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What to read when the rent is too damn high

Plus, a bonus book about the future of New York City’s transportation revolution.

Too stressed out about the first of the month to go out this weekend? Stay in instead with some illuminating reads, all just released.

Related: 3 books that totally get NYC living

“Evicted” by Matthew Desmond

Poverty conjures up an image of a homeless person sleeping on the sidewalk, but according to Matthew Desmond, who is an assistant professor of the social sciences at Harvard University, most people in poverty actually have a landlord and place to live — they just have trouble paying for it. To bring this knowledge to the masses, he spent a year living in a trailer park, and then in the inner city. He hung out with his neighbors, going with them to eviction court and shelters. He also got to know their landlords and the problems they faced. All of his work is revealed in his heartbreaking book, “Eviction.”

Related: 3 myths about the working poor

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“Priced Out” by Rachael A. Woldoff, Lisa M. Morrison and Michael R. Glass

Brooklyn gentrification generates a lot of hype, but there is also a class clash happening in Manhattan, in tree-lined Stuyvesant Town. Three experts in urban development and sociology came together to expose the war between the housing development’s long-term middle class residents and the newer, younger and wealthier residents. The authors interviewed residents to provide a true inside look at what is happening in this corner of the East Village.

Related: 'The Nest' is spring's buzziest new novel

“Death, Brooklyn, and the Gritty Side of Grace” by Carolyn Gartner

Taking an internship and trying to make ends meet in an unforgiving city brings you into contact with people whose paths you never would have otherwise crossed. Carolyn Gartner learned this all too well as a hospice social work intern. Some of the dying people, whose apartments and lives she enters, have nowhere for their body to be buried after they die. Their lives are a struggle, and so are their deaths. What becomes of these people? It is only through learning that Gartner herself learns how to truly live.

Bonus book: “Streetfight: Handbook For An Urban Revolution” by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow

A few years ago, biking across NYC wasn’t exactly easy. It can still be panic-inducing, but now we have CitiBikes, bike lanes, and an overall safer place for pedestrians and bikers. Former New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan reveals how she transformed the city streets in her new book, “Streetfight.” It gives a good inside look at how idealism and city planning intersect to make real, positive change.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

 
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