New Penguin series: Lines of the Underground

Even way down under in Australia, we know that it’s the London Tube’s 150th birthday this year. Royalty has gone on the train recently, and the rest of us compare our public transport to London’s: it’s faster, more frequent and doesn’t involve Myki/Smartrider/carriage issues. Has there ever been a more celebrated form of public transport besides the Tube?

On 22nd May in Australia (according to the Penguin website), the Lines of the Underground boxset will be released (RRP $100). It contains 12 books, one for each line of the London Underground (and coloured appropriately). They have been written by a number of different people from authors, magazines, children and experts in various fields. Each book is approximately 100-odd pages – enough to get you through the next public transport delay!

The titles in the series are:

  • What We Talk About When We Talk About the Tube by John Lanchester (The District Line)
  • The 32 Stops by Danny Dorling (The Central Line)
  • A Northern Line Minute by William Leith (The Northern Line)
  • Buttoned-Up by Fantastic Man (The East London Line)
  • A Good Parcel of English Soil by Richard Mabey (The Metropolitan Line)
  • Drift by Philippe Parreno (The Hammersmith and City Line)
  • A History of Capitalism According to the Jubilee Line by John O’Farrell (The Jubilee Line)
  • Heads and Straights by Lucy Wadham (The Circle Line)
  • Earthbound by Paul Morley (The Bakerloo Line)
  • The Blue Riband by Peter York (The Piccadilly Line)
  • Waterloo-City, City-Waterloo by Leanne Shapton (The Waterloo and City Line)
  • Mind the Child by Kids Company (The Victoria Line)

I’m a sucker for series (as you may well know) and these are high on my radar. You can also buy single books in the series as a book (RRP $9.95) or eBook (hint: the ebooks are available now if you can’t wait until May).


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