It’s a cliché to say that New York is the “city that never sleeps,” but it’s true. Even in literature, there are thousands of books that uses this lively city as the setting. Here are 10 amazing books set in New York to satisfy your wanderlust.
We also have: 10 Books Set in France To Satisfy Your Wanderlust
10 Books Set in New York to Satisfy Your Wanderlust
The Godfather By Mario Puzo
The Godfather is a crime novel written by American author Mario Puzo. Though I got to admit, I’ve first seen the film before reading it. It is one of my favorite movies of all time, the book is equally impressive and thought-provoking.
The novel details the story of a fictional Mafia family based in New York City (and Long Beach, New York), headed by Vito Corleone. The novel covers the years 1945 to 1955 and also provides the back story of Vito Corleone from early childhood to adulthood.
The Godfather has a lot of intrigue, action, suspense, double-crossing – general badassery. It will make you an offer you can’t refuse.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s By Truman Capote
I’m struggling to figure out what makes Breakfast at Tiffany’s quite so great, it could be Truman’s beautiful limpid style which winds its sentences through your inner ear so that you might think that language itself had been melted and turned into vanilla frosting or it could be that this is the sweetly sad little tale of a guy who met this creature and got stuck permanently in the friend zone, and kind of almost didn’t really mind because at least the friend zone was something and not nothing, that’s how entranced he was, or it could be that one of the major characters is a cat. It could be that it’s funny and kind and that Holly says some really surprising things (just to mention one, that she thinks people of the same sex should be allowed to get married – in 1958).
But this novelette is a small 100-page thing, a drifting fragrance, a single chord, a glint, a hello then goodbye too soon, too soon – ah yes, itself, therefore, being the perfect embodiment of the Holly Golightly experience. So, of course – that’s why.
Dark Deception By Sarah Piper
Dark Deception was my first book by Sarah Piper. I’m not into vampire novels (except, Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice) but I got hooked, I was interested in this story and how it evolves. In the end, I could not put it down. This book has steamy scenes, romance, humor, which made me chuckle a few times, and suspense. You quickly get invested in the characters and I was definitely not bored.
The chemistry between the two main characters is sizzling and there is a constant push and pull between Vampire King Dorian and the sassy art thief Charlotte. They both have to deal with complex family members on either side and it’s interesting how the plot develops.
This is the first book of the Vampire Royals of New York series. It only took me a day to finish it but I sacrificed lunchtime (I think even dinner) during the process. I regret nothing!
Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren
Beautiful Stranger follows the story of Sara leaves Chicago behind for a new life in NYC. Upon her first days, she meets the intriguing Max Stella, a British business man in a club and thus begins their hotter than hot rendezvous. Sara is a strong female character that is trying to mend her broken heart after her douche of an ex fiance slept around with the Chicago female population. Max is no stranger to Page Six, with being rumored to encompass the role of a playboy with NYC socialites and celebrities. The chemistry between these two is clearly there in the pages and you can’t help but root for Max to help Sara mend her broken heart.
This is part of the Beautiful Bastard series, probably my favorite of all five books. Throughout, I imagined Benedict Cumberbatch’s British baritone in Sherlock reading Max’s lines. Definitely, not for young readers as this contains tons of smut. BE WARNED!
Murder Games: The New York Murders by Jon Mills
A love story of two people from very different worlds who meet “later in life” and make a life together in Venice. The story reads more like a travelogue than a romantic tale. If you are interested in learning more about the life, traditions, food, wines, and customs of Venice, then you will be busy taking notes. Her descriptions of the food made my mouth water (I actually copied several of the recipes, just from her descriptions). Thoroughly enjoyable.
The Assistants by Camille Perri
The story is about how a tiny mistake in a company’s paperwork soon spirals out of control into a massive, sprawling, uncontrollable fraud. I found the central character instantly engaging.
While she does commit a crime, it’s more like allowing a mistake to happen that will benefit her. I could see the temptation – her whole student debt erased for a sum that her boss wouldn’t even notice, let alone bat an eyelid at. And then I could completely see how this relatively small indiscretion spiraled out of control to a point where she got dragged along in its wake, unable to stop it. I really liked her relationship with her boss and the guilt she felt at defrauding him. The feeling the main character has between feeling underpaid and underappreciated, but also really liking her boss and appreciating the opportunities he’s given her, is very easy to relate to. So I was on her side from the outset.
The other assistants are a colorful bunch – all amusing in their own way. Emily was my absolute favorite. She is flagrantly amoral and completely ridiculous (but in the best way). I found myself laughing out loud on almost every page. I can’t recommend this book enough.
Little Deaths by Emma Flint
Little Deaths is inspired by the true story of Alice Crimmins who was tried for the murder of her two young children in Queens, New York in 1965. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and reading books based on true crime always has that extra level of authenticity. This is a stunningly raw and gritty story that really kept me glued to the pages and reading at every possible moment.
The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe
This is a wonderful mix of historical fiction, the supernatural, and romance. While studying at NYU in hopes of becoming a documentary filmmaker, Wes meets and strange but lovely girl, Annie. He and his buddy are filming a seance and Annie is blocking the shots. The narrative shifts between NYC in 1825 and the present, and from the first-person perspective of first Wes, then Annie. This is brilliantly done.
Don’t let the 400 pages scare you. I bought the book last April and finished it within the day. It’s fast-paced, has a good mystery, some twists, and the characters are all fascinating.
Survive the Night By Danielle Vega
Stephen King meets Pretty Little Liars in this pulse-pounding novel from the author of The Merciless.
Seriously one of the creepiest books I’ve read in a while! I had nightmares after reading this. Danielle Vega is a YA horror mastermind and Survive the Night is just like her other books in that it will not let you put it down. I finished this one in less than a day, needless to say, it is an extremely fast read.
The story is about Casey, who is a recovering painkiller addict who returns home and goes to an underground rave with her friends. But it’s not called “Survive the Night” because of the drugs. Something starts killing Casey’s friends and she has to get out of the tunnels before it kills her, too.
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
Five orphans are taken under the wing of a small-time hustler, Frank Minna. They gradually become the Minna Men. Detectives? Well, at least one of them, Lionel, thinks so.
The story is told by Lionel Essrog, a young man afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome. Lionel’s Tourette syndrome makes him both annoying and endearing. Many people simply think he is crazy. There were times when Lionel’s tics made me laugh out loud, even while I imagined how difficult not being able to control outbursts must be for someone with Lionel’s problem. As he works to unravel the truth behind Frank, his affliction is both a curse and a blessing.
There you have it! The 10 amazing books set in New York to satisfy your wanderlust! Which one will you read first? What are the books that you love that are not on the list? I’d like to know by commenting below!
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