Every newcomer to Baltimore hears these five words before they even arrive: “Have you watched ‘The Wire’?”

Even two decades later, the city’s reputation is inextricably linked to the HBO show. But one soon-to-be Baltimorean recently asked us: What are some books they can read to understand Baltimore better than a TV show?

The forces that shaped Baltimore are similar to those found in every large city in the country. But Baltimore is different.

Please assist us in helping future residents (and current ones) understand the nuanced, strange and fascinating contemporary history of Charm City. Tell us: What should they read?

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Share your favorite book titles here, and we’ll compile the ultimate newcomer’s reading list.

Krishna Sharma is an audience engagement editor for the Baltimore Banner. You can find him on the Banner's TikTok and Instagram. He has a background in environmental journalism and ecology. Do you have any tips or feedback? DM or email me!

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