it an amazing city! I could spend weeks and weeks there exploring--and just walking with no particular destination in mind! This is turning out to be a very fun little project--the first Penguin book was really interesting and I am curious to see where the Bakerloo book will take me next!

Caroline

Mind the Child sounds quite good, although not cheerful. Those hidden sides of the big cities are interesting but as a tourist we rarely see them.

Danielle

At first when I saw the subject of Mind the Child I was a little disappointed since it is so very different in tone to the Mason--but once I started it I found it really compelling (though extremely sad) reading. I only ever think of all the marvelous historical places in London, but don't give much thought to the social aspects--even crime novels are too fictionalized for me to think about them as being really true.

Liz F

Even though I grew up only thirty miles from London, it is only since two of my children have been living there that I have had chance to get to know the real life of the city even slightly.

My daughter has been working with special needs children in north London for the past few years and a lot of them live in quite difficult circumstances not helped by their problems(often autism to some degree or another)

Some of them would probably drop through the cracks of the system if it wasn't for her and her colleagues - they have had to alert social services on a number of occasions when children have either missed a lot of school or have turned up with poorly-explained bruises.

Not just London that has its dark side of course - I remember being in Italy on holiday and making our way back to where we were staying south of Florence rather later than we had intended and ending up getting lost in the non-historic parts of the city because of diversion signs which vanished. Parts of it were very bleak, and I must admit to having felt really quite uneasy until we managed to find a couple of carabiniere officers who gave us directions to the main road!

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