Books & Videos
Below is a list of interesting books about the Bronx, taking place in the Bronx and/or written by Bronx authors.
For your convenience most are listed on
Revised: 1/23/2015




No Irish Need Apply is a historical portrait of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen chronicling the friendship and struggles of Johnny O’Hara and his friend Red, children of immigrants who escaped Ireland’s Great Hunger. Orphaned at an early age, the boys struggle to survive amidst the poverty and anti-Irish Catholic prejudice of the day. As adults, Johnny and Red join an all-immigrant volunteer fire company that is despised by surrounding fire companies manned by American-born men. Unwittingly, the immigrants and the Americans, alike, are the victims of greedy elites who thrive on keeping them divided, resulting in many pitched battles on the streets and at fires. In No Irish Need Apply, Finucane captures the grit of the Irish immigrants and their will to survive and thrive, against a backdrop exploring New York’s transition from a volunteer fire department to a professional fire department. No Irish Need Apply is also an inspirational love story with an unusual twist revealing the blood, sweat and passions of the Irish immigrants who helped build New York City. About the author: John Finucane, a retired NYC firefighter, began his writing career as a journalist reporting extensively on British colonialism in Northern Ireland. He wrote for and published the monthly American Irish Newsletter from 1975 to 2000. He is the author of When the Bronx Burned and The Usual, two compelling narratives about the destruction-by-arson of the Bronx during the 1960s and 1970s. In his writings, Finucane always weaves in a heart-tugging romance as exemplified in his 2013 novel, Tomorrow, Mickey, Tomorrow.  

  "ALMOST GOLDEN"  BY JOHN DALPEROBERT & JOHN MARIANI -- Published 2006 -- The Stories of Two Brothers growing up in the Country Club Pelham Bay section of the North Bronx when everything seemed possible. 30 Chapters -- 191 Pages

ALMOST GOLDEN is the collaborative memoir of two third-generation Italian-American brothers who grew up in the section of the North Bronx known as “Country Club” during the 1940’s and early ‘50’s. It revisits a bucolic Bronx on the shores of Pelham Bay—a Bronx with snowy white Christmases, swashbuckling uncles, 25-cent movie serials, egg creams, loopy aunts, even cowboys. It was an idyllic enclave that few people ever knew about in a post-War America when the future seemed to be pure gold.

"This is a gem of a book about growing up on the East Coast in the U.S.A. It is certainly a testimony to two brothers who managed to overcome sibling rivalry by collaborating in a remarkable manner by sharing with the world memories of growing up in a nurturant Italian-American family in one of the world's greatest cities. Both brothers write extremely well and poignantly. Each has an impressive command of factual knowledge and a penetrating sensitivity to human nature. Dysfunctional families tend to dominate the landscape of literature. Long Day's Journey into Night is a classic example of how Eugene O'Neill revealed the impact of a dysfunctional family system upon individual family members. Arthur Miller did the same in his iconic Death of a Salesman. Robert and John Mariani offer us the antidote to all of this family toxicity. By traveling down the path of a Marcel Proust, each offers to the world memories of what it is like to grow up in a family where the parents are truly in love with one another. The Boyfriend-Girlfriend Bond between the Mariani parents did not get swallowed up by co-parenting responsibilities and the challenges of being roommates together in a home where raising children was more important than raising grass. The story of the "Doctor's Daughter" in the book brought home the ultimate value of being in a loving home, and the tragedy of how fragile human families are. Beyond extolling the virtues of a loving family of origin, the Mariani brothers do a brilliant job of providing a portrait of being raised in the larger community of neighborhoods, relatives, friends, schools, and shops. Mother Nature is not neglected by the brothers who genuinely make the reader feel the impact of the Long Island Sound (and the water rats, a reference to the "Doctor's Daughter"). Neither is religion neglected by the brothers who, like James Joyce, vividly describe its impact on the understanding of self and the world. This is such a rich collection of reminiscences it will reward all. (submitted by John Stewart McGovern, M.Div., Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, 9/5/2013)"

"MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD REMEMBERED"  is a lyrical remembrance of neighborhood life that has vanished from the culture.  The neighborhood includes the Grand Concourse, Fordham Road, Creston Ave, Field Place, Creston JHS, Bronx HS of Science, DeWitt Clinton HS areas.

Best-selling author Avery Corman vividly recreates the vibrant, colorful neighborhood where he grew up – in the Bronx of the 1940s and 1950s.

He recalls candy stores and bookmakers, egg creams and double feature movies, street games like stickball and Johnny- on-the-pony, school days of a different era, social mores that have disappeared.

His was the generation of children of the home front during World War II, and he recounts how the war was embedded in daily life, and how children became literate through newspaper coverage of the war, and through Dick and Jane and comic books.

He remembers in his neighborhood a deep sense of community and shared experience.

My Old Neighborhood Remembered is a memoir that is urban history. Featured are 16 vintage photographs.

Avery Corman also discusses the factors that altered the Bronx, in a decline that was particularly rapid and vast, before the area began to rebuild.

As the author of Kramer vs. Kramer, a common assumption has been that Avery Corman was himself divorced; he was not. He was, however, a child of divorce at a time and place when divorce was rare, an experience woven through the narrative.

My Old Neighborhood Remembered is told with the storytelling skills that have made Avery Corman a critically acclaimed author whose books have been published throughout the world.


  "TOMORROW, MICKEY, TOMORROW"  by JOHN FINUCANE -- Published August 2013 -- As a child, Mickey Murphy first meets Lucy “Little Angel” Mercado outside a burning tenement on Caldwell Avenue in 1954. After growing up together and sharing a forbidden interracial romance, Mickey is horrified to watch as Lucy descends into the hell of drug addiction more powerful than any love he can offer her. To escape the heartache, Mickey flees his neighborhood. When he returns years later as a fireman, Mickey realizes his love for his “Little Angel” has never let his heart go. And so he embarks on a mission to find the woman Lucy has become against the dehumanizing burned out landscape of the South Bronx torn apart by arson, drugs, crime, prostitution, and lost love . . .

JOHN FINUCANE—a retired lieutenant with the FDNY—also authored WHEN THE BRONX BURNED and THE USUAL, two compelling narratives about the destruction-by-arson of large sections of New York City during the 1960s and 1970s. Finucane began his writing career as a journalist reporting extensively on British oppression in Northern Ireland. He wrote for and published the monthly American Irish Newsletter from 1975 to 2000. He can be reached at:

"ALL THAT I SAY IS TRUE"   A MEMOIR by ;  PATRICIA KORINIS HOUSEWORTH.   Patricia is a first time author; She began her memoir at the request of her daughters, Donna and Patti. They would hear many stories about their Mother's life and felt that if she did not put her life in writing they would not be able to pass it on to their children. Pat has gone from the poor abused kid from the South Bronx to a rich fulfilling life.   With a lack of education she has reached great heights. From a factory worker to a successful Business Woman and Entrepreneur. She hopes this book will inspire all to achieve all that they desire. The many companies that Pat has started and owned were named "Meant To Be". This Book was "Meant To Be".

  "NIGHTMARE"   by JOEY BRYCELAND.   Three years later, again at the BRONX CLUB in THE VILLAGES  Charlie Bryceland hails out "Jimmy",  Joey wrote a Short Story.  Would you be interested in reading same?  I immediately said yes and a copy was delivered to me.   I read it in one sit down.  I loved it.  I communicated with Joey and asked him if I could publish same on the web site.  He agreed.   For those of you who will read this, I am sure you would then want to read TROUBLE AT RED WALL.   Click on the following link:   START SHORT STORY 
  "YOU CAN'T TAKE THE BRONX OUT OF THE BOY MY DAD BY KENNETH M HAND. Kenneth Hand remembers the Kingsbridge of his youth as a place where streetwise kids roamed without the burdensome boundaries of over-involved parents. From a nighttime cop chase out of a Van Cortlandt Park pool to “mining” copper off roofs along Godwin Terrace, Mr. Hand compiled stories from his 1970s Kingsbridge upbringing for his book You Can’t Take the Bronx Out of The Boy My Dad. Tales of troublemaking and fun are contrasted against the comparably cloistered life of the modern kid. See full Riverdale Press Review 5/11/2011  
" SHOUTS"  BY JIM RYAN   IT IS 1915.   From above, New York, majestic city of immigrants, seems serene.  But a Great War is coming.  And down below the streets are boiling.  German spies and saboteurs are everywhere.  Irish soapbox orators denounce the “British” war.  Bombs burst over  the harbor.  Everyone's patriotism is suspect.  The Lusitania is sunk with explosive consequences. Paranoia, hatred, and violence rage. The US government cracks down. Mistrust and anger rule. The social and economic fabric of the city begins to unravel. SHOUTS is the book that recreates these terror years.
TROUBLE AT RED WALL BY JOE BRYCELAND .  I was minding my own business at a meeting of the BRONX CLUB in THE VILLAGES, Florida on 2/16/10. I was sitting at a table with Charlie Bryceland, a Weekly Golf Partner, whom I look to as a fatherly figure on all matters social and political because of his wisdom and age. He's from The Old Neighborhood (Melrose & 161st). Another Alumni, Jerry O'Shea, another WISE Man, advised me once that I should seriously ponder Charlie's words. Well Charlie says to me, Hey! Did you hear that my kid brother JOEY wrote a book? I said JOEY, no way! Now Joey was in the SSPP CLASS OF 1956 (A Great Class) as was myself and Gene Lalor who wrote  "AN IMMODEST PROPOSAL FOR ENDING AND WINNING THE WAR ON TERROR: A Curmudgeon’s Plan For Survival".  I enjoyed Gene's Book.  Now this Book is a WESTERN, an escape from reality.  I loved and read all that was written by Louis L'Amour. I cannot wait to read Trouble At Red Wall available thru AMAZON .com.
2/24/10: WOW! I got a great read out of “TROUBLE AT RED WALL” by Joe Bryceland. It’s 310 pages long and I went thru it in one reading session. It’s not Louis L’Amour but it reminded me so much of one of his western novels. I was a great fan of L’Amour and, at one time, I could not get enough of his books. I eagerly look forward to any new books by Joe Bryceland.
“The REMARKABLE LIFE OF KITTY MCINERNEY” :  Christopher Prince recounts the life of his grandmother, a poor Irish immigrant who raised 17 children in the Bronx during the Great Depression. The book is as much a celebration of the rich community life in the Bronx during the ‘30s and ‘40s as it is an enlightening history of the evolution of the South Bronx around St. Anselm’s Church and School and Tinton Avenue told through the eyes of one special resident.


“The Remarkable Life of Kitty McInerney” can be ordered at:  


WHEN THE BRONX BURNED. Oct 2007 Release.  In his novel, When the Bronx Burned, John Finucane, a retired lieutenant with the New York City Fire Department, tells the fascinating story of the burning of New York’s South Bronx during the late 1960s and 70s; an era when arson-for-profit drove hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. It’s an intriguing story that shows a New York that most people are completely unfamiliar with. The premise allows for a great deal of conflict and action, for the heroes aren’t just fighting flames, they are fighting a brutal gang of arsonists, the slumlords that employ them, and the political machine that permits the scheme to take place. John Finucane is a former Sts Peter & Paul neighborhood guy from Cauldwell Avenue  

America and the whole of western civilization are involved in a war to the death with the Islamic world. Many Americans refuse to accept that truth or face the reality that we’re engaged in a worldwide war as they would rather ignore it, hope it goes away, and presume it won’t truly affect us. In this book Gene Lalor, PhD, discusses the world today and how the liberal mind-set has affected the political climate. He advocates a two-phase plan for ending and winning the War on Terror that not only includes the continuity of the United States but the continuity of the American way of life. The United States can only survive, Lalor asserts, if we understand some of the fundamental facts: • We’re not immortal, either as individuals or a nation; • Our cherished rights and privileges as a people are strangling us as a nation; • With this Islamic foe, if we don’t kill them first, they’re going to kill us. Lalor’s vision is not a doomsday scenario; he promises there is a solution and a future if we prevail and survive – but neither is a given. This book is not a book about the BRONX but is written by one of our own. Gene Lalor is a graduate of SS Peter & Paul in 1956. He earned a BA at Fordham University and a Master’s degree and PH.D from St John’s University. He is a retired English teacher and has published a number of articles in various publications. Lalor and his wife Rosemary live on Long Island, New York.  

Art walks  in New York: Delightful Discoveries of Public Art and Gardens in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island

Urban Mythologies: The Bronx Represented Since the 1960s
Billy Bathgate    E.L. Doctorow. New York: Random House, 1989.
A portrayal of the New York gangster world of the 1930's as related through the eyes of a 15-year-old boy
The Boy Without a Flag: Tales of the South Bronx.   Abraham Rodriguez, Jr. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions, 1992.
Harshly realistic evocation of life for young people in the South Bronx. Young Adult suggested reading.
 The Bronx Boy: No More Awnings in The Bronx. Gerald C. Flynn. Huntington,WV: University Editions, 1993.
JIMS relates his experiences growing up in the Bronx, in Naval aviations, and as a professor of Spanish.

The Buddha Book.   Abraham Rodriguez, Jr. New York: Picador, 2001.
Two teenage boys create an underground comic book that tells true tales about their lives in the South Bronx.
Young Adult suggested reading.
El Bronx  Jerome Charyn. New York: Mysterious Press, 1997.
The mayor struggles to keep the Yankees and save the Bronx from destroying itself.
El Bronx  Nicholas Mohr. New York: Harder & Row, 1975.
A novella and short stories drawn from the author's past about the lives and struggles of Puerto Rican migrants in the South Bronx in the years from 1946 to 1956. Young Adult suggested reading.
Growing Up Bronx  Gerald Rosen. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1984.
All Danny Schwartz wants is a normal American childhood, but in his eccentric family this is hard to come by. This coming of age story takes place in the 1940s and 1950s
Inside, Outside.   Herman Wouk. Boston: Little, Brown, 1985.
Focuses on the Jewish-American experience through the life of one man, his immigrant parents, and the Bronx neighborhood where he grew up

 City Boy: The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder. Herman Wouk. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1969.
This story of an eleven-year old Bronx boy and his adventures in school, at home, and at summer camp takes place in the years before the Depression.
 The Kingsbridge Plot. Maan Myers. New York: Doubleday, 1993.
Set in New York during the revolutionary period. A young doctor, John Tonnerman, pursues a killer and uncovers a plot to assassinate General George Washington.
.The Old Neighborhood. Avery Corman. New York: Linden Press, 1980.
The coming of age of a young man  in the Bronx with vivid scenes of life as it was in the l940s and l950s.
The Ryer Avenue Story  Dorothy Uhnak. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.
A murder in a Bronx neighborhood in 1935 has lifelong consequences for six youths, one of whom is the killer, and one of whom sees his own father executed for the crime.
Santeria, Bronx. Judith Illsley Gleason. New York: Atheneum, 1975.
With the help of Santeria and its practicing priestess, Concha, Raymond attempts to straighten out his life after the death of his parents.
 The Wanderers. Richard Price. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974.
The Bronx in the 1960s is the setting for this story of the coming of age of a gang of Italian-American adolescents.
 The War at Home.  Nora Eisenberg. Wellfleet, MA: Leapfrog Press, 2002.
This memoir-novel set in the Bronx in the 1950s relates the life Lucy Lehman shares with her older brother, battle-fatigued father, and drug-addicted mother.
Where You Belong  Mary Ann McGuigan. New York: Atheneum, 1997.
In 1963, after thirteen-year-old Fiona runs away from home and reunites with her former classmate Yolanda in an all-black neighborhood of the Bronx, she finds both comfort and controversy
 World's Fair. E.L. Doctorow. New York: Random House, 1985.
The story of a Bronx childhood of the 1930s set against the drama of the 1939 World's Fair.
Bronx Boy: A Memoir Jerome Charyn's three-part memoir of his boyhood in the Bronx has all the imagery and color of an enchanting and entertaining novel -- someone has said that it captures the author's world so accurately that it can't possibly be true. Bronx Boy, like The Dark Lady of Belorusse and The Black Swan
  The Dark Lady from Belorusse: A Memoir The routine betrayals of borough politics and the dirty deals of black marketeers are brilliantly captured in Jerome Charyn's memoir of his early childhood in the Bronx of World War II. The Dark Lady from Belorusse is essentially a loving portrait of Charyn's mother, a brave and beautiful Jew from White Russia, who at 32 becomes a dealer in a weekly poker game where the principal players are the Irish politicians who run the Bronx in the 1940s.... This is a terrific little book. The Black Swan: A Memoir  Picking up where his much-praised memoir The Dark Lady from Belorusse left off, Jerome Charyn continues the story of his childhood adventures in the Bronx. The year is 1949, and 11-year-old "Baby" (the nickname survived the 1947 arrival of younger brother Marve) regularly skips school to sneak off to a local movie theater, the Luxor. He's informally adopted by the theater's three eccentric owners, Bronx natives and classmates at Harvard who dropped out to purchase the Luxor and share a nearby apartment. Two of them pine for their former high school teacher, the married (and alcoholic) Mrs. Green, while the third burns with unrequited passion for a handsome fireman. Next, Baby connects with a local gangster, who sends him out to collect protection money from the area's businesses, ostensibly as payment for cases of celery tonic. The extensive stretches of dialogue are as colorful as the characters, and if it all seems a little too picturesque to be believable, well, the "Note to the Reader" does admit that the people, places, and events depicted "are the product of imaginative recreation." Who cares? Charyn's roistering account brings to life postwar New York City with such vividness and gusto that if it isn't true, it ought to be. --Wendy Smith
 The Beautiful Bronx (1920-1950). A native Bronxite takes us back to the heyday years of the Bronx. The Birth of The Bronx: 1609-1900.  Lloyd Ultan and Gary Hermalyn. Bronx, NY: The Bronx County Historical Society, 2000.
The Bronx: It Was Only Yesterday (1935-1965).   Lloyd Ultan and Gary Hermalyn.  Bronx, NY: The Bronx County Historical Society, 1992.  The Bronx: Lost, Found, and Remembered (1935-1975) Writing the book was a pleasure in many ways. It gave me the chance to look at lots of Bronx pictures, and thereby travel back in time to a different, and usually better, time. Nobody who lived, worked or had relatives in the Bronx is immune to the lure of nostalgia for those kinder days.
.History in Asphalt: The Origin of Bronx Street and Place Names, Borough of the Bronx, New York City Randall Comfort. New York: North Side News Press, 1906. McNamara's Old Bronx. John McNamara. Bronx, NY: The Bronx County Historical Society, 1989.
Bronx Accent: A Literary and Pictorial History of the Borough. Ultan and Unger chronicle the rise, fall, and rebirth of New York City's northernmost borough in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by people who live or lived in the Bronx, or who simply chose to write about it.   Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe at Fordham.