Fans of the ’80s, this one’s for you. Elise and Jamey might be neighbors now, but they’re from completely different sides of the tracks. Elise grew up in the projects, while Jamey is the heir to a large family fortune. Their attraction is instant, and the journey of their relationship takes them through the ins and out of New York City in the 1980s.
The Clancys of Queens
If you missed this book in hardcover, now’s your chance to pick it up in paperback. This coming-of-age memoir is written by Tara Clancy, a fifth-generation New Yorker. Her book takes the reader through three very different homes: a tiny, converted boat shed in Queens, an Italian-American community in Brooklyn, and an estate in the Hamptons. It’s an authentic picture of different sides of New York, and a story about the people who live in it.
Rupert and Eleanor Falkes are a wealthy New York couple with five wonderful sons who’ve grown into dashing men: Harry the law professor, Will the Hollywood agent, Sam the physician, Tom the federal prosecutor, and Jack the musician. When their father dies, the five Falkes sons come together to mourn—that is, until six months later, when a woman comes forward and claims that she had two sons with Rupert. The brothers must come to terms with their feelings of betrayal and loss, while also grappling with their mother’s baffling sympathy toward this interloper and her children.
A Fine Imitation
Manhattan in the Roaring ’20s is brought to life in Amber Brock’s historical novel, A Fine Imitation. The book centers on Vera Bellington, who appears to have everything she could ever want. But within her apartment (with a prestigious address, of course), Vera sits alone, waiting for her husband who rarely comes home. When she meets Emil Hallan, the painter hired to create a mural in her apartment building, Vera is as drawn to him as she is suspicious of him. Who is this man—and is it possible that Vera is falling in love with someone she doesn’t even know?
The Sky is Yours
Chandler Klang Smith
What will New York of the future look like? In Chandler Klang Smith’s novel The Sky Is Yours, there are dragons patrolling the city’s skies. Under constant threat from these massive creatures, people try to live their lives in a strange, dilapidated city. When an act of violence occurs, three different people—a reality star, a spoiled baroness, and a beautiful young woman found on the street—must navigate the chaos of the city and find a way to survive as everything falls apart around them.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies
This epic novel takes the reader from Dublin in the 1940s to New York and beyond, through the year 2015. Cyril Avery was adopted by a wealthy Irish couple, but he knows he isn’t really an Avery. The story follows Cyril as he comes to terms with who he is, and wrestles with the intolerance he sees within the Catholic faith in which he was raised. As he searches for his origins, Cyril must discover to what degree where he comes from defines the man he is.
Last Stop in Brooklyn
Lawrence H. Levy
The third installment in the Mary Handley mystery series is coming out in paperback, and this one takes the female private investigator to Coney Island. The year is 1894, and Mary is on a new case. A prostitute was murdered years ago in New York by a Jack the Ripper-type killer, and a suspect was apprehended. But now the convicted man’s brother is asking Mary to find the true murderer. Mary’s investigation puts her in touch with a journalist named Harper Lloyd, and together they must figure out who is responsible for this murder and why.
New York City is brimming with immigrant culture, and it’s on display in Lara Vapnyar’s Still Here. Four friends who met in Russia and kept in touch over the years wind up in New York. Sergey drifts from job to job, but his real passion is an app he’s been developing for years. His wife, Vica, is tired of his lack of ambition and supporting the family as a medical technician. We also meet Sergey’s ex-girlfriend, Regina, and his best friend, Vadik. As Sergey works on his app, questions begin to form among the group about the nature of the modern lives we live, and whether our virtual selves are true to our “real” selves.
I Am No One
Jeremy has been living in England for the past ten years, but now he’s ready to return to New York as a professor of German history and be close to his daughter. But soon, weird things start happening—things that Jeremy can’t explain. He swears he’s being followed, and he receives boxes filled with records of his online activity delivered to his doorstep. As Jeremy begins to wonder if he’s being followed by the government, he starts to reevaluate the meaning of freedom.
Will Rhodes is a food writer based in New York, who adores his wife Chloe. But while on the road for Travelers magazine, he meets a gorgeous woman he can’t resist. His decision will have consequences that Will can’t foresee, as he’s pulled into a web of intrigue, deception, and lies that spans the globe in this jet-setting thriller.
I Take You
Lily and Will are engaged to be married, but do they even know each other? Lily is impulsive and might not be ready to tie the knot. As her wedding date approaches, Lily’s life becomes a series of increasingly bad decisions (many brought on by one too many drinks) that makes her question if marriage is the right choice for her. It’s the story of a young woman who’s unapologetically inappropriate, and her quest to figure out what she wants.
This near-future New York tale tells the story of Spademan, a former garbage collector who changed careers after a bomb hit Times Square and changed the city—and his life—forever. Now his home is divided between the haves and have-nots, those who can afford to live in a virtual reality and everyone else. Spademan lives on the streets, but when he’s hired to kill someone from the elite class, he has to figure out how to navigate the co-existing societies without ending up dead himself.
Mr. and Mrs. Jha thought they had it made when they unexpectedly found themselves with more money than they knew what to do with. Their son heads off to business school in New York, and the Jhas move from their home in East Delhi to the fancy, elite suburb of Gurgaon. It turns out that they don’t fit in with their new digs or their neighbors, and their son faces challenges of his own in upstate New York. The novel’s climax occurs during the Jhas hysterical tourist trip to the Big Apple where flaunting their wealth is always top of mind. Each family member must figure out what really matters in this comedy of errors.
The Murder of the Century
If true crime is your jam, then The Murder of the Century should be next on your list. The story begins on June 26, 1897, when a group of boys found a torso—no head, no limbs—floating in the East River of New York. More gruesome discoveries ensued as the victim’s body parts were discovered in disparate places. Newspaper magnates William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer latched onto the case and turned every twist into a media circus while detectives tried to discover who the victim was, and why anyone would murder him in such a grisly fashion.
What comes to mind when you hear the words “New York”? If you live there, it’s home. But if not, it’s difficult to describe what those words evoke in your imagination. Perhaps it’s the mental image of the skyline on a clear day or the memory of a delicious meal you had in West Village. Maybe it’s one of the city’s countless museums or the world-famous shopping up and down Fifth Avenue. Regardless of the image that comes to mind—and whether you live there or you’ve never visited—you probably know there is nowhere else like it in the world. These books celebrate the diversity, the magic, and the indescribable atmosphere that encompasses what New York was, and what it is.