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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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?"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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..."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."