Suggested Reading List
AIA Guide to New York City
Author: Noval White, Elliot Willensky
Description: A quirky, digressive guide to the architecture of New York City, organized by neighborhood and bloated to 1,000 pages in this edition, last revised in 1987.
Before and After, Stories from New York
Author: Tom Beller (Editor)
Description: A beguiling collection of contemporary essays in two sections: before September 11, and after. Quite a few of New York's most distinctive voices are represented here, including Michael Cunningham and Luc Sante.
Blue Guide New York
Author: Carol Von Pressentin Wright
Description: An excellent, comprehensive guide to New York sights, includiung walking tours and a focus on art and architecture.
Downtown, My Manhattan
Author: Pete Hamill
Description: Native son Pete Hammil's tribute, history and memoir of New York, mostly below 42nd Street.
Eyewitness Guide New York
Author: Eleanor Berman (Contributor)
Description: There are hundreds of guides, of course, but we like this one the best. We see more visitors in our West Village neighborhood carrying it around than any other, and they all seem to love it.
Fodor's New York City's 25 Best
Description: A shirt-pocket guide to New York City, featuring a detailed, fold-out map centered on Midtown. With suggested itineraries, walks and top 25 sights.
Gone to New York, Adventures in the City
Author: Ian Frazier, Jamaica Kincaid (Introduction)
Description: Frazier writes with humor and warmth about his New York City in this collection of essays originally published in periodicals like The New Yorker and The Atlantic.
Gotham, A History of New York up to 1898
Author: Mike Wallace, Edwin G. Burrows
Description: This 1998 Pulitzer Prize winner for history is a vast volume that traces the Dutch colonization to 1898. Jam-packed with tales of crime, violence, corruption, riots and ethnic struggles, it is anything but dull. Highly recommended.
Great Fortune, The Epic of Rockefeller Center
Author: Daniel Okrent
Description: In this grand social history Okrent illuminates the remarkable cast of characters, the ambitions, and mind-bending complexity in creating the beloved New York City landmark.
Here is New York
Author: E.B. White
Description: Written in a hotel room over two hot days in the summer of 1948, White's timeless love letter (it's easily read in an hour) captures the spirit of New York. It's a swift, lyrical portrait of the city that moves from Broadway to Central Park and the Hudson River to favorite haunts on 3rd Avenue.
Lost New York
Author: Nathan Silver
Description: This classic, published in 1967, was the urban preservationists' bible. It's a magnificent survey of the history and architectural development of the city, including many of the great buildings lost to the wrecking ball.
Author: Jan Morris
Description: A portrait of the era when New York City was at its apogee, blending history, memoir and meditation.
New York City Map (NY Unfolds)
Description: This convenient map of New York (1:25,00 scale) has a clever "origami" fold to prevent fussing with unwieldy re-folding.
New York City, A Cultural and Literary Companion
Author: Eric Homberger
Description: An illuminating guide to the city, its history and geography, as the inspiration for writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals. With chapters on Broadway, Greenwich Village, parks, Harlem, Brooklyn, immigration and Manahatta.
Picturing New York, The City from its Beginnings to the Present
Author: Gloria Deak
Description: An illustrated chronicle of New York from its origins as a ragtag seaport to trading center and cultural capital. An entire, wonderful chapter is devoted to Broadway.
Author: Elizabeth Hardwick
Description: Harwick's luminous 1979 novel of longing, desolation, New York City and Billie Holiday, thankfully returned to print. Read it for the extraordinary language, the flavor of 1940s New York.
The Encyclopedia of New York City
Author: Kenneth T. Jackson, New York Historical Society
Description: A massive reference manual with entries on everything you've ever wanted to know about NYC, ranging from biographies to "New Yorkiana".
The Island at the Center of the World, The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America
Author: Russell Shorto
Description: Shorto's popular history of New Amsterdam tells in colorful detail how the short-lived Dutch colony established the principles of tolerance, multiculturalism and modern capitalism
The Power Broker, Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
Author: Robert Caro
Description: A much-hailed biography of Robert Moses, the politician who left an indelible mark on physical New York. David Halberstam called this biography "surely the greatest book ever written about a city."
The WPA Guide to New York City
Author: William H. Whyte (Introduction)
Description: Here is New York before the Dodgers departed, when the Empire State Building was a newly built marvel and the World's Fair was a major event -- the vintage 1939 guide to New York by participants in the Federal Writers' Project.
Time and Again
Author: Jack Finney
Description: In this altogether wonderful novel, Simon Morley -- an illustrator and secret government operative, native to 1970 New York -- is transported back in time to the Manhattan of the 1880s.
Twin Towers Remembered
Author: Camilo Jose Vergara (Photographer)
Description: A small, mesmerizing collection of photos illustrating the life of the twin towers. The book ends with some harrowing shots of the towers' destruction, but its focus is on the life of the towers, not their death.
Unearthing Gotham, The Archaeology of New York City
Author: Diana Dizerega Wall, Anne-Marie E. Cantwell
Description: An illustrated survey and analysis of archaeological discoveries in the five boroughs.
Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories
Author: Joseph Mitchell
Description: Mitchell's collection of loving, extraordinarily vivid, short pieces, depicting New York in the 40's and 50's He was a master at painting character, and place, in swift strokes.
Waterfront, A Journey Around Manhattan
Author: Philip Lopate
Description: Essayist and consummate New Yorker, Philip Lopate pulls in history, ecology, archaeology, literature and urban planning in this delightful, discursive account of his rambles along the water's edge of Manhattan.
Wonderful Town, New York Stories from the The New Yorker
Author: Susan Choi (Editor), David Remnick (Editor)
Description: Collection of 43 stories taken from the past seven decades of short stories published in The New Yorker. Featuring John Updike, Dorothy Parker, Saul Bellow, J.D. Salinger, Vladimir Nabokov and John Cheever.
Writing New York, A Literary Anthology
Author: Philip Lopate (Editor)
Description: A massive, satisfying collection of good writing about New York over the centuries. Represented are Whitman, Edith Wharton, Henry Miller and many more.
Zagat Survey New York City Restaurants
Author: Zagat Survey (Editor)
Description: The slim annual guide to New York City's restaurants that launched the Zagat empire.