21 Awesome Books Set in New York City

If you love reading and you love New York City, you will have endless options of books set in New York City to choose from.

New York City is a great literary landscape to tell a tale from. Hordes of people want to visit, many imagine living here, so it makes perfect sense why writers set their stories in this incredible concrete jungle.

With a vast array to choose from, no doubt, you will find awesome NYC books to match your favorite genre. I love romcoms, YA, women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction, just to name a few. I’ll share my favorite NYC books in this post, which will surely give you something fabulous to read.

Central Park in NYC

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I have been living in NYC for over 15 years now and blogging for a few years now. My specialty is reading books set in New York City and using the book as inspiration for a fun tour of the city. I call these tours, “literary dates.”

Many of the NYC books I will share with you have also inspired literary dates in the city. I’ll be sure to point out which ones. I will break this post up into genres so feel free to skip to your favorite one. I also plan to continue to update this post as I read more books set in NYC.

I’m also always looking for NYC books, so please share your recommendations in the comments if I’ve left your favorite out.

*Indicates gifted books in exchange for a fair and honest review. Updated March 2022.

My Favorite Books Set in New York City

Romance and Rom-com NYC Books

I love romance and comedy, so rom-com books are one of my favorite genres to read. I also love a good old-fashioned, spicy romance too along with sweeping romances.

I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

I was totally jealous of the main character Angela in this one. She flees to New York City from London after finding her fiancé cheating on her (not jealous of that part) and within a week, she’s got two good-looking guys after her (jealous!). I’ve been in NYC a long time and let me tell you, dating in NYC is hard!

Angela, how did you do it? It’s got to be the British accent.

Angela finds her way through the city and finds herself again in the process as she heals from her heartbreak. It’s fun to follow along on her journey as she navigates her new life, dates two hotties, makes new friends, and finds career inspiration.

I totally had a book crush on Alex, the adorable musician she dated.

I Heart New York Tour

SeaGlass Carousel

SeaGlass Carousel

This tour was a blast. I got inspired on a visit to the MoMA, I ate some yummy chocolate at Max Brenner’s, and I took a ride on the SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park.

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

In Five Years New York City (Future)Tour

With this incredible book, you have to make sure you notice the tagline on the cover page, “This is a love story but not the love story you’re expecting.”

Dannie’s whole life is planned out, she knows what prestigious law firm in New York she will work at, she knows when she will get engaged, and she knows exactly which exclusive Manhattan neighborhood she will live in.

On the night of her proposal, Dannie happily falls asleep in perfect bliss and then wait for it…she wakes up in five years in the arms of another man. Crazy!

Dannie wakes back up in her own timeline and is left to wonder what the heck just happened? Dannie tries to live her perfect life with her fiancé and her best friend Bella, who is always faithfully by her side, but she can’t shake what happened to her.

I absolutely loved this book and even though the love story wasn’t what I was expecting, I thought it was beautiful. Might need some tissues.

In Five Years Literary Date

Sneak Peek:

The Brooklyn Bridge

My In Five Years Literary Date brought me to Brooklyn and the West Village in Manhattan. I even walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. Also found some yummy cookies that the character Bella would love.

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

*In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer

In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer, book cover

This book hooked me from the start and had me laughing out loud! It has an EPIC meet-cute in the subway when Franny, after just being sacked from her job, gets her dress caught in the train doors. Yikes!

Luckily a gent named Hayes comes to her rescue with his Gucci suit jacket, no less. To add insult to injury, to Franny’s horror and our enjoyment, this moment becomes a viral sensation as #SubwayQTs

From there, Franny tries to get her life back on track as an interior designer, and luckily for us readers, continues to have run-ins with Hayes all around New York. They get off to a rocky start as they seem like complete opposites. But of course, there’s some delicious sexual tension between the two.

Franny also has the best girlfriends ever who are always there for her with love and bagels. I absolutely loved this book and it kept me smiling as I turned the pages.

Check out my full book review and what a literary date would look like in my In a New York Minute Literary Date Book Review.

In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer, picture of book in front of a brownstone

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon

Ghosting: A Love Story by Tash Skilton

Ghosting: A Love Story by Tash Skilton book cover

This author duo created a fun, enemies to lovers, Cyrano-esque romcom that is adorable, clever, and an all-around good time.

Zoey is a writer from LA sent to New York by her old boss to hone her skills. Poor Zoey though has so many anxieties about living in the city that she never goes beyond the cafe across the street from her place.

Miles has just been dumped by his fiance, has to downsize by couch surfing, and work out of the same cafe to make ends meet. Miles and Zoey fight for the same coveted table and day-old bargain biscotti. The competition for the table is on!

Unbeknownst to each other, they both work as ghostwriters for competing dating sites. They pose online as their clients in the hopes to get them to that first date and find love. Turns out Miles and Zoey interact with each other online posing as their clients and the sparks fly!

Will their online connection translate to real life? Only one way to find out.

This book is chock full of tropes and I’m all for it. We have enemies to lovers, mistaken identities, and an update on the Cyrano classic. This book was a blast to read, the witty banter and fun story had me hooked.

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon – Free with Kindle Unlimited!

This is Your Life by Jennifer Ann Shore

This is Your Life by Jennifer Ann Shore book cover

This NYC modern romance book had me living out my teenage fantasies of meeting a celebrity and having him fall in love with me. Was that just me?

Julianna, like many new New Yorkers, is not able to find her dream job so does what many of us do and nannies for some wealthy, uppity family. Yup, I definitely had that experience living here. It’s a New York City rite of passage.

She has an accidental run-in with Gabe King, the hottest celeb around. Of course, he thinks she’s some stalker-type but that couldn’t be any further from the truth.

With the help of his sister, they get a second chance to get things right, and the romance that blossoms is every celeb-loving female’s dream. I read this book so fast and a bonus for me is that it includes an adorable dog.

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon – Free with Kindle Unlimited!

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

This NYC book is not a rom-com or a romance but an epic love story that takes place over decades and continents. With this book, you need to know someone else who has read it because it needs to be discussed. It’s a great book for a book club.

Lucy tells the story of how she met Gabe in a style like she’s talking to someone and that is how their entire love story is told. They met by chance on a fateful day which impacted both of them tremendously. Life brings them together again.

Young love but can it last? Gabe doesn’t think so when he gets a job as a photojournalist in the Middle East while Lucy continues her career in New York. They still stay in each other’s hearts through the next thirteen years of their lives despite being continents apart.

This book will have you turning the pages to find out what happens at the end. There are clues sprinkled throughout the book and it’s a doozy of an ending. I’ll repeat again, make sure you have someone to discuss this book with!

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon

New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan, book's coverpage

Give me all the NYC books with romance and dogs. If you know me at all then you know that is definitely a winning combo for me. The main character, Molly, has a dog that she regularly walks in Central Park.

Daniel sees Molly in the park and to get her attention, he borrows a dog. Not so honest that Daniel, but when he sees a woman he likes, he’ll stop at nothing to bag her. Yup, he’s a bit of a playboy.

The trouble for Daniel is that Molly has sworn off men because she thinks she’s bad news for them. Will Daniel be able to sway her and does he have a heart?

I enjoyed this sweet and fluffy NYC read. New York, romance, and dogs…I dig it!

New York, Actually Tour

Sneak peek:

My tour of NYC inspired by the book New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

My New York, Actually tour took me on a fun day to Central Park, yummy macarons, and to the top of the Met Museum. Great views of the city up on that rooftop!

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

Lost, Found, and Forever by Victoria Schade

Lost, Found, and Forever by Victoria Schade, book cover

Another dog book! I can read books with dogs all day, what about you? In this one, Justine has the most adorable trickster of a dog, Spencer. This dog knows all the tricks and even gets cast in a Hollywood movie!

Before Justine can celebrate their good fortune, however, she discovers that some guy used to own Spencer before she rescued him. He has the paperwork to prove it too. Ruh-roh!

That’s my biggest nightmare with my cat. After I adopted him, I searched my neighborhood sites to make sure he wasn’t someone’s lost pet. If someone tried to claim my kitty even less than a year of having him, I would put up a fight too.

I don’t care that Griffin has one of those names where you know the guy is good-looking. Forget his charm! Or maybe not? He does seem like a sweet guy who maybe Justine could fall for unless he’s trying to pull one over on her?

This book was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it the whole way through! I liked the settings too-Justine lives in upstate New York, sounds like a quaint town, and Griffin is in my favorite New York City borough, Brooklyn.

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon

Roomies by Christina Lauren

Roomies by Christina Lauren

Author duo Christina Lauren wrote this cute rom-com where the female protagonist, Holland, has a long-running crush on an Irish subway busker named Calvin. His talent and good looks have her hooked. Then her crush rises to new levels when she lands him a job on her uncle’s Broadway show, which is the hottest ticket in town.

The only glitch is that he overstayed his visa while living in the U.S. so he can’t legally work. Holland finds an easy enough solution- she marries the guy! He lives the New York dream and she’s a lot closer to her crush.

As over the top as that situation sounds, I think they navigated their unorthodox marriage in a very rational and level-headed way. Of course, we’re all dying for them to fall in love. Does this marriage of convenience lead to true love?

I definitely recommend this fun, romantic read.

Roomies New York City Tour

Tom Hiddleston from Betrayal

Roomies inspired such a fun tour of the city. Now I have my very own cute subway busker to stalk…I mean…to appreciate his beautiful talent. Also, I got to see an incredible Broadway show, starring Loki aka Tom Hiddleston.

Then, I almost got robbed by Cookie Monster. A very terrifying situation. *Shudders*

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

Suspense Books set in New York City

You by Caroline Kepnes

Book Review and NYC Tour: YOU by Caroline Kepnes

I’ll start with You for suspense books since everyone and their Uncle’s best friend has gone bonkers for this show on Netflix.

So Joe is just your average guy working in a bookstore in New York when someone of the female variety piques his interest. In walks Beck and in an instant he falls for her. His interest quickly becomes an obsession as he tries desperately to be a part of her life.

The way Joe rationalizes his every move is so creepy but the thing that makes it most creepy is that you find yourself almost agreeing with his thoughts. Joe is funny and kind of endearing that you almost root for him until you want to puke for thinking that way just for a second.

Or is that just me? I was just kidding. Joe is a psycho!

Head over here to check out my tour of New York City inspired by You by Caroline Kepnes:

YOU & Me & NYC Tour

Sneak peek: Beck’s apartment

You by Caroline Kepnes, The West Village

You’ll also get to see Joe’s Brooklyn neighborhood, some yummy treats from Levain Bakery that Peach probably visited in secret, a cool NYC street mural, and more! *Keep in mind that this tour is based on the book’s locations, not the television show, although I’m sure it’s similar.

You is one of the best suspense books set in NYC!

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Reconstruction Amelia by Kimberly McCreight, Books set in New York City

While YOU was a cautionary tale about being careful about what you put up online, Reconstructing Amelia is a cautionary tale about what kids can get wrapped up in, unbeknownst to their parents. Reconstructing Amelia is the second book set in New York City that I read for my blog.

This NYC book gripped my heart. It’s not a spoiler to know that the book starts with Amelia’s tragic death. She’s a teen living in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her mother, Kate.

One day, Kate gets a call to come to the school about Amelia cheating on a paper, which she knows is not like her daughter. When Kate arrives, it’s even worse, she gets the devastating news that Amelia had fallen off the roof and died.

The book goes back and forth from the perspectives of Kate and Amelia. Kate is trying to figure out what happened. From Amelia’s perspective, we get taken back in time before it all happened and everything that leads up to that tragic event.

It’s so hard to read with the knowledge of how it will end while getting drawn into the characters and becoming fully invested in them. We learn how Amelia navigates her life and how one event leads to the next and ultimately to that roof. How does she get up there?

This is a beautiful and tragic book set in New York City. Very well done.

I felt a little funny at first doing a tour of NYC based on this serious read, but I had the author’s approval so that was cool. *My old handle and site were “Searching for Humor.”

Author Kimberly McCreight, books set in New York City

Check out my tour of Park Slope, Brooklyn based on this NYC book:

Park Slope “Reconstructing Amelia” Tour

Sneak peek:

Reconstructing Amelia, books set in New York City

I went to many of the spots mentioned in the book including the yummy Dizzy’s Diner and another spot that had the best hot chocolate ever! I dream of that hot chocolate.

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole book cover

When No One Is Watching is set in a neighborhood in Brooklyn that is gentrifying in the most terrifying way. The longtime Black residents keep disappearing as new White residents move in. It’s just as creepy as the movie Get Out.

Sydney has moved back to her old neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, and has noticed all the changes and is frustrated by it. To tell the true story of her beloved neighborhood, she decides to create her own walking tour and gets help from Theo, one of her new neighbors.

As they research the history of the neighborhood, what they uncover sends them down a rabbit hole and things get crazy. Did Sydney’s old neighbors move out or was it something more sinister? The more they uncover, the more Sydney doesn’t know who she can trust and the fear and the unknown grip her.

This book is creepy, sad, and you’ll be turning the pages.

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon

*Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin book cover

While When No One Is Watching has Get Out vibes, Stay Awake is reminiscent of the movie Memento. Does anyone remember the 2000 movie with Guy Pearce tattooing his body so he wouldn’t forget things due to his short-term memory issues? And he’s trying to track down who murdered his wife?

In Stay Awake Liv Reese forgets everything every time she wakes up, she finds weird messages scribbled on her hands that she struggles to decipher. Two years ago, she had a boyfriend, a best friend, and a dream job. Now she’s wandering around New York City aimlessly as she tries to figure out what the hell is going on.

Making matters exponentially worse, she wakes up with a bloody knife in her back pocket with the words “Stay Awake” written on her, the same message she sees on the news where a murder just happened. What did she do last night? She can’t remember anything that didn’t happen two years ago.

All of a sudden, it seems like she could be the prime suspect for a crime she knows nothing about. And someone could be out there that doesn’t want her to remember, someone who might want her dead.

You will whip through these pages fast as you try to piece everything together along with Liv and the detectives trying to figure it all out. This book will be out on August 9th.

Preorder the Book: Amazon

YA Books Set in New York City

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen, 10 Awesome Books Set in New York City

Have you ever been ghosted? It’s the worst, am I right? Well, the main character, Wes, totally gets ghosted in an unimaginable way.

Poor guy!

Wes is a film student at NYU helping out his buddy film a séance when he runs into a captivating girl who he’s desperate to find. One, because his buddy needs a signed photo consent form from her, and two because well, he’s a young guy interested in this captivating girl. This girl, Annie, proves difficult to find.

Perhaps it’s because she’s from 1825? So yeah, their relationship defines, “It’s complicated.” Somehow though Annie finds herself in present-day New York City so she and Wes are able to connect.

I thought this was such a cool, mysterious book. This is another book where we get to read from two characters’ perspectives. Wes and Annie both make for a compelling read.

Shall I say I was spell-bounded? Yes, I shall. This YA book is another awesome book set in New York City!

And it inspired a cool tour in the East Village.

Check it out!

Annie Van Tour

Here’s some inspirational street art I saw during my Annie Van tour

Inspirational street art in New York City

I went to Wes’ neighborhood, a Hare Krishna festival at Washington Square Park, and the home that was the inspiration for Annie Van’s house, The Merchant’s House.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton and 5 more authors

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton book cover

This is an amazing compilation of interconnected short stories of young love during a blackout in New York. I can’t help to start out with how much I loved these stories.  I don’t know if I can do justice to how well these stories are woven together.

The brilliant, award-winning Black authors tell the stories of these Black teens as they navigate the complicated feelings they have in regards to love, heartbreak, second chances, new love, and new possibilities. All against the backdrop of a heatwave in New York City during a blackout.

You will fall in love with these characters and stories. Trust me on this. Just read it. Author Dhonielle Clayton brought together authors Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfold, and Nicola Yoon to bring these beautiful stories to life. It should be turned into a movie.

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon

*Everywhere, Always by Jennifer Ann Shore

Everywhere, Always by Jennifer Ann Shore

Avery’s world is turned upside down when her mom tragically dies in a car accident and Avery is left to start a new life in New York City with a brand new family. A family that fully embraces her including her overly enthusiastic brother and lovely stepmom in addition to her loving dad. The cherry on the top is a very cute neighbor who loves quoting Shakespeare.

This book takes an honest look at grief, love, and friendships. I found it refreshing how Avery’s new family embraced her and enjoyed that there was no drama there, just pure love. This story gives an honest depiction of a young girl faced with an unimaginable loss and taking it day by day. I loved this book.

This book inspired an awesome tour of New York that brought me to Coney Island, Magnolia Bakery, and Roosevelt Island. Check it out!

Everywhere, Always Tour of New York City

Everywhere Always tour of New York City

Buy this Book: Bookshop | Amazon – Free with Kindle Unlimited!

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

10 Awesome books set in New York City, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash stumbles upon a red notebook at the Strand Book Store in New York City and as he reads it, this starts Dash and Lily’s “book of dares.” Dash and Lily leave the book for the other to retrieve in various locations throughout the city and send each other on different challenges. They also write to one another through the notebook and form a close bond.

It reminds me of online dating when you build a rapport via texting and messages. The ultimate question is will this connection translate in real life?

This NYC book is set at Christmas time and again, the story unfolds between Dash and Lily’s point of view. I really enjoyed this NYC read. I thought the characters were endearing and clever.

They took us on a fun ride through New York City. I also enjoyed the show on Netflix but it doesn’t top the book.

Dash & Lily inspired a Christmassy tour of New York City:

My Dash & Lily’s Christmassy Tour of New York City

FAO Schwarz

I went to the Strand Bookstore, ate some yummy vegan food at Peacefood Cafe, and saw Christmas lights galore!

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

Other Fiction NYC Books

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi book cover

This book only has a couple of chapters set in New York but it’s such an incredible story, I have to include it. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi follows two half-sisters who don’t know each other, in Ghana’s 18th century. One lives a life of luxury in Cape Coast Castle, and the other is captured and held in that same castle and sold into slavery.

We follow their lives and the lives of their descendants. This is another book where we follow the characters one chapter at a time. We get one character’s story and then the next chapter starts a whole new story following the characters’ children.

I know some were confused while reading trying to keep all the characters together but somehow I was easily able to trace each character back to the original sisters. I say trust this author and go with it.

It will be hard to read, the harsh truths of it, but keep your eyes open and keep going. It is worth it. This is such a compelling, beautiful story.

Reading about the inner workings of the slave trade and through the eyes of characters we love is difficult but it’s a must-read. Yaa Gyasi is an incredible writer who weaves a story that takes hold of your heart that you won’t soon forget.

The New York City chapters are set in Harlem.

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok book cover

In Girl in Translation, Kimberly and her mom emigrate to the US from Hong Kong and must live in squalor in New York. Mom works at a Chinatown sweatshop, while Kimberly learns English and eventually excels in school all while working nights in the factory with her mom.

This story takes us through Kimberly’s life as she struggles as an immigrant, to becoming a star pupil, and into adulthood which proves to have its own challenges. Challenges of the heart and mind. Such is life and this is another beautiful story where the characters will leave permanent marks on your heart.

The innocence of Kimberly when she was eleven pulled me in, I was nervous for her as she grew into a teenager, and as she grew into an adult. I rooted for Kimberly and her mom the whole way through. It’s a compelling read and true to life as I know the author, Jean Kwok, pulled from her own life to write this story.

For more about this story and the kind of literary date in NYC it could inspire, go to my Literary Date Book Review of Girl in Translation.

Buy the Book: Bookshop | Amazon

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Modern Lovers is about a close group of friends who had a band together during their college days. Most of the friends live in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, and have teenage kids of their own. The friends navigate their adult life and are left haunted by the one friend who broke out on her own, rose to fame, but fell hard.

Part of the story centers on a film about her life. The friends have life struggles- aging, marriage troubles, raising teenagers, navigating their careers…it gives a realistic and honest portrayal of how hard adulting can be.

Prior to reading this book, I had read some negative reviews, so I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t share the same experience. I got invested in each of these characters and especially loved the teen daughter, Zoe’s badass personality.

Modern Lovers Tour

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

The setting is as much of a character as the rest of the characters. Ditmas Park in Brooklyn is like no other area in New York. It is a sleepy town filled with Victorian homes and beautiful sweeping, tree-lined streets.

The first time I stepped foot in this neighborhood, after the noisy, hectic vibe of Manhattan, I felt instant relaxation. Birds are chirping in this neighborhood, squirrels scurry past, and cute neighborhood cats sleep in the sun.

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman by Sam Wasson

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson

I love Audrey Hepburn and this is such a fascinating book. Sam Wasson takes us behind the scenes of the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. We get to read about it from all angles- Truman Capote, the producers, writers, actors, everything!

We meet Audrey at the start of her career and see her path to her iconic role as Holly Golightly. Also, get to learn about the women who inspired Truman Capote’s Holly. We learn fun little tidbits like what a diva George Peppard was, how Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe for Holly Golightly, and Audrey’s insecurities about playing her.

This NYC tour will always be special to me because it was my first ever literary date in the city. This is the tour that gave me the idea to read books set in New York City and then use them to inspire a fun tour of the city. I’ve been dating the city one book at a time.

My Breakfast at Tiffany’s Tour in the City

Little black Audrey Hepburn dress from the Angel Thrift Shop

I finally wore this dress and will share that pic on my instagram- @literary_dates

I ate yummy pastries, had a rainy adventure in Central Park, and found this cute Audrey-inspired, little black dress.

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

Bonus: Practically Neighbors by Sarah Smith

Cover for Practically Neighbors’ short story

This is not a book but a short story series written by Sarah Smith on her blog Sarah Writes Smut.

Practically Neighbors starts with Ava who decides to stop waiting around for a guy to get back to her and instead, starts swiping on a dating app. If you’re a single woman in today’s dating age, then you’ve been there for sure.

Well, Ava stumbles upon hunky Harker who sounds absolutely perfect. He bakes and he fosters dogs. They share a lovely back and forth where he continues to sound perfect and then…

It gets HOT. I love how relatable Sarah’s characters are and then all of a sudden they get into this fantasy world that makes you blush and beg for more!

This series is very special because Sarah wrote it so that I could go on a tour of New York with something she wrote. Sarah wrote it in the neighborhood of my choice so it’s set in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. I lived there for 8 years and loved it.

Sarah also has her awesome rom-com novels, Faker and Simmer Down, On Location, and The Close-Up. I’ve read all of them and loved them! Most were gifted but I read all her books whether gifted or not.

Practically Neighbors Brooklyn Tour

Picture of me at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier One

These books set in New York City have made for some amazing literary dates. I’m looking forward to reading many more NYC books! I have a ginormous list that I have been tackling thanks to getting many reader suggestions.

I’m always open to more. Please leave your recommendations for NYC books in the comments. I’ve read a couple of historical fiction books set in NYC by Fiona Davis and enjoyed those but I would love to know of others.

Gill Paul has one coming out in August called The Manhattan Girls and I’m very excited about that one since I loved her book The Secret Wife.

I hope you all enjoyed my list of twenty-one awesome books set in New York City. Let me know if you’ve read any or plan on it. Thank you for reading!

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21 Awesome Books Set in New York City




  1. January 21, 2020 / 1:56 pm

    This was an awesome post!! Love it! And I adore how you’ve developed your book tours 🙂 And thank you SO much for including Practically Neighbors on this list! I’m so blown away *happy tears*

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 6:56 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah for your never ending support! I appreciate you so much! Thank you again for writing that amazingly hot story!😍

  2. January 21, 2020 / 8:58 pm

    A few of these were new to me! I’ve heard of Sarah Morgan, but never read anything by her. Also, I am seeing You literally everywhere. I had no idea it was based on a book! Now I definitely want to read that first.

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 6:57 pm

      Yeah, Sarah Morgan has so many books! I need to read more of hers. I definitely think everyone should read You before seeing the show. It’s so good! Very very well written and terrifying!

  3. Sheeba
    January 21, 2020 / 9:12 pm

    This is amazing! Definitely the kinda list I needed as I’m trying to get back into bookworm mode 🙂

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 6:58 pm

      Sheeba!! Thanks so much for checking out my blog. Glad you liked it!😊
      Can’t wait to hear about what you’re reading!

  4. Keith
    January 21, 2020 / 9:25 pm

    Is this list solely fiction favorites? Why not a part 2 with Jon-fiction NY-based favorites. I have a few if you need any suggestions.

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 7:00 pm

      Yup! They are fiction. I’d definitely be open to some non-fiction books especially if you think they’d make some good tours of NYC. Thanks for reading my post!

      • Keith
        January 25, 2020 / 12:01 am

        Happy to suggest a couple of non-fiction NYC-centric books (there are a lot of very popular NYC restaurants, hotels, hotspots and neighborhoods in both books):
        1. My Friend Anna, The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache Williams
        2. The Buy Side by Turney Duff

        • searchingforhumor5
          January 25, 2020 / 3:48 pm

          Thank you so much! I love learning of new New York City books. My next literary date book will be historical fiction, but I’m going to look up these to potentially use as a future literary date. Thank you again!

        • searchingforhumor5
          January 25, 2020 / 3:49 pm

          Oh my god. I just realized that I read a very long article about that Anna person. That is a crazy story!

  5. January 21, 2020 / 10:01 pm

    What a fun list! the NYC dates are always the most fun to read. I hadn’t realized that I’d I missed so many. Thanks for the highlights. Your creativity is inspiring!

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 7:02 pm

      Hi Rosey! Thanks so much for reading. I’m so glad you like my NYC dates. That means so much! They will always be the heart and soul of my blog.
      I’m honored that you feel I’m inspiring. That gives me happy tears. Thank you!!❤️

  6. January 21, 2020 / 11:34 pm

    Out of all of those, I’ve only read You (+ watched Breakfast At Tiffany’s? How was I not aware that that was a book?!)! I’m gonna have to add these to my to-read list. <3

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 7:04 pm

      That’s cool that you read You! You’ll have to tell me what you thought of it.
      Yup, Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I’m pretty sure I read it a long time ago and it was pretty different from the movie, if I recall correctly.

      • March 3, 2020 / 11:59 pm

        I guess more accurately, I listened to the audiobook for You + kept wanting to find out what happened next but the guy reading it did a really great job and it was just all the more creepy, haha. Let me know if you ever read it! There were some definitely differences between book + series; I’m undecided as to which I like more… 😛

        • March 4, 2020 / 12:01 am

          (Clarification on above comment: lemme know when you read the sequel! :P!)

          • searchingforhumor5
            June 15, 2020 / 4:59 pm

            I’m editing this post and just realized that I missed your comment! Thank you for reading my first book list! I definitely still need to read Hidden Bodies. It’s on my list still. I will for sure let you know when I read it. 🙂 Although, listening to the audiobook is a good idea! Oh man that Joe is so creepy!

  7. January 22, 2020 / 5:36 am

    I love this! Visiting the settings off the book sounds fun! I placed books on hold at the library already. Thanks for the suggestions.. ps. The dress looks wonderful on you.

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 7:06 pm

      Hi Daisy! Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I appreciate it! I’m glad you’ve found books to add to your TBR. Hope you like them!
      And THANK YOU for that sweet compliment.😊

  8. January 22, 2020 / 10:06 am

    I love that along with the books you added snippets, pics, and SM extras from your book tours. How awesome, and welcome to the ‘books set in’ reading club. I love it so much. I think I used the word ‘love’ A LOT there, but you get the idea.

    Um, confession: I haven’t read any of these books. Of course, I know them from your blog, but I seriously need to pick up something ASAP. As you know, I need more romance too—romance for showers vs serial killers. Yea….

    Fifth Avenue, 5 AM SOUNDS AMAZING TO ME. I loved Breakfast at Tiffany’s, although I hated when they chucked Cat out into the rain. Even though they save Cat, it was traumatizing. Legit the only part of the movie that I remember, too. This is also super bad, but I had no idea that Audrey and Capote were connected. EK. How did I miss that? OK, I need to catch up. I am now fascinated.

    I saw your little black dress on Twitter today. You looked great, and I loved that pic!

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 7:21 pm

      Thank you thank you for your compliments! I’m so glad to be a part of the club. I already have another booklist idea that I think would tie in nicely to my blog.😊
      And you’re too funny about using “love” a lot. As I wrote this post, I got to a certain point where I had to cut myself off from using “cool.” I also use “fun” too much. I need to take a class to expand my vocabulary!

      Hahaha😂😂🤣🤣 Yes, you totally need to think about romance when it comes to showers and your hubs in the vicinity.😂 I definitely prescribe you reading more romance books.😉

      Fifth Ave was SO good. I’ve always been into movies, celebrity culture so I love all that behind the scenes stuff. I like the tidbits about the celebs but also learning more about what it takes to make a movie.
      Yes! Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It was very different from the movie and I don’t think it was very long, if I remember correctly.
      That Cat part was sooo sad!! I get that completely! Although the germaphobe in me also vividly remembers Audrey kissing that wet cat.😬 That’s a mouthful of fur!

      Thanks so much for your compliment on my dress and of course for reading. I’m heading to yours next!

  9. January 22, 2020 / 3:47 pm

    This list is so amazing and I’m so happy that you have tied them to your tours. I can’t believe I haven’t read anything on this list. I’ll just add them to my TBR pile.

    YOU on Netflix is so good. Are you caught up? Can’t wait for S3!

    Can we talk about that little back dress? It is so pretty and totally reminds me at Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You look fabulous in it!

    Love the strides you’re making with your blog. Keep it up. =)

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 7:26 pm

      I’m not caught up on YOU yet!! I need to read Hidden Bodies first. SO many books to read!

      Thank you for your compliments. I loved wearing that dress. It looked so Audrey to me. I was originally going to straighten my hair to be more Audrey-like but I was too lazy. But I ended up having a good hair day so it all worked out.😉

      Thanks so much for your continued support!!

  10. January 22, 2020 / 5:24 pm

    I have never seen YOU, and I don’t think I ever will :’) Crimey, thriller-y, stuff like that just doesn’t pull me. However, romance always does :’) New York, Actually; A New York Christmas; and of course, Roomies all sound very interesting!

    • searchingforhumor5
      January 23, 2020 / 7:28 pm

      I can really get into suspense. I think I like to torture myself because it often freaks me out but I can’t put it down!
      Thanks for reading! If you read any of those books, let me know. New York, Actually was a sweet read and Roomies definitely was great!
      Thanks for reading my post! I’m going to catch up on yours.😊

  11. January 28, 2020 / 6:42 am

    YOU: I haven’t read the book(s), but I watched the first season on Netflix, too. And, by the end of the season, I was really rooting for those two crazy kids to make it work…aaaaaand then I remembered he’s a freaking killer!! Ugh, lol. The author is definitely good at getting you to like Joe, I agree.

    NEW YORK CHRISTMAS: I have to check this out for later this year! I always love to find new Christmas stories to read around the holidays, and this one sounds like it could be fun. I like the historical fiction aspect to it, too.

    MODERN LOVERS: I liked this one by Straub better than her first one, THE VACATIONERS. Overall, I feel her writing style is a little pretentious — very “Brooklyn,” in this NJ-dweller’s opinion. 😉 But the complex relationships between the characters was good. haha, I also enjoyed how near the end, a couple revealed (not a spoiler) that they have an unspoken rule that whoever has the cat on their lap doesn’t have to get up and do anything! We have the same rule in my house. 😀 Cat on my lap? Well, then YOU get the door.

    Thanks for this fun list!

    • searchingforhumor5
      June 15, 2020 / 5:18 pm

      Hahaha! I know, it’s so sick that you almost root for them to get it together and then you’re thinking, oh god no, he’s psychotic, run away!

      New York Christmas was a short read. It honestly didn’t seem very well developed. It definitely rushed the story, but it’s light, fun read. An old-fashioned whodunnit so kinda cute.

      I can totally see how you’d call Emma Straub’s writing pretentious. Now that you mention it, it does kind of have that vibe. But you’re right that often is Brooklyn. Did you ever see my Tweets about the pretentious coffee shop in my neighborhood? Probably not. I cannot go in there when there are pretentious baristas around. Not cool.

      Haha! The cat rule is too funny. I completely agree with that rule. I never had a lap cat, always wanted my cats to be lap cats but they weren’t having it.

      I’m SO sorry it took me like a year to respond to your comment. I was fixing up this post when I saw your comment and realized I forgot to respond. Terrible! Thank you thank you for reading!

  12. March 1, 2020 / 4:24 pm

    Ohh!!! I totally didn’t even think about YOU being NYC based. Why? I have no idea. I haven’t read the book but I loved the show! I mean season one was better anyway, and that’s the NYC episodes! Also, you are adorable in your FAQ Swartz picture! I like the synopsis of New York, Actually – I love a little bit of romance with some dogs thrown in! I need to get back to NYC and take a literary date.

    • searchingforhumor5
      June 15, 2020 / 5:04 pm

      I never responded to your comment. I am SO sorry! Thank you so much for reading this. I really appreciate you!
      I still need to read the 2nd book and see the second season. I haven’t watched the 2nd season yet because I definitely want to read the book first. I’ve got SO much on my TBR!
      When you are back in NYC (during normal times), let’s definitely go on a literary date!:)

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