Selections From Our 125 Books We Love List That You Can Access at Home

By Alessandra Affinito, Chatham Square Library
March 20, 2020

Although our doors may be closed to the public, we are still celebrating New York Public Library’s 125th Year Anniversary in full force with our 125 Books We Love List. These titles have been curated to reflect the very best of the genres we love, and we guarantee there’s at least one you haven’t read (but have been meaning to).

 But wait, aren’t all those already checked out? NOPE! Here’s a selection of books from the list that have plenty of available e-copies ready for you to check out. But don’t wait too long! And, don't forget to "return" your e-books and audiobooks when you're done—the sooner you return them, the sooner someone else can use them.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (Biography and Memoir)

A largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean becomes George Washington's aide-de-camp, a founding father, and the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.  (e-book and audiobook) 

A Visit from the Goon Squadby Jennifer Eagan (Literary Fiction)

A story of music, rebellion, and selling out that centers on record company executive Bennie Salazar, his assistant Sasha, and their acquaintances. (e-book and audiobook) 

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Literary Fiction)

Six interwoven narratives ranging in style and setting from the South Pacific in 1850 to a post-apocalyptic future Hawaii.  (e-book and audiobook)

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders (Short Stories)

Characters face unconventional and disturbing moral dilemmas in this darkly funny and memorable collection.  (e-book and audiobook)

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson (Literary Fiction)

Ursula Todd, born in 1910, repeatedly dies and reincarnates into the same life to correct mistakes and possibly save the world. (e-book and audiobook) 

The Underground Railroadby Colson Whitehead (Historical Fiction)

In the pre-Civil War South, Cora and Caesar flee captivity via the Underground Railroad, a literal underground train system.  (e-book and audiobook)

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald (Modern Classic)

Jay Gatsby throws fancy, well-attended parties at his estate on Long Island, but no one knows where he or his fortune really comes from.  

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin (Literary Fiction)

Set in 1950s Brooklyn, Eilis travels from her tiny Irish village and finds lodgings (and love) in an eccentric boarding house.  (e-book and audiobook)

Fahrenheit 451  by Ray Bradbury (Science Fiction)

Guy Montag becomes disillusioned with his job burning books and suppressing ideas, and ends up championing humankind's ability to think for itself. (e-book)

The English Patientby Michael Ondaatije (Historical Fiction)

Four strangers whose lives have been rendered unrecognizable converge in a deserted Italian villa at the close of World War II. Historical Fiction (e-book only)

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg (Literary Fiction)

Jess Goldberg is a working class butch who faces external violence and discrimination along her path towards internal acceptance and gender self expression. Literary Fiction (e-book only) 

Me Talk Pretty One  Dayby David Sedaris (Memoir)

Humorous essays about Sedaris's family, his moving to France, and attempts to learn a new language.  (e-book only)

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (Horror)

Four characters—a scholar, his assistant, a troubled young woman, and the building's heir—spend the summer in a haunted house in this ultimate gothic horror novel.  (audiobook only)

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

An aging English butler reflects on his years of service, along with the feelings and actions that he suppressed in the name of propriety. Around the World (audiobook only)


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Memoir)

Maya Angelou endures racism, trauma, and poverty in 1930s Arkansas and overcomes them through the strength of her character and the power of literature. (audiobook only)

Atonement by Ian McEwan (Historical Fiction)

In the mid-1930s, a young English girl's half-innocent mistake has lifetime repercussions for both her sister and her childhood friend. Historical Fiction (audiobook only)