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Books about cities can inform, inspire, entertain, or horrify. We found a little of all of them!
Believe it or not, no matter how much we travel the world, we all live in our own unique bubble, limited to where we live and what we have experienced. Few have the time and resources to experience and learn what the world has to offer. However, most of us can make time to go to our reading spot, snuggle up to a blanket and some java and enjoy one of these city books.
We set out to find books about cities that would provide information on where other’s live or tickle the imagination through fictional cities to allow our readers to expand on their own unique experience in this world.
We reached out to our network of professional friends for the best books about cities and landed a superior list of books that will provide facts, history, insight, and infinitely classic tales.
We hope that by exploring this list, and sharing these titles with others, you will learn we have a pretty good network of friends and that we all may have a little in common.
1. Hijinx and Hearsay: Scenester Stories from Minnesota’s Pop Life
Set in Minesota’s twin cities, Hijinx and Hearsay is a fun and insightful fragmented memoir created by two journalists who covered the scene from the late 70s to early 90s, the book is supported by 150 black and white photos from an era about recording artists, comedians, writers, movers and shakers and others that continue to have an impact on today’s popular culture fronts.
“Throw on some Morris Day and the Time, U2, or get you some Devo crankin’ as you motorvate through Martin Keller’s written adventures from an era that’s as relevant today as it was when your cassettes got jammed in your dash and all that tape unraveled.” – Louie Anderson
2. City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the Civil War
City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the
Civil War leads the reader through the many conflicting alliances and rivalries in New York City leading up to and during the Civil War. Strausbaugh’s book is proof that sometimes life can be just as exciting as fiction
John Strausbuagh’s masterfully and impartially arranges the stunning and often perplexing landscape of conflicts, animosities,and absolute tragedies that ripped New York and our country apart.
City of Sedition is filled with scandalous events, extraordinary characters, and stunning revelations. It reveals New York to be one of the more influential to help and hurt the efforts during the Civil War more than any other state.
3. The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History’s Greatest Mystery Revealed
In the book he presents newly uncovered evidence, concluding that Atlantis not only existed but was the centerpiece of an advanced civilization. Unfortunately, after a volcanic eruption, Atlantis was wiped off the face of the planet, to be forgotten for centuries and dismissed as myth.
For thousands of years, Atlantis continued to fascinate a legion of explorers, treasure hunters, scientists, archaeologists and historians alike. Like the legendary city of Troy, many sought to once and for all solve the mystery of Atlantis.
Throughout the book, Menzies managed to prove through new findings that in fact, Atlantis did exist, a Minoan empire spanning from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom, India and even North America.
4. A History of London through Beer Goggles
Discover stories and parts of London that you may not have known. All of this done whilst visiting some of London’s oldest pubs. From the Great Fire of London to the Church-run prostitutes of Southwark. From cock fighting to the famous Cock Lane Ghost. From Shakespeare to Shrek. From St Paul’s Cathedral to the inspiration for wedding cakes.
Take a journey through the streets of London and discover things you never knew. A must for all who live and work in London, as well as visitors to our great city. What better way could there be than to have a drink and a walk around the parts of the city you have probably never visited. Hidden gems abound.
Author Cyril O’Brien is a retired London Firefighter, who currently works for Transport for London, advising on aspects of safety. In his past, Cyril used to manager public houses prior to his service in the London Fire Brigade, and this book is a combination of his life and passions.
5. Edgar Allen Poe’s Richmond: The Raven In The River City
Plenty of books will guide you through a city’s landmarks and attractions, but what if your guide was nineteenth century horror master Edgar Allan Poe?
This book will introduce you to the sights and spooks of Edgar Allan Poe’s hometown, Richmond, Virginia, through his own eyes. Along the way, you’ll visit Poe’s favorite cemetery, the site of his record-setting swim in the James River, and some of the places that just might have inspired his greatest literary works.
Join Christopher P. Semtner, curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, as he reveals previously unpublished photographs and little-known source material to shed new light on how the mystery, madness and tragedy that Poe encountered during his Richmond years forever shaped his renowned fiction.
6. Budapest: A History of Grandeur and Catastrophe
Budapest today is a palimpsest of its history and partially crystallized present. Its earlier history is best seen on the Castle Hill of Buda, the seat of Hungarian royal power since the beginning in the 13th Century. This peaked in the glory years of King Matthias’ reign in the second half of the 15th Century, when Buda was one of the largest and wealthiest cities of Europe.
Since 1990 the metropolis and its people have gone through a frenzied transition for which there was no template: authoritarian socialist economy to volatile capitalism and democracy. The story of the key players and groups in this transition make this tumultuous process particularly vivid.
Today Budapest is a city whose role in Europe is still being crystallized. However inventive entrepreneurs and creative artists are making the city a more and more vibrant home for its citizens and a favoured destination for a rapidly increasing flow of visitors.
7. The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story
A New York Times Bestseller, the novel begins telling a story of the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés. Rumors circulated about a lost city in Honduras. In 1940, a journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rain forest with artifacts and a story that he found the Lost City of the Monkey God. Oddly, Morde committed suicide before revealing the location.
Three quarters of a century later, Doug Peterson transverses the area in search of the lost city. bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying a LIDAR surveyor that would change everything. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. This novel is his story.
8. Journey To Beijing
This book gives an account of some amazing places which the author was fortunate to visit in China–from magical Guilin to historical Zunyi; from the stunning Three Gorges to tropical Hainan; from cities of the eastern provinces to the Avatar mountains of Zhangjiajie; from relaxing Xishuangbanna to hectic Hong Kong and Macau; and in the north from the Mongolian grasslands of Nei Menggu to the heart of it all: Beijing.
On his own travels, the author saw many tourists arrive at a scene, struggle to get to a vantage point, get there, take the obligatory photograph and move on. They have not even looked, let alone appreciated where they are. All they are doing is ticking off places on their bucket list. In this book, the author is striving to delve deeper, especially when it comes to the significance of Beijing.
9. Algarve Travel Guide: 54 Cities/Towns/Villages
One of the largest tour guides for the Algarve (Southern Portugal) covering 54 Cities/Towns/Villages. Find hidden gems and beach hideaways you never knew existed. Money saving tips before booking your holiday. Festivals, fairs, events for the each month, market and flea market dates, golfing courses, camping sites, attractions, zoos and waterparks.
Karl Bradshaw-White’s book is packed full of useful and helpful advice on almost any subject, easy food translation guide including eating out and other useful phrases, conversion charts, driving information with distance chart to help plan your days out. Airport information as well as clock change times. Interesting facts that will leave you amazed, a brief history of how the Algarve was formed. At last, a guide book you won’t want to put down.
10. There Is More to Belize Than Just the Cayes
Imagine, if you will, two ordinary, inexperienced travellers, only ever venturing to foreign lands for a quick city break or a seaside holiday, setting out to independently crisscross through Belize. Well, that was us: Steve and I.
Our meticulously planned journey did not start as smoothly as we would have liked, but it did start. Our quick detour to New York was a brisk introduction to independent travel and showed us what we are made of.
Belize turned out to be everything Lonely Planet said it would be and more. And Steve and I turned out to love everything independent travelling threw at us: we got lost, ate a lot, took part in rituals, got invited to parties, overestimated our stamina, underestimated the sun, hitchhiked on a Sunday and, most of all, had fun.
If you were looking for a unique gift idea that included books about cities, we hope that you were able to find one, or maybe you found one for yourself.
Let us know in the comments below, if you have other suggestions.