Top Ten Tuesday | Books Set in NYC

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday was inspired by one of my most recent reads that is being released into the world today! I’m not going to give it away just yet, but you can check it out in the list below – hint: it’s number 1. I’ve never actually been to New York, but I have read a lot of great books set there, so I thought I’d share those with you today!

  1. The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. This book is fantastic! It’s all about the legal battle between Edison and Westinghouse over the patent for the lightbulb, and it’s actually incredibly interesting. Also, Tesla is in it, which just spoke to my nerdy heart. The book came out today, but the movie is already in pre-production with Eddie Redmayne set to star and I’m so excited! (I published a review yesterday if you’re interested.)
  2. The Diviners by Libba Bray. I love Libba Bray, and this series is no exception. So far, there are two (the second being Lair of Dreams) in what is set to be a four-book series, but this first one is my favorite. It takes place in 1920s New York, and stars a diverse cast of characters from all over the city. Did I mention that the protagonist is a serial-killing ghost?
  3. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. A tale that is equal parts a magical epic and a look at the immigrant experience, this book is a slow-burning masterpiece. It also really showcases turn-of-the-century NYC, which I loved!
  4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I feel like I’ve been mentioning this book a lot, but I couldn’t leave it off this list. It follows a young boy as he searches for answers after his father dies in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Both heartbreaking and quirky.
  5. Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot. Cabot’s one of my go-to guilty-pleasure authors, and she’s written a lot of adult books set in NYC. This one is a fun murder mystery inspired by her time as an RA in the dorms at NYU and stars an ex-pop star. So if you’re looking for a fun read…
  6. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. When I picture New York, I see Audrey Hepburn in front of Tiffany’s. It’s one of my favorite films, so, naturally, I had to read the book that inspired it. They’re surprisingly different – so don’t let having seen the movie stop you from reading the book.
  7. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. This book made me want to visit New York almost as much as it made me cry. I loved the snapshot of life in NYC; many of the characters are actors/waitors, artists, lawyers, etc., all immersed in big-city life.
  8. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. If you’ve read the Percy Jackson series, you’ll know how big a role NYC plays in the fifth and final book (even more so than the rest of them). It was really fun seeing New York in a completely unexpected context, and I loved how the city itself played into the plot.
  9. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I didn’t love this Pulitzer-winner, but I do have to admit that it showcased New York brilliantly. I think it did a great job of utilizing the setting to tell stories, and a year or so after reading it, that’s one of the things I remember.
  10. You by Caroline Kepnes. I rarely read thrillers, but this one really caught my eye and I ended up really enjoying it. It also spoke to some of the (imaginary) fears I have about living in the city, which I think made it even creepier in my eyes.
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9 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Books Set in NYC

  1. Thanks for pointing me to The Last Days of Night. That sounds like an absolute must-read for me! I also find stories about science so fascinating (even though I’m not a scientist and don’t always understand the theories involved).

    I liked The Golem and the Jinni too. Did you know the author is working on another book? Not due for some years, unfortunately.

    Other New York books I liked are Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Time and Again by Jack Finney, and Helene Hanff’s books – Underfoot in Show Business, 84 Charing Cross Road, and Apple of My Eye all helped to shape my idea of New York before I ever got there.

    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was definitely obsessed with Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as a kid and didn’t read the book until much later. It was totally different but I also think that helped love each one separately.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the Libba Bray books and I also have the Golem and the Jinni book waiting to be read – I seem to be saying (a lot) this week that I need to make time for my own books and this one is no exception.
    Have you read The Immortals by J M Brodsky – a book about ancient Gods – now living in Manhattan. I loved it but one of the things that really stood out was some of the places visited. So I thought you might like that one too.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve read four of these and three others are on my TBR list. I’m super excited to read “The Last Days of Night” — and honestly, I don’t think I even realized it was set in New York. I got to visit NYC last summer and it was SO incredible to finally see in person the places I’ve read so much about — not to mention the bookworm mecca of the New York Public Library. I definitely don’t think I could handle living there, though!

    Liked by 1 person

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