The Best Book Group in New York

Steve Zeitlin


Zeitlin, Steve.”Downstate: The Best Book Group in New York.” New York Folklore, vol. 48:1-4, 2022. pp. 14-20.


OK, maybe we’re not the “best book group” in all New York. But back in 2004, author Wayne Barrett nominated us to the Village Voice’s annual “Best Of ” list, and so the name Best Book Group (BBG) stuck... Alex Herzan and I were having a sushi picnic .... when this idea was hatched. I mentioned to Alex that I had decided to mark my 10th anniversary as a New Yorker by reading a year of books about NYC. I hadn’t come up with a list of books yet, but I had decided to start with Ragtime. Alex was excited about my plan and had the great idea to make it a book group.