Aug 11, 2015

Book Review: LIFE IN NEW YORK by Laura Pedersen

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.
Life in New York: How I Learned to Love Squeegee Men, Token Stickers, Trash Twisters, and Subway Sharks, nonfiction by Laura Pedersen, published Jul 28, 2015; Fulcrum Publishing

First paragraph, Chapter One:
As my bus lurched toward the Lincoln Tunnel a sign proclaimed: NO TRUCKS OVER 12' 6". Underneath, in equally large letters, was painted, WE MEAN IT! Obviously I was entering a reckless, self-destructive society that couldn't or, more likely, wouldn't follow the kind of simple direction I'd learned in kindergarten.... After the Lincoln Tunnel sign I was half expecting a troll to ask me a riddle before I was allowed to enter the Big Bad City.
Teasers: There are a ton of great sentences that describe Laura Pedersen's take on New York City. First of all, I noted that NYC is not just the island of Manhattan but describes some five boroughs that includes the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Here are some notable and interesting, to me, observations that Pedersen makes:
New York is the number-one tourist destination in the United States. 
Most city residents live in small, cramped apartments....(I)t's not uncommon to live with roommates well into your forties.  
Solitude is rare and considered a luxury....people must often go out on the street with their cell phones to get some privacy. 
You determine where to live in Manhattan, not based on income but on age. 
To promote desegregation, both racial and economic. Kids take subways and buses all over the five boroughs, traversing back and forth to school every day. 
New Yorkers tend to have pets instead of kids. 
The one constant throughout New York City's history has been its ability to change, adapt, and reinvent itself.
And one fact that I especially appreciated about NYC: the drinking water is clean and free. But I'd miss the chance to have solitude, every day and often...There is so much more that Pedersen discusses in her book: the founding and history of NYC, the present subway system, the cultural life, humidity and allergies in the summers, the neighborhoods, the variety of foods and people, and more.

I loved this book. It's informative, current, and humorous. Not at all a dry history or travel book. It's one to read if you are thinking of moving to NYC or just visiting there.

Enter the GIVEAWAY, courtesy of the publicist/publisher, now through August 17, 2015. The contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Email me at with the heading New York Giveaway. A winner will be notified by email on Aug. 18 and asked for a mailing address. Good luck! UPDATE: The winner was Sharon Berger!


Kym said...

The title alone caught my eye! It sounds like an interesting read. I recently visited NYC for the first time myself, and it was quite different from what I expected! Mostly in a good way, but I too would miss my space and solitude.

Tea said...

I've visited the United Nations. Never had a chance to see the other parts of the city. This book seems to really take you on an all around tour.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I visited NYC quite a few years ago and enjoyed the vitality of the city, though I wouldn't want to live there. Sounds like this would be a great book to read if I go there again.
My Tuesday post features THE LAND OF MANGO SUNSETS.

Beth F said...

Sounds like a really interesting book about a fascinating city.

Literary Feline said...

I love reading books set in and about New York City, and so this one appeals to me. There's just something about the city, you know? I have never made it there while on a visit to New York state--not yet anyway.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I was immediately drawn in by the title and the cover. I love anything set in NY, including the boroughs...and definitely want to know more.

Here's mine: “X: (KINSEY MILLHONE BOOK #24)”

Margot said...

That's a great opening paragraph for a nonfiction book. It sounds like it's going to fun and interesting. Makes me think about NYC too.

Kay said...

Love the troll reference. LOL

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I like the cover and the intro leaves me curious so I think I'd give it a try.

Suko said...

Harvee, I am from NY, so this book interests me. But, I hope it doesn't over- generalize--NY has great diversity!

Suko said...

(P.S. I have added your giveaway to my blog's sidebar.)

Brian Joseph said...

This sounds fascinating. I live about sixty miles from New York City and have been a somewhat frequent visitor going back to at least the 1980s.

Something that I have said throughout my life; It is such an extraordinary place, but I would not want to live there.

Vicki said...

I going to NYC in November with my two sons and oldest son's family. I would love to read this before I go.

Tea said...

I love the facts you provided from the book. I am confused by the 2015 date. Is this a giveaway for October, 2016? Have to admit the old dates are confusing. Still, I always love to see your posts.

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