Don’t Dodge These Brooklyn Books!

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Let the Great World Spin
Colum McCann

On August 7th, 1974, Philippe Petit performed his now infamous high-wire walk between the World Trade Center Towers. “Spin” is a unique and utterly compelling look at New York City in the 1970's. This is a beautifully told story of vastly different lives that intersect in unexpected ways.

Sunset Park
Paul Auster

When the recession ends Miles Heller’s career of cleaning out foreclosed houses in Florida, he ends up in back in Brooklyn with a group of squatters in Sunset Park. Sharp writing and emotional power mark this tale of a disparate group of people and bring the complexities of modern life to light.

Coldest Winter Ever
Sister Souljah

Ghetto-born Winter is the young wealthy daughter of a prominent Brooklyn drug dealer. Quick-witted, sexy and greedy, she knows and loves the streets. But when a cold wind blows her in a direction she doesn’t want to go, her street smarts and seductive skills are put to the test of a lifetime.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Betty Smith

The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years.

Motherless Brooklyn
Jonathan Lethem

Lethem re-imagines the detective novel. Lionel Essrog, a.k.a. The Human Freakshow, suffers from Tourette’s syndrome. But when his his boss and savior, wiseguy Frank Minna, ends up in a dumpster, Lionel finds his op compulsions might be useful in uncovering the killer.

A Drinking Life
Pete Hamill

20 years after his last drink, Hamill recounts his upbringing as a child of Irish immigrants. He grows up in a Brooklyn of trolley cars, Dodgers and pails of beer, where “part of being a man was to drink.”

Sophie’s Choice
William Styron

As the fierce lovemaking and fights of Nathan, a paranoiac Jewish intellectual, and Sophie, a Polish-Catholic concentration-camp survivor, intensify, Stingo, a writer who lives below them in a cheap rooming house, becomes more and more drawn into their lives.

A View from the Bridge
Arthur Miller

Set on the gritty Brooklyn waterfront, A View from the Bridge follows the cataclysmic downfall of the hardworking longshoremen Epie Carbone. The routine of his life is interrupted when his wife’s cousins, illegal immigrants from Italy, arrive in New York. As one of them embarks on a romance with his niece Catherine, Epie's envy and delusion play out with devastating consequences.

Requiem for a Dream
Hubert Selby

Basis for a movie of the same name, this book is about four individuals who pursue the American Dream and fail. Harry and Tyrone fantasize about scoring a pound of uncut heroin and getting rich. But their heroin habit consumes them, while Harry's mother's diet pill apiction lands her in a state mental hospital.

Minding Ben
Victoria Brown

Sixteen year old Grace Caton leaves Trinidad for a new life in New York. Ending up in Crown Heights, she finds work as a nanny. In a rich Caribbean voice, Grace brings the struggles, confusion and hope of the immigrant experience to life.