As you may have realised, I like reading.
Yesterday I suddenly thought: I should write a post about books set in the places we’ll visit!
The first stop on our journey is New York, New York. So I wracked my bookshelves and realised I’ve actually already read tonnes of books set in the Big Apple.
Stephen King’s The Stand – Not set in NYC for the majority of the novel so I cheated here, but had to include it because I loved it. A must-read for anyone who loves the King, The Stand is an epic post-apocolyptic horror novel. I love Stephen King’s characters, and Randall Flagg (the devil in human form) is one of my absolute favourites. Definitely a book for summer, as it’s over 1400 pages long. It took me about a month to get through, and I dropped it on my face whilst reading it and nearly got a black eye. The things you do for love…
Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – I adore this book. It’s definitely one of my top ten favourite books I’ve ever read. They recently made a really naff film adaptation with Tom Hanks in it. Don’t bother, just read the book. The premise makes it seem really depressing (a young boy looses his father in 9/11) but it’s actually wonderfully uplifting. The way the book is used as a medium is revolutionary. You need to get your hands on a copy and flip through to understand what I mean. It made me cry.
Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s – More of a short story than an actual novel, this is one of the few cases where I prefer the film to the book. Having said that, I imagine reading the story would be much different if I didn’t have Audrey Hepburn swirling in my mind. Still, a good story based in New York.
Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking – The only memoir in the stack, I read The Year of Magical Thinking just a few weeks ago. Didion is an author who looses her husband suddenly and tragically. The book follows her grief throughout the year after his death. This was a really harrowing read. I found myself touching wood constantly, so grateful to still have my nearest and dearest with me. It was a really interesting insight into how we grieve, set against the backdrop of the Big Apple.
Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar – Okay, so not really focusing on NYC really, but this is a must-read for any human being. I haven’t read it since my teenage years so it’s most definitely due a re-read. “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love – The cover of this book makes it look really naff but don’t judge it by its cover (ho ho ho) I must admit, I really wanted to like this book. I read it when I was really busy and I didn’t give it the time it deserved. The result? I was really bloody confused by the whole book and missed the point completely. Whoops!
Others that I’ve read and loved, but couldn’t find on my shelves: The Great Gatsby. The Princess Diaries (admittedly when I was younger haha)
For the love of god you must read this book!!!!!!
The reason I can’t photograph my copy of The Goldfinch is because I don’t own one – I listened to the audiobook. I fucking loved it so much! It’s a really long (33 hours) listen, but so great to have on whilst you do other things: I listened to it whilst I painted the living room last summer and it was wonderful. Made me itch to go to New York too, although I may avoid the art galleries…
Books on my to read list, set in NYC: The Catcher in the Rye, American Psycho, The Devil Wears Prada, Sophie’s Choice.
Do you have any recommendations? I’d love to hear. I also need to find books set in LA, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia.
(And here’s a blooper from earlier hahaha)