After the Big Book Purge of 2012 I reordered the books on my shelves. I have a shelf of my favourite books, and a shelf of books to read next.
The books I’ve been taking to hospital with me have included books from both shelves. I’’ve noticed there is a theme to the shelf of favourite books: New York Novels.
The Group, Salinger’s stories, The Bell Jar, Revolutionary Road, Turn Magic Circle, the writings of Dorothy Parker and Mae West.
New York is familiar to me because of the way it is presented in popular culture: Simon and Garfunkel songs, Woody Allen films, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, Mad Men. I’ve bought myself a little map of New York and, as I’m reading, I’m plotting where my characters go.
I’m finding this strangely comforting. And no, I’ve never been to New York.