Obviously, it continues to be extremely important to stay home. If you’re bookish, the good news is (as you’re well aware) that it’s a great opportunity to catch up on some reading.
At the same time, if you’re a New Yorker, you probably have started to miss the sights and sounds of the city surrounding you. The New York Public Library’s website has a useful tool to help imaginatively visit the New York City districts we love. This interactive feature can recommend novels by neighborhood.
Here’s what the library recommends to bring you back to the winding streets of Lower Manhattan:
—“Manhattan Transfer” by John Dos Passos, published in 1925, is considered a masterpiece of modern fiction. The novel spotlights New York City in the 1920s and the wide range of characters who are trying to fit into a modern metropolis, from the wealthy and powerful to the struggling immigrants.
—“American Psycho” by Brett Easton Ellis, published in 1991, is a dark satire set in the 1980s. The story follows Patrick Bateman, a young, handsome and successful guy who earns his wealth on Wall Street by day and partakes of unthinkable acts by night. Novelist Irvine Welsh hailed “American Psycho” as “one of the greatest novels of our time” and “is one of the two zeitgeist pieces of fiction that defined America at the end of the last century.” (The other being Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club.”)
—“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer, published in 2006, follows 9-year-old Oskar Schell, who lost his father in the World Trade Center on September 11, on a secret mission to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that had belonged to his dad.
Even though you can’t visit the physical library, you can still visit the stacks digitally. If you need a library card, New York residents can apply for one through SimplyE (the NYPL’s free e-reader app).
Like to hold books in your hand rather than scroll through pages on screen? Order books from McNally Jackson! Not only will you be treating yourself, you’ll also be supporting one of New York City’s favorite independent bookshops. Here are direct links to the books above on McNally Jackson’s website: “Manhattan Transfer,” “American Psycho,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”