Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Which Book Shall I Take to New York?


In four sleeps’ time, I depart for my long-awaited holiday in New York with my dear friend, V. Not the world’s lightest packer, I am beset with decisions: what clothes to take, which shoes, do I need a cocktail dress, what to leave behind, laptop or no laptop? When I get there will my first drink be a Manhattan or a G&T? What’s in a Manhattan anyway? First Avenue or Century 21? Big Broadway show or little smoky dive? Pastrami or lox? You can see, dear reader, that I am troubled. In a good way. But the one question that is literally keeping me awake at night is: which book to take on the plane? And you can save me by voting in the poll below.

Do I take the latest Candace Bushnell novel, to get me into major retail-therapy, Carrie Bradshawesque Manhattan mode? Do I take my teenage favourite Catcher in the Rye for a taste of Fifties New York noir? Or should I take a classic in order to picture the city in a more innocent and genteel time?

In order to ensure that I arrive in the city fresh, without disfiguring bags under my eyes from lack of sleep, please help me decide which novel should accompany me on the plane. PollDaddy will allow you to make another suggestion, if you disparage my choices. Enjoy testing out WordPress’s new poll functionality, to which I potentially could become addicted. (I imagine future polls: “Reader, should I get up or stay in bed?”, “Wine or chocolate?”, “Love-god: Barack Obama or Colin Firth?”)

So without further ado, I give you the big question:

Thank you for voting! I’ll be so glad you did.

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

24 thoughts on “Which Book Shall I Take to New York?

  1. I’d say the light one…because you do so much serious reading, and this is a vacation!

    Please, Obama’s great and all but…no comparison! 🙂

  2. Candace Bushnell and Colin Firth !!

  3. okay okay, I didn’t even read your selection of books because this is the advice I have for you: make new york everything you’ve ever read about or seen in movies – the whole goal should be to make your experience as cinematic as possible. So, yes. Take the cocktail dress. And drink the Manhattan. And take ALL of your shoes.
    Seriously, Char, I am SO bummed I can’t make this trip, and since we last spoke even my digital camera broke, so I can’t take pictures of my new tooth to prove the necessity of my staying behind, but have an AMAZING time and I WILL come see you in Germany.
    Traveling mercies…

  4. Have a wonderful time – I voted for the light reading too so you are in the mood for a wild and frivolous time when you get there! Enjoy it and tell us all about it – and go and see that Broadway show too.

  5. Have a wonderful time! I’m sooooo jealous of you meeting all those wonderful bloggers. Send them all my love, won’t you? I voted for the light read because I find it hard to concentrate when travelling (I’m watching the wings of the plane so I can be the first to spot trouble, if not monitoring the mood of the rest of the passengers). But whatever you pick I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

  6. Whatever book you take, have a great trip here!

    Have a ton of bagels and check out this great insider’s guide to the city for when you’re here:
    (My boss is the editor!)

  7. Age of Innocence!

    I’m reading One Fifth and not loving it. I think Wharton is the way to go.

  8. Have a great time, no matter what you end up reading!

    I gave you an award on my blog today. Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog!

  9. Have a fabulous time in NY! Can’t wait to read all about ‘the City that never sleeps!’, from a Charlotte perspective! xxx

  10. New York! New York! Have a lovely time! I’m quite envious. I want to go to New York too. One of my colleagues went on a guided Sex and the City tour round the city which she said was quite fun.

    I voted for the Age of Innocence so you can have an underlying old New York vibe to layer the new New York feeling onto when you arrive. Also I didn’t find Candace Bushnell’s “Sex and the City” nearly as much fun as the tv series.

  11. I see that Wharton is tied with Busnell right now & I’m trying to refrain from stuffing the ballot box (Wharton! Wharton! Wharton!). I haven’t read Age of Innocence, although it was my book group’s choice for November. I missed the meeting for a business trip but was (seriously!) thinking about bringing in along for my plane ride on Friday. Can’t wait to meet you and the others on Saturday!

  12. Also, see my blog for a Manhattan recipe.

  13. Age of Innocence SOLELY because if I was going to New York (envy envy) I’d want to look clever. And I’ve already read Catcher in the Rye.

  14. I also voted for Wharton for similar reasons. I love NYC so am very thrilled for you! I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time. Look forward to hearing your take on the world’s (and my) favourite city. What a lovely time to visit as well. I think you’ll survive without the laptop but obviously the camera is a must. Love to the other bloggers as well!

  15. Take all three and read quickly.

  16. I would also recommend “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”. The story is fairly simple, it’s just the experiences of a young girl coming of age in New York’s slums during the industrial era, but the descriptions of the old city are gorgeous.

  17. Another Colin Firth lover! And isn’t that funny, that he’s what stands out from your post rather than good literature? 🙂 Have a great trip!

  18. I’d go with Wharton (and Colin Firth, come to that!). As for some other choices – take a cocktail dress; pastrami; and Century 21. And this just in – another absolute HAVEN for discount designer shopping is Filene’s Basement (discovered on our recent trip to the US). There are 3 stores in Manhattan – google it and use the store locator to find the addresses. Please please go – yo won’t regret it!

    Have a FAAAAAAAB time and look forward to hearing all about it 🙂

  19. If you haven’t read eat, pray, love yet I recommend that. It’s a perfect travel book.

  20. Sorry that’s not what you asked but the other books just don’t sound fun.

  21. Such tough choices, but I voted for Bushnell (because I’ve read the other two and want to hear from you if you think Bushnell is worth it). I also second Rose with A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. When you are here, and we’re at The Strand, I will force you (like I do everyone) to buy a copy of Jack Finney’s Time and Again to read on the flight back home. It’s a wonderful time travel mystery in NYC. Counting down the days now till Saturday…

  22. Wharton. Because I haven’t read that one.

  23. I voted for Candace Bushnell but I see now she is still tied with Edith Wharton. Normally, when I can’t decide about a book, I do eeny-meeny-miney-mo, then when I get to “it”, I feel disappointed, so I choose a book that wasn’t “it”.

  24. Pingback: New York, New York « Charlotte’s Web

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