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Best Books Set in New York

Every state is known for something. As you work your way through the list, don’t miss the best books set in New York.

New York City comprises 5 boroughs sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its core is Manhattan, a densely populated borough that’s among the world’s major commercial, financial, and cultural centers. Its iconic sites include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building and sprawling Central Park. Broadway theater is staged in neon-lit Times Square.

Best Books Set in New York

The Great Gatsby: The Original 1925 Edition (A F. Scott Fitzgerald Classic Novel)
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set in the Jazz Age on Long Island, the novel depicts narrator Nick Carraway’s interactions with mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and Gatsby’s obsession to reunite with his former lover, Daisy Buchanan.

Gatsby continues to attract popular and scholarly attention. The novel was most recently adapted to film in 2013 by director Baz Luhrmann, while contemporary scholars emphasize the novel’s treatment of social class, and inherited wealth compared to those who are self-made, race, environmentalism, and its cynical attitude towards the American dream.

The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be a literary masterpiece and a contender for the title of the Great American Novel.

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [75th Anniversary Ed] (Perennial Classics)
  • Smith, Betty (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Author: Betty Smith

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From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit.

Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior―such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce―no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are raw with honestly and tenderly threaded with family connectedness. 

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The Catcher in the Rye
  • Novel by J.D. Salinger, published in 1951. The influential and widely acclaimed story details the two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after he has been expelled from prep school. Confused and disillusioned, he searches for truth and rails against the "phoniness" of the adult world. He ends up exhausted and emotionally ill, in a psychiatrist's office. After he recovers from his breakdown, Holden relates his experiences to the reader.
  • J. D. Salinger (Author)

The Catcher in the Rye 

Author: J.D. Salinger

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger’s New Yorker stories–particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme With Love and Squalor–will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is full of children. The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield.

Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

RELATED:  Best Books Set in Indiana

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The Godfather: 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Puzo, Mario (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The Godfather (The Godfather, #1) 

Author: Mario Puzo

With its brilliant and brutal portrayal of the Corleone family, The Godfather burned its way into our national consciousness. This unforgettable saga of crime and corruption, passion and loyalty continues to stand the test of time, as the definitive novel of the Mafia underworld.

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Firestarter
  • King, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Firestarter 

Author: Stephen King

Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson were once college students looking to make some extra cash, volunteering as test subjects for an experiment orchestrated by the clandestine government organization known as The Shop. But the outcome unlocked exceptional latent psychic talents for the two of them—manifesting in even more terrifying ways when they fell in love and had a child.

Their daughter, Charlie, has been gifted with the most extraordinary and uncontrollable power ever seen—pyrokinesis, the ability to create fire with her mind.

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Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close: A Novel
  • Foer, Jonathan Safran (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 

Author: Jonathan Safran Foer

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell embarks on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11.

This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts of an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey. With humor, tenderness, and awe, Jonathan Safran Foer confronts the traumas of our country’s difficult history.

RELATED:  Best Books Set in New Hampshire

Now that you’ve completed the list of best books set in this state, why not check out some others? Here are the Best Books Set in All 50 States.

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT BOOKS SET IN ALL 50 STATES

Click here to download the printable. It has a list of books in all 50 states including the Best Books Set in New York.

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