72° Good Afternoon
72° Good Afternoon

Best NYC books of 2015

New York City has always been the perfect setting for storytelling.

From laugh-out-loud, true-to-life memoirs to crime novels to heart wrenching stories from acclaimed authors, NYC proved itself yet again in 2015's literary landscape.

Page through the best New York City books of this year.

'Fates and Furies' by Lauren Groff

Weeks before graduating Vassar college, Lotto Satterwhite and
Photo Credit: Riverhead Books

Weeks before graduating Vassar college, Lotto Satterwhite and Mathilde Yoder marry, after only a few weeks of courtship. They continue on a journey to the West Village, where Lotto, an aspiring actor, discovers his hidden talent for playwriting, while Mathilde makes ends meet at an art gallery. An omnipresent narrator lyrically shares a New York love story, though the novel may not be categorized as such. Hidden insights from both Lotto and Mathilde, revealed throughout their relationships in flashbacks and memories make this a miss-your-train-stop read.

'M Train' by Patti Smith

Following the success of her memoir
Photo Credit: Knopf

Following the success of her memoir "Just Kids," which won The National Book Award, Patti Smith brought readers back to the New York of decades past. From the now-shuttered Cafe Ino where she regularly indulged in black coffee and brown toast with olive oil to her bungalow at Rockaway Beach, which miraculously survived superstorm Sandy in 2012. Fluid prose and photos illustrate Smith's own New York City.

'Everybody Rise' by Stephanie Clifford

Inspired by Edith Wharton's
Photo Credit: St. Martin's Press

Inspired by Edith Wharton's "House of Mirth" this quintessential New York novel breaks into the elite world of fame, fortune and more fortune. After attending an elite East Coast prep school and liberal arts college, Evelyn Beegan moves to the Upper East Side where, at 26 years old, she becomes a recruiter for a new social media site, People Like Us, aimed at NYC's exclusive top tie. In pre-iPhone era 2006, debutantes and old money begin slowly spinning Beegan's life out of control as she aims to become a part of this glitzy, closed-off society.

'A Window Opens' by Elisabeth Egan

This debut novel by
Photo Credit: Simon & Schuster

This debut novel by "Glamour" books editor Elisabeth Egan delves into the busy life of Alice Pearse, working mother of three, whose commute between her Jersey suburb and midtown office each day offers her only few minutes of respite. Sound familiar? Even Monday to Friday New Yorkers can relate to Alice's ups and downs, comedic interactions with co-workers and struggles with family.

'The Odd Woman and the City' by Vivian Gornick

Photo Credit: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Former "Village Voice" columnist Vivian Gornick ventures back into the New York City of the '60s and '70s in her second memoir. Through essays and witty observations, Gornick captures the characters of the city -- from fellow writers to characters on the corner -- with the precision of a seasoned New Yorker and prolific journalist's observation. For those nostalgic for a New York of the past, regardless of having perhaps never even seen it, this 175-page recreation of 20th-century Manhattan is an entrancing read.

'The Whites' by Richard Price

Those who followed
Photo Credit: Henry Holt and Co.

Those who followed "Serial" in late 2014 and were swept into HBO's "The Jinx" had a third (fictional) murder story in which to entangle in 2015: "The Whites." Follow officer Billy Graves as he works the Manhattan Night Watch, witnessing a gory murder in Penn Station and piecing together clues as old haunts come together. "As unstoppable as a train coming through a tunnel ... putting this book aside to sleep or eat or do anything else [was] very difficult," wrote the New York Times in its review this past February.

'St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street' by Ada Calhoun

Those in search of a dollar slice past
Photo Credit: W. W. Norton

Those in search of a dollar slice past midnight may not agree with Calhoun's thesis, but to a native New Yorker, the statement may ring too true. Calhoun takes a lively look back at St. Marks Place's vibrant and formative history at New York's cultural landscape.

'Re Jane' by Patricia Park

Patricia Park's modern day retelling of
Photo Credit: Pamela Dorman Books

Patricia Park's modern day retelling of "Jane Eyre" follows Jane Re, a Korean-American orphan growing up in Flushing. After graduating from Baruch, she chooses being a live-in nanny for liberal Cobble Hill family over a career in finance, much to the chagrin of her uncle back in Queens. A loose interpretation of Bronte's original style, readers follow their new heroin between boroughs and all the way to Asia as she embarks on an adventure of adulthood, self-discovery and a refreshing love of New York.

'A Little Life' by Hanya Yanagihara

It's everyone's favorite plot: four young adults graduate
Photo Credit: Doubleday

It's everyone's favorite plot: four young adults graduate a small Northeastern college and move to New York City. An aspiring actor, an architect, a painter and a lawyer navigate life in NYC via professional ambition, complicated relationships and traumatic turmoil. Called a masterwork by critics, both devastating and beautifully written, this portrait of life in New York over the decades is a must-read.

'Food Whore' by Jessica Tom

This straight-to-paperback first novel isn't going to win
Photo Credit: William Morrow Paperbacks

This straight-to-paperback first novel isn't going to win a National Book Award any time soon, but for an indulgent read of the New York City that only exists in fiction, this tale about NYU graduate student and tasting prodigy Tia Monroe will suck you in. Lured to assist the fictional New York Times' restaurant critic via free food and an unlimited Bergdorf Goodman expense account, this "Devil Wears Prada" for foodies, as deemed by the New York Post, is hugely entertaining for the food and fashion crowd.

'Tales from the Back Row' by Amy Odell

Photo Credit: Simon & Schuster

This "outsider's view from inside the fashion industry" by current editor Amy Odell tells that story of a young fashion blogger navigating her way through celebrity parties, red carpets, fashion week and, of course, Anna Wintour's office. Funny, insightful and relatable to New York media professionals, roll your eyes as Odell deals with publicists, deciphers between print and web journalists and share insider's secrets to sample sales.

'Women Chefs of New York' by Nadia Arumugam

Get to know the ladies behind some of
Photo Credit: Absolute Press

Get to know the ladies behind some of your favorite New York foods in this beautifully photographed book. Recipes, interviews and portraits of these need-to-know chefs including April Bloomfield, Gabrielle Hamilton, Christina Tosi make this book an important kitchen and bookshelf staple for those in the know about NYC's food scene.

'Savoring Gotham' edited by Andrew F. Smith

New York food lovers can savor this comprehensive
Photo Credit: Oxford University Press

New York food lovers can savor this comprehensive guide to NYC's edibles. Over 500 entries on local food and drink along with detailed history and illustrations make this new book an indispensable reference to those who love tasting all that the city has to offer.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Entertainment photos & videos