Category Archives: New York Reading

Those loveable rogues on Broadway: ‘Guys and Dolls and Other Stories’ by Damon Runyon (1932)

After the all-too-real misery of the New York presented in Caro’s massive, masterful biography ‘The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York‘ (and I don’t even want to mention the election), I was in bad need of … Continue reading

Posted in Damon Runyon, New York Reading, Short story collections | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Dark Side of American Politics: ‘The Power Broker’ by Robert A Caro (1975)

It takes a long time to read, and even longer to digest Caro’s ‘The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York.’  Not including notes, the book is well over 1,000 pages long and you’re left with the … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, New York Reading, Robert A Caro | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Classic horror for Halloween: ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ by Ira Levin (1967)

Last year I was genuinely terrified by Ira Levin’s ‘The Stepford Wives‘ and I decided that, taken in moderation, Levin could become my new favourite horror writer.  ‘The Stepford Wives’ was entirely without fireworks, but the depiction of the hidden … Continue reading

Posted in Gothic Literature, Ira Levin, New York Reading | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

A book to shout about: ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain’ by James Baldwin (1953)

There are some books that speak to specific periods in a reader’s life.  ‘Oliver Twist’, for example, was read to me when I was a child.  Although I still love the book, it is a strange experience to find myself growing … Continue reading

Posted in James Baldwin, New York Reading | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Glorious Escapsim: ‘The New York Stories of Edith Wharton’

Last summer I really went nuts for New York literature, but even at the time I knew my dedication would only allow  me to scrape this surface of the mass of books that fall within this category.  Knowing my own limitations, … Continue reading

Posted in Edith Wharton, New York Reading | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

If James Joyce had been brought up in a Manhattan Slum: ‘Call it Sleep’ by Henry Roth (1934)

I’d originally intended this post to be a companion piece to my review of ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn‘ – the immigrant experience in Manhattan rather than Williamsburg.  Then I realised it would be a bit like comparing Rupert Brooke’s … Continue reading

Posted in Henry Roth, New York Reading | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

An Introduction to the Harlem Renaissance: The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen (1926-29)

I’m fairly ignorant about the Harlem Renaissance, but I do know it’s produced one of my top New York writers from this trip.  I had initially been a little concerned that Larsen’s stories might be famous because of the period … Continue reading

Posted in Nella Larsen, New York Reading | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

A few of my favourite things: New York book haul

New York is most certainly the place to go for buying, as well as reading, wonderful books. The books above were purchased from: The Strand bookshop, The Strand (pop up stalls near Central Park), Book Thug Nation and random stalls … Continue reading

Posted in Book Buying, New York Reading | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

The Immigrant Experience: ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ by Betty Smith (1943)

Reading this book for the first time still felt very nostalgic; I was taken back to my childhood, discovering Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ‘Little House on the Prairie’ novels.  Wilder wasn’t writing about life in the urban slums, but she was … Continue reading

Posted in Betty Smith, New York Reading | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Two Mid-20th Century Manhatten Novellas: Truman Capote’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (1958) and J. D. Salinger’s ‘Franny and Zooey’ (1961)

Edith Wharton aside, my New York reading really has been incredibly bleak so far (as a counterpoint to my holiday – I’m having a wonderful time).  This week, therefore, I’ve decided to go for intellectual middle-class angst over poverty-ridden misery. … Continue reading

Posted in J D Salinger, New York Reading, Truman Capote | 12 Comments