Ever notice how things seem to theme themselves?
I went to New York, and bought quite a lot of books. And while I was there, I read a fair chunk of Colum McCann’s Let The Great World Spin, which despite assorted other faults, is extremely evocative of the city.
Then I came back and discovered that the Physicist had found a new TV series and SAVED it to watch with me! (this never happens) Or at least he did a reasonable job of pretending he’d not watched it before. And it’s set – in New York (and is rather good and highly entertaining). It’s called Forever and stars Ioan Gruffudd, for whom I have much sympathy for having a more-difficult-to-spell name than my own, and whom we have loved in both Fantastic Four and Amazing Grace. Let it not be said this is a mono-dimensional household in our viewing.
I digress. Forever is set in mid-town New York. So of course I sat there shouting “I was there!” all evening. The Physicist did his best to tolerate this as a sweet foible of mine rather than as something really annoying.
Then I read Joan Didion’s A Year of Magical Thinking and followed it up with My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff. The latter not only references the author of the former, but both have lots of references to mid-town New York. I particularly loved My Salinger Year for its references to ludicrously expensive Park Avenue lunches and the Waldorf Astoria and the subway station at Lexington and 51st (which I used a number of times when I was there).
Now I’m deliberately hunting for more New York themed books, I probably won’t find any. My latest read, How It All Began by Penelope Lively, is set in assorted places including bits of north London which might as well be in New York for how little I know them.
Any other geographical themes you can think of (with related reading and viewing, please) I might enjoy?