New York Books – Something for Everyone!


I didn’t realize until now just how many books I’ve read
that are set in New York.  If you’re in “a New York state of mind,”
take a look at some of my favorite Big Apple books!

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin  – light 1800s historical fiction about billionaire American families who match up their daughters with poor European dukes and princes.


Billy Bathgate by E. L. Doctorow – intelligent and well-written historical fiction about 1930s organized crime in New York City


Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – a character sketch of a lonely nineteen-year-old girl trying to escape a sad past


Brooklyn by Colm Toíbín – moving love story in which a young Irish woman leaves home for a better life in Brooklyn


Brooklyn on Fire by Lawrence H. Levy – second book in the entertaining Mary Handley Mystery series about New York’s first female detective


The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout – story about a buried secret and painful family dynamics between adult siblings


The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott – historical fiction about a young English maid and seamstress who survives the Titanic


Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr. – fascinating biography of Huguette Clark, a reclusive heiress who spent the last twenty years of her life in a hospital bed and gave away huge amounts of money to her caretakers and advisers


The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – terrific story about a talented New York architect who refuses to collaborate



The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – classic love story about a mysterious tycoon during the wild party atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties


The Hours Count by Jillian Cantor – great historical fiction about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were the only civilian Americans to be killed for spying for the Russians


The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky – a modern-day Artemis solves a murder in New York in a world of mortals, gods and goddesses


The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer – Time traveling love story about finding happiness in an alternate life


The Inquisitor’s Mark by Diane K. Salerni – second book in an exciting Young Adult series about a secret eighth day where allies and adversaries abound


The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer – a look at the lives of six talented teenagers who meet at a summer camp for the arts in 1974

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan – fantastic historical fiction during the Depression and World War II. Egan’s characters try their best to navigate between right and wrong.

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – How do you put the hushed experiences of your childhood into words?  Character reflections on family, marriage and friendships.


Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight – debut novel about the secret life of teenagers at an elite private school in Brooklyn


Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – working class girl meets a handsome banker and climbs the social ladder in Post Depression New York.


Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy – first book in an entertaining historical fiction murder mystery series about New York’s first female police detective


The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin – great book about Truman Capote and his relationship with high society socialites in New York.

Tell No One by Harlan Coben – fast-moving, highly entertaining crime thriller set in the suburbs with a wild chase scene in New York

The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland – interesting a story about an emotionally unsettled newspaper woman and a commentary on the business of reporting news


We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas – a look inside a family struggling with Alzheimer’s disease


Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk – terrific story of a young author from Kentucky who arrives in New York and becomes a hugely successful and prolific novelist – Book Club Mom’s All-Time Favorite! (Click here to view Book Club Mom’s Top 10 Faves.)

I think it’s fun to sort my books by different categories.
Do you often read about the same place?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

23 thoughts on “New York Books – Something for Everyone!

  1. Have you read Here is New York by E.B. White?
    White’s love letter to the city begins with the paradox of its nosiness and the loneliness that often comes along with living there.

  2. Great list – I have read a book by Daisy Goodwin but not the one here – at least I don’t think it was this one! Perhaps I’ll have to go and check now. I loved The Immortals – so entertaining and I’m really looking forward to reading more from that series.
    Lynn 😀

  3. Youngblood Hawke! Wouk’s books are just fabulous–all of them. I read the American heiress. My favorites are Auntie Mame and A Joyous Season both by Patrick Dennis. I read them about annually.

    1. I’ll have to take a look at your favorites. I also love Herman Wouk, although I’ve only read a few. I may re-read Marjorie Morningstar – another gem! Did you know that Wouk is still living? He’s 101! Stay tuned for a Who’s That Author!

  4. Youngblood Hawke is still on my list. One of these days, I’ll attempt it. It just seems SO thick! :o) I just finished ‘The Shoemakers Wife’….yup, set in New York!

  5. How interesting, I had not thought about some of these books and the great number that have a NY setting. Another one, and one of my all time favorites: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Great list 🙂

    1. Yes, but until then you can always get there in a book. I’m not a New Yorker, though I’ve been there a bunch, and that’s what I do! Thanks for reading and commenting, Rachael.

  6. What a great list of books – I’ve read about a third of them By the way, you must be the one who had recommended Youngblood Hawke a few months ago. I ran to the library and got it – but it was so old and thick with tiny print I couldn’t read it. I tried to get it on my Kindle, but it seems the book hasn’t been made into an e-book. Rats.

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