Start Spreading The News: Your Essential New York Reading List

For many people, the prospect of a vacation has been on hold for a while – but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan. A little bit of Covid-19 isolation can’t stop us celebrating New York City, the city so nice, they named it twice (it’s true).

Maybe you’re a native New Yorker who never takes the time to enjoy the wonders right on your doorstep? Or a regular business visitor who rarely gets the time to step out of the meeting room and into the city? Or, perhaps you’re an out-of-town visitor who wants to plot the perfect treat once the current situation has all blown over.

It’s time to hit the reading lamp and delve into the pages of these great New York-based books and novels. Whether it’s fact or fiction you’re after, there’s something here for everyone (and some amazing must-see sites to put on your bucket list for when all this is over too!)

Non-fiction: The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village

Written by John Strausbaugh, it’s the perfect book for any lover of Greenwich Village. It tells the interesting story of how it has become the iconic and vibrant area we know and love today.

Sites you’ll want to see later:

  • Washington Square Park: Lively music surrounds the area, with its famed Arch taking pride of place in the centre.
  • The “Friends” apartment: The iconic building is located at 90 Bedford St. and is a popular site.

Fiction: The Great Gatsby

Described as ‘the most American of stories’ thanks to its American dream theme with a ‘Mr Nobody from Nowhere’, this 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald is set in Long Island and New York City during the age of jazz is a must read for anyone living or visiting the City. As well as being a true classic it gives you an insight into the Roaring Twenties lifestyle.

Sites to see later:

  • The Plaza Hotel: This iconic building located at the intersection with Central Park South played host to Jay Gatsby and his entourage. Fitzgerald was also a frequent visitor to hotel.
  • Queensborough Bridge: For a cheap adventure, take a cycle over Queensborough Bridge. As narrator Nick Carraway states: “The city seen from the Queensborough Bridge is always the city seen for the first time…”

Did you know? The classic novel has been made into a movie four times (1949, 1974, 2000 and 2013).

Non-fiction: Pit Bull: Lessons from Wall Street’s Champion Day Trader

This is the true story of one of the most famous Wall Street traders, Martin “Buzzy” Schwartz. Written by Schwartz himself, it reveals how he became the best of best and earned the name ‘Pit Bull’. It has been rated one of the top 10 trading books and gives an insight into how Wall Street works. While you have some free time on your hands, you could brush up on your trading skills, and once the City is back up and running don’t forget to take a stroll down the world’s most famous financial district to see where the action takes place.

Sites to see later:

While the New York Stock Exchange is now closed to the public, taking a walk down Wall Street is a fantastic and free way to while away the time. You’ll be able to take in:

  • The New York Stock Exchange building: Located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, it’s a must-visit.
  • The Charging Bull: A picture with Wall Street’s most famous sculpture is essential
  • Federal Hall: Sitting at 26 Wall Street, it’s here where George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States of America.

Did you know? The New York Stock Exchange is the oldest stock exchange in America. It was founded on May 17 1792.

Fiction: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Named after one of the most famous stores in Manhattan – and the world – Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a novella written by Truman Capote before it hit the silver screen starring Audrey Hepburn. It tells the story of a country girl turned New York café society girl living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It’s an interesting read of how a young woman has no job and lives by socializing with wealthy men.

Sites to see later:

  • Tiffany & Co: Located on 5th Avenue, this remains one of the world’s most famous jewelry stores.

Did you know? Tiffany’s started offering breakfast for the first time in 2017 with the opening of its Blue Box Café – 59 years after the book was published.

So, there you go, reading for now and planning for later – now is the chance to learn more about our spectacular city and to get making plans for your next adventure.