Paris to the Moon is one of my favourite memoirs about a place so I was quite excited to read this book on New York before my trip.
I found this book difficult to get into. I really like Gopnik when he is being very personal about himself and family. The first two chapters did not have much about them. The personal stories intertwined with life and observations about New York are the best ones.
This book covered September 11th, 2011 as well, and it probably has a lot about the early aftermath mood of the city. As always Gopnik offers a lot of history of the place, but also observations about life. After witnessing a proposal at Rockfeller Plaza:
I love you forever really means Just trust me for now, which is all it ever means, and we just hope to keep renewing the ‘now,’ year after year. – p. 154
I am glad I read it mostly after my trip. I always feel more connected to a setting in books when I am in those locations or just after. Even though this book was written more than ten years ago, a lot of the work still applies and it’s funny to read about the fads and trends of children a decade ago.
There were a couple of chapters that I did not feel engaged with, but overall, I thought it was a nice personal memoirs and one about New York.
Read July 8-28, 2013.