Blogging, Books, Memes

13 Amazing Books Set in the New York Public Library

May 23rd marks a very cool celebration! The official dedication of the New York Public Library was on May 23, 1911 and it was originally established May 23, 1895. Hence it makes sense for me to bring you amazing books set in the New York Public Library.

New York City, with its vibrant history and iconic landmarks, has been a source of inspiration for countless stories. Among these landmarks, the New York Public Library stands out not just as a treasure trove of knowledge, but also as a captivating setting for numerous books.

Whether it’s the majestic architecture, the storied past, or the countless secrets hidden within its walls, the NYPL has sparked the imaginations of authors across genres. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most amazing books set in the New York Public Library, where the magic of literature meets the pulse of the city.

You will find books for the youngest readers and those for older readers too, romance, mystery, murder, and more. Plus, some non-fiction as well within. And some quirkiness too, for I love to add a bit of it everywhere I can!

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support. Please see the full disclosure for more information. I only recommend products I definitely would (or have already) use myself

Books Set in the New York Public Library

This post goes towards Thursday 13 where each week, we make a list of 13 things on Thursdays. Join in on the fun to see what everyone comes up with. And also towards Top Ten Tuesday where I go off-theme this week with, as you already know, books set in the New York Public Library. FYI: This week’s theme is Authors I’d Love a New Book From but I decided to look at that one later.

The Cartographers

Peng Shepherd’s The Cartographers “is an ode to art and science, history and magic—a spectacularly imaginative, modern story about an ancient craft and places still undiscovered” (excerpt from the book description).

When a legendary cartographer is discovered dead in his office in the NYPL, what is his daughter to do? Go on an adventure to find out why her father died and to find out the purpose of the seemingly worthless map found next to his body. After all, that map destroyed their relationship.

I love books featuring maps and books set in libraries. Plus, mysteries and murders add to the intrigue in this book I now have on TBR. Who am I fooling? I am already reading this one and enjoying it so far..

Contest by Matthew Reilly  

Another father and daughter pair, this time literally fighting – contesting – for their lives, in Matthew Reilly’s Contest. While I have not read this book yet, I have read a couple of other books by Reilly years ago (when I was in a thriller phase) and enjoyed those reads. Plus, I share a birthday with the author…

The rules of the contest are simple: Seven contestants will enter, only one will leave.

Death Walks in Marble Halls

Lawrence G. Blochman was an American detective story writer who served as one of the presidents of  the Mystery Writers of America. I had to include this book here simply because of that cover and the title – Death Walks in Marble Halls! Reminded me of those penny dreadfuls or similar reads I loved simply for their covers!!

If you want to watch the movie based on this book, then here it is below!!

Know the Past, Find the Future: The New York Public Library at 100

This is one of the nonfiction reads on the list today. And includes so much for fans of the NYPL as well as of libraries anywhere. Pick it up to read today for a wealth of information. I for one learned a lot about the book and do hope to get a personal copy for home.

Excerpted book description: From Laurie Anderson to Vampire Weekend, Roy Blount, Jr., to Renée Fleming, Stephen Colbert to Bill T. Jones—more than 100 luminaries reflect on the treasures of America’s favorite public library.

Lethal Legacy 

Linda Fairstein’s Lethal Legacy also includes a priceless map and death in the NYPL. This is part of the Alex Cooper thriller series (for those who might have read other books in the series). It has been a while since I read a legal thriller so I have added it to start it soon after reading the other ‘map’ related book here!

Library Lion

Michelle Knudsen’s Library Lion is not really set in the New York Public Library but with a lion in a library, I could not resist including it here. This one is a picture book aimed at young readers and is a totally, totally adorable book you are sure to fall in love with, regardless of your age, or your affinity to lions or libraries.

Picture book: 3 to 6 years, and up

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Fiona Davis’s The Lions of Fifth Avenue was one of my favorite reads of 2020. I totally loved this read set in the New York Public Library, with the storyline alternating between two timelines

Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude

This picture book Josh Funk with illustrations by Stevie Lewis is the first one about Patience and Fortitude, the two lion statues that faithfully guard the New York Public Library. I am not sure what I loved more here – the delightful artwork or the lyrical equally delightful story as Fortitude goes looking for a missing Patience.

Picture book: 4 to 8 years, and up

Also, do check out Where is Our Library? This is a companion book to Lost in the Library.

Murder in the Manuscript Room 

Con Lehane’s Murder in the Manuscript Room is the second in  The 42nd Street Library Mysteries. And I am reading this one first though I don’t think I need to read them in order (hope not). If any of you have read the books, let me know if I should stop where I am (the beginning chapters) and read Book 1 first.

Treasures of The New York Public Library by various authors

Another non-fiction on this list and this one is all about the library and the treasures it contains within.

Peculiar Questions and Practical Answers: A Little Book of Whimsy and Wisdom from the Files of the New York Public Library 

The last book and the third non-fiction on this list. I am reading this in bits and pieces, diving into random questions each time, and always closing it feeling utterly pleased!

(excerpt from the book description below)

In Peculiar Questions and Practical Answers, the staff of the NYPL has dug through the archives to find thoughtful and often witty answers to over one hundred of the oddest, funniest, and most whimsical questions the library has received since it began record-keeping over seventy-five years ago.

One of The New Yorker’s best-known and beloved illustrators, Barry Blitt, has created watercolors that bring many of the questions hilariously to life in a book that answers, among others, the question “Does anyone have a copyright on the Bible?”

The Story Collector

I consider myself a story collector too and hence found myself inevitably drawn to this middle-grade fiction (another of my favorite categories of books) inspired by the real-life of Viviani Joffre Fedeler. Viviani was born and raised in the New York Public Library! Cool, right? (Review coming soon)

The Story Collector by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb with illustrations by Iacopo Bruno is sure to be a favorite and I am glad it is the first in a series!

This Book is Overdue! : How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All 

Marilyn Johnson’s delightful and informative anthology is not really set in the NYPL but does include one whole chapter dedicated to this institution and its librarians, so be sure to check it out at your local library or get it here. But make sure you do not get a notification saying This Book is Overdue!

And Now the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of these books? If you have, do share your thoughts on them. If not, then which one would you pick first to read? Also, as always, I welcome any and all recommendations for similar books…

photo has the front facade of the nyp and the pin title says 13 Amazing Books Set in the New York Public Library

11 thoughts on “13 Amazing Books Set in the New York Public Library

  1. It sounds like they have a good variety of books available. Death Walks in Marble Halls is one I’d like to read.

  2. I haven’t read any of these, so I will have to add them to my list. Though not set in the NY Public Library, I really enjoyed “The Midnight Library,” by Matt Haig and “The Giver Of Stars,” by Jojo Moyes. Have you read either of those?

  3. This is such a great selection of books. I bet my daughter would enjoy reading a few of these books, she’s always looking for new books to read

  4. I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am that there are so many books that take place in the New York Library, but I was! Some looked like they’d be really fun to read with the grand children.

  5. Thank you for sharing this list. We’ve been to the NY Public Library when we visited NY a few years ago but didn’t get to see the inside. Next time.

  6. As a mom who loves both reading and visiting libraries with my kids, I can’t wait to explore these titles with them. Your post has inspired me to make our next library visit even more special.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *