100 books like Thrilling Cities

By Ian Fleming,

Here are 100 books that Thrilling Cities fans have personally recommended if you like Thrilling Cities. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba

Anistatia R. Miller Author Of Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink, Book Two

From my list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been researching and writing with my co-author husband Jared Brown about spirits and mixed drinks for three decades. After writing more than three dozen books plus hundreds of articles about the history and origins of alcoholic beverages, you could say I am addicted to the topic in a big way. While we’ve travelled and tasted drinks around the world we’ve also amassed a few thousand books on the subject. It’s served as a launch point of our secondary careers as drinks consultants and master distillers for global spirits brands. I'm currently finishing my doctoral thesis on early-modern English brewing at the University of Bristol to put a feather on the cap of my long career.

Anistatia's book list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history

Anistatia R. Miller Why did Anistatia love this book?

Privately published in 1928 by Horace Liveright, British playwright and journalist Basil Woon captured the energy that took hold of Havana during Prohibition in the USA, as Americans flocked by the thousands to drink, gamble, and party served by hundreds of Cuban and self-exiled American bartenders amid the tropical beauty that is Cuba. This book opened my eyes to clues that helped me sort out the true origins of the Mary Pickford, the Mojito, and the El Presidente. While my husband and I travelled to Havana once a year for ten years, this book guided us to the places we wanted to visit to capture the spirit and essence of Cuban cocktails.

By Basil Woon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hardback copy of When It's Cocktail Time in Cuba, by Basil Woon.


Book cover of The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails

Anistatia R. Miller Author Of Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink, Book Two

From my list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been researching and writing with my co-author husband Jared Brown about spirits and mixed drinks for three decades. After writing more than three dozen books plus hundreds of articles about the history and origins of alcoholic beverages, you could say I am addicted to the topic in a big way. While we’ve travelled and tasted drinks around the world we’ve also amassed a few thousand books on the subject. It’s served as a launch point of our secondary careers as drinks consultants and master distillers for global spirits brands. I'm currently finishing my doctoral thesis on early-modern English brewing at the University of Bristol to put a feather on the cap of my long career.

Anistatia's book list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history

Anistatia R. Miller Why did Anistatia love this book?

This is the very first and very major reference work to cover the subjects of spirits, mixed drinks, cocktails, and the people who created them from a global perspective, providing authoritative, enlightening, and entertaining overviews. It makes this not only a valuable source but a great recreational read for enthusiasts to scan and share with friends and family. Into pub quizzes? This book offers enough libatious fodder to create thousands of brain-teasing questions.

By Dave Wondrich, Noah Rothbaum (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anthropologists and historians have confirmed the central role alcohol has played in nearly every society since the dawn of human civilization, but it is only recently that it has been the subject of serious scholarly inquiry. The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails is the first major reference work to cover the subject from a global perspective, and provides an authoritative, enlightening, and entertaining overview of this third branch of the alcohol
family. It will stand alongside the bestselling Companions to Wine and Beer, presenting an in-depth exploration of the world of spirits and cocktails in a groundbreaking synthesis.

The…


Book cover of Downtown

Anistatia R. Miller Author Of Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink, Book Two

From my list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been researching and writing with my co-author husband Jared Brown about spirits and mixed drinks for three decades. After writing more than three dozen books plus hundreds of articles about the history and origins of alcoholic beverages, you could say I am addicted to the topic in a big way. While we’ve travelled and tasted drinks around the world we’ve also amassed a few thousand books on the subject. It’s served as a launch point of our secondary careers as drinks consultants and master distillers for global spirits brands. I'm currently finishing my doctoral thesis on early-modern English brewing at the University of Bristol to put a feather on the cap of my long career.

Anistatia's book list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history

Anistatia R. Miller Why did Anistatia love this book?

Once again, personal history meets drink history with this book about nightclubbing in New York’s Greenwich Village during the 1980s. Musto escorts readers through the hotspots that made Manhattan’s nightlife tingle and zing. Fuelled on vodka, vodka, and a side of whiskey and beer, Musto races through the Cat Club, Area, Limelight, Max’s Kansas City, Mudd Club, CBGB’s, Indochine, and other hideouts that kept the pre-cocktail revival night culture alive and kicking. 

By Michael Musto,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

very good.


Book cover of New York Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of Over 100 Recipes Inspired by the Big Apple

Anistatia R. Miller Author Of Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink, Book Two

From my list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been researching and writing with my co-author husband Jared Brown about spirits and mixed drinks for three decades. After writing more than three dozen books plus hundreds of articles about the history and origins of alcoholic beverages, you could say I am addicted to the topic in a big way. While we’ve travelled and tasted drinks around the world we’ve also amassed a few thousand books on the subject. It’s served as a launch point of our secondary careers as drinks consultants and master distillers for global spirits brands. I'm currently finishing my doctoral thesis on early-modern English brewing at the University of Bristol to put a feather on the cap of my long career.

Anistatia's book list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history

Anistatia R. Miller Why did Anistatia love this book?

Last but certainly not least, Amanda Schuster’s recipe collection spends more time weaving a fantastic fabric of anecdotes and origin stories about a range of famous and infamous mixed drinks made in Manhattan. From familiar concoctions such as the Cosmopolitan’s New York origin stories and the eponymous Manhattan to more contemporary classics such as the Penicillin and the Purple Rain, readers will find inspiration in mixing and conversing about the drinks and the people who mixed them in the city that never sleeps.

By Amanda Schuster,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked New York Cocktails as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Covers drinking in New York from every angle...New York Cocktails by Amanda Schuster is a story of the cocktail told through the city."-Florence Fabricant, The New York Times

Far more than just a recipe book, New York Cocktails features signature creations (along with new variations of the classic Manhattan and Negroni), tips, and techniques by the best mixologists in the Big Apple, along with their personal profiles.

From the classic Martini, to the Hanky Panky of the 1920s, to the Penicillin, you will be mesmerized by the characters and history of the New York City cocktail. New York Cocktails features…


Book cover of Another City: Urban Life and Urban Spaces in the New American Republic

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Author Of Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and the Transformation of Michigan's Mining Frontier

From my list on architecture and social identity in industrial America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a kid I would cut out graph paper to design my ideal house. When I was in college, I walked into a class called American Material Life and had my eureka moment: “This is how I want to learn about people in the past!” I realized. I’ve been doing that ever since, first as a museum curator and now as a history professor. Houses, furnishings, and the way people interact with the built environment can reveal the complexity, diversity, and beauty of human lives.

Sarah's book list on architecture and social identity in industrial America

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Why did Sarah love this book?

No one writes more compellingly about the multi-sensory experiences of living in America’s past environments than Dell Upton. His book Another City deals with the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century city—a century before the time period in my book—but he weaves together narratives of urban experience from America’s first decades as a republic to offer surprisingly contemporary commentary on city politics today. His chapter called “Smell of Danger,” to offer just one example, demonstrates that America’s urban elite mobilized their belief that disease was caused by “miasmas” rising up from foul-smelling waste to justify segregation along with class and racial lines. In the era of yellow fever and cholera, Upton argues that “the physical geography of disease became a human geography of fear.” 

By Dell Upton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An exploration of the beliefs, perceptions, and theories that shaped the architecture and organization of America's earliest cities

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, burgeoning American cities like New Orleans and Philadelphia seemed increasingly chaotic. Noise, odors, and a feverish level of activity on the streets threatened to overwhelm the senses. Growing populations placed new demands on every aspect of the urban landscape-streets, parks, schools, asylums, cemeteries, markets, waterfronts, and more. In this unique exploration of the early history of urban architecture and design, leading architectural historian Dell Upton reveals the fascinating confluence of sociological, cultural, and psychological…


Book cover of The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History

Conrad Kickert Author Of Dream City: Creation, Destruction, and Reinvention in Downtown Detroit

From my list on the exciting life of cities.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in a Dutch city, I vividly remember witnessing the excitement of urban life through the windows of a streetcar, on foot, or by bike. Soon, I began to recreate this excitement by drawing maps of imaginary cities of my own. My small towns turned into entire regions, their streets coming to life as I closed my eyes. I essentially turned my childhood fascination into my job, as I now study, design, and teach students how to improve cities. Our best cities are places where citizens can interact with one another, overcoming social, economic, and environmental evolutions and revolutions. I never cease to be fascinated with the key to these everlasting cities.

Conrad's book list on the exciting life of cities

Conrad Kickert Why did Conrad love this book?

We can understand cities not only through their societies, their experience, and their history, but also by studying their physical form. Spiro Kostof describes how cities across the world have distinct yet still interrelated patterns of streets, blocks, plots, and buildings. Rather than taking a chronological approach, Kostof illustrates the form of cities through time and space through four main types of urban form, from organic shapes and grids to diagrams and grand interventions. If you look at your own city, you will likely find a combination of all of the above! This is one of the first books on cities I bought as a teenager, and it really inspired me to study and improve the form of our urban environments.

By Spiro Kostof,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Spanning the ages and the globe, Spiro Kostof explores the city as a "repository of cultural meaning" and an embodiment of the community it shelters. Widely used by both architects and students of architecture, The City Shaped won the AIA's prestigious book award in Architecture and Urbanism. With hundreds of photographs and drawings that illustrate Professor Kostof's innovative ideas, this has become one of the most important works on urbanization.


Book cover of A History of Future Cities

Sonia A. Hirt Author Of Zoned in the USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land-Use Regulation

From my list on time, space, and modern urbanism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love cities and I teach about them. I was born in the capital of Sofia, Bulgaria, and landed in the US (mostly by chance) in 1993. Spent most of my professional life in US academia (Michigan, Virginia Tech, Harvard, Maryland, and now Georgia). I never stopped wondering how cities change and why American cities look and function so differently than European cities. So, I wrote a few books about cities, including Iron Curtains; Gates, Suburbs and Privatization of Space, which is about changes in East European Cities after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Sonia's book list on time, space, and modern urbanism

Sonia A. Hirt Why did Sonia love this book?

Cities take a long time to make. Can you make or remake them quickly, like you make instant coffee or assemble fast food? Turns out you can… but you better be a czar or have a similar claim to authority and it may take some time for the product to mature into something worth visiting and living in. David Brook’s A History of Future Cities is one of the most informative and intriguing books on this topic. Beautifully written, the book examines four landmark cases of cities with strong utopian streaks, where powerful political regimes tried to compress time in space and celebrate their glory. The four cases are St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Bombay, and Dubai. Read and dream of visiting. The book will leave you wishing to read about other cities of the same type, among them Washington DC, Brasilia, and Astana.

By Daniel Brook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of Future Cities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hailed as an "original and fascinating book" (Times Literary Supplement), A History of Future Cities is Daniel Brook's captivating investigation of four "instant cities"-St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai-that sought to catapult themselves into the future by emulating the West.


Book cover of The Ancient City

Greg Woolf Author Of The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History

From my list on ancient cities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I learned to dig as a teenager in the school holidays and studied the ancient world at Oxford and Cambridge before beginning my career as a university teacher. I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world for my work, and have spent time living in some amazing cities including Paris, London, Madrid, and Rome. I love exploring new urban landscapes from Moscow to Lusaka, Såo Paulo to Toronto and I am looking forward this summer to moving to another great metropolis, Los Angeles.

Greg's book list on ancient cities

Greg Woolf Why did Greg love this book?

Historians of Greece and Rome have been arguing about how to describe ancient cities on and off since the eighteenth century and some of their debates have got stuck deep in the mud. This little book offers the best way out of these impasses. It is super clear, really up to date and incorporates the very latest research. Especially good on economy and society.

By Arjan Zuiderhoek,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Greece and Rome were quintessentially urban societies. Ancient culture, politics and society arose and developed in the context of the polis and the civitas. In modern scholarship, the ancient city has been the subject of intense debates due to the strong association in Western thought between urbanism, capitalism and modernity. In this book, Arjan Zuiderhoek provides a survey of the main issues at stake in these debates, as well as a sketch of the chief characteristics of Greek and Roman cities. He argues that the ancient Greco-Roman city was indeed a highly specific form of urbanism, but that this does…


Book cover of The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries

Hillary S. Webb Author Of The Friendliest Place in the Universe: Love, Laughter, and Stand-Up Comedy in Berlin

From my list on deliciously out-of-the-box memoirs by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a cultural anthropologist with a passion for exploring how we humans make meaning of the wonderful, terrible, startling, often-absurd existence in which we find ourselves. My research has taken me from NYC’s underground occult scene to the conflict-resolution strategies of Central Peru; from circus performers in Portland, Maine, grappling with their physical potential, to a comedy club in Berlin where I set out to discover the secret sauce for evoking “collective joy” amongst strangers. I am drawn to artistic works that mix genres and defy categorization… and thus have a penchant for alienating editors, librarians, and bookstore owners who struggle to identify on which shelf my books belong. 

Hillary's book list on deliciously out-of-the-box memoirs by women

Hillary S. Webb Why did Hillary love this book?

The Dead Ladies Project follows Crispin’s inner and outer journey across Europe following her suicide attempt. As a way of trying to make sense of her own fragile condition, Crispin researches the lives of other artists who also fled abroad in order to find themselves. 

I first read The Dead Ladies Project while researching my own hybrid memoir. It was a revelation and an inspiration, this elegant weaving of Crispin’s personal story with the stories of those she imagines traveled a similar path as herself, both geographically and emotionally. 

At this time of overly curated, highly sanitized social media depictions of our lives, Crispin’s unflinching humanity is not just brave, but like water poured on arid soil.

By Jessa Crispin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Jessa Crispin was thirty, she burned her settled Chicago life to the ground and took off for Berlin with a pair of suitcases and no plan beyond leaving. Half a decade later, she's still on the road, in search not so much of a home as of understanding, a way of being in the world that demands neither constant struggle nor complete surrender. The Dead Ladies Project is an account of that journey-but it's also much, much more. Fascinated by exile, Crispin travels an itinerary of key locations in its literary map, of places that have drawn writers who…


Book cover of Under the Dome

Louis Arata Author Of Dead Hungry

From my list on horror where the world becomes askew.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up watching the old Universal horror movies, which led me to read Frankenstein, Dracula, and other horror classics. It wasn’t until I read Stephen King’s Danse Macabre that I started asking myself what it is that I find truly frightening. Not so much monsters but rather what is unsettling – A recognizable world that suddenly turns askew. Dead Hungry grew out of that: What if there were people who simply had to eat the dead?

Louis' book list on horror where the world becomes askew

Louis Arata Why did Louis love this book?

The premise is straightforward: A dome settles over the small town of Chester’s Mill. The reason why is a bit of a McGuffin, but what is compelling is King’s brilliant exploration of the breakdown of society. Plenty of characters are willing to work together to get through the crisis, but then there are those who want to exploit the situation for their own gain. As with many King novels, it’s the worst aspects of human nature that are the true monster. Plus, King keeps his foot on the gas for the entire length of this massive tome; it never lets up.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Dome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don’t miss the “harrowing” (The Washington Post) #1 New York Times bestselling thriller from master storyteller Stephen King that inspired the hit television series, following the apocalyptic scenario of a town cut off from the rest of the world.

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town…


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