In March I went to New York (9 days) and New Orleans (4 days)! It was such a great trip in many ways, but how is it in bookie ways? I’ve been posting pictures on my Instagram and my travel FB page if you’re into pictures, but this post will be on all bookish related stuff :)
My highlights in New York is the legendary Strand! It is as good as everyone says, with floors of books, rows after rows. And it happened to be close to where we stayed in East Village, so we even got a chance to go twice. Just in the first visit both Mee and Mr. Mee immediately think: We have to come again. So we did.
Unfortunately my luggage had limited space and weight, so I couldn’t buy as many book as I’d like, but I’m still happy with a few that I got. I had already thought in advance that my target would be a couple of those NYRB books, that are so widely available and cheap in the US. In fact, my target was to get only books published in the US, so this time sorry Penguin, I didn’t even bat an eye on you.
From The Strand I got 2 NYRB books:
– Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (my favorite cover of these bunch)
– Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih — which I’ve been meaning to read for a while
– Plus a tiny book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: We Should All Be Feminists (because we all should, shouldn’t we? :) I’ve read Purple Hibiscus in the past, and been meaning to read more of her books.
My surprise bookshop of New York was Drama Book Shop. I spotted it only by accident, and so so lucky I did, because it was incredible. Everything in the bookshop was scripts, stage plays, screen plays, and books related to those. Very fitting to its name: Drama Book Shop. I don’t know what I’d do if I missed this bookshop — maybe wailing in despair.
I got 2 books from Drama Book Shop:
– A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen — been meaning to read this one in print form (I don’t want to read thin books on Kindle if possible). I know it’s not American, but it was so cheap for just $2!
– and a play by Woody Allen (love his films and scripts) called Don’t Drink the Water, which apparently was played on Broadway at one point. There were a few plays on the shelf by him, so I just had to pick one that sounded most interesting to me from the blurbs.
What’s that blue Poe thing on the right side, you might think? It’s a temp tattoo box hah! (also from the Strand) We did a day trip to Philadelphia from New York (about 2 hours by bus), and I *almost* went to a house that he used to live in. But it was a bit far from the city center, so we didn’t get a chance to. So this is my commiseration souvenir :). Here is more information about Poe’s house in Philadelphia if you get luckier than me.
I went to New York with just a Joan Didion on my hand (which I later found out that Didion only lives in New York while Slouching Towards Betlehem is essays on California, so I was off the mark there uum..) but I came back with tons of reading list! I used to think that I’d really like to read books set in certain place before I go visit it, but perhaps in reality it works better the other way around. For me anyway. That way the reading seems more meaningful and the setting more familiar.
I am now interested to find more books set in New York. I have added to my reading list these following books (though some of them have actually been on my to read list for a while, just that I wasn’t aware they’re set in New York):
– The House of Mirth / Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton (the first I’m currently reading)
– The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon
– The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
– The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt (a maybe)
– Woody Allen and more Joan Didion?
– I initially put Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, but I just read his first book Everything Is Illuminated, and I had mixed feelings about it, so now I’m not so sure.
Any more books to add to my TBR? I will talk about New Orleans in the next post!