The most recommended books about neighbourhoods

Who picked these books? Meet our 37 experts.

37 authors created a book list connected to neighbourhoods, and here are their favorite neighbourhood books.
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Book cover of The Family Across the Street

Patricia Hale Author Of Scar Tissue

From the list on suspense/crime with flawed detectives.

Who am I?

All of the books I’ve listed above have flawed characters. Characters that deal with emotional and/or moral dilemmas. The plots: murder, missing children, or runaway husbands are secondary to me. What I look for in a book and what I write about in my Cole and Callahan series, are characters with flaws. People who struggle with truth. Cops or investigators that hide or skew evidence because the truth would cause more harm than good. It’s the moral dilemma I want. The angst we all feel when we are faced with a particularly painful decision. That’s what real life is and that’s what brings a book and a character to life.

Patricia's book list on suspense/crime with flawed detectives

Why did Patricia love this book?

Get ready to hold your breath. A fast-paced, twisted, psychological thriller that manages to have characters that will tug at your heart even while holding a gun. The Family Across the Street reminds the reader that you never truly know what’s going on in your neighbor’s house or with any family that you think you know.

By Nicole Trope,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

‘OMG!!! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!… The most heart-racing book I’ve read in a long time, if not ever!!! It had me hook, line and sinker from the first page and I could not put it down!!!… Clear your day because it is truly unputdownable… What an absolute twist!!!… If you read one book in your life, make sure it is this!!!!’ Bookworm86, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sometimes, the most perfect families are hiding the most terrible secrets. How well do you know the people next door…?

Everybody wants to live on Hogarth Street, the pretty, tree-lined avenue with its white houses. The new…


The Whispers

By Ashley Audrain,

Book cover of The Whispers

Jen Craven Author Of The Baby Left Behind

From Jen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Booktrovert Potterhead Grammar nerd Chocoholic Reluctant runner

Jen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Jen love this book?

It’s hard to put into words what a really, really great book does to me. But this one did it, as I knew it would (I loved the author’s debut, The Push).

Audrain manages to capture motherhood in a way no one else does. When a terrible accident happens—but was it an accident?—it forces a wedge between neighborhood friends, all of whom harbor their own secrets. The story explores envy, women’s friendships, motherhood, and lies we tell ourselves in such a raw and unfiltered way. And the ending (!!)…don’t cheat…getting there is the best part, trust me. 

By Ashley Audrain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Expertly, subtly and powerfully rendered….[The Whispers] delivers a sucker-punch ending you’ll have to read twice to believe.”—The New York Times Book Review

“[An] electrifying…razor-sharp page-turner.” —Carley Fortune, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Every Summer After

Featured in summer reading recommendations by Good Morning America, TIME, ELLE, The Washington Post & more

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Push, a propulsive page-turner about four families whose lives are changed when the unthinkable happens—and what is lost when we give in to our own worst impulses

On Harlow Street, the well-to-do neighborhood couples and their children gather…


Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!

By Wynton Marsalis, Paul Rogers (illustrator),

Book cover of Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure

Lisa Tolin Author Of How to Be a Rock Star

From the list on children’s books for future rock stars.

Who am I?

I am not a rock star but I do play a mean (computer) keyboard. My debut picture book, How to Be a Rock Star, was inspired by my musical children and our endless hours jamming as a family band. I was always on the lookout for books to inspire my little rock star, and because they were hard to come by, I wrote one! These books will inspire your budding musician, or just help you embrace a spirit of creative play in any way they want to rock.

Lisa's book list on children’s books for future rock stars

Why did Lisa love this book?

This picture book by jazz great Wynton Marsalis was one of my favorites to read to my little rock star when he was a baby. It’s musical without being sing-songy, and celebrates everyday sounds like washboards or squeaking doors that become musical if you listen right. My son was mesmerized by the noises and rhythm, and I felt more musical just by reading it. 

By Wynton Marsalis, Paul Rogers (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The creators of Jazz ABZ are back for an encore! With infectious rhythm and rhyme, musical master Wynton Marsalis opens kids’ ears to the sounds around us.

What’s that sound? The back door squeeeaks open, sounding like a noisy mouse nearby — eeek, eeeek, eeeek! Big trucks on the highway rrrrrrrumble, just as hunger makes a tummy grrrrumble. Ringing with exuberance and auditory delights, this second collaboration by world-renowned jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis and acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers takes readers (and listeners) on a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour through the many sounds that fill a neighborhood.


Not That I Could Tell

By Jessica Strawser,

Book cover of Not That I Could Tell

Regina Buttner Author Of Absolution

From the list on women taking back their power from controlling men.

Who am I?

I was raised in a loving but strict Catholic family in the 1970s, when girls like me were still expected to grow up to become traditional wives and mothers, rather than go to college and pursue a career. In a Pre-Cana class intended to prepare me and my fiancé for marriage (it didn’t work so well, as evidenced by our rancorous divorce twelve years later), I learned the concept of “family of origin,” and the profound impact a person’s upbringing has on them as an adult. I became fascinated by the psychic baggage each of us carries around, and how it affects our personal relationships and life choices.

Regina's book list on women taking back their power from controlling men

Why did Regina love this book?

I once lived in a close-knit neighborhood similar to the one in which this novel is set, and I was entranced by the interplay between the variety of characters in this tale of domestic suspense. The story isn’t so much about the woman who disappears one night as it is about the perplexed bunch of girlfriends who are left behind. I relished the voyeuristic peek into the hidden dramas of the various neighbors’ personal and family lives—it made me feel like I was riding a silent drone through the ’burbs, swooping unseen through kitchens, bedrooms, and backyards, uncovering people’s secrets!

By Jessica Strawser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not That I Could Tell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Full of slow-burning intrigue, Strawser's second novel will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies and Jennifer Kitses' Small Hours." —Booklist

*Book of the Month Club Selection

An innocent night of fun takes a shocking turn in Not That I Could Tell, the next page-turner from Jessica Strawser, author of Almost Missed You.

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy…


Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day

By Tameka Fryer Brown, Charlotte Riley-Webb (illustrator),

Book cover of Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day

Alliah L. Agostini Author Of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

From the list on to celebrate Black summertime joy.

Who am I?

I write to spread joy and truth. As a proud Black mother living in a country with school districts that see Black stories as threats worth banning, amplifying these stories is crucial to the fight to help humanize us and retain the privilege of celebration and joy. When I wrote The Juneteenth Story, it was rooted in a conscious effort to balance my own joyous summertime memories of celebrating the holiday with the hard truths that established and evolved this holiday. This list includes a small sample of books about some of the many ways Black folks celebrate - enjoy.

Alliah's book list on to celebrate Black summertime joy

Why did Alliah love this book?

You can’t read this book and not smile! This fun, rhythmic read by the lyrical Tameka Fryer Brown celebrates the bonds of a diverse urban community on Neighbors’ Day, and reminds us of the big and small ways neighbors show up for each other. Charlotte Riley-Webb‘s paintings swirl with energy to give a new dimension to Brown’s words.   

By Tameka Fryer Brown, Charlotte Riley-Webb (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A little girl celebrates "Neighbors Day" by taking a tour of her urban/Carribbean neighborhood--kids play double-dutch and run after the ice cream man, men debate at the barbershop and play chess, Aunties cook up oxtail stew and other ethnic delicacies, boys play basketball, and jazz floats through the streets. A charming, rhythmic picture book with multi-cultural appeal by a first-time author.


Book cover of Welcome to the Neighborhood

Annie Cathryn Author Of The Friendship Breakup

From the list on humorous reads about adult female friendships.

Who am I?

When writing about friendships, it was important for me to highlight the highs and the lows of friendships. This approach takes the reader on a journey with the main character as she remembers the good times while she navigates through the tough times. By sprinkling in humor, a story that could sway to the serious side and stay there is suddenly entertaining and balanced, giving the main character’s plight depth and the reader an engrossing experience.  

Annie's book list on humorous reads about adult female friendships

Why did Annie love this book?

Welcome to the Neighborhood explores the complexities of forming adult friendships after moving into a new neighborhood and encountering an already established circle of friends.

I’ve felt like a fish out of water in a similar situation, and this story is eerily relatable.

I laughed and teared up too. This book gave me all the feels.

It’s an amazing debut about standing up for yourself, finding your tribe, and living a life that feels right to you. 

By Lisa Roe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A heartwarming and life-affirming story of family dynamics, mother/daughter relationships, and second chances-perfect for fans of Maria Semple and Abbi Waxman.
After years of struggling to make ends meet, Brooklyn single mom Ginny falls for sweet, divorced Jeff, and relishes the idea of moving with her quirky eleven-year-old daughter Harri to his home in an upscale New Jersey suburb. Though she's never been impressed by material things, she is thrilled that getting a second chance at love comes with the added bonus of finally giving Harri everything she never could before.
And then she meets the neighbors.
Ginny is quickly…


My Papi Has a Motorcycle

By Isabel Quintero, Zeke Peña (illustrator),

Book cover of My Papi Has a Motorcycle

Janet Sumner Johnson Author Of Help Wanted, Must Love Books

From the list on children and their fathers.

Who am I?

As a picture book author and mom, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. I love watching my children, and I love how they adore their dad and he adores them in return. So many of my stories have been inspired by their interactions. While I am no expert on fatherhood, I have been fortunate to have had a loving dad who played “Monster in the Middle,” who took us for rides on his motorcycle, and reminded us that we could accomplish anything we put our mind to. I love books that remind us of the power of a loving father-child relationship and hope you, too, will be lifted by these joyful stories.

Janet's book list on children and their fathers

Why did Janet love this book?

My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a unique look at not just a father-daughter relationship, but at how they connect with their whole community. My own dad had a motorcycle, and from waiting for him to get home from work, to slipping that big helmet on, to holding onto him tightly as we flew down the streets, I connected with this story and the bond between father and daughter. A special outing with Dad, or Papi, is always a treat, and this book brings that to life.

By Isabel Quintero, Zeke Peña (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Papi Has a Motorcycle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo.

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.

But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.

With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl's love letter to her…


Alejandria Fights Back!

By Leticia Hernandez-Linares, Robert Liu-Trujillo (illustrator),

Book cover of Alejandria Fights Back!: ¡La Lucha de Alejandria!

Bobbito Garcia Author Of Aim High, Little Giant, Aim High!

From the list on BIPOC Shorties for kids.

Who am I?

I’m a parent who along with my co-parent is raising a Black and Puerto Rican child in a world that is consumed with misunderstanding our communities of people. We seek books that speak volumes to our core, and that can expand our son’s horizons so that he understands himself as well as others.

Bobbito's book list on BIPOC Shorties for kids

Why did Bobbito love this book?

This is an empowering narrative that reveals what gentrification is, and how a community can approach how to deal with it positively.

The illustrations by Robert Liu-Trujillo give depth and lightness to another heavy topic, particularly for Latinos in certain areas. I also love that both Spanish and English words appear in the text, just as they would in real day-to-day life. 

By Leticia Hernandez-Linares, Robert Liu-Trujillo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alejandria Fights Back! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For nine-year-old Alejandria, home isn't just the apartment she shares with Mami and her abuela, Tita, but rather the whole neighborhood. Home is the bakery where Ms. Beatrice makes yummy picos; the sidewalk where Ms. Alicia sells flowers with her little dog, Duende; and the corner store with friendly Mr. Amir.

But lately the city has been changing, and rent prices are going up. Many people in el barrio are leaving because they can no longer afford their homes, and "For Sale" signs are popping up everywhere. Then the worst thing happens: Mami receives a letter saying they'll have to…


The Bronx Nobody Knows

By William B. Helmreich,

Book cover of The Bronx Nobody Knows: An Urban Walking Guide

Paul Levinson Author Of It's Real Life

From Paul's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Singer-songwriter Professor Podcaster Time travel fan

Paul's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Paul love this book?

I was born in the Bronx and lived there with my wife and kids until we moved to the suburbs in my mid-40s. I swam with the carrots in the water at Orchard Beach, roamed the NY Botanical Gardens, went to Yankee games, sang harmony under the El on Allerton Avenue and White Plains Road, and have been a professor at Fordham University since 1998. 

William Helmrecih, who succumbed to COVID-19 in 2020, left us this wonderful walking guide to the Bronx, in which he goes into neighborhoods and side streets and nooks and crannies even I didn’t know about.

By William B. Helmreich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bronx Nobody Knows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to New York City's northern borough, from the award-winning author of The New York Nobody Knows

Bill Helmreich walked every block of New York City-some six thousand miles-to write the award-winning The New York Nobody Knows. Later, he re-walked most of the Bronx to create this one-of-a-kind walking guide to the city's northern borough, from Mott Haven to City Island. Drawing on hundreds of conversations he had with residents during his block-by-block journey through this fascinating, diverse, and underappreciated borough, Helmreich highlights hundreds of facts and points of interest that you won't find in any other guide.…


Divergent Social Worlds

By Ruth D. Peterson, Lauren J. Krivo,

Book cover of Divergent Social Worlds: Neighborhood Crime and the Racial-Spatial Divide

Douglas S. Massey Author Of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass

From the list on how neighborhoods perpetuate inequality.

Who am I?

My mother was the child of immigrants from Finland with grade-school educations who grew up in a small Alaskan town with no roads in or out. She came down to the “lower 48” during the Second World War to work her way through the University of Washington, where she met my father. He was a multigenerational American with two college-educated parents. His mother graduated from Whitman College in 1919 and looked down on my mother as a child of poorly educated immigrants. She was also openly hostile toward Catholics, Blacks, and Jews and probably didn’t think much of Finns either. Witnessing my grandmother’s disdain for minorities and the poor including my mother, I learned about racism and class prejudice firsthand. But I am my mother’s son, and I resented my grandmother’s self-satisfied posturing. Therefore I’ve always been on the side of the underdog and made it my business to learn all that I could about how inequalities are produced and perpetuated in the United States, and to do all I can to make the world a fairer, more egalitarian place.

Douglas' book list on how neighborhoods perpetuate inequality

Why did Douglas love this book?

Peterson and Krivo meticulously demonstrate how residential segregation creates and maintains inequality in neighborhood crime rates using data from their groundbreaking National Neighborhood Crime Study. Using a nationally representative sample, the authors provide a more comprehensive picture of the social conditions underlying neighborhood crime and violence than has ever before been drawn.

By Ruth D. Peterson, Lauren J. Krivo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

More than half a century after the first Jim Crow laws were dismantled, the majority of urban neighborhoods in the United States remain segregated by race. The degree of social and economic advantage or disadvantage that each community experiences―particularly its crime rate―is most often a reflection of which group is in the majority. As Ruth Peterson and Lauren Krivo note in Divergent Social Worlds, "Race, place, and crime are still inextricably linked in the minds of the public." This book broadens the scope of single-city, black/white studies by using national data to compare local crime patterns in five racially distinct…


Neighbors

By Thomas Berger,

Book cover of Neighbors

Verlin Darrow Author Of Murder for Liar

From the list on psychological thrillers that expand readers' minds.

Who am I?

I’ve always been interested in how people change, and how trauma and difficulties hasten change. After all, if we have to grow and gain new skills to stay alive, we find a way. Originally, personal transformation was a priority because I was terribly unhappy, scared, and had shielded myself from direct contact with the world around me in an effort to stay “safe.” Don’t do this. It doesn’t work. So I asked myself, as an author, how would murders, deception, and sanity-threatening events affect a depressed therapist? Murder For Liar is the product of exploring this.

Verlin's book list on psychological thrillers that expand readers' minds

Why did Verlin love this book?

I found this book deeply disturbing, despite the seemingly normal content of the story.

Like the protagonist, I could never tell what was real, what was paranoia, and what the hell might happen next. We’re inside the head of a confused, scared man dealing with disturbed characters who hide in plain sight as mere neighbors. I relate to this, as does the protagonist in my book.

Decades ago, I was seduced by a guru to become the first disciple of a small, relatively benign cult. Serving as an assistant guru of sorts—manning a branch office of our organization, so to speak, I experienced both sides of the coin—being manipulated by someone with confounding abilities, as well as manipulating others myself.

By Thomas Berger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEIGHBORS is a black comedy about Earl Keese, a regular suburbanite whose world is overturned when Harry and Ramona move into the house next door. Harry and Ramona instantly unsettle the staid Earl with their abrupt mannerisms, their disturbing wolfhound and their dangerous schemes. Earl's suspicions about the couple's lack of stability and normalcy are ignored by his wife, Enid, and his daughter, Elaine, even while he is concerned that they are all being negatively affected by their relationships with the neighbours. Ramona is by turns seductive and manipulative with Earl while Harry is threatening and confrontational, upending Earl's carefully…


Deacon King Kong

By James McBride,

Book cover of Deacon King Kong

Susan S. Scott Author Of Healing with Nature

From the list on inspiring resilience in the face of adversity.

Who am I?

Whether I read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or prose, I especially love books by authors whose voices resonate with authenticity and originality, and who write imaginative page-turners about characters who change and grow personally, regardless of the difficulties they face in life. When their changes lead to creating conducive conditions for others to thrive, I feel gratified and inspired by them. As a practicing psychotherapist and writer I have devoted my career to supporting people in discovering and nurturing the creative sparks within themselves. My PhD in psychology and Post-Doctoral studies, presentations, and publications over the past 45 years have focused on the healing aspect of the creative process.  

Susan's book list on inspiring resilience in the face of adversity

Why did Susan love this book?

James McBride has an enormous gift for evoking the goodness in characters whose lives are perceived to be beyond redemption. 

They inhabit the down and out realms of addiction, impoverishment, life on the streets, in housing projects rife with crime. And yet, he also reveals the faith and spirituality that binds them with love and humor, and provides them with the endurance for facing the ugliness and miracles in everyday life.

What I love most about Deacon King Kong is the surprising affection I feel for the characters that James McBride describes in hilariously creative ways, revealing the depths of their souls as well as the sins they rectify or try to cover up.

Never pious or self-righteous, these characters offer the heart of change and give us love!

By James McBride,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Deacon King Kong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK
CHOSEN BY BARACK OBAMA AS A FAVOURITE READ
TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NEW YORK TIMES & WASHINGTON POST

'Brilliantly imagined, larger than life, a tragicomedic epic of intertwined lives.' JOYCE CAROL OATES

'Deeply felt, beautifully written and profoundly humane.' JUNOT DIAZ, New York Times Book Review

The year is 1969. In a housing project in south Brooklyn, a shambling old church deacon called Sportcoat shoots - for no apparent reason - the local drug-dealer who used to be part of the church's baseball team. The repercussions of that moment…


The New York Nobody Knows

By William B. Helmreich,

Book cover of The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City

Jeffrey S. Gurock Author Of Marty Glickman: The Life of an American Jewish Sports Legend

From Jeffrey's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Professor Jewish Historian Sports Fan

Jeffrey's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Jeffrey love this book?

I love New York City and enjoy walking its streets and neighborhoods. Helmreich produced the consummate walking tour guide to the metropolis.

Helmreich, a great sociologist and a prolific writer was a dear friend and colleague. Sadly, I can no longer share my feelings about the city we love because of his untimely death during the pandemic. I read through this book with tears  in my eyes and use it in my peregrinations through four of the five boroughs—I never get the Staten Island.

By William B. Helmreich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New York Nobody Knows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Take Back the Block

By Chrystal D. Giles,

Book cover of Take Back the Block

Emily Barth Isler Author Of AfterMath

From the list on for parents to read to kids for family discussions.

Who am I?

I started writing for kids and teens before I became a parent myself, but now, seeing these kinds of stories from both perspectives, I’m even more passionate about helping foster conversations among families, about the things that are hard to talk about. In the time of pandemics and global warming and school shootings, not to mention the access the internet provides, kids have more questions and concerns than ever. I’ve found, both in my research and in practice, that being honest with kids in a way that they can understand and process is a true gift to them.

Emily's book list on for parents to read to kids for family discussions

Why did Emily love this book?

Giles does a wonderful job with a current hot topic that might come up a lot for kids: gentrification. Take Back the Block made me want to leap into action, and that’s a pretty magical thing to be able to say about a book! Not only did I want to read more about these characters, but I wanted to get involved in my own city to preserve homes and mitigate gentrification. Change is constant, and kids will love this book for talking about the changes we can control and those we cannot, and how to see the difference. Parents will appreciate a way to concretely illustrate what gentrification is, and to have honest conversations about it with their kids.

By Chrystal D. Giles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"This book made me want to step aside, hand over the mic, and listen to Wes. A must-read." --Mariama J. Lockington, author of For Black Girls Like Me

Brand-new kicks, ripped denim shorts, Supreme tee--

Wes Henderson has the best style in sixth grade. That--and hanging out with his crew (his best friends since little-kid days) and playing video games--is what he wants to be thinking about at the start of the school year, not the protests his parents are always dragging him to.

But when a real estate developer makes an offer to buy Kensington Oaks, the neighborhood Wes…


A Man Called Ove

By Fredrik Backman,

Book cover of A Man Called Ove

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Author Of The Scarred Santa

From Lee's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Keeper of the family fire Seanachie Widow Teacher Mother

Lee's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Lee love this book?

After watching the movie based on the novel A Man Called Otto, I read the book. The story of an angry, grumpy old man who wants to end his life after his wife’s death caught my attention.

Ove is the neighborhood busybody. He watches over the housing, tries to insist others do the same and is thoroughly obnoxious most of the time.

Yet, as the story unfolds, he finds himself drawn into life, becoming involved with a young couple and their children. He teaches the young woman how to drive and ends up driving her to the hospital when her child is born.

The story is interspersed with the back story about Ove’s life, which helps the reader to understand how he became who he is today. His activities change his outlook on life.

By Fredrik Backman,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked A Man Called Ove as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'THE PERFECT HOLIDAY READ' Evening Standard

'A JOY FROM START TO FINISH' - Gavin Extence, author of THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS

There is something about Ove.

At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn't it rare, these days, to find…


A Good Neighborhood

By Therese Anne Fowler,

Book cover of A Good Neighborhood

Darlene Jones

From Darlene's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Teacher Traveler Knee Replacement Survivor

Darlene's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Darlene love this book?

Fowler expertly presents an upper-scale neighbourhood as ideal. No problems here, no poverty, no conflict, no prejudice. Really? We instinctively know better.

Under that idealistic image, judgments seethe, racism raises its ugly head, and from the first chapter, we know that someone will die—but who? Fowler keeps us guessing, and we fear that the most innocent will bear the brunt of the delusion that all is well in this embodiment of the “American dream” life. 

By Therese Anne Fowler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * One of NPR's Best Books of 2020

"A provocative, absorbing read." ― People

“A feast of a read... I finished A Good Neighborhood in a single sitting. Yes, it’s that good.” ―Jodi Picoult, #1New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Thingsand A Spark of Light

In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son, Xavier, who’s headed to college in the fall. All is well until the Whitmans―a family with new money and a secretly troubled teenage daughter―raze…


Great American City

By Robert J. Sampson,

Book cover of Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect

Douglas S. Massey Author Of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass

From the list on how neighborhoods perpetuate inequality.

Who am I?

My mother was the child of immigrants from Finland with grade-school educations who grew up in a small Alaskan town with no roads in or out. She came down to the “lower 48” during the Second World War to work her way through the University of Washington, where she met my father. He was a multigenerational American with two college-educated parents. His mother graduated from Whitman College in 1919 and looked down on my mother as a child of poorly educated immigrants. She was also openly hostile toward Catholics, Blacks, and Jews and probably didn’t think much of Finns either. Witnessing my grandmother’s disdain for minorities and the poor including my mother, I learned about racism and class prejudice firsthand. But I am my mother’s son, and I resented my grandmother’s self-satisfied posturing. Therefore I’ve always been on the side of the underdog and made it my business to learn all that I could about how inequalities are produced and perpetuated in the United States, and to do all I can to make the world a fairer, more egalitarian place.

Douglas' book list on how neighborhoods perpetuate inequality

Why did Douglas love this book?

Rob Sampson has compiled the most comprehensive dataset ever to document the existence multiple inequalities across neighborhoods in major urban area and how they create unequal social worlds by race and class that serve to perpetuate inequality over time.

By Robert J. Sampson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For over fifty years, numerous public intellectuals and social theorists have insisted that community is dead. Some would have us believe that we act solely as individuals choosing our own fates regardless of our surroundings, while other theories place us at the mercy of global forces beyond our control. These two perspectives dominate contemporary views of society, but by rejecting the importance of place they are both deeply flawed. Based on one of the most ambitious studies in the history of social science, "Great American City" argues that communities still matter because life is decisively shaped by where you live.…


The Night Is Yours

By Abdul-Razak Zachariah, Keturah A. Bobo (illustrator),

Book cover of The Night Is Yours

LaTasha Reynolds Author Of Bryla's Amazing Imagination: Bryla Visits the Moon

From the list on empowering books for kids.

Who am I?

As a children's book writer, I want my books to be infused with S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art, and science), imaginative adventure, and empowering words. These 3 elements are important for cultivating their minds. Great inventions and discoveries have come from people who were curious. I believe that it's our responsibility as parents to expose them to new interests and speak empowering words to their developing minds. Parents play a key role in how their children see themselves. I hope that my books encourage unity, spark the imagination, build strong parent-child relationships, initiate dialogue, and promote learning.

LaTasha's book list on empowering books for kids

Why did LaTasha love this book?

"This is your night, my Amani!" The dark skies are still full of your laughter and joy, even though they get quieter as your friends go inside one by one." 

Do you love observing the night? It's something about the night that's peaceful and beautiful. I enjoy reading this story from the perspective of a father watching his daughter gain her independence and using melodic metaphors to empower her existence. Personally, I love reading literature that compares nature's beauty to something we adore...our child. I believe this is why I connected to this story and I know other parents will too. This is a delightful read-aloud to share with your child for many nights.

By Abdul-Razak Zachariah, Keturah A. Bobo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Little one, so calm and so happy, the darkness of the night is yours like the darkness of your skin.

This lyrical text, narrated to a young girl named Amani by her father, follows her as she plays an evening game of hide-and-seek with friends at her apartment complex. The moon's glow helps Amani find the last hidden child, and seems almost like a partner to her in her game, as well as a spotlight pointing out her beauty and strength.

This is a gorgeous bedtime read-aloud about joy and family love and community, and most of all about feeling…


Alternate Side

By Anna Quindlen,

Book cover of Alternate Side

Barbara Josselsohn Author Of Secrets of the Italian Island

From the list on set on an intriguing island or coastline.

Who am I?

A native of New York’s Long Island, I’ve always been obsessed with the shoreline. My best early memories are of traveling with my family to the eastern edge of Long Island for our two-week summer vacation. My parents didn’t earn a lot of money, and we didn’t vacation often, so those two weeks in August were heavenly. As an adult, I gravitate to coastlines and islands. I’ve always been a fan of books with a strong sense of place, especially when that place is the shore. And I loved setting my current book on an island in the Mediterranean, delving into the qualities and characteristics that make a coastline so evocative and so appealing. 

Barbara's book list on set on an intriguing island or coastline

Why did Barbara love this book?

Full disclosure—I’m a former New Yorker who adores the Big Apple.

So how could I not include a book set on the vibrant, unpredictable island of Manhattan? Anna Quindlen has long been one of my go-to writers, and this is my favorite of her novels – sophisticated, subtle, and thought-provoking.

It revolves around a series of characters—some earnest, some quirky, but all flawed—who live in an apartment building rocked by a disturbing act of violence. I love this book because of all the questions it raises about family, loyalty, and community—and I love the way the building becomes a kind of island itself.

To me, Quindlen is a top-notch chronicler of contemporary motherhood, marriage, and family—and with this story, she is at her best.

By Anna Quindlen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For fans of Elizabeth Strout and Anne Tyler comes a brilliantly provocative novel from the Richard and Judy Book Club and Number One bestselling author Anna Quindlen.

'Mesmerizing. Quindlen makes her characters so richly alive, so believable, that it's impossible not to feel every doubt and dream they harbour . . . Overwhelmingly moving' New York Times

Anna Quindlen follows her highly-praised novel Miller's Valley - 'reads like a companion to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge', Elisabeth Egan - with a captivating novel about money, class and self-discovery set in the heart of New York where the tensions in a tight-knit…


A Good Night Walk

By Elisha Cooper,

Book cover of A Good Night Walk

Kenneth Kraegel Author Of Mushroom Lullaby

From the list on bedtime books for young children.

Who am I?

I write and illustrate picture books. Before I was a father I just thought of the picture book as my chosen art form. When I became a dad, I saw first-hand how important picture books are in the lives of young children and the people who read to them. They become family friends. For the youngest kids, bedtime and nap-time are rituals performed many times a day, which means those books get read over and over. In doing so, I found some favorites that I still enjoy reading today, even if I am reading to myself!   

Kenneth's book list on bedtime books for young children

Why did Kenneth love this book?

A good goodnight book slows things down, quiets down the room and the people in it. This book does just that. When nap-time and bedtime were frequent and important in our home we really loved this book. You go for a walk and when you are back home you are ready for bed. Decrescendo. 

By Elisha Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Good Night Walk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed author-illustrator Elisha Cooper paints the quiet magic of a good-night walk as the neighborhood settles into itself at the end of the day.

As a child and parent walk down the block to the bay and turn to walk back home, evening falls upon the neighborhood. As the walk begins, the squirrels are in the yards, the boys are mowing lawns, a neighbor is baking a pie, and someone is mailing a letter. When the child and parent turn to walk back home, the apple pie is down from the windowsill, the leaves are raked up, and the postman…