Free Library of Philadelphia
Ask
Home > Ask a Librarian > Browse or Search all FAQs > Good Reads... Philly Fare: Philadelphia Nonfiction
Where do I start? These lists of books are specially selected by our Librarians.
Good Reads... Philly Fare: Philadelphia Nonfiction
Locally written books worth checking out.
There Are 15 Items | Showing 1 to 10
Book Cover
Title: Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City
Author: Anderson, Elijah
Publisher: W.W. Norton and Co. (2000)
ISBN: 0393320782
Notes: As sociologist Elijah Anderson shows in this detailed and devastating account, the senseless crime in the inner city represents a complex, though ultimately self-defeating, set of social mores. He moves through the middle- and lower-class Philadelphia neighborhoods with ease, interviewing a variety of subjects, all of whom deal daily with consequences of urban decay

 
 
Title: Prayer for the City
Author: Bissinger, Buzz
Publisher: Random House (1997)
ISBN: 067942198X
Notes: Buzz Bissinger follows Rendell, his chief of staff, and four other Philadelphians through four years of his sincere, flamboyant struggle against Philadelphia's crushing poverty--four years of dealing with the staff, the press, the constituents, and the feds.

 
Book Cover
Title: Philly Firsts: the Famous, Infamous, and Quirky of the City of Brotherly Love
Author: Booker, Janice L.
Publisher: Camino Books (1999)
ISBN: 0940159449
Notes: From the conventional to the unusual, and from the earliest date of the city's settlement to the present, Philly Firsts celebrates the ingenuity, creativity, and perseverance of the denizens of this great city.

 
 
Title: Buried Past: an Archaeological History of Philadelphia
Author: Cotter, John L.
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (1992)
ISBN: 0812231422
Notes: This book is the result of thirty years of urban archaeology in the greater Philadelphia area. More that 150 sites are covered in this treasure hunt for anyone interested in the history of the city.

 
 
Title: Philadelphia Jewish Life, 1940-2000
Author: friedman, Murray
Publisher: Temple University Press (2003)
ISBN: 1566399998
Notes: In this new edition, Friedman takes the history of Philadelphia Jewish life to the close of the twentieth century, and looks back on how Jews have shapedand have been shaped byPhiladelphia and its long immigrant history.

 
Book Cover
Title: Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell
Author: Golden, Jane
Publisher: Temple UP (2002)
ISBN: 1566399513
Notes: In this lavishly illustrated chronicle of the Mural Arts Program, you will see the murals in all of their beauty and learn about their inspiring legacies in neighborhoods throughout the city. Go behind the scenes to find out how murals are made and why the process is as much an art of diplomacy and consensus building as paint and perspective. Discover through pictures and text how murals give communities a new way to define themselves, not in terms of the streets and intersections that border them, but in terms of the people who came together to create something of dramatic beauty.

 
 
Title: Strange Philadelphia: Stories From the City of Brotherly Love
Author: Harry, Lou
Publisher: Temple UP (1995)
ISBN: 1566393752
Notes: Most history books paint Philadelphia as a place of revolutionary greatness, but there exists a forgotten, alternative history of the City of Brotherly Love. These pieces of the past can't be found in history booksthey are surprising side bars to the famous and not-so-famous events and people of historical Philadelphia

 
Book Cover
Title: House on Fire: the Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul
Author: Jackson, John A.
Publisher: Oxford UP (2004)
ISBN: 0195149726
Notes: In his latest meticulously detailed slice of pop music history, Jackson focuses on the creation, expansion and dissolution of Philadelphia International Records, whose songs and artists dominated soul and pop airwaves throughout the 1970s.

 
 
Title: Diary of a City Priest
Author: McNamee, John P.
Publisher: Sheed and Ward (2003)
ISBN: 155612662X
Notes: This book is a year's journal of the experiences of an Philadelphia inner-city Roman Catholic parish priest. An example of a spiritual journal, it is an account of God's presence in the writer's life. At times a reflection of gritty reality, it also records where the writer has heard (or failed to hear) the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

 
Book Cover
Title: Five Days in Philadelphia
Author: Peters, Charles
Publisher: Public Affairs (2005)
ISBN: 1586481126
Notes: Telling the story of the Republican convention of 1940, Peters recounts how Wendell Willkie - the only internationalist in a field of avowed isolationists -- wrested the Republican nod from the grip of Dewey, Taft and Vandenberg, each of whom was implacably opposed to providing material assistance to the Allies as the Nazi juggernaut marched across Europe.