The most recommended books about New York City

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1,022 authors created a book list connected to New York City, and here are their favorite New York City books.
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Book cover of Let It Rain Coffee

Michele Wucker Author Of Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

From my list on understanding the Dominican Republic.

Why am I passionate about this?

A summer with relatives in Belgium—a country divided by language and culture—inspired me to travel to Santo Domingo in 1988 to learn Spanish and study the fraught dynamics of two countries speaking different languages but sharing an island. My time in the Dominican Republic and Haiti inspired a lifelong exploration of complex issues using many lenses and stories. Today I write mainly about risk, drawing on psychology, culture, policy, and economics. The third book, The Gray Rhino, calls for a fresh look at obvious, looming threats. My fourth book, You Are What You Riskexplores risk perceptions and attitudes using a comparative, socio-cultural lens like the one I used in Why the Cocks Fight.

Michele's book list on understanding the Dominican Republic

Michele Wucker Why did Michele love this book?

The title of this novel took me back to 1989, when I was living in the Dominican Republic they year and Juan Luis Guerra and his band 4-40 released their hit song, "Ojala que llueva café", an homage to rural Dominicans and their hopes; and another iconic song, "Visa para un sueño" (Visa for a Dream). This book is about the Dominicans in those songs: a family saga and the historical and contemporary realities that shaped their lives, aspirations, and disappointment. Its backdrop, unlike the other novels here, is mainly the post-Trujillo era: the brief presidency of Juan Bosch, his overthrow, and the revolution and US invasion that followed, catalyzing a wave of emigration that persists today.

By Angie Cruz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let It Rain Coffee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With her first novel, Angie Cruz established herself as a dazzling new voice in Latin-American fiction. Junot Diaz called her "a revelation" and The Boston Globe compared her writing to that of Gabriel García Márquez. Now, with humor, passion, and intensity, she reveals the proud members of the Colón family and the dreams, love, and heartbreak that bind them to their past and the future.
Esperanza did not risk her life fleeing the Dominican Republic to live in a tenement in Washington Heights. No, she left for the glittering dream she saw on television: JR, Bobby Ewing, and the crystal…


Book cover of Local Woman Missing

Laura Wolfe Author Of The In-Laws

From my list on thrillers with killer twists you won't see coming.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with things that go bump in the night probably stems from having read too many scary books in my younger years, when I devoured anything that made me want to hide under the blankets. My love of reading followed me into college, where I earned a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and later a law degree from DePaul University in Chicago. My passion for reading—and, later, writingpsychological thrillers remained. Today, I write full-time and have five psychological thriller and suspense novels published with Bookouture–Hachette UK, including several that have made it into the Top 100 Books in the Amazon US, UK, and AU Kindle stores!  

Laura's book list on thrillers with killer twists you won't see coming

Laura Wolfe Why did Laura love this book?

I love all of Mary Kubica’s books because of her straightforward writing style and the Chicago-area settings. In Local Woman Missing, a peaceful, suburban neighborhood transforms into a harrowing place where people go missing and we question how well we really know our neighbors. Told from multiple points of view and timelines, the twists abound as the reader uncovers what happened to the missing women and girl. The ending was chilling, and I didn’t see it coming, which is exactly what I want from a psychological thriller. 

By Mary Kubica,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'DARK AND TWISTY' Riley Sager
'A JAW-DROPPING TWIST THAT I NEVER SAW COMING' Joshilyn Jackson

You'll never find her. Don't even try.

When a local mother and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, suddenly vanish, their close-knit suburban community is rocked by fear and suspicion. How could such a terrible thing have happened in their small town?

Then, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly reappears. Everyone wants to know what really happened to her. But there are secrets hidden deep in the past - and when the truth about those missing years begins to surface, no one is prepared for what they're about…


Book cover of Breaking Night

Traci Medford-Rosow Author Of Unsheltered Love: Homelessness, Hunger and Hope in a City under Siege

From my list on homelessness and poverty.

Why am I passionate about this?

In March 2020, in the middle of a pandemic that had all but crippled New York City, my husband and I became homeless advocates. For months, we woke up each morning, made dozens of sandwiches, and walked the deserted city streets trying to feed the homeless, who were struggling to survive. Deserted streets meant no panhandling, which in turn, meant no food. In doing so, we became friends with many of the homeless men and women in our neighborhood. Fear and suspicion were replaced by trust and love, and our eyes and hearts were forever opened to people who had once been objects to be avoided.

Traci's book list on homelessness and poverty

Traci Medford-Rosow Why did Traci love this book?

Liz Murray’s riveting memoir tells of her unlikely rise from homelessness to being accepted to Harvard. It is another classic triumph over adversity story of someone beating the odds. I picked this book because of my own personal experience with homelessness. During the pandemic, my husband and I walked the deserted New York City streets helping to feed the homeless in our neighborhood. This led to the writing of my third book. Like Westover’s story, my book also tells the story of one woman’s rise from living on the streets of New York City to becoming sheltered, employed, and admitted to college. 

By Liz Murray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

____________________________________
Liz Murray never really had a chance in life. Born to a drug-addicted father who was in and out of prison, and an equally dependent mother who was in and out of mental institutions, she seemed destined to become just another tragic statistic; another life wasted on the brutal streets of New York.

By the age of 15, Liz found herself homeless with nowhere to turn but the tough streets, riding subways all night for a warm place to sleep and foraging through dumpsters for food. But when her mother died of AIDS a year later, Liz's life changed…


Book cover of Breakfast at Tiffany's

Jerome Antil Author Of The Mysteries of Pompey Hollow

From my list on human resolve in the face of moments of despair.

Why am I passionate about this?

The seventh child of a seventh son of a seventh son. Mother spoke of my sleeping nights and alert days…felt I was curious, observant. She was convinced I’d be the writer in the family. Named me Jerome after the librarian St. Jerome and Mark after Mark Twain, her favorite author as a child. Mother read to us daily, during high school time, a chapter a night. My brother Fred mailed me a word a week to look up. My freshman year in college I earned money writing compositions. And so it began. I sat on the floor and listened to the world war from Pearl Harbor to D-Day and Hiroshima.

Jerome's book list on human resolve in the face of moments of despair

Jerome Antil Why did Jerome love this book?

I heard Marilyn Monroe in everything Holly Golightly said. I heard her witticisms. Turned out Truman Capote wrote it using Marilyn’s voice.

Holly, a hooker, her protagonist (apartment neighbor) was an in-the-closet gay man. Holly would climb the fire escape and crawl into his room and snuggle in bed with him as if they were lovers. She never denied she was a hooker – but never hid that she had standards and would expect fifty-dollar tips for washroom attendants.

This novella, as does Grapes and Old Man, demonstrates to me the stage play of life we choose to be in is in acts—we know our assets, limitations and to survive we follow them—in Grapes pickers followed a dream to orange groves—in Old Man—a fisher needed to prove he could get his luck back—and in Tiffany—if she could find playgrounds of the rich, she’d survive.

By Truman Capote,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Breakfast at Tiffany's as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A beautifully designed edition of Truman Capote's dazzling New York novel Breakfast at Tiffany's, which inspired the classic 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn

'What I've found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany's. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits...'

Meet Holly Golightly - a free spirited, lop-sided romantic girl about town. With her tousled blond hair and upturned nose, dark glasses and chic black dresses, Holly is…


Book cover of Unterzakhn

Jennifer S. Brown Author Of Modern Girls

From my list on unplanned pregnancy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two things are true about me: I’m fascinated by the early twentieth century and I'm a diehard feminist. My grandfather nurtured my love of the 1920s and 1930s by introducing me to Dorothy Parker, John O’Hara, Ella Fitzgerald, and The New Yorker. My mother, a petite woman who can wield a welder like few others, encouraged the development of my feminist sensibilities. These two parts came together when my father offhandedly mentioned that his grandmother had an unplanned pregnancy during the Great Depression. As I researched reproductive issues through the years, my fascination for the topic grew. Each of the books here takes a different view of how to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. 

Jennifer's book list on unplanned pregnancy

Jennifer S. Brown Why did Jennifer love this book?

No graphic novel has ever blown me away like Unterzakhn (which means “underthings” in Yiddish). The story takes place in the early 1900s on the Lower East Side of New York, and the black-and-white bold strokes illustrate the bleakness of the lives of the new immigrants. Twin sisters find themselves taking roaringly divergent paths: one works in a whorehouse before becoming a star of the stage; the other assists the “lady-doctor,” from whom she learns about birth control and abortion. With strong feminist themes, I found it impossible not to root for both sisters. This is the only graphic novel whose ending made me cry.

By Leela Corman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A mesmerizing, heartbreaking graphic novel of immigrant life on New York’s Lower East Side at the turn of the twentieth century, as seen through the eyes of twin sisters whose lives take radically and tragically different paths.
 
For six-year-old Esther and Fanya, the teeming streets of New York’s Lower East Side circa 1910 are both a fascinating playground and a place where life’s lessons are learned quickly and often cruelly. In drawings that capture both the tumult and the telling details of that street life, Unterzakhn (Yiddish for “Underthings”) tells the story of these sisters: as wide-eyed little girls absorbing…


Book cover of Who Do You Love

Rachel Cullen Author Of Summer on Dune Road

From my list on reads while sipping a piña colada.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an avid reader since childhood. I read almost all genres, but my favorite type of book has always been the kind that you associate with a beach bag and a lazy day of reading in the sun (and maybe even a beverage nearby with a tiny umbrella). I love books that provide a realistic escape, where I can lose myself in the descriptions of picturesque scenery and flawed but lovable characters. Not surprisingly, these are also the types of books I’ve chosen to write. I want to give readers the same joy of sitting back on a chaise lounge with a piña colada (perhaps metaphorically) and disappearing into the fictional world I’ve created.

Rachel's book list on reads while sipping a piña colada

Rachel Cullen Why did Rachel love this book?

The two main characters in Who Do You Love stayed with me long after I read this book, and I’ve found them popping into my thoughts again and again over the years – a sure sign of well-written characters. It’s the story of two people who come in and out of each other’s lives and how their love changes and evolves over time. Full of joy, heartbreak, hope, and loss, this love story will draw you in and stick with you.

By Jennifer Weiner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who Do You Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner delivers "a tale of love against the odds" (People).

Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just eight years old when they meet one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenial heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she's intrigued by the boy who shows up alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy's taken back to a doctor and Rachel's sent back to her bed, they think they'll never see each other again.

Yet, over the next three…


Book cover of The Two-Family House

Vered Hazanchuk Author Of Life As An Almost

From my list on to make you wish you joined that book club.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love book club. If I could make it a requirement for everyone in the universe to give it a try, I would. I was an English major in college, so that feeling of ending an amazing story and needing someone to discuss it with never fully went away. All book club books should be thought-provoking, but the best add that intricate and wholehearted understanding, I think, that only literature can. Why do the characters you least understood or felt a kinship with suddenly have your heart, what do they want, need, feel, think? I hope these novels help you better understand. The who and what are beside the point. 

Vered's book list on to make you wish you joined that book club

Vered Hazanchuk Why did Vered love this book?

This book has everything a book club could ask for. Characters that you love, even when maybe you shouldn’t. Relationships that seem both familiar and endlessly fascinating. An epic dilemma that resonates and flourishes until the very end. It’ll definitely have you wondering, what would I do? At the end of the day, that question is all you really need for a lively book club discussion. 

By Lynda Cohen Loigman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Two-Family House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brooklyn, 1947: in the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born minutes apart to two women. They are sisters by marriage with an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic night; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and their once deep friendship begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost but not quite wins.


Book cover of The Christmas Orphans Club

John Glynn Author Of Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer

From my list on books that feel like Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer”.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi! I'm John Glynn, and I'm excited to share some book recommendations inspired by one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs, "Cruel Summer."  To me, this song perfectly encapsulates the heightened emotions of summer love—a theme at the heart of my memoir Out East. I chose books that capture the "fever dream highs" of the season. But at the same time, as Taylor sings, "Summer's a knife," filled with longing and heartache, primed for nostalgia. All of these books carry the kind of moonlit shimmer I crave in a smart beach read. As a Swiftie, a beach lover, an avid reader, and a hopeless romantic, I hope you enjoy.

John's book list on books that feel like Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer”

John Glynn Why did John love this book?

Yes, this is a book with “Christmas” in the title. Yes, it mostly takes place in the winter, not the summer. But you can practically hear the main character shouting the lyrics from Cruel Summer’s bridge, “I love you ain’t that the worst thing you’ve ever heard,” as she attempts to cling to the chosen family that has brought her comfort over the course of her twenties.

This is a book I’d read any time of year and one that carries the huge feelings and high-stakes drama of the best Taylor Swift songs. I loved it. 

By Becca Freeman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From bookfluencer and host of the BAD ON PAPER podcast, a riotous holiday rom-com about four friends in NYC who hold onto their unconventional Christmas tradition even when their paths diverge—but the changes they fear might be exactly what they need…

Hannah and Finn have spent every Christmas together since college. Neither has anywhere else to go—Hannah’s parents died, and Finn’s disowned him when he came out. Their tradition of offbeat holiday adventures only grows more outrageous with time. When the pair starts their adult lives in New York City, they add stylish Priya and mysterious Theo to the group,…


Book cover of Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City

Don N. Hagist Author Of The Revolution's Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs

From my list on people in the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent years studying individual people involved in the American Revolution, especially the British soldiers and their wives. These were the people who did the day-to-day work, and their stories deserve to be told. I troll archival collections to find original documents that allow me to piece together the lives of the thousands of individuals who made up the regiments and battalions, focusing not on what they had in common, but on how they were different from each other, part of a military society but each with their own lives and experiences. They made the history happen.

Don's book list on people in the American Revolution

Don N. Hagist Why did Don love this book?

Books on the war’s campaigns usually aggregate large numbers of people into bland terms like “regiments” and “refugees,” singling out only a few key players as individuals.

This book takes a refreshingly different approach, examining one of the war’s major operations from the level of participants of all sorts, from senior government officials down to the soldiers, civilians, and spies caught up in the fighting. The campaign itself has heretofore been almost entirely overlooked, or seen only in terms of a few of the battles that were part of it.

The result is a vivid account of the many components of a major campaign, and the legions of individuals involved.

By Todd W. Braisted,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grand Forage 1778 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After two years of defeats and reverses, 1778 had been a year of success for George Washington and the Continental Army. France had entered the war as the ally of the United States, the British had evacuated Philadelphia, and the redcoats had been fought to a standstill at the Battle of Monmouth. While the combined French-American effort to capture Newport was unsuccessful, it lead to intelligence from British-held New York that indicated a massive troop movement was imminent. British officers were selling their horses and laying in supplies for their men. Scores of empty naval transports were arriving in the…


Book cover of Loverboy

Isabel Jolie Author Of Better to See You

From my list on gripping romantic suspense loaded with heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an avid romance reader, I read all romance subgenres, but hold a deep appreciation for romantic suspense. By its nature, romantic suspense novels require multiple plot lines, and a host of characters must come to life, both villains and heroes. The story may be dark, but the light always perseveres. Of the fourteen romance novels I’ve published, nine are romantic suspense. A practical person by nature, I spent decades in the business world before venturing into creative writing. I have an MBA from New York University and a BA in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Isabel's book list on gripping romantic suspense loaded with heart

Isabel Jolie Why did Isabel love this book?

This steamy romance had me laughing and unable to put the book down.

Sarina Bowen writes strong heroines, which I love. She also does a fantastic job with research, but she so deftly unfolds the story that you won’t even realize you’re learning about new-age crime as the characters roam New York City.

Heartwarming, sassy, and witty, this is light-hearted romantic suspense at its finest.

By Sarina Bowen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Secrets, desires, and exquisite pie. It’s all in a day’s work at The Company.
Growing up, I was the rough guy from the wrong neighborhood who couldn’t catch a break. Posy was the pampered girl I tried to impress. But all she gave me was a single kiss before I had to skip town.
Now I’m back, and the tables are turned. Posy runs a struggling pie shop. I’m the VP of a secretive billion-dollar security company.
Not that I can tell her.
There’s a murderer on the loose in New York, and he seems to spend a lot of…