12 Good Reads About Buffalo

We’re four months into the days of social distancing and I, the occasional reader who would take about three months to read a single book, has now turned into a nightly reader plowing through one after another. I’ve gone from romantic thriller to historical novel to presidential biography to whatever’s next for me to grab off that pile in my living room. Though as I flip through the last few pages of Eisenhower I’ll be making a left turn from the White House, bringing my reading back to Buffalo.

I figure now is as good as time as any to get to know my hometown on a deeper level through the pages of some interesting local reads. You think you may know Buffalo’s story but like many things in life, there’s always more to learn. And why not dive in nose first, while you’ve got some time on your hands? To make it easy, our friends at the Buffalo & Erie County Library have put together a list of Buffalo books for us to try. So when the time comes to get back out exploring our city, we’ll be armed with more knowledge about Buffalo’s past and a to-do list for the present.

Here’s a starting list of books all about Buffalo – Happy Reading!

The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City, Margaret Creighton

Available via: Library downloadable, Talking Leaves, Kindle

Buffalo’s 1901 Pan-American Exposition: very engaging read on the people and attitudes of the day behind the Exposition. Author is a Buffalo native who conducted her research here.

City on the Lake, Mark Goldman

Available via: Talking Leaves, Kindle

Early discussion of Buffalo’s recent history of decline leading to current resurgence.

City of Light, Lauren Belfer

Available via: Library downloadable, Talking Leaves, Kindle

Often discussed novel on Buffalo during the Pan-Am period, with many known landmarks and historical figures.

100 Things to Do in Buffalo Before You Die, Elizabeth Licata

Available via: Talking Leaves, Kindle

Great aspirational list of places and attractions once we get to leave our houses again.

Buffalo Style Gardens, Sally Cunningham & Jim Charlier

Available via: Library downloadable, Talking Leaves, Kindle

Garden inspirations/best available substitute for in-person Garden Walk.

Big Russ & Me, Tim Russert

Available via: Library downloadable, Talking Leaves, Kindle

Delightful read about a man, a family and the culture of South Buffalo.

Color Buffalo, NY, Annette Trabucco

Available via: Talking Leaves

Coloring book for adults about Buffalo architecture – stress relief while learning!

Buffalo from A to Z, Come Take a Tour With Me, Brigette Atlas Callahan

Available via: cityoflightpublishing.com

Children’s book on local architecture, but a good primer for anyone.

B is for Buffalo, Christopher Hyzy

Available via: cityoflightpublishing.com

Beautiful aerial photography highlighting local sites from A to Z.

The Last Fine Time, Verlyn Klinkenborg

Available via: Talking Leaves

A beautifully-written non-fiction account of a family-owned restaurant on Buffalo’s East Side in the years following World War II.

Buffalo Everything: A Guide to Eating in the Nickel City, Arthur Bovino

Available via: Talking Leaves, Kindle

From beef on weck to Buffalo-style pizza, this is perhaps the most comprehensive book ever written about Buffalo best eats. Psst, there’s a cookbook, too.

Available soon:

Olmsted’s Elmwood: The Rise, Decline and Renewal of Buffalo’s Parkway Neighborhood, Clinton Brown, Faia & Ramona Whitaker

Available via: cityoflightpublishing.com, Talking Leaves

While the libraries remain closed, check out all of the free options to access books, music and more via their website BuffaloLib.org. Sign up for your FREE eLibrary card while you’re at it too!

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