Monday, May 23, 2011

New York - Book recommendations wanted!

I'm going to New York in less than two weeks. Any sensible person would be looking up tourist attractions, changing her euros to dollars and turning down the corners of pages in her guidebook.

I'm not. I'm looking for books.

I have a seven-and-a-half hour flight over and I'm looking for books set in New York, about New York or otherwise involving New York to keep me amused for the flight.

My classic New York books are The Collected Dorothy Parker, The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey. But I can't find any of them on the Kindle and I'm loath to bring paperbacks that I've already read - nice to dip in and out of, yes, but probably not worth the extra luggage weight (the complete Dottie is fairly thick).

The blogosphere is very smart, can it help? :) Any genres accepted as I'll read anything once!


  1. I'm no help as I can never remember where any books are set after I read them - just wanted to say have a fab time away :)

  2. I suspect I have recommended this one before as it's a YA novel, but Garret Freymann-Weyr's My Heartbeat is set in Manhattan. Also, more older-kid than YA, Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me (New York in the late 70s) - it's absolutely gorgeous.

    ... as for proper grown-up novels, my mind is blank for the moment. Spent the weekend at the Children's Books Ireland conference - I blame that!

  3. I'm not sure what kind of reading you like, but for Old New York, there's Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence and several others.) Lighter but also set in the turn of the century would be Caleb Carr (The Alienist) and E.L. Doctorow also has some novels set in that period (Ragtime, but also more recent stuff.)
    Bonfire of the Vanities and Bright Lights Big City would be the classic 80s NYC novels.
    Classic YA -- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwater by E.L. Konigsberg, set in the Metropolitan Museum.
    The Gossip Girl books never struck me as particularly accurate guides to NYC society but they're entertaining. They would definitely be on Kindle.

  4. Thanks Sarah, I will!

    Claire, I love YA (keep promising myself I'll take a class in writing it someday, I'd love to try it. I even have a YA pen name chosen because that's, y'know, key to the creative process) so no objections at all to YA recommendations.

    Thanks for all of those, Laura :) I'll give almost anything a try, so will have a look for some of those earlier ones especially. I love Dorothy Parker and the jazz age so E. L. Doctorow sounds promising.

    I'm planning to visit the Met so EL Konigsberg sounds perfect.

    Now, to Amazon!

  5. So jealous you're going to NYC! Love it there. I've been trying to come up with a book for you, but... nada. I'll let you know if I think of anything!

  6. Thanks Talli, I can't wait! I'll post some photos when I get back :) I'm also planning to schedule posts for when I'm away, not sure what I'll do yet but I'm sure I'll come up with something!

  7. What about this book, featured on Talli's blog previously and sprang into mind once you mentioned a New York Novel :) Also probably on kindle.


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