10 books like Fireboat

By Maira Kalman,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Fireboat. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Power Broker

By Robert A. Caro,

Book cover of The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

A gnawing hunger for the truth animates this towering author’s work on Robert Moses, New York City’s longtime “master builder” who reshaped and indisputably wrecked large chunks of thriving Gotham over the first half of the twentieth century. This book was staggeringly influential for me as a young urbanist and author coming to grips with the forces that mold the urban landscape. Caro’s intrepid, old-school reporting—a model of investigative journalism, the likes of which we could sorely use more of today—showed how one dogged writer could blow open the portals of power, hold the mighty to account, and reframe how we see our world.

The Power Broker

By Robert A. Caro,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Power Broker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro is 'simply one of the best non-fiction books in English of the last forty years' (Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times): a riveting and timeless account of power, politics and the city of New York by 'the greatest political biographer of our times' (Sunday Times); chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time and by the Modern Library as one of the 100 Greatest Books of the Twentieth Century; Winner of the Pulitzer Prize; a Sunday Times Bestseller; 'An outright masterpiece' (Evening Standard)

The Power Broker tells the…


Rats

By Robert Sullivan,

Book cover of Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants

It seems like a bit of a long title for a New York Times Bestseller but I promise this book is educational, entertaining, and worth every second. Sullivan spent a year observing a rat-infested alley, and came away with a better understanding of our least-favorite rodents, as well as the many people who spend their lives trying to keep rats and humans apart. At first it might seem weird to sit outside and watch the rats every night, but by the end, you can’t imagine doing anything else.

Rats

By Robert Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Rats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Public Library Book for the Teenager
New York Public Library Book to Remember
PSLA Young Adult Top 40 Nonfiction Titles of the Year

"Engaging...a lively, informative compendium of facts, theories, and musings."-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Behold the rat, dirty and disgusting! Robert Sullivan turns the lowly rat into the star of this most perversely intriguing, remarkable, and unexpectedly elegant New York Times bestseller.

Love them or loathe them, rats are here to stay-they are city dwellers as much as (or more than) we are, surviving on the effluvia of our society. In Rats, the critically acclaimed bestseller,…


City of Quartz

By Mike Davis,

Book cover of City of Quartz : Excavating the Future in Los Angeles

Great writing on cities is rarer than it should be. The late Mike Davis, using Los Angeles as his muse, showed me—and so many others—new ways of thinking about cities through his vividly and passionately argued prose. Weaving together strands of architecture, urban history, social justice, and ecology, Davis has inspired me like no other author to examine cities critically, from unexpected perspectives and with a fierce point of view. Underlying his outrage at the injustices of the unravelling metropolis is a mordant sense of humor—making him an unbeatable guide as we all ride shotgun through desperate times. 

City of Quartz

By Mike Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked City of Quartz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Courageously broad in its scope, City of Quartz changes intellectual gear - from history to sociology to urban theory - often with consummate ease, and fits its diverse threads together in a sort of 'history noir' as gripping as any Chandler. ' Listener.

In this taut and compulsive exploration, Mike Davis recounts the story of Los Angeles with passion, wit and an acute eye for the absurd, the unjust and, often the dangerous. He tells a lurid tale of greed, manipulation, power and prejudice that has made Los Angeles one of the most cosmopolitan and most class-divided cities in the…


American Ruins

By Camilo José Vergara,

Book cover of American Ruins

Little can match the raw power of urban photographer Camilo José Vergara’s images of our culture’s collective built fabric unraveling in plain sight. For more than four decades, Vergara has borne witness, in Detroit, in Newark, in Camden—in some of the most forgotten communities in America—to the devastating physical impacts of social, political, and economic forces gone relentlessly awry. In these chronicles marked by unassumingly brave, first-person pilgrimages to decaying mansions and among toppled public housing towers, Vergara helped me see what kind of mettle it truly takes to get the story straight.

American Ruins

By Camilo José Vergara,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Ruins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The deterioration of the American inner city stands in stark contrast to the prosperity characteristic of the United States for much of the twentieth century. Skyscrapers that once defined the modern era stand derelict and abandoned. Massive industrial manufactories lie rusting, their cavernous interiors dark. Formerly vibrant theaters shed bricks and terra-cotta ornaments. These desolate fragments of America's cityscapes are the legacy of decades of proud investment in the urban realm followed by decades of devastating neglect. Photographer and sociologist Camilo José Vergara has spent years documenting the decline of the built environment in New York City; Newark and Camden,…


Nine, Ten

By Nora Raleigh Baskin,

Book cover of Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story

Nora’s book expands the story of 9/11 by going backward. Set in the days preceding the attacks, the book follows the lives of four boys and girls of varying means and ethnicities scattered around the country, as their seemingly disconnected lives are about to surprisingly intersect on this fateful day. 

I love how the book captures the innocence of that pregnant moment but also how the story focuses on what emerged from that tragedy: empathy, connection, humanity. Unfolding in the shadow of what we know is coming, the book is foreboding without being heavy, works best when kids already have a grounding in the events of 9/11, and can be a great follow-up to my book.

Nine, Ten

By Nora Raleigh Baskin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nine, Ten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the critically acclaimed author of Anything But Typical comes a "tense...and thought-provoking" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) look at the days leading up to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and how that day impacted the lives of four middle schoolers.

Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day-until a plane struck the World Trade Center.

But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he…


Fall and Rise

By Mitchell Zuckoff,

Book cover of Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11

As with all of Mitchell Zuckoff’s books, Fall and Rise is thoroughly researched, the writing is clear and concise and the story is compelling. As Zuckoff skillfully tells the story of the September 11th terrorist attacks, he introduces the unique perspectives of everyday Americans who were profoundly affected by our national tragedy. 

Fall and Rise

By Mitchell Zuckoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fall and Rise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

'The farewell calls from the planes... the mounting terror of air traffic control... the mothers who knew they were witnessing their loved ones perish... From an author who's spent 5 years reconstructing its horror, never has the story been told with such devastating, human force' Daily Mail

This is a 9/11 book like no other. Masterfully weaving together multiple strands of the events in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Fall and Rise is a mesmerising, minute-by-minute account of that terrible day.

In the days and months after 9/11, Mitchell Zuckoff, then…


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

By Jonathan Safran Foer,

Book cover of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Oskar Shell is the 9-year-old narrator living in New York City at the time of 9/11. His father has just died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th,  2001. He describes his feeling of depression at the loss of his father “as wearing heavy boots.” Shortly afterwards, in his father's closet, Oskar finds a key in an envelope inside a vase that he accidentally broke; in the key shop, he finds the name Black and thinks this has something to do with the key. He sets out to contact every person in New York City with the last name of Black in the hope of finding the lock that belongs to the key his father left behind, creating a binder with mementos of his journey.

Though it’s not clear how he manages to be so independent at this young age, along the way Oskar encounters an…

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

By Jonathan Safran Foer,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

ADAPTED INTO A FEATURE FILM WITH TOM HANKS

From the critically acclaimed author of Here I Am, Everything is Illuminated and We are the Weather - a heartrending and unforgettable novel set in the aftermath of the 9/11

'Utterly engaging, hugely involving, tragic, funny and intensely moving... A heartbreaker' Spectator

'The most incredible fictional nine-year-old ever created... a funny, heart-rending portrayal of a child coping with disaster. It will have you biting back the tears' Glamour

'Pulsates with dazzling ideas' Times Literary Supplement

'It's a miracle... So impeccably imagined, so courageously executed, so everlastingly moving' Baltimore Sun…


The Zero

By Jess Walter,

Book cover of The Zero

The Zero captures the paranoia and confusion following 9/11, before we knew who attacked us or why. The story’s amnesiac investigator stumbles from one confusing clue to the next, much as we all did in those dark days. As he tries to piece together the truth from the literal scraps left behind at the World Trade Center, he also seeks insight into his own identity, and into the nation’s.

The Zero

By Jess Walter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Zero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

National Book Award Finalist 

The breakout novel from a writer of extraordinary talent: In the wake of a devastating terrorist attack, one man struggles to make sense of his world, even as the world tries to make use of him

Brian Remy has no idea how he got here. It’s been only five days since terrorists attacked his city, and Remy is experiencing gaps in his life—as if he were a stone being skipped across water. He has a self-inflicted gunshot wound that he doesn’t remember inflicting. His son wears a black armband and refuses to acknowledge that Remy is…


Homer's Odyssey

By Gwen Cooper,

Book cover of Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

The animal is a spunky blind cat. The human is his adoptive mother who can’t resist adding the three-week-old kitten to her household of two other cats while trying to heal from a recent breakup. A memoir with a cool twist. You never know when you adopt a pet, how its personality will unfold; it was fun to read how memoirist Cooper struck paydirt with Homer.

Homer's Odyssey

By Gwen Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Homer's Odyssey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and a recently broken heart. But Homer was no ordinary cat. He was a three week old, abandoned, eyeless kitten and Gwen was unable to resist his charm. It was love at first sight.

Homer, tagged as an 'underachiever' from day one, quickly proved his doubters wrong revealing himself to be a tiny dare devil with a giant heart and a passion for adventure. The kitten they said would never be as independent or as playful as the other cats…


102 Minutes

By Kevin Flynn, Jim Dwyer,

Book cover of 102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

102 Minutes chronicles the critical moments of the 9/11 attack on New York’s World Trade Center, introducing us to characters whose survival, as often as not, turn on simple luck-of-location and early decisions made by them. Authors Dwyer and Flynn know that it’s necessary to occasionally “press the pause button” between chapters of stomach-tightening tension. They understand that the reader simply cannot sustain this story’s relentless pace without some relief. (It’s a technique that I borrowed for Killer Show, interspersing “lesson chapters” about the economics of rock tours, the science of pyrotechnics, and developments in burn medicine with the narrative of the nightclub fire, itself.)

102 Minutes

By Kevin Flynn, Jim Dwyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 102 Minutes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At 8:46 a.m. that morning, fourteen thousand people were inside the World Trade Centre just starting their workdays, but over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages. Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most were told from the outside looking in. "New York Times" reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn draw on hundreds of interviews with rescuers and survivors, thousands of pages of oral histories, and countless phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts to tell the story of September 11 from the inside looking out. Dwyer and Flynn have…


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