Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Reading New York City

In the spring I moved back to the NYC area. Well, New Jersey, but I work in New York. Then I saw a list on Book Riot of the 100 must-read books of New York. I've read 20. Four I had tried and DNFed and I did not enjoy them and don't intend to try them again. I've been toying with the idea of doing this list as another multi-year reading challenge like the Reading the 50 States challenge but... I really don't want to read a lot of these, particularly the older ones, and I will hate to get to the last year and have a bunch of crappy New York books that I don't want to read in front of me, even if I will inevitably like a couple of them more than I think. But there will certainly be a couple of stinkers, too. So maybe, instead, I just use this list as a list of good New York books and if I read 5 a year for a few years, that's a good thing. Plus, after the 50 State challenge, I've been feeling very American-centric in my reading and I'd like to be more expansive in my 2017 challenges. It's very interesting to me that of the remaining books, I only 1 one of them, unread. That's highly unusual for me. But it seems like if a book is on this list and interested me enough, I've read it, not just bought it and let it languish.

So, readers, from this list, of the books I haven't read (or DNFed), what should I put at the top of my list?

BTW, I took that picture of Manhattan from a hilltop a couple of miles from my apartment.

1876: A Novel by Gore Vidal
A History of New York by Washington Irving
A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith READ
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis READ
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Another Country by James Baldwin
Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow
Bread Givers by Anya Yezierska
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote READ
Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín READ
Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall
Christodora by Tim Murphy
City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan by Beverly Swerling READ
Daddy Was a Number Runner by Louise Meriwether
Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem
Dreamland by Kevin Baker
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Fever by Mary Beth Keane
Forever by Pete Hamill
Fury by Salman Rushdie
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
Going Down by Jennifer Belle
Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older
Heyday by Kurt Andersen
How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison READ
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Jazz by Toni Morrison READ
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCan DNF
Lowboy by John Wray
Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
Lush Life by Richard Price
Maggie, a Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane
Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos
Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
Nevada by Imogen Binnie
Open City by Teju Cole
Passing by Nella Larsen
Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish
Push by Sapphire READ
Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
Re Jane by Patricia Park
Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam
Rules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles READ
Seize the Day by Saul Bellow
Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York by Marge Piercy
Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross
Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins
Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron READ
Speedboat by Renata Adler
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton READ
The Alienist by Caleb Carr READ
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon READ
The Ask by Sam Lipsyte DNF
The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaVelle
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath READ
The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe OWN
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger DNF
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger READ
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
The Ex by Alafair Burke
The Godfather by Mario Puzo READ
The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald READ
The Great Negro Plot: A Tale of Conspiracy and Murder in Eighteenth-Century New York by Mat Johnson
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer DNF
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
The Prince of West End Avenue by Alan Isler
The Street by Ann Petry
The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer
The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett READ
The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger
The Warmest December by Bernice L. McFadden
Time and Again by Jack Finney READ
Underworld by Don DeLillo
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann READ
Washington Square by Henry James
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
Zone One by Colson Whitehead

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