25 Great Books about The Adventure of Life in New York City

A Listmania! list by Lorenzo (New York City!)
The list author says: "These books are all about the great adventure of life which takes place in the grand metropolis of New York City.

Many are based on real-life stories: some are sordid and about grizzly subjects like crime, murder and the struggle for power (American Pyscho, Godfather, WiseGuys, The Alienist, Billy Bathgate, I, the Jury); others are about the somewhat lighter, somewhat funnier side of life in the big city (The Bonfires of the Vanities, The Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar, Sex and the City, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Six Degrees of Separation, The Devil Wears Prada,The Nanny Diaries). All of them seemingly speak of the harried pace and relentless stress of living in the big city, The Big Apple.

Thankfully there are books life 25 Lessons I've Learned, that remind us that there is certainly a light at the end of that dark tunnel, one which is most often found within ourselves and our appreciation of others."
25 Lessons I've Learned about Photography...Life
1.  25 Lessons I've Learned about Photography...Life by Lorenzo Dominguez
The list author says:
  "In 2005, as a husband, father, and corporate employee — Lorenzo's life revolved around home, work, and his daily commute from the suburbs to the city. Then, one day, he found himself staying at the Little Church in midtown Manhattan in the wake of a marital separation. Living in virtual isolation for three months, he had a rare chance to re-examine his life."
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The Catcher in the Rye
2.  The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
The list author says:
  "In J.D. Salinger's brilliant coming-of-age novel, Holden Caulfield, a seventeen year old prep school adolescent relates his lonely, life-changing twenty-four hour stay in New York City as he experiences the phoniness of the adult world while attempting to deal with the death of his younger brother, an overwhelming compulsion to lie and troubling sexual experiences."
$8.29   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,931 customer reviews) | 16 customer discussions

Just Kids
3.  Just Kids by Patti Smith
The list author says:
  "In '67, singer–song writer Smith, determined to make art her life left her family behind in Philly for a new life in Brooklyn, NY. When she discovered that the friends with whom she was to have lived had moved, she found herself homeless, jobless, and hungry. Through a series of events, she met a young man named Robert Mapplethorpe who changed her life."
$2.99
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (631 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

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The Bonfire of the Vanities
4.  The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
The list author says:
  "Bonfire's pyrotechnic satire of 1980s New York wasn't just Wolfe's best book, it was the best bestselling fiction debut of the decade, a miraculously realistic study of an unbelievably status-mad society, from the fiery combatants of the South Bronx to the bubbling scum at the top of Wall Street."
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4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (282 customer reviews)

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The Godfather
5.  The Godfather by Mario Puzo
The list author says:
  "The novel is, basically, about just two persons, Don Vito Corleone and his son, Michael, who after refusing to accept his father's ways, finally comes to terms with the reality and takes up the 'family business' - The Mafia that runs New York City."
$10.48   Used & New from: $0.36
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (785 customer reviews)

Wiseguy
6.  Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi
The list author says:
  "Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950s Henry Hill aspired "to be a gangsterto be a wise guy." This book chronicles Hill's criminal successes beginning with his being a gofer for neighborhood mobster to his part in the 1978 $6-million Lufthansa Airlines robbery."
$8.99   Used & New from: $4.56
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (285 customer reviews)

The Great Gatsby
7.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The list author says:
  "This is arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology."
$9.00   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,847 customer reviews)

The Fountainhead (Centennial Edition HC)
8.  The Fountainhead (Centennial Edition HC) by Ayn Rand
The list author says:
  "On the surface, it is a story of one man, Howard Roark, and his struggles as an architect in the face of a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism."
$25.66   Used & New from: $0.96
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,560 customer reviews) | 9 customer discussions

The Bell Jar
9.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The list author says:
  "The story of a gifted young woman's mental breakdown beginning during a summer internship as a junior editor at a magazine in NYC in the early 50s. The real Plath committed suicide in '63 and left behind this scathingly sad, honest and perfectly-written book."
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4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

Rosemary's Baby
10.  Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
The list author says:
  "The plot line is deceptively simple: What if you were a happily married young woman, living in New York, and one day you awoke to find yourself pregnant? And what if your loving husband had--apparently--sold your soul to Satan? And now you were beginning to believe that your unborn child was, in reality, the son of Satan?"
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4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)

The New York Trilogy (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
11.  The New York Trilogy (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Paul Auster
The list author says:
  "Paul Auster’s signature work, The New York Trilogy, consists of three interlocking novels: City of Glass, Ghosts, and The Locked Room—haunting and mysterious tales that move at the breathless pace of a thriller."
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4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Sex and the City
12.  Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
The list author says:
  "The "Sex and the City" columnist for the New York Observer documents the social scene of modern-day Manhattan. Reading like a society novel gone downtown and askew, Sex and the City is a comically sordid look at status and ambition and the many characters consumed by the sexual politics of the '90s."
$10.83   Used & New from: $0.01
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

The Nanny Diaries: A Novel
13.  The Nanny Diaries: A Novel by Emma McLaughlin
The list author says:
  "The Nanny Diaries is an absolutely addictive peek into the utterly weird world of child rearing in the upper reaches of Manhattan's social strata. Cowritten by two former nannies, the novel follows the adventures of the aptly named Nan as she negotiates the Byzantine byways of working for Mrs. X, a Park Avenue mommy."
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The Devil Wears Prada: A Novel
14.  The Devil Wears Prada: A Novel by Lauren Weisberger
The list author says:
  "Author Weisberger did a stint as assistant to Anna Wintour, the all-powerful editor of Vogue magazine. Now she's written a book, and this is its theme: narrator Andrea Sachs goes to work for Miranda Priestly, the all-powerful editor of Runway magazine. Turns out Miranda is quite the bossyboots."
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3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,150 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

Underworld
15.  Underworld by Don DeLillo
The list author says:
  "Through fragments and interlaced stories--including those of highway killers, artists, celebrities, conspiracists, gangsters, nuns, and sundry others--DeLillo creates a fragile web of connected experience, a communal Zeitgeist that encompasses the messy whole of five decades of American life, wonderfully distilled."
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The Alienist
16.  The Alienist by Caleb Carr
The list author says:
  "A serial killer is butchering boy prostitutes in New York City. Police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt enlists a reporter and groundbreaking psychologist (known as an "alienist" in 1896) to track the killer by compiling his psychological profile."
$11.35   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (744 customer reviews)

American Psycho
17.  American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
The list author says:
  "Protagonist Patrick Bateman is at the pinnacle of power: he is young, buff, tan, and filthy rich. He works, when he feels like it, at a powerhouse Wall Street firm. Patrick can afford to do whatever he wants. There is one slight quirk in Bateman's well coiffed persona: Patrick likes to rape, torture, and murder people."
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3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,464 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
18.  The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
The list author says:
  "The Mambo Kings are two brothers, Cesar and Nestor Castillo, Cuban-born musicians who immigrate to New York City in 1949. They form a band and enjoy modest success, their popularity peaking in 1956 with a guest appearance on the I Love Lucy show..."
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Billy Bathgate: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)
19.  Billy Bathgate: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle) by E. L. Doctorow
The list author says:
  "In the Bronx of the '30s, 15-year-old Billy Bathgate hooks up with a legendary mobster, Dutch Schultz. Schultz becomes an unlikely surrogate parent to the boy, introducing him to the ways of the world and training Billy to follow in his footsteps. After Billy falls for Schulz's latest girlfriend, he begins to question the actions of the mob he was so eager to join."
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Six Degrees of Separation
20.  Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare
The list author says:
  "When a young man enters the Fifth Avenue home of Flanders and Ouisa Kittredge claiming to be a friend of their children and son of actor Sidney Poitier, the couple is charmed by his manners, wit, and intelligence. When the Kittredges discover that "Paul" isn't all he claims to be, they find themselves stuck between embarrassment and fascination."
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The Taking Of Pelham 123
21.  The Taking Of Pelham 123 by John Godey
The list author says:
  "Four men seize a New York City subway train and hold its passengers hostage. Their escape would seem inconceivable. Only one thing is certain: they aren't stopping for anything."
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Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories (Modern Library)
22.  Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories (Modern Library) by Truman Capote
The list author says:
  "Breakfast at Tiffany's revolves around Holly Golightly, the former starlet and cafe society item, who floats lightly through life (like cotton fibers in the wind) looking for where she belongs. Ms. Golightly is and will remain one of the most original and intriguing characters in American fiction."
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4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

I, the Jury
23.  I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane
The list author says:
  "The first mystery to feature hard-boiled private eye Mike Hammer, is set in and around NYC in the summer of '44. Although she runs a successful private psychiatric clinic on NY's Park Avenue, Dr. Charlotte Manning — young, beautiful, blonde, well-to-do, and sexually starved — cannot get enough."
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)
24.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.) by Betty Smith
The list author says:
  "Francie Nolan, avid reader, penny-candy connoisseur, and adroit observer of human nature, has much to ponder in colorful, turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. She grows up with a sweet, tragic father, a severely realistic mother, and an aunt who gives her love too freely--to men, and to a brother who will always be the favored child."
$13.15   Used & New from: $1.88
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,372 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
25.  The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
The list author says:
  "This massive work is at the same time a biography of Robert Moses and the metropolitan New York City area. Moses, originally a reformer and a true public servant, somehow became tainted by the power entrusted to him."
$14.79   Used & New from: $8.98
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

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Customer Discussions about products in this list
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Catcher in the Rye should be banned... 90 Oct 14, 2014
bell jar availability on Kindle 3 Aug 25, 2014
why are these novels banned? 11 Jun 26, 2014
this book sucks 52 Mar 29, 2014
Welcome to the American Psycho forum 6 Feb 12, 2014
fountainhead or atlas shrugged? 37 Dec 11, 2013
Welcome to the The Fountainhead forum 8 Sep 17, 2013
if you like The Fountainhead, you will love The Transhumanist Wager 2 Jun 17, 2013
Will this Book Ever Be on Kindle? 9 Apr 16, 2013
Amazon is censoring books, again. 3 Feb 9, 2013
fountainhead 2 Nov 15, 2012
Will Ayn Rand's works be available on Kindle? 11 May 25, 2012
 
   

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Lorenzo (New York City!)
Qualifications: Best-selling Author, Award-wining Artist, New Yorker, Human
Last updated: 2/18/11
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