One of my companion books as we travelled across the United States was Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York, by Michelle and James Nevius. I found the book on the eve of our departure from New York and it might seem strange to have been reading about a city that we had already left, but the book, which is divided up into 182 entries and is thus ideally designed for ‘dipping into’, is an excellent thematic and subject-based account of New York’s history and the people, buildings and places that have made it the city it is today, from the original Lenape Indian inhabitants through to the 9/11 attacks and their architectural aftermath. This includes instructions as to where traces of those earlier developments can still be found. The authors, both tour guides, also helpfully provide fourteen walking tours which cover much of the ground set out in their book. If you’re interested in the history of cities and you are going to New York, think of taking this book with you.