|The New York Times building in Midtown –credit|
You may not be going back to school, but it’s always a good time to indulge in a good read and learn something new about New York. Whether you’re a seasoned New Yorker or dreaming of a visit to the Big Apple, there are many books that can help you best understand this great metropolis. From history to culture, there’s so much to enjoy in NYC and it’s only made better by reading—flip through a few pages on the subway or camp out on the lawn in Bryant Park to enrich yourself in New York stories.
The New York Post may be known as the rag of NYC, but it’s worth indulgence for neighborhood news and the scandalous Page Six socialite gossip. Sports and celebrity pages are also good reads with this paper.
The Wall Street Journal is the largest circulated paper in the United States, with international editions in Asia and Europe. The content may be a bit drier than some other publications, but the journalism and reportage are top notch. The Opinion Page is a favorite for columnists’ views on relevant issues.
The Village Voice is free every Wednesday in newsstands around the city, and is notorious for its classified ads. This tabloid paper is also a reliable source of neighborhood news around Manhattan. Known to have a Bohemian voice since its conception in 1955, The Voice is an excellent source of entertainment.
The New York Observer is a weekly newspaper rather new to New York; it started in 1987. Less serious than the typical paper, The Observer brings news articles with a witty spin for its urban professionals readers, primarily seeking culture, art, real estate, and general New York lifestyle pieces.
|New Yorker cover by Saul Steinberg on March 29, 1976 –credit|
Time Out New York exists to make New Yorkers breach out of their comfort zones and discover all there is to do in the city. Themed issues like NYC’s Best Burgers or Weekend Staycations are fun reads, as are the weekly profiles of NYC characters on the street. Before I moved here, I loved reading the magazine and cutting out the listings of places I wanted to visit when I finally arrived.
Taipei by Tao Lin (248 Pages)
Though the title may be misleading, Lin’s newest novel details the late twenty-something life in hipster Williamsburg with a Hemmingway-like specificity that reads in intimate detail. Millenials living in Brooklyn will see themselves on every page, while those who live a greater distance can get a better grasp of this subculture.
And the Heart Says Whatever by Emily Gould (211 Pages)
Gould’s memoir details her early life in New York, struggling with a career, a relationship, and making her place in the city. Staying in a one-bedroom despite a broken relationship, decorating her arms with tattoos, and surviving brutal time at an up-and-coming publication are just a few of Gould’s poignant yet hilarious challenges.
Didion’s prose reads like a conversation with your mentor: brilliant and inspired, touching and respectful in all ways. This memoir details her experience dealing with the sudden death of her husband, who still lives within all the nooks and crannies of New York City and the apartment they shared in Manhattan for years.
My First New York by Collected Authors (256 Pages)
If you can make it here, you can… well, can you make it here? This collection of short stories details the experiences, from the hilarious to the potentially devastating New York household names and how they made their way in the big city. Writers, actors, chefs, and more tell all for those who think that New York is the place for them.
Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell (736 Pages)
Mitchell is known for writing strikingly realistic profiles of New Yorkers almost too absurd to not be fictionalized. In this collection, his work for The New Yorker is compiled in a complete volume, which ranges from his unique reportage to the wackiest of street portfolios.