Rules of Civility by Amor TowlesRead about the other entries on the list.
“That’s the problem with being born in New York – you’ve got no New York to run away to.” Banker-turned-novelist Amor Towles’s underrated 2011 debut, inspired by his grandmother’s life, opens at a 1937 New Year’s Eve bash in Greenwich Village (“We started the evening with a plan of stretching three dollars as far as it would go”) and follows the next 12 months in the life of Russian immigrant’s daughter Katey Kontent (real name Katya). This Dorothy Parker-meets-Holly Golightly heroine hangs out in sleazy jazz clubs, sips gin martinis, steals silk stockings from Bendel’s and works at a louche literary magazine, all the while seeking her fortune and true love. It’s like a retro-chic Sex and the City or Downton Abbey on a gap year.
Also see: Jeff Somers's five memorable books set on New Year’s Eve (and Day) and John Mullan's ten most notable New Years in literature.