Calling all bookworms! The final Imagine Boston 2030 Reading List is here.

  |   Imagine Boston Reading List

Last month, we released the first draft of the Imagine Boston 2030 Reading List, a collection of award-winning texts that explore different facets of Boston’s character. We think these texts hold some of the keys to understanding lessons learned through history and how they relate to the future of Boston. From urban planning to cultural resilience, these books tell stories of how cities like Boston came to be, and explore many of the concepts that shape cities to this day.

When we released the initial list, we called upon Bostonians of all ages to help choose the final books that would complete the adult and youth syllabi. The votes are tallied, and we are thrilled to announce the final Imagine Boston 2030 Reading List!


*New additions in bold

Adult Reading List

“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by Matthew Desmond
“The Death and Life of Great American Cities” by Jane Jacobs
“Chain of Change: Struggles for Black Community Development” by Mel King
“The Given Day” by Dennis Lehane
“Common Ground” by J. Anthony Lukas
“All Souls: A Family Story From Southie” by Michael Patrick MacDonald
“The Power Broker” by Robert Caro
“Karma and Other Stories” by Rishi Reddi
“The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong” by Judith Rodin
“Villa Victoria: The Transformation of Social Capital in a Boston Barrio” by Mario Luis Small
“Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time” by Jeff Speck
“The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future” by Joseph E. Stiglitz
“The Last Hurrah” by Edwin O’Connor
“Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino
“Don’t Mess with Tanya: Stories Emerging from Boston’s Barrios” by Ken Tangvi

Youth(Ages 3+) Reading List

“The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing” by M. T. Anderson
“The City of Ember” by Jeanne DuPrau
“Pennies for Elephants” by Lita Judge
“What’s the Big Idea? Four Centuries of Innovation in Boston” by Stephen Krensky
“Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey
“Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagine” by Steve McDonald
“Beneath the Streets of Boston” by Joe McKendry
“On the Loose in Boston (Find the Animals)” by Sage Stossel
Bus Route to Boston” by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
“From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers: Architecture for Children” by Christine Paxmann

Pick up one of the books today!

The Mayor’s Office has partnered with the Boston Public Library to make the entire Imagine Boston reading list available to all Boston residents! That means you can stop by your nearest local branch and indulge in one – or all – of these books. You won’t want to miss out on these fascinating reads. Also, make sure to grab an Imagine Boston bookmark. You’re going to need it!

As you work your way through the reading list, community leaders will be doing the same. We have asked dozens of them to serve as guest bloggers throughout the season, offering insight on books from the list that have greatly influenced their thinking. Every blog entry will highlight one book’s relation to Boston and its ability to add value to the planning process. In addition, each community leader will share his or her personal vision for Boston in 2030.

Which book will you be reading first? Share your ideas and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #ImagineBoston and #IB2030bookworm. And don’t forget to sign up to learn more and stay up to date with all things Imagine Boston!

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