The Books Every Man Must Read

From coast to coast

By The Editors
February 4, 2016 9:00 am

Reading, n.: The act of reading; perusal; recitation.

Anyone still doing that?

A question that needs not an answer, but rather a firm push in the write direction:

The Books Every Man Must Read, an unranked, genre-neutral, incomplete-but-when-is-anything-ever-really-complete celebration of the most enchanting and inspiring voices that have made literal four of America’s fair cities’ history.

Why these picks? Aside from those who could not be absent — Bukowski, Keruoac, Whitman to Terkel — our choices are wholly democratic.

These are by no means the best books written in, about or in spite of New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

We just love them. And have learned from them. And hence desired to write about them.

Before you dig in — a few words on the transcendent power of books from one of the world’s foremost science communicators-cum-authors Carl Sagan, born in Brooklyn: “One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”

Peruse our reading lists by city, below.

New York


San Francisco

Los Angeles

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