Books are perhaps one of the best ways to research a city and its charms. They give a sneak peek into the people, culture and history, and open up a world of information for us. Books on NYC can do the same by capturing its energy, and helping us familiarize ourselves with it. Some of these books are decades old, while some are contemporary yet depict the contradictions of the metropolis. So, if you plan to visit the Big Apple in the near future, make sure you read at least one of these books to widen your perspective a bit more, and boost a vantage point about the city.
Here is a list of best books on NYC you should read –
Here Is New York by E.B. White
The author captures the genuine sights, sounds and smells of NYC in this classic 1948 book. This small book portrays the life and shenanigans of the city in a subtle way, and brings forth the people and their aspirations in a poignant manner. Give the book a read and feel like you’re indulging in New York sightseeing through the eyes of Mr White.
Open City by Teju Cole
The book is an attempt to shift the focus from the hectic and frenetic pace of the city and its streets and presents an entirely different picture to readers. The work is very helpful in understanding the ‘slow side’ of the megapolis. By the time you have finished the book, you will surely have a new perspective on the city.
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
This book deserves a read irrespective of what you think of Rand. Set in NYC, you get to savor a popular piece of literature dwelling on different shades of individualism, or shall we say, extreme individualism. Get fascinated by interesting viewpoints and understand the city, its people and their quirks better than you think you might.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A fascinating tale of dreams, aspirations and materialistic greed of the people in NYC. A must-read when you want a peek into the rift between the classes at the time. This popular book lays bare open the psyche of characters hell-bent on doing virtually anything to achieve their goals and dreams in life.
New York: The Novel by Edward Rutherford
It’s always a sensible decision to understand a city better before visiting it. The same is true when you plan to visit NYC yet don’t know much about it or its history or past. Read this masterpiece from Rutherford and get to understand the history of the city in the 1600s. But yes, be ready to find history lessons laced with some fictional accoutrements.
Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows
One of the best ways to know the history of NYC and its place is by reading this book. It tells how the city has been gloom and glitter at various points of time. Choose any place and turn the pages to know its history and to widen your current understanding.