Best books of 2016 set in NYC’s Bushwick, Ditmas Park and more

These fiction and non-fiction reads take place in Queens, Brooklyn and beyond.

Both on the streets and on the page, 2016 was certainly a memorable year in New York City. Here are the best books of the year involving the Big Apple.


‘Modern Lovers’

By Emma Straub

It’s summer in Brooklyn and tensions are higher than the temperature outside. Best friends and longtime Ditmas Park neighbors Zoe and Elizabeth must re-examine their friendship and marriages, as their two teenage children suddenly become re-interested in one another after years of mutual snubbing. From Rockaway Beach to the Barclays Center to a nonexistent Ditmas Park cafe you wish you could visit, this book is a modern New York love story on every page.


‘Rich and Pretty’

By Rumaan Alam

Best friends since private school, Sarah and Lauren navigate their 30s — a pending marriage, a career in publishing — through the beautifully illustrated prose of Alam’s debut novel, practically meant to be read by candlelight at a trendy-but-not-too-trendy downtown wine bar.


‘The Clancys of Queens’

By Tara Clancy

In this fifth-generation New Yorker’s coming-of-age memoir divided between suburban Queens, a Roosevelt Island luxury high-rise and a Bridgehampton estate, Clancy explores class and identity with wit and a precocious childlike narration that will make you feel in-the-know with at least one more New Yorker in this sprawling, diverse metropolis.



By Stephanie Danler

The candy-pink cover practically dominated every bookstore window when this novel debuted in time for summer reading, but behind the sweet-colored jacket is a story of perseverance, of finding one’s own self in the constantly-trying New York City. Danler’s descriptions of her protagonist’s commute alone will reignite your love for the little moments of New York City living.


‘Another Brooklyn’

By Jacqueline Woodson

A Brooklyn that many of the people living off the L train today might not recognize, Woodson’s Bushwick of the 1970s is full of danger, chaos and aspirations beyond the borough, all explored through what it means to grow up black and female.


‘Still Here’

By Lara Vapnyar

During a year in which immigration was at the cusp of what felt like every conversation, this novel exploring the lives of four immigrants to New York City is both relevant and entertaining to any New Yorker living among our ever-changing social fabric of city transplants.


‘Food And The City: New York’s Professional Chefs, Restaurateurs, Line Cooks, Street Vendors, and Purveyors Talk About What They Do and Why They Do It’

By Ina Yalof

For those for whom the tastes and dishes of New York are more important than any other facet of city life, this book exploring the city’s food icons — from Dominique Ansel to Momofuku Ma Peche — is an absolute must-read between restaurant reservations.

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