REading List

All of our tours heavily draw upon the fantastic works of non-fiction, literary fiction, and memoir that have helped New York City emerge as one of the world's greatest centers of art, commerce, and everything in between. Here's some books that have helped us appreciate the multi-faceted beauty of our remarkable city while also building our knowledge base. (Note this isn't an exhaustive list by any means!)

Non Fiction / Memoir

The Death and Life of Great American Cities: Jane Jacobs

A Drinking Life: Pete Hamill

Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul: Jeremiah Moss

The Great Bridge: David McCullough

Kitchen Confidential: Anthony Bourdain

Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York: Luc Sante

Notes of a Native Son: James Baldwin

M Train: Patti Smith

The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination: Sarah Schulman

The Big Oyster: Mark Kurlansky

The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village: John Strausbaugh

A Bintel Brief: Sixty Years of Letters from the Lower East Side to the Jewish Daily Forward: Isaac Metzker

A Freewheelin' Time: Suze Rotolo

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone: Olivia Liang

Up in the Old Hotel: Joseph Mitchell

The New York Nobody Knows: William Helmreich

The Black Hand: Stephen Talty

Five Families: Selwyn Raab

St. Marks Is Dead: Ada Calhoun

The Mad Ones: Crazy Joe Gallo and the Revolution at the Edge of the Underworld: Tom Folsom

The Wolf of Wall Street: Jordan Belfort

Yes, Chef: Marcus Samuelsson

New York City Coffee: A Caffeinated History: Erin Meister

Smugglers, Bootleggers, and Scofflaws: Prohibition and New York City: Ellen NicKenzie Lawson

City Kid: Nelson George

Blood, Bones, and Butter: Gabrielle Hamilton

Russ & Daughters: Mark Russ Federman

The Tao of Wu: RZA

Waiter Rant: Confessions of a Cynical Waiter: Steve Dublanica

Eat the City: A Tale of the Fishers, Foragers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, and Brewers Who Built New York: Robin Shulman

Downtown: Pete Hamill

The Colossus of New York: Colson Whitehead


Jewish New York: Ira Wolfman

Artists' SoHo: 49 Episodes of Intimate History: Richard Kostelanetz

Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York: Sari Botton

97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement: Jane Ziegelman

The Archaeology of Home: Katharine Greider

Service Included: Four Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter: Phoebe Damrosch 

Rats: Robert Sullivan

Blue Guide New York: Carol Wright