The most recommended books about New York City

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987 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 Andy Catlett: Early Travels

Susan M Soesbe Author Of Bringing Mom Home: How Two Sisters Moved Their Mother Out of Assisted Living to Care For Her Under One Amazingly Large Roof

From Susan's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Bible nerd Fiction book coach Organizer of stuff History buff English language acquisition facilitator

Susan's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Susan M Soesbe Why did Susan love this book?

I savored this account of a boy’s Christmas visit to his two sets of grandparents. The key to the exquisiteness of this book is its point of view. The narrator is nobody special.

Yet he, like all of us past a certain age, brings the perspective of maturity. He pulls back the curtain and shows readers the quiet love in an ordinary family.

Andy Catlett showed me that wisdom is a treasure painfully earned, which can be shared with those willing to receive it. Berry’s narrative is slow, rich, and beautiful.

By Wendell Berry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Andy Catlett as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A young boy takes a trip on his own to visit his grandparents in Kentucky in this luminous entry in the acclaimed Port William series.

In this “eloquent distillation of Berry’s favorite themes: the importance of family, community and respect for the land” (Kirkus Reviews), nine-year-old Andy Catlett embarks on a solo trip by bus to visit his grandparents in Port William, Kentucky, during the Christmas of 1943. Full of “nostalgic, admiring detail” (Publishers Weekly), Andy observes the modern world crowding out the old ways, and the people he encounters become touchstones for his understanding of a precious and imperiled…

Book cover of Rainbow Minerals of Franklin/Sterling Hill, New Jersey: A Color Portfolio of Minerals from the Fluorescent Mineral Capitol of the World

Stuart Schneider Author Of Collecting Fluorescent Minerals

From my list on collecting fluorescent minerals.

Who am I?

I was introduced to Fluorescent Mineral collecting by my son. I started going to shows, joining mineral groups, and reading everything I could on fluorescent minerals. Realizing that there were no books with lots of photographs on the subject, and having written quite a few heavily illustrated books of collecting subjects, I decided to to a book that would appeal to new and old mineral collectors. The book was a success and lead to the publishing of a second book. Lots of fluorescent mineral experts helped by reviewing the text and photos for accuracy, and my publisher was pleased with the success of the books. Schiffer Books started an entirely new avenue of books on Minerals that it now publishes.

Stuart's book list on collecting fluorescent minerals

Stuart Schneider Why did Stuart love this book?

Rainbow Minerals is the best bargain for $6.95 by Bob Jones (printed by Tom Warren). It can be tougher to find, but is sometimes available on eBay. It has a small group of color photos.

Book cover of Girl in Translation

Audrey Wick Author Of Seeing Us

From Audrey's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Professor Traveler

Audrey's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Audrey Wick Why did Audrey love this book?

Girl in Translation is Jean Kwok’s debut novel. After hearing her speak in person at the 2023 San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival, I learned the personal connections she has to this work of fiction are striking—and heartbreaking.

On its own, this story is a poignant coming-of-age novel, but learning more about Kwok will help readers appreciate this book even further. 

By Jean Kwok,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times bestseller Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok is a powerful story about a Chinese immigrant family in Brooklyn.

Kimberley Chang and her mother move from Hong Kong to New York. A new life awaits them - making a new home in a new country. But all they can afford is a verminous, broken-windowed Brooklyn apartment. The only heating is an unreliable oven. They are deep in debt.

And neither one speaks one word of English.

Yet there is hope. Eleven-year-old Kim goes to school. And though cut off by an alien language and culture and forced by…

Book cover of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: Essays

Athena Dixon Author Of The Incredible Shrinking Woman

From my list on for growing up and finding your voice.

Who am I?

Finding a voice is something I struggled with since childhood. Always afraid of being invisible or silent, finding common ground with writers who excelled at relating the human condition became a safe haven. I made a choice to focus on creative work that explores what is means to be simply human--to examine the hopes, needs, wants, and energies that make our daily lives move.

Athena's book list on for growing up and finding your voice

Athena Dixon Why did Athena love this book?

Finding your voice and using it to champion those in the world who mean the most to you is at the heart of this collection of essays. It is steadfast in its commentary on the world just as it questions the self and how to move beyond from what weighs you down in order to rise up.

By Kiese Laymon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Author and essayist Kiese Laymon is one of the most unique, stirring, and powerful new voices in American writing. How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America is a collection of his essays, touching on subjects ranging from family, race, violence, and celebrity to music, writing, and coming of age in Mississippi. In this collection, Laymon deals in depth with his own personal story, which is filled with trials and reflections that illuminate under-appreciated aspects of contemporary American life. New and unexpected in contemporary American writing, Laymon's voice mixes the colloquial with the acerbic, while sharp insights and blast-furnace…

Book cover of The Art of Keeping Secrets

Mary-Anne O'Connor Author Of Sisters of Freedom

From my list on featuring women you want as BFF’s.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a young girl, I have fallen deeply into the pages of novels that feature strong female characters, with Anne of Green Gables and Little Women capturing my imagination early. As an Australian, I’ve also always enjoyed books set here but anywhere where I can walk in a relatable character's shoes is fine by me. The magical experience of being immersed in ‘her’ world, feeling what she feels, relating to her, being frustrated with her, celebrating with her, loving with her…what are books if not gifting us such experiences? Every book I have penned has been based on this ideal, an intimate experience, a close relationship. A BFF.

Mary-Anne's book list on featuring women you want as BFF’s

Mary-Anne O'Connor Why did Mary-Anne love this book?

Rachael Johns has a very chatty, familiar way of writing that has you soon forgetting that you are sitting at home, reading a book. The Art of Keeping Secrets is transportive, funny, and intimate and I particularly loved the lead character, Felicity, although I was equally invested in the lives of her BFFs Emma and Neve. ‘Secrets’ is indeed the key theme of this novel and, as they slowly unravel, you’ll find yourself hooked as to the outcome. Love the romantic twists and you’ll be turning the pages fast at the end! (No spoilers!)

By Rachael Johns,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Some Secrets Weren’t Meant to Be Kept…

They started out as the “misfit moms”—the trio of less-than-conventional parents at their sons’ tiny private school. They’ve shared everything. Or so they thought. Now, on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York City, they’ll sightsee, they’ll shop, they’ll catch a few Broadway shows. They’ll tell all…

After seventeen years as a single parent, Neve will reveal a past sin that could destroy her relationship with her son. Emma will uncover the roots of her exhaustion and divulge the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And Flick—who knows a little about crafting a…

Book cover of I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912

Katie Munday Williams Author Of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet

From Katie's 8-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Playful Bookworm Mom Dreamer Adventurous

Katie's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Katie's 8-year-old's favorite books.

Katie Munday Williams Why did Katie's 8-year-old love this book?

This series is so good for teaching kids about real, historical events. I love the way the author takes real catastrophes and places a fictional child as the main character.

My son loved it because it’s edgy, just dangerous enough to give him a little thrill without giving him nightmares! My son also enjoyed learning about these events and would often repeat facts about them later, proud that he had learned so much. I highly recommend this series.

By Lauren Tarshis, Scott Dawson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Experience the Titanic in full colour!

An exciting graphic novel adventure, combining historical fact
with high-action storytelling.

Ten-year-old George Calder can't believe his luck - he and his
little sister, Phoebe, are on the famous Titanic, crossing
the ocean with their Aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting
places to explore, but when George ventures into the first class
storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly,
water is everywhere, and George's life changes forever...

Vivid full-colour art
Includes a non-fiction section
at the back of the book
Plus facts and photos about
the real-life events


Book cover of P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever

Ethlie Ann Vare Author Of WOOF!

From my list on reads I wish were around when I was a kid.

Who am I?

I’m a Boomer. I was expected to read books about well-behaved children (Fun with Dick and Jane, 1940) or happy animals (The Poky Little Puppy, 1942), or going to bed quietly (Goodnight Moon, 1947). Why do you think my cohort has so much love for Dr. Seuss? The Cat in the Hat (1957) was a brat, and kids love a brat. The rhymes were smart, and kids need smart. Today, I get to read books to my grandkids that have edge, and books that don’t talk down to them. They deserve it, they won’t settle for less, and it’s a hell of a lot more fun for me.

Ethlie's book list on reads I wish were around when I was a kid

Ethlie Ann Vare Why did Ethlie love this book?

To be perfectly honest, the title is the best part of this book. None of the text is quite as funny as the concept, but the concept is worth the price of admission.

You can keep your A is for Apple and B is for Ball. I’ll take K is for Knight and D is for Djibouti.

It’s not likely that a toddler is going to need to spell “phlegm” any time soon, but it’s a fun read for the adult — and the grown-ups also need to be entertained by a book that’s going to be aloud 100 times. 

By Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter, Maria Beddia (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked P Is for Pterodactyl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller!

A "raucous trip through the odd corners of our alphabet." -The New York Times

Let's get real-the English language is bizarre. A might be for apple, but it's also for aisle and aeons. Why does the word "gnat" start with a G but the word "knot" doesn't start with an N? It doesn't always make sense, but don't let these rule-breaking silent letters defeat you!

This whimsical, funky book from Raj Haldar (aka rapper Lushlife) turns the traditional idea of an alphabet book on its head, poking fun at the most mischievous words in the…

Book cover of The Twelfth Night; Or, What You Will

Anna Jane Greenville Author Of The Girl Who Was a Gentleman

From my list on romance featuring tomboys.

Who am I?

Having climbed many a tree with the boys as a kid, I cannot stay away from a good gender-bender romance. The suspense, the humour of it, and the inevitable conclusion that not your appearance but your choices define who you are – a perfect combination in my opinion. Mix in a male counterpart who is supportive and understanding and I am hooked! So much so, that I have written a book about a girl who dressed up as a boy.

Anna's book list on romance featuring tomboys

Anna Jane Greenville Why did Anna love this book?

Twelth Night or, What You Will just has to be on here, being the mother of all boys-clothes-wearing heroines. The plot has been adapted in so many books and films that it is definitely worth it to read the original (or better yet: watch the play) to see where the brilliancy stems from.

By William Shakespeare, William J. Rolfe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Twelfth Night; Or, What You Will as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Part of the "Everyman" series which has been re-set with wide margins and easy-to-read type, this book includes an introduction and comprehensive notes. This is Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night".

Book cover of Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers

Carol LaHines Author Of Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss

From my list on themed anthologies.

Who am I?

The anthology form unites diverse voices around a common theme—in the case of Distant Flickers, identity and loss. The stories in the anthology explore intense personal relationships—of mother and child, old lovers, etc. Some of the stories are in the moment and some recounted with the perspective of time, some are fable-like, some formal, and others more colloquial. Reading them the reader is struck by the variety of approaches a writer might take to a subject. The device of the contributor’s notes enables the reader to see the story behind the story and how life informs art—life furnishing the raw material or day residue of the story.  

Carol's book list on themed anthologies

Carol LaHines Why did Carol love this book?

Sheila Kohler, a mentor of mine whose work is featured in this thrilling collection, is fond of saying that suspense arises from putting a vulnerable character in a dangerous situation. A literary writer of the highest caliber, Sheila knows how to generate the suspense that keeps the page turning. Crime fiction has a long history going back to Dostoevsky and beyond, to the great tragedians—the commission of a crime entails motive, means, and is inherently dramatic. This eclectic selection of mystery and female noir, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, features superstar writers like Edwidge Danticat, Margaret Atwood, Sheila Kohler, Elizabeth McCracken, and Joyce Carol Oates herself. The writing is luminous, the themes are varied—from domestic horror to the erotic to dark fairy tales—and the tales keep the reader turning the page.

By Joyce Carol Oates (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A chilling noir collection featuring fifteen crime and mystery tales and six poems from female authors.

Joyce Carol Oates, a queen-pin of the noir genre, has brought her keen and discerning eye to the curation of an outstanding anthology of brand-new top-shelf short stories (and poems by Margaret Atwood!). While bad men are not always the victims in these tales, they get their due often enough to satisfy readers who are sick and tired of the gendered status quo, or who just want to have a little bit of fun at the expense of a crumbling patriarchal society. This stylistically…

Book cover of The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob

Mark Bulik Author Of The Sons of Molly Maguire: The Irish Roots of America's First Labor War

From my list on Irish American true crime.

Who am I?

I’ve been a newspaperman for 40 years, the last 25 at The New York Times, and crime is the meat and potatoes of the business. My mother came from an Irish American clan in the Pennsylvania township where the Molly Maguires were born – my great-uncle died at 13 in the mine where the Mollies made one of their first recorded appearances. So I’ve been fascinated by Irish American true crime ever since the Sean Connery film The Mollies Maguires came out in 1970. I’ve spent most of my adult life researching the subject, and have given lectures on it all over the country.

Mark's book list on Irish American true crime

Mark Bulik Why did Mark love this book?

This is a gritty, riveting look at the Irish Mob on New York’s West Side in the 1980s.

The author grabs you by the arm and propels you at breakneck speed through the blood-stained streets and barrooms of Hell’s Kitchen. Along the way, he introduces the reader to a crew of crazy characters that you definitely wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.

The parts about the Irish mob’s connections to the Mafia were especially enlightening. It’s a very atmospheric look at a part of the city where I worked as a newspaperman in the decade the book came out (and downed pints in some of those bars.)

By T.J. English,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Even among the Mob, the Westies were feared. Out of a partnership between two sadistic thugs - James Coonan and Mickey Featherstone - the gang dominated the decaying slice of New York City's West Side known as Hell's Kitchen in the 1970s and '80s. Excelling in extortion, numbers running, loansharking and drug-peddling, they became the most notorious gang in the history of organized crime. The then prosecutor Rudolf Giuliani called them 'the most savage organisation in the long history of New York street gangs'. Upping the ante on brutality and depravity, their speciality when it came to punishment and killings…