When a city is as influential as New York, it is no surprise when it appears in a book or two… or a hundred. With wonderful landscapes, impressive skyscrapers, and a few mysterious corners, NYC is the perfect setting for your thriller drama or magical adventure. If you want to know more about the marvelous stories that happen in the Big Apple, here is our list of 5 books where NYC is the main setting.

1) Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

This novel by Jonathan Safran Foer is a journey that blends personal and collective history, providing views of tragic circumstances seen through the eyes of a child. After the unfortunate events of 9/11, 9 year-old Oskar Schell loses his father and is  left with only grief. A year later, Oskar finds a key in his father’s belongings. Intrigued by the key, Oskar travels all around NYC in search for answers and closure. If you enjoy historical fantasy and want to shed a few tears, we highly recommend this story filled with love, devotion, and acceptance.


2) Bright Lights, Big City

Written by Jay McInerney and published in the mid 1980’s, this book follows the life of a 24 year old writer. Working for an intellectual magazine by day, at night the protagonist throws himself head-first into the hedonistic party scene of the yuppie community. From club crawling, to fashion shows, to loft parties, the main character does his best to escape until, inevitably, a reckoning point is reached that forces him to come to terms with personal loss. An ode to youth and NYC, and curiously written in second person, we recommend you give this exceptional story a shot. There’s a reason why it remains a much loved and iconic American novel.

3) The Gods of Gotham (A Timothy Wilde Novel)

The first entry in the Timothy Wilde Series, author Lyndsay Faye sets her story in mid-19th Century Manhattan. The protagonist, a barkeep that survives a disastrous fire, yet does not emerge from it unscathed, joins the recently created New York City Police Force despite his skepticism. Soon, he finds himself the surreptitious ward of a 10 year old girl, one he finds on the streets, covered in blood. She brings with her horrific tales Timothy cannot bring himself to believe – initially. Reluctantly caught up in a battle for justice, he will find himself risking his life as well as the people he cares for as the truth begins to unravel. A nominee for the Edgar Allan Poe Awards 2013, this historical crime thriller will keep you hooked with its intricately woven story and vivid characters.

4) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Set during the Second World War, this outstanding novel by Michael Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001. Czech artist and Jewish refugee Joe Kavalier arrives in NYC in 1939 and joins his cousin Sammy Clay, a writer from Brooklyn, in his endeavor to take part in the latest sensation to take the country by storm: the comic book. Tapping into their personal dreams and fears, the two partner up to create art, stories, and heroes, embarking on an adventure that takes them for the ride of a lifetime. In thrilling prose, the author unveils a memorable tale of possibilities and gifts readers with a defining novel of modern America. Make sure you give this riveting book a try; we’re certain you won’t regret it.

5) The Catcher in the Rye

This poignant novel by J.D Salinger is, in one word, a classic. First published in 1951, it has joined many a list, including Times’ 2005 best one hundred novels written since 1923. It tells the tale of Holden Caulfield, a 16 year old, who leaves his school, Pencey Prep, and goes AWOL in New York City for 3 days. Immersed in a cloud of confusion and disillusionment, the protagonist sets out in pursuit of truth, harshly criticizing the ‘phoniness’ of the adult world throughout. Exhausted and emotionally afflicted, Holden tells his tale to the reader while recovering in an institution in California. Essayist Adam Gopnik considers that “no book has ever captured a city better than Catcher in the Rye captured New York in the fifties.” So, if you haven’t read it already, we highly recommend that you do.



Staying in New York City – About The Lombardy Hotel

We welcome you to The Lombardy Hotel. Our rooms, lobby, and little corners are perfect for relaxing and reading, or even writing your own novel. We also encourage adventurers who are here to experience New York City for themselves. We’re right in the heart of Manhattan, so you can get the real big city experience right outside our front doors.

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