Get me into the New York state of mind

Last week I made a big mistake in reading choice. Just after mentally preparing myself to launch into the New York City mindset, I picked up Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, about as far as a New York State of mind as you can get without holing up in a chilly Jesuit monastery with a volume of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Instead of walking around the vibrant Chelsea district, I found myself meandering around the exurbia area I live in, spotting cardinals and feeding goats and thinking of the ear-crashing songs of tree frogs in the summer.

All very lovely, but not exactly what I was looking for. So now I’d like to ask our readers to send me all and any book recommendations for New York City: fiction and nonfiction; books about the city, glowing and condemning; books by authors from the city; and books by authors who were made by the city, or considered themselves to be so. You can even recommend something badly written, as long as it has something interesting to say about New York and its inhabitants.

I know we’ve got the best, most perceptive and thoughtful readers and travelers on the planet. Tell me what you’ve got. Me and my library card are waiting.

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