cover image Between the Lines: Stories from the Underground

Between the Lines: Stories from the Underground

Uli Beutter Cohen. Simon & Schuster, $24.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-982145-67-5

Beutter Cohen, creator of the Subway Book Review, goes underground to New York’s subway system in this rich collection of interviews. A slew of New Yorkers share what they’re reading: LaTonya Yvette at Brooklyn’s Clinton-Washington station reads Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, which makes her ponder property, ownership, and her relationship with the land she inhabits, while Shea Vassar discusses her Indigenous identity at the 45th Street Station through Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford, and Ellie Musgrave in Prospect Park reads M Train by Patti Smith and photographs her way through the city. Well-known train-riders pop up from time to time, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who was caught reading Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt, an author he calls a “huge inspiration”; Roxane Gay, who reads her “favorite novel,” Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence; and Momofuku CEO Marguerite Zabar Mariscal, who says that Rules of Civility by Amor Towles “transports you to an homage of New York in a really cinematic way.” With a genuine curiosity for the city’s wealth of perspectives, Beutter Cohen’s interviews show how deep a person’s connection to a book can go; after all, she writes, “books are a reflection of our identities and souls.” Literature lovers will relish this insightful compendium. (Oct.)