. Full of advice, jokes, stories, pictures and cartoons in bite-sized chunks of text and illustrations about every aspect of the London Underground, "One Stop Short of Barking" is almost perfect for reading while stuck on the "Tube" or whatever is your nearest equivalent descendent of the world's oldest underground rail system. Making a great present for friends and relatives among the millions of daily commuters and about-to-visit tourists, "One Stop Short of Barking" explains the Tube's history (first proposed 1843, opening 20 years later), its many tall tales and secrets, travelling etiquette, celebrity spotting (the Queen, Tony Blair and more), wildlife - pigeons to mice - and typical users, from theatre students to politicians smarming their way to Westminster. As well as a survival guide and tips on busking (take the Tube's audition and then, if accepted, play anything except Wonderwall or Streets of London), "One Stop Short of Barking" (named after the station of the same name and the effect the Tube can have on you) has compiled the best selection of driver announcements ("This is Knightsbridge Station. All change here for Mr Fayed's little corner shop") between two covers. "One Stop Short of Barking" even offers hints about securing a seat so you avoid a life of strap hanging and explains how to position yourself on the platform to always be opposite the opening doors (no, no, you'll have to buy the book). Verdict: easy read, useful information, funny, good gift. .