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Pat Kiernan's Good Morning City: NY1 anchor reveals Pop Culture of My Life

To celebrate his new book, ‘Good Morning City,’ the NY1 morning news anchor talks to EW about the books, TV , music, and movies he loves

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John Ulan

As a morning news anchor for NY1, Pat Kiernan is used to waking up extra early. So, it only made sense that he’d draw on his expertise of cities before they wake up for his new endeavor: a picture book.

Good Morning City, Kiernan’s first ever book, looks at what happens before the sun rises, revealing bakers already busy in the kitchen while newspaper delivery people pedal through neighborhoods.

“I just liked the idea of lifting the veil on what happens in the middle of the night. I wanted to have some fun with those dawn hours,” explains Kiernan of his goal to capture the “magic” behind the morning routine. “Kids as they’re growing up, are increasingly aware that something must be happening. But it’s just not on their radar because they’re asleep.”

Though Kiernan lives in New York, the book’s titular City is meant to serve as any bustling metropolis, with illustrator Pascal Campion’s art both referencing and distancing any specific markers.

“A New Yorker buying the book will know where I got the ideas,” says Kiernan. “But it’s relevant to Chicago or Dallas or San Francisco.”

Movie-goers and TV fans might recognize the anchor from one of his many film and TV roles where he plays a TV newsman—something he also manages to pull off in the book as well. Says Kiernan, “If you’re sharp-eyed as you look through it, I make a couple of cameos.”

Ahead of the release of Good Morning City, Kiernan riffs on some of his favorite books, TV shows, music, and movies with EW.

My favorite book as a child

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. I always loved, and still to this day, love how-things-work stories, the behind-the-scenes of how any piece of technology works.  

A book you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read

Name your classic book. If I was asked to read it in school, I read them. At some point in college there was a Pride and Prejudice reading. I kicked and screamed through that.

A book you’ve pretended to have read

The Walter Isaacson Steve Jobs book. It got so much coverage that I must have read half of it in excerpts but never actually read it.

A book people would be surprised to learn you loved

Anne of Greene Gables. I sort of dismissed it in school because I was a boy and it seemed like it wasn’t directed at me. But then I got caught up in one of the Anne movies (appropriately on an Air Canada flight) and dusted off the copy that our daughter Lucy had been given.

A book you consider to be grossly overrated

Cuckoo’s Calling. It took me 10 different sessions. It was six months before I finally finished it. I don’t know if “overrated” is the right word, but you know how you pick something up and you know if you like it, because you make time for it? As opposed to, “it’s fine”. I feel like somebody who delivered so well in her primary voice somehow just didn’t create a page-turner there.

A book that made you laugh out loud

There were some funny moments in the Tina Fey Bossypants book. I’m not the only one to say this, but I like her sense of humor and it had a little bit of behind-the-scenes New York sensibility to it.

A book that made you cry

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. You’d have to be emotionless to not cry at least a little bit.

Your literary crush

Do Archie Comics count? If so, my answer is Betty.

A TV show you don’t think gets it’s due

I thought we were harsh on The Newsroom. It seemed more polarizing than it should have been. I’ve always liked just about everything Aaron Sorkin has written. But it felt like there was more life in that show had people been warmer to it. It’s not that it was a picture-perfect depiction of the TV news business, and I would know, but it was just a good and well-reasoned take on a lot of contemporary issues wrapped in a nice TV package.

All-time favorite movie

Back to the Future. It’s that geeky combination of science and pop culture, and the age I was when the movie came out. I loved Huey Lewis at the time [and he] was both in the soundtrack and made a cameo in the movie.

A song that always makes you feel better

Miley Cyrus’ Party in the U.S.A. It’s the best Miley song ever. There were, and are, some terrible ones. It’s fun. She’s got her whole nod to pop culture: Britney’s on the radio. 

Good Morning City will be released Nov. 15. 

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