Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A City That Loves Books

10 Books that evoke New York for me

1. The Alienist by Caleb Carr

2. The Hours by Michael Cunningham

3. The Dive From Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer (which almost made it onto the NH list, too)

4. Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

5. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

6. Searching For Bobby Fischer by Fred Waitzkin

7. This book that I can't actually remember the name of but it was, I think, a woman's name and it began with an E. But there was this scene in it where, to escape their broiling AC-lacking apartments in the summer, the twentysomething main characters get on the subway to soak up the AC. It talks about which subways are the longest rides (The A train) and they ride from one terminus to the other and I think of that every time I get on the train during a heatwave.

8. Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham

9. Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link (These are short stories and they're more like fairy tales and they don't really have anything to do with New York but Kelly Link lived in Brooklyn, in my old neighborhood, in fact, when she wrote it and I love her and it and...well, it just works for me.)

10. The Other Dog by Madeleine L'Engle

This list was harder. How is that possible? I'm sure that when ChemE comes back from vaca she'll read this and think of 10 books off the top of her head that I should have on here.

Oh crap! Why Moms Are Weird should have been on the New England list. Damn!


  1. I really like The Alienist. I enjoyed the very real picture he painted of New York at that time.

    I also enjoyed Searching for Bobby Fischer. I came across the movie the other day on Netflix, and it prompted me to find out what Josh Waitzkin is doing now, as an adult. I was pleasantly surprised!

  2. You're going to make me google it myself aren't you?

  3. I love this list. I've never read Michael Cunningham, so now he's on my list. I may give up on Dorothy Dunnett soon. Jonathan Lethem rocks.

    LOVE The Alienist. I work right next to Delmonico's and I always think of that book when I walk by.

  4. Anonymous7:08 AM

    I have struggled mightily to finish reading The Alienist. I don't know why, I've been working on it for years. It's just me.

  5. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Harriet the Spy - had to try an egg cream. ick

    From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler


    Manhatten is Missing (kids book about a siamese cat)


  6. The structure and basic writing of The Alienist isn't fabulous but the history and learning about what the city was like back then I just love to pieces. It made me want to go right back then.

    Speaking of which, have you ever been to Delmonico's Kath? I'd love to go just to say I'd been.

    Michael Cunningham is the bomb. I love him more the more I read. I can't wait to see what he does next.

    I forgot that Harriet the Spy was an NYC book. Maybe my total immersion in that book as a kid led to my love of the city now.