In Our Good Books

The reading suggestions have been kindly provided by staff members of the downtown bookstore McNally Jackson.

Fated by S.G. Browne

From the acclaimed author of Breathers—an irreverent novel about fate, destiny, and the karmic consequences of getting involved with humans.

Over the past few thousand years, Fabio has come to hate his job. As Fate, he’s in charge of assigning the fortunes and misfortunes that befall most of the human race—the 83% who keep screwing things up.

Frustrated with his endless parade of drug addicts and career politicians, Fate has to watch Destiny guide her people to Nobel Peace prizes and Super Bowl MVPs. To make matters worse, he has a five- hundred-year-old feud with Death, and his best friends are Sloth and Gluttony. And worst of all? He’s fallen in love with a human.

Getting involved with a human breaks rule number one, and about ten others, setting off some cosmic-sized repercussions that could strip him of his immortality—or lead to a fate worse than death.

The Mole People by Jennifer Toth

Almost twenty years after its original publication, this book remains a relevant and shocking account of life in the underground layers of New York City. Interweaving profiles of tunnel dwellers with inquiries about what it means—culturally, historically, politically, and economically—to live underground, Toth creates a harrowing portrait of an alternate humanity, and one that is only steps away from your daily commute.

Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr. by Burt Boyar

Sure, Sammy Davis might seem a bit cheesy to the average twenty-first century hipster. The idea of this book might make you cringe. Think what you want, the man had a central position in the zeitgeist of his time. He also carried a camera everywhere he went. I dare you to take a look. These photos are better than you think they’ll be.

The Hunger: A Story of Food, Desire, and Ambition by John Delucie and Graydon Carter

A page-turning memoir from the chef of The Waverly Inn, New York City’s vaunted celebrity gathering spot.

The Hunger is an insider’s romp through the crazy life of the restaurant business, told by a journeyman chef who fought his way to the top. Trapped in a dead-end job, John DeLucie called it quits and invested his meager savings in a ten-week cooking class. Upon completion, armed with no professional experience and the barest of basic skills, he walked into the renowned gourmet shop Dean & DeLuca and asked for a job. The next day he found himself chopping forty pounds of onions in the prep-kitchen basement. A glamorous new chapter had begun. DeLucie worked his way up the bumpy NYC food chain, from executive chef at La Bottega to Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton, eventually finding his way to The Waverly Inn, which he opened with publishing magnate Graydon Carter and several partners. It was here that John married his mastery of simple but unique flavors with Carter’s A+ list of glitterati to create downtown’s hottest eatery.

The Hunger tracks John though the pitfalls of cooking for a living, as well as the roller-coaster rides that became his personal life. Woven into the grit are the stories behind some of DeLucie’s signature recipes, including New York’s “best high-end burger” and the now famous truffled mac and cheese. Here is John’s tale about food, desire, and appetite—and how one person overcame all odds to make it in the fiercely competitive world of food.

McNally Jackson is an independent bookstore that is well worth a visit; they have a fantastic selection on their shelves. The store is located in NoLIta at 52 Prince Street between Lafayette and Mulberry. Visit them on the Web at

April 2013