Banks, Russell. The Sweet Hereafter. New York, NY: Perennial, 1992. A horrific school-bus accident in Sam Dent, NY, results in the deaths of 14 children. Banks writes compassionately of how the small town responds and somehow moves beyond grief to redemption.
Dobyns, Stephen. Saratoga Haunting. New York, NY: Viking Press, 1993. Low-key detective Charlie Bradshaw, operating in the summer horse-racing capital of America, reopens two cases he thought he had solved 20 years earlier. The seventh of poet Dobyns’s Charlie Bradshaw books; all are set in Saratoga.
Dreiser, Theodore. An American Tragedy. New York, NY: Signet Classics, 2000. The classic book on the dark side of the American Dream, set largely in the Adirondacks  and Central New York.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1995. One of the finest works of 20th-century literature takes place largely on the north shore of Long Island .
Gardner, John. The Sunlight Dialogues. New York, NY: Random House, 1972. A grand and complex portrait of America in the 1960s, set in the small, agricultural town of Batavia, New York.
Irving, Washington. Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Tarrytown, NY: Sleepy Hollow Press, 1980. The first American literary writer of note tells the tales of the Headless Horseman galloping through Sleepy Hollow  and Rip Van Winkle awakening from his 20-year sleep.
Kennedy, William. Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1982. The second, and arguably best, of Kennedy’s triumvirate of novels set in underworld Albany  chronicles the fall and redemption of a small-time hustler. The other two books in the cycle are Legs and Ironweed.
Oates, Joyce Carol. Bellefleur. New York, NY: Plume Books, 1991. The complex and opulent tale of six generations of Bellefleurs, a wealthy and notorious family who live in a region much like the Adirondacks . Other Oates novels set upstate are A Bloodsmoor Romance and Mysteries of Winterthurn.
Wilson, Edmund. Upstate: Records and Recollections of Northern New York. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1990. One of the rare books that examines the character of upstate New York, where Wilson and his family summered for generations. The first third of the book, covering various aspects of New York history, is especially astute; the rest is diary entries.
Zabor, Rafi. The Bear Comes Home. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1998. In this winner of the PEN–Faulkner Award, an intellectual sax-playing bear, well versed in literature, jazz and philosophy, fights to find his place in the world. A comic gem, with great insights into what it means to be an artist, set largely in New York City  and 99332 link Woodstock/Bearsville, New York].
McMartin, Barbara. 50 Hikes in the Adirondacks. Woodstock, VT: Countryman Press, 2003. The doyenne of New York’s outdoor writers and an authority on the Adirondacks  outlines the region’s top trails. Detailed maps are included.
New York–New Jersey Trail Conference, Inc. New York Walk Book. Mahwah, NJ: New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, 2001. This updated “hiker’s Bible” reflects the many changes that have occurred in the region since the book was first published in 1923. Some of the old trails are gone, of course, but a surprising number of new areas have also opened up, thanks largely to the public acquisition of land. The book also features excellent sections on the history, geology, flora, and fauna of the regions immediately surrounding New York City .
Wadsworth, Bruce. An Adirondack Sampler: Day Hikes for All Seasons. Lake George, NY: Adirondack Mountain Club, 1988. An excellent guide for beginning hikers and those new to the Adirondacks. Fifty hikes are recommended.