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Best Books About Philadelphia

Celebrate the storied past and vibrant present of the City of Brotherly Love with the best books about Philadelphia, as featured in top book blogs and ranked by multiple features.

Recommendations from 7 articles, Cory Booker, Paul Graham, Walter Isaacson and 5 others.
8 books on the list
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The Philadelphia Negro book cover
The Philadelphia Negro
A Social Study
W. E. B. du Bois - 1995-12-29 (first published in 1899)
Goodreads Rating
A groundbreaking sociological study, The Philadelphia Negro examines African Americans in Philadelphia and their social problems. Written by W. E. B. Du Bois and published in 1899, it's the first example of sociology as a statistically based social science, and remains a classic work to this day. It's a must-read for anyone interested in sociology or African American studies.
In Her Shoes book cover
In Her Shoes
A Novel
Jennifer Weiner - 2005-10-03 (first published in 2002)
Goodreads Rating
Sisters Rose and Maggie are polar opposites, except for their love of shoes. Rose is a high-powered attorney with a secret passion for romance novels, while drop-dead gorgeous Maggie dreams of fame and fortune. After a childhood tragedy, they struggle to connect until they realize they have more in common than they thought. Watch as they navigate their differences to eventually make peace with their most intimate enemies, each other.
Third and Indiana book cover
Third and Indiana
A Novel
Steve Lopez - 1995-10-01 (first published in 1994)
Goodreads Rating
"Third and Indiana" takes readers on a journey through the treacherous drug wars of a Philadelphia neighborhood known as the Badlands. The violence is pervasive, and each death is marked by a chalk outline on the street. Ofelia Santoro searches these streets for her son Gabriel, who has become involved with the brutal drug dealers. Steve Lopez's fast-moving novel is a gritty portrayal of America's urban wastelands and the humanity that may save them. With strong, cinematic imagery and a powerful message, "Third and Indiana" is a must-read for fans of documentary-style novels.
Fever 1793 book cover
Fever 1793
Laurie Halse Anderson - 2000-09-01
Goodreads Rating
Amid the late summer of 1793, Philadelphia streets are abuzz with talks of fever and mosquitoes. The fatalities are mounting, among them the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. Mattie Cook, a fourteen-year-old girl, is left grieving, but with new customers filling up the family's coffee shop, she must focus on building the business and ignoring the fever. However, as the fever starts hitting closer to home, Mattie must fight to survive over building her family's empire.
Dr. Mutter's Marvels book cover
Dr. Mutter's Marvels
A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine
Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz - 2014-09-04
Goodreads Rating
This biography tells the captivating story of Dr. Mütter, a groundbreaking plastic surgeon who revolutionized American medicine during the mid-nineteenth century. Mütter pioneered the use of anesthesia, sterilization of surgical tools, and a compassionate approach to helping the severely deformed. His story is brought to life by award-winning writer Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, who chronicles Mütter’s efforts to establish Philadelphia as a global mecca for medical innovation, despite resistance from rivals. Dr. Mütter's Marvels is a riveting tale of nineteenth-century medicine and the fascinating life of a medical innovator.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin book cover
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin - 2004-01-06 (first published in 1791)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the fascinating life of one of America's founding fathers through his own words. This autobiography (also known as his Memoirs) was written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790 and has since become one of the most famous and influential examples of the genre. Divided into four parts, Franklin's account reflects on different periods of his life, from his childhood to his rise as a successful printer, scientist, and politician. Don't miss out on this timeless American classic.
A Movement Without Marches book cover
A Movement Without Marches
African American Women and the Politics of Poverty in Postwar Philadelphia (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)
Lisa Levenstein - 2009-04-28
Goodreads Rating
Discover the untold story of poor black women in Philadelphia who fought for government services and benefits in the postwar era. Lisa Levenstein's A Movement Without Marches reframes debates surrounding African American poverty and the political struggles that led to urban crises. This eye-opening book sheds light on the constraints and opposition these women faced in their quest for social justice and equality.
The Silver Linings Playbook book cover
The Silver Linings Playbook
A Novel
Matthew Quick - 2012-01-01 (first published in 2008)
Goodreads Rating
An endearing yet distorted perspective is showcased in this enchanting novel as we follow Pat, a man on a mission to become physically fit and emotionally literate to win back his estranged wife. After spending time in a mental health facility, and now out, everything feels off, and no one will talk to him about his wife. The story takes us on a comedic journey that promises to keep readers entertained and captivated.