NYPL celebrates the five boroughs with list of 125 books about NYC

Posted On Thu, December 3, 2020 By

Posted On Thu, December 3, 2020 By In City Living

Photo courtesy of NYPL

As it wraps up its 125th anniversary year, the New York Public Library is paying tribute to the city it has called home for over a century. On Thursday, the library released “125 NYC Books We Love,” a list of titles recommended for adults, kids, and teens that celebrate the five boroughs. The book list is part of the library’s “Roar for NYC” campaign, which aims to lift up New Yorkers during a challenging time and remind us of the city’s resiliency.

A team of expert librarians across the NYPL system curated the “125 NYC Books We Love” list, which includes fiction, non-fiction, anthology, architecture, photography, poetry, and more.

For adult readers, highlights of the list include Jazz by Toni Morrison, A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes, Here is New York by E.B. White, East 100th Street by Bruce Davidson, and Poet in New York by Federico Garcia Lorca. See the full list for adults here.

Books about NYC suggested for teens include Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina, Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes, 145th Street Short Stories by Walter Dean Myers, When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, and Miles Morales: Spider-Man: Straight Out of Brooklyn by Saladin Ahmed and Javier Garron. Find the full list here.

And kids should check out Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, New Kid by Jerry Craft, Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold, and Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love. The full list of books can be found here.

The “Roar for NYC” was inspired by the historic marble lions that have guarded the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue for 109 years. Originally named Leo Astor and Leo Lenox after the founders of the NYPL, John Jacob Astor and James Lenox, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia changed the names of the lions in the 1930s to Patience and Fortitude, two qualities he felt New Yorkers needed to survive the Great Depression.

“Our Roar for NYC is just one way we will serve New Yorkers coping with this ongoing situation. We know that with Patience and Fortitude, we will turn the page on this difficult chapter and turn the storyline to renewal. To succeed, we need to be in it together, “Anthony W. Marx, NYPL president, said in a press release.

“And the Library is planning to do just that, be here, as it has been for 125 years, to help with whatever is needed: books, materials, job search assistance, English language learning, services for families engaged in remote learning, and more. We are proud to be a foundational part of this ever-vibrant City, and we will do everything possible to support it.”

In addition to the book list, the campaign includes “We’re Readin’ Here,” NYC-themed virtual storytimes, online programs with New Yorkers like Desus & Mero and Min Jin Lee, a virtual Holiday Open House, and a virtual NYC-themed book club.


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