I am going to cheat for this question. A book that makes me happy is the Omnibus edition of books by Helene Hanff.
The Omnibus edition contains -
- Underfoot in Showbusiness
- 84 Charing Cross Road
- Apple of my Eye
- The Dutchess of Bloomsbury Street
- Q's Legacy
From an blog post written by me in 2006 about Apple of my Eye.
In this one, Helene tours New York, and sees places that she has never seen before, despite living in the City. With her she takes a friend, Patsy, who she had lost contact with, but who she had ran into a week or two before, and together, the two of them tour the city and explore their friendship. On page 32 there is a great description of the World Trade Centre, which for those of us who have never seen the building, never will, so the book, in its own way creates a peice of history.
Having read the book, and not knowing New York (although I would love to visit) I've since revisited the book and read it clutching a New York map. I'm one of these visual people and I want to "see" the areas that Helene and Patsy walk as they prepare for the book.
I especially enjoyed the details about Ellis Island (pg 118-120). Like so many, my husband has relatives that entered the United States through Ellis Island and if you stop and think about it, those who entered into the US through Ellis Island had closed one chapter of their life and were hopefully opening another. An interesting site about Ellis Island with links to search for those entering through into the US is Here