The best books about amusement parks 📚

Browse the best books on amusement parks as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of Good Old Coney Island: A Sentimental Journey Into the Past

Good Old Coney Island: A Sentimental Journey Into the Past

By Edo McCullough

Why this book?

First published in 1957 (and re-issued with a welcome epilogue by historian Michael P. Onorato), the book vividly portrays the storied seaside’s heyday. McCullough was Coney Island royalty: His grandfather was one of its earliest settlers, his uncle was among its greatest showmen, and his dad owned a dozen amusement-park shooting galleries. The family’s love of the place seeps through these pages (a sub-sub title reads “the most rambunctious, scandalous, rapscallion, splendiferous, pugnacious, spectacular, illustrious, prodigious, frolicsome island on earth”—which about sums it up).  Particularly moving is the heartbreaking fate of the show animals on the night of a tragic…

From the list:

The best books about historic Coney Island

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Roller Coaster

Roller Coaster

By Marla Frazee

Why this book?

This book is brilliant, and it was introduced to me by my therapist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital. It is about the anxiousness and tension buildup of riding a roller coaster. I hate roller coasters. But Frazee’s beautiful illustrations show a diverse group of riders. I don’t think I see Black folks and ADOS folks on the pages of picture books just enjoying life. I think this is why it will forever be one of my TOP 5 picture books. No oppressive language. No stereotypes. No slave narrative. Just folks and their kids out to have a great…

From the list:

The best books with children being unapologetic and having agency and autonomy

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

By Michael Crichton

Why this book?

This novel shows the mastery of Michael Crichton, he takes such a complicated topic and creates a fictional novel that could be understandable by an elementary student. The story is solid but for me what makes the book a masterpiece is how fluid the story intersects with the science. Once you finish the book, you feel a lot wiser, not just from the science but from the standpoint of humanity.
From the list:

The best original stories that make you think

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

By Mitch Albom

Why this book?

This is a tale of the 5 people you meet in heaven and the effect they had on your life or vice versa.  It follows the death of Eddie, a fairground worker, who meets the 5 people who affected his life the most, some of whom he never even met. It prompts the conversations about who you would meet and why, giving pause to think about the effect of your life on others.

From the list:

The best books that make you think ‘what if…’

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Bared to You

Bared to You

By Sylvia Day

Why this book?

In Bared to You, Sylvia Day created a world that is easy to get lost in and is very sexy. The characters, Eve and Gideon, meet and sparks fly but outside forces and internal struggles try to keep them apart. Through ups and downs, they fought for their love, sometimes struggling together and sometimes apart. Their story stayed with me a long time and I have reread it again and again, revisiting old friends. I highly encourage you to visit their world that so many romance readers have indulged in.

From the list:

The best romance novels that will stay with you long after the last page

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Swamplandia!

Swamplandia!

By Karen Russell

Why this book?

Amusement parks, and the people who work in them have always had a fond place in my heart. Growing up at the Jersey Shore, some of my earliest memories are of the carnival rides and the games of chance on the Boardwalk. One of my first “real” jobs during high school was working in a candy store on the Boardwalk. With the front door open to let in the ocean breezes and the sound of happy screams from the arcade next door, not to mention as much free candy as I could eat, it was the best summer job ever.…

From the list:

The best Southern Gothic novels that are dark and twisted

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 12 books about amusement parks

New book lists about amusement parks

All book lists about amusement parks

Bookshelves related to amusement parks

Browse books by…