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Posts by Jenny Baum

Muppets Run Amok at the Library

In honor of the Sesame Street exhibition at the Library for the Performing Arts, I thought I'd write a bit about some other Jim Henson productions that have stayed with me. Read More ›

June 2014 Reader's Den: "The Judgment of Paris" Part 4

In “In Praise of Art Forgeries” Blake Gopnik argues that muddying the ability to authenticate art works, as Warhol’s Factory artists did (sometimes attributed to him, sometimes not) can help to bring positive attention to works themselves, rather than their purely monetary value. As many letters to the editor in response suggested, this article may well have been mostly tongue-in-cheek. I suspect that he is questioning the role of the authenticator. This questioning of the role of art authentication is in some ways similar to the artists' questioning of the role of the Academy in "The Read More ›

June 2014 Reader's Den: "The Judgment of Paris" by Ross King, Part 3

Other recommended works:

The Girl Who Loved Camellias by Julie Kavanagh The fascinating history of Marie DuPlessis chronicles the life of the courtesan who inspired Alexandre Dumas fils’s novel and play La dame aux camélias, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Traviata, George Cukor’s film Camille, and Frederick 

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June 2014 Reader's Den: "The Judgment of Paris" by Ross King, Part 2, About the Author

About the Author: The critically acclaimed author of Brunelleschi's Dome, Leonardo and the Last Supper, and Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power, King is a native of Canada who has lived in England since 1992, currently outside Oxford. Read More ›

June 2014 Reader's Den: "The Judgment of Paris" by Ross King, Part 1

Welcome back to the Reader's Den! This month we'll be looking at The Judgment of Paris by Ross King, about a turbulent era in art history.Read More ›

Epistolary Novels and Letter Writing

"Epistolary" is one of those words that just fun to say or think about, like the word "condensation". An epistolary novel is simply a novel consisting of correspondence between characters. This is one of those rarely used writing devices, I assume because it's difficult to sustain throughout a novel.Read More ›

Meet the Speakers at our Fulton Fish Market Talk!

This Wednesday, February 26 from 6-7:45 p.m. at Jefferson Market Library, come to an evening of memory, protest and plans. Here's some information about the upcoming speakers.Read More ›

Halloween Reads IV: The Repass

It's that time of year again, when Halloween book and media picks are falling like harvest leaves. Here's a small, but spooky, selection.Read More ›

On the Origin of Some Phrases

Growing up, I used to hear the phrase "what do you want, egg in your beer?" all the time. Although I have many occasions in which I'd like to use it, I never have because I know it would only garner perplexing looks. I looked into it recently and it's from WWII and it seems to be somewhat self-explanatory as egg in beer is 

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Mermaid Parade

I was musing aloud about what the next supernatural fiction trend may be, now that vampires and werewolves have had their day. I jokingly said mermaids/mermen, but it looks like there may be something to that after all. A recent Joss Whedon film (

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Following Cheryl Strayed's Journey on the Pacific Crest Trail

How interesting could a book about a long walk possibly be? In the case of Cheryl Strayed's book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, the answer is very. Some may have foolishly initially shied away from this book because it's an Oprah's Book Club selection and a memoir, a combination that proved problematic for

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Flappers and Philosophers: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Their Contemporaries

The newest film version of The Great Gatsby is opening in theaters on May 10th. This is the fifth time this story has been filmed, I believe. This version boasts a modern soundtrack and promises to deliver on the fashion and visual excesses of the "Jazz Age," if director Baz 

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Opera for the Uninitiated

The Gilded Stage: A Social History of the Opera by Daniel Snowman promises to do what few nonfiction books about opera have done thus far: describe the evolution of opera from everyman's entertainment to one, believed by many, to be reserved for those of a select social sphere.

In the Literary Review by Tim 

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Audubon Day is April 26th

Many have heard about slow food, but fewer still about slow looking. This Wall Street Journal article from 2011 coined the term, referring to LSU's Hill Memorial Library and the way in which they presented their collection of John James Audubon's four-volume Birds of America (1827-38): slowing turning the pages for a rapt audience.

Closer to home and until May 19th, the New-York 

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February Reader's Den: "Telegraph Avenue" Week 4

This is a view of Broadway, in Oakland, California from NYPL's Digital Gallery. Although it's not Telegraph Avenue where Oakland and Berkeley intersect, I think it still contributes to envisioning the setting of the novel. How do you envision the area where Telegraph Avenue takes place? Do you think that this picture fits with that idea? That time frame?

In the novel, Gibson Goode builds a mega 

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February Reader's Den: "Telegraph Avenue" Week 3

If you're enjoying Telegraph Avenue, here are some suggestions on what to check out next:

Telegraph Avenue Pinterest page, including Candygirl Clark and Strutter movie original artwork by Greg "Stainboy" Reinel.

Read-alikes and watch-alikes:

Marvel Comics' ... Read More ›

February Reader's Den: "Telegraph Avenue" Week 2 - About the Author

If you'd like to know all about Michael Chabon's prolific publishing history, Contemporary Authors Online has an exhaustive biography of him in our online databases. As I already noted, comics have been a big influence on his work and I surprized to learn that he worked on the screenplay of Edgar Rice Burrough's A Princess of Mars (novelized by Stuart Moore as

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February Reader's Den: "Telegraph Avenue" Week 1

Welcome back to the Reader's Den! Today we take a slight detour from our focus on New York City to the sunny climes of Northern California. Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue is a fictional place that the NYT book 

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Meet the Author: Carliss Pond

Carliss Pond, author of Taste of Broadway and Sizzle in Hell's Kitchen spoke at the Columbus Library last year. It was great to have an author speak about the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, which has come to be known as Clinton in recent years. Sizzle in Hell's Kitchen chronicles the diverse restaurants available on Ninth Avenue, including 38 different restaurants 

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Reader's Den Chat: Meet the Author Michael Scott Moore

Last year around this time, author Michael Scott Moore read from his book Sweetness and Blood at the Columbus branch. I wanted to share it with everyone who couldn't attend. Sweetness and Blood focuses on the history of surfing and was also an NYPL Reader's Den 

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