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Best Books About New York City

Recommendations from 14 articles, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, Tim Ferriss and 19 others.
41 books on the list
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Here is New York book cover
Here is New York
E. B. White - 1999-01-01
Goodreads Rating
Perceptive, funny, and nostalgic, E.B. White's stroll around Manhattan remains the quintessential love letter to the city, written by one of America's foremost literary figures. The New York Times has named Here is New York one of the ten best books ever written about the metropolis, and The New Yorker calls it "the wittiest essay, and one of the m...
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay book cover
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
A Novel
Michael Chabon - 2000-09-19
Goodreads Rating
The novel follows the lives of the title characters, a Czech artist named Joe Kavalier and a Brooklyn-born writer named Sam Clay—both Jewish—before, during, and after World War II. Kavalier and Clay become major figures in the nascent comics industry during its "Golden Age."...
The Power Broker book cover
The Power Broker
Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
Robert A. Caro - 1975-07-12 (first published in 1974)
Goodreads Rating
One of the most acclaimed books of our time, winner of both the Pulitzer and the Francis Parkman prizes, The Power Broker tells the hidden story behind the shaping (and mis-shaping) of twentieth-century New York (city and state) and makes public what few have known: that Robert Moses was, for almost half a century, the single most powerful man of o...
Just Kids book cover
Just Kids
Patti Smith - 2010-11-02
Goodreads Rating
"Patti Smith has graced us with a poetic masterpiece, a rare and privileged invitation to unlatch a treasure chest never before breached." - Johnny DeppIt was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation. Patti Smith would e...
The Island at the Center of the World book cover
The Island at the Center of the World
The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America
Russell Shorto - 2005-04-12
Goodreads Rating
When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed: 12,000 pages of its records–recently declared a...
Recommended by
Alice Korngold
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler book cover
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
E. L. Konigsburg - 2007-09-25 (first published in 1967)
Goodreads Rating
After reading this book, I guarantee that you will never visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or any wonderful, old cavern of a museum) without sneaking into the bathrooms to look for Claudia and her brother Jamie. They're standing on the toilets, still, hiding until the museum closes and their adventure begins. Such is the impact of timeless nove...
Recommended by
Celeste Ng
Up in the Old Hotel book cover
Up in the Old Hotel
Joseph Mitchell - 1993-06-01
Goodreads Rating
Saloon-keepers and street preachers, gypsies and steel-walking Mohawks, a bearded lady and a 93-year-old “seafoodetarian” who believes his specialized diet will keep him alive for another two decades. These are among the people that Joseph Mitchell immortalized in his reportage for The New Yorker and in four books—McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Old M...
The Fortress of Solitude book cover
The Fortress of Solitude
Jonathan Lethem - 2004-08-24 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
The Fortress of Solitude is the story of Dylan Ebdus growing up white and motherless in downtown Brooklyn in the 1970s. It's a neighborhood where the entertainments include muggings along with games of stoopball. In that world, Dylan has one friend, a black teenager, also motherless, named Mingus Rude. As Lethem follows the knitting and unraveling ...
Recommended by
Bryan Callen
Open City book cover
Open City
A Novel
Teju Cole - 2012-01-17
Goodreads Rating
Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor named Julius wanders, reflecting on his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. He encounters people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unr...
The Great Bridge book cover
The Great Bridge
The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
David McCullough - 1983-01-12
Goodreads Rating
The dramatic and enthralling story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, a tale of greed, corruption, and obstruction but also of optimism, heroism, and determination, told by master historian David McCullough.This monumental book is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events in our nati...
Recommended by
Carl Quintanilla
Low Life book cover
Low Life
Luc Sante - 2003-11-24
The Works by Kate Ascher
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Another Country by James Baldwin
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Eloise by Kay Thompson
New York by Edward Rutherfurd
The Bowery Boys by Greg Young
Greater Gotham by Mike Wallace
AIA Guide to New York City by Norval White
Mannahatta by Eric Sanderson
Forgotten New York by Kevin Walsh
The Other Islands of New York City by Sharon Seitz
Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant Cookbook by Sandy Ingber
Playground of My Mind by Julia Jacquette
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Gotham by Edwin G. Burrows
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning by Jonathan Mahler
Mapping Manhattan by Becky Cooper
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
The Long-winded Lady by Maeve Brennan
Underworld by Don Delillo
The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe
Jazz by Toni Morrison
Speedboat by Renata Adler
A History of New York in 101 Objects by Sam Roberts
So Little Time by John P. Marquand
97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman
New York Diaries by Teresa Carpenter