With everything else that's been going on recently reading (like blogging) has been taking a bit of a back seat. I'm starting to catch up a bit now on the reading front though – so book reviews will shortly return!
Working in London the underground forms quite a major part of my life without me really realising it. Without the tube I'd struggle to get to the office everyday, or to get home at the end of the working day. I'd also not be able to quickly whizz underneath the city to go and meet friends of an evening, or to get to work meetings in other parts of the capital.
Apart from when I first moved to London as a student I've not really given the underground much more thought, especially as to how it came to be where it is and what was involved in creating it. A colleague lent me a copy of Christian Wolmar's The Subterranean Railway and it quickly changed all that. Firstly, as a history book about the underground it is unbelievable just how readable this book is. Quite easy just to pick up whilst travelling, or to read as I dropped off to sleep. It concentrates on the people that made the underground what it is today, right from the pioneers that first had the "crazy" idea of running trains underground, through to the bankers that found the money to build new lines. Even former London mayor Ken Livingstone gets a few mentions for his role in shaping how the tube is run.
If you've ever lived or worked in London and used the tube to help you go about your daily lives then it is definitely worth while getting an insight into those people that had the vision and made your commute possible.