Few things tempt me more than a well-curated museum gift shop. After walking through an eye-opening and fascinating exhibit, whether it’s art or historical, I’m always hungry to know more about the topic. And then, lo and behold, on my way out, there’s a whole shop full of books on exactly that! I rarely make it out without acquiring a new book . . . or four.
One of my favorite museums is the New York Tenement Museum, which explores the immigrant history of New York City’s Lower East Side between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. Housed in two original tenement buildings that were home to over 15,000 working-class immigrants from more than 20 countries, the museum allows visitors to walk through meticulously re-created apartments representing the different time periods of former inhabitants with historical accuracy. The book selection in their shop is richly diverse and has something for every reader, with fiction and nonfiction books on topics ranging from the immigrant experience to food and beyond. Here are 14 of my favorites from their shop.