125 NYC Books We Love: Accessible Version with BARD & Bookshare Links

By NYPL Staff
December 3, 2020

As we wrap up our 125th anniversary year, The New York Public Library is showing appreciation for our dynamic city with essential reads for adults, teens and kids that reflects its diversity, energy, and life. Many of the books on the 125 NYC Books We Love list are available in one or more accessible formats. Find links to them below.

If you find it hard to read standard print, The New York Public Library's Andrew Heiskell Library provides free access to talking books, talking book players, braille, a talking book download website and a free talking book and ebraille app for mobile devices. Go to nypl.org/talkingbooks to learn more and to apply.

Note that DB = available on BARD in talkingbook format and as a mail-able talking book, and BR = available on BARD in braille format and as mail-able physical braille. These formats are available through the links, or call us at 212-206-5400 to order a physical copy through the mail. Some titles are available through Bookshare and can be found through the Bookshare (BK) link under that title. All Heiskell members can gain access to Bookshare for free.

DB (digital talkingbook) / BR (braille) / BK (Bookshare)


The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: DBBRBK

The Andy Warhol Diaries by Andy Warhol: DBBK

Another Country by James Baldwin: DBBK

Bodega Dreams by Ernesto Quiñonez: DBBK

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe: DB, BR, BK

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote: DBBRBK

The Bridge by Hart Crane: DBBK

Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall: BK

Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang: BK

Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles: BK

Chinatowns of New York City by Wendy Wan-Yin Tan: BK

The Chosen by Chaim Potok: DBBK

City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and '70s by Edmund White: DB

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin: DBBK

The Collected Works of Langston HughesDBBK

The Colossus of New York: A City in Thirteen Parts by Colson Whitehead: BK

Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan by Rem Koolhaas: BK

Dominicana by Angie Cruz: DB

Downtown: My Manhattan by Pete Hamill: BK

Five Points: The 19th Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections, and Became the World's Most Notorious Slum by Tyler Anbinder: BK

The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser: BK

Gay New York by George Chauncey: DBBK

The Good Rat: A True Story by Jimmy Breslin: BK

Here Is New York by E.B. White: DBBK

Jazz by Toni Morrison: DBBRBK

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City by Jonathan Mahler: DB

Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980–1983 by Tim Lawrence: BK

Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York by Luc Sante: DBBK

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos: DBBK

Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos: DBBK

The Maples Stories by John Updike: DBBK

Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz: DB

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem: DBBK

Native New Yorkers by Evan T. Pritchard: BK

Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee: DBBK

97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman: BK

Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art by Mary Gabriel: BK

102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer: DB

Open City by Teju Cole: DBBRBK

Poems of New York by Elizabeth Schmidt (editor): BK

Poet in New York by Federico García Lorca: BK

The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker / Marion Meade: DBBR

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro: DB, BK

A Puerto Rican in New York, and Other Sketches by Jesus Colon: BK

Queer Street: Rise and Fall of an American Culture, 1947-1985 by James McCourt: BK

A Rage In Harlem by Chester Himes: DBBK

Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz: DB

The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever: DBBK

Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R. Delany: BK

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: DBBRBK

Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle: DBBK

Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories by Joseph Mitchell: DBBK

A Walker in the City by Alfred Kazin: DB

When Brooklyn Was Queer by Hugh Ryan: DBBK

When Harlem Was in Vogue by David Levering Lewis: DB

Zami by Audre Lorde DB, BR, BK


Audacity by Melanie Crowder: DB, BK

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes: DBBRBK

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina: DB, BK

Color Me In by Natasha Diaz: DB, BK

The Diviners by Libba Bray: DBBK

Hope & Other Punch Lines by Julie Buxbaum: DB, BK

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson: DB, BK

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian: DB, BR, BK

145th Street: Short Stories by Walter Dean Myers: DBBRBK

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo: DBBRBK

Pride by Ibi Zoboi: DB, BK

Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad: DBBK

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older: DB, BR, BK 

Skywalkers: Mohawk Ironworkers Build the City by David Weitzman: DB

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon: DB, BR, BK

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Slivera: DB, BK

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds: DB, BK

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins: DB, BK


Abuela by Arthur Dorros: BK

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson: DBBK

City Shapes by Diana Murray, illustrated by. Bryan Collier: BK

Cricket in Times Square by George Selden: DBBRBK

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh: DBBRBK

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers: DBBK

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love: BK

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar: DBBK

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber: DBBK

My Chinatown: A Year in Poems by Kam Mak: DBBK

New Kid by Jerry Craft: DB

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe: DB, BR, BK

The Roots of Rap by Carole Boston Weatherford: BRBK

Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson: DBBR

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore: DBBRBK

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders: DB

Stuart Little by E.B. White: DBBRBK

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold: BRBK

Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo by Monica Brown: DB, BK

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Glaser: DB, BK

Discover the full list of 125 NYC Books We Love.