10 books like Thrilling Cities

By Ian Fleming,

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

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When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba

By Basil Woon,

Book cover of When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba

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.

When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba

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.


The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails

By Dave Wondrich, Noah Rothbaum (editor),

Book cover of The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails

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.

The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails

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…


Downtown

By Michael Musto,

Book cover of Downtown

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. 

Downtown

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.


New York Cocktails

By Amanda Schuster,

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

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.

New York Cocktails

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…


The City Shaped

By Spiro Kostof,

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

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.

The City Shaped

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.


The Dead Ladies Project

By Jessa Crispin,

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

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.

The Dead Ladies Project

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…


Anonymouse

By Vikki VanSickle, Anna Pirolli (illustrator),

Book cover of Anonymouse

Anonymouse is a charming illustrated picture book for children that grownups will appreciate. It tells the story of a mysterious graffiti artist that creates art specifically for animals. What I love most about it, is that it illustrates the transformative power of art. As the different animals are surprised and delighted with the graffiti, their lives, how they see themselves and relate to each other are enhanced in surprising ways.

Anonymouse

By Vikki VanSickle, Anna Pirolli (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Animal-friendly street art is popping up all over the city, but who is creating these masterpieces? There is no explanation, only a name: Anonymouse. For fans of Sidewalk Flowers and Art & Max.

Art for the birds.
Art for the ants.
Art for the dogs, cats and raccoons.
Art to make them laugh, make them think, make them feel at home.
But who is creating it?
Only Anonymouse knows for sure . . .

This clever tale mixes street art, animals and gorgeous illustrations to create a meditation on how art can uplift any creature's spirit -- human or animal…


The City in History

By Lewis Mumford,

Book cover of The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects

This book is important at a time when cities are too often presented unproblematically as the solution to global crises like the climate emergency. Mumford gives a broad historical sweep of cities from their very beginnings and a non-sentimental examination of the prospects of this now-dominant form of human settlement. The book was an instant classic and remains so—often referenced but unfortunately less often read. Mumford went out of favour in the 1970s, in my opinion, in part because his is a critical examination of the role of cities, not a hagiography. Mumford clearly loves the city at its best as ‘a magnifier of all the dimensions of life,’ but he does not shrink from examining cities’ amplification and consolidation of political and economic power, often to humanity’s detriment.

The City in History

By Lewis Mumford,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The City in History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD. A definitive classic, Lewis Mumford's massive historical study brings together a wide array of evidence — from the earliest group habitats to medieval towns to the modern centers of commerce — to show how the urban form has changed throughout human civilization.
Mumford explores the factors that made Greek cities uniques and offers a controversial view of the Roman city concept. He explains how the role of monasticism influenced Christian towns and how mercanitile capitalism shapes the modern city today.
The City in History remains a powerfully influential work, one that has shaped the…


A History of Future Cities

By Daniel Brook,

Book cover of A History of Future Cities

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.

A History of Future Cities

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.


Under the Dome

By Stephen King,

Book cover of Under the Dome

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.

Under the Dome

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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cities, travel, and Vienna?

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