What's a really good, non-fiction book about a city?
June 18, 2010 8:05 PM   Subscribe

BookRecommendationFilter: Where can I find another book like Maximum City by Suketu Mehta?

 I don't necessarily mean another book about India. In fact I'd somewhat prefer it not to be about an Indian city. I mean (I think) a book written about a city that is told mostly in the first person, non-fiction, describing the author-narrator's experiences with and explanations of the culture and history of said city. Maximum City included different parts of Bombay's underworld, which I found especially interesting. 

So, MetaFilter, how can I satisfy my craving for books on cities?
posted by iktomi to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Not first person, but Mike Davis' City of Quartz was a good read about LA.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:11 PM on June 18, 2010

Best answer: Istanbul: Memories And The City by Orhan Pamuk is exactly the book you're looking for; the great Turkish novelist explores his home city with great helpings of history and personal lore. I quite enjoyed Maximum City, but this one is even better.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 8:20 PM on June 18, 2010

I haven't read either, but I've seen First Stop in the New World: Mexico City, the Capital of the 21st Century compared to Maximum City a lot. And it's about my adopted home town, which I think is incredibly awesome, so I'll recommend it just because of that. It's on my list of books to read, but I haven't gotten around to it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:16 PM on June 18, 2010

Oh, the author of First Stop in the New World has a blog, where you can see if you like his writing.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:30 PM on June 18, 2010

Edward Rutherfurd's books -- London, New York (also Sarum, which is my favorite, is about Stonehenge).

Pete Hamill's Forever is also a history of NYC told thru the eyes of an immortal character.
posted by kidelo at 4:43 AM on June 19, 2010

D'oh: misread as fiction. Never mind (still good reads, though).
posted by kidelo at 4:44 AM on June 19, 2010

Shantaram is set in India, but probably hits all your other requirements.
posted by backwards guitar at 8:54 AM on June 19, 2010

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