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Posts by Jenny Baum

June Reader's Den: 11/22/63 Week One

Welcome to the June 2012 edition of the Reader's Den! The title for this month is Stephen King's 11/22/63, part of Mystery Summer. If you were expecting The Sixes by Kate White, please see my earlier post and check out her new book So 

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May I? Thank You and Please: The New Rules of Etiquette

Anyone who has seen the Seinfeld finale, whether they loved it or hated it, remembers that it was about the characters getting their just desserts for being such terrible people. By extension, New Yorkers sometimes have a reputation of being rude. I don’t think this is true, and I’ve seen New Yorkers be incredibly polite, but I do think that in a city full of people with such varying backgrounds in such close proximity, there are bound to be misunderstandings. I 

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New Steampunk and Speculative Fiction at Your Library

The steampunk genre has been around for some time now, and while some may disagree, I most strongly associate it with The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a graphic novel, by Alan Moore.

More recently, the novel, 

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Monster Mash: New-ish Science Fiction and Horror Titles Available at Your Library

I've been thinking about this post ever since Lady Gaga and Mayor Bloomberg hosted the New Year's ball drop, which made me think of her Monster's Ball tour, and of monsters, in general. Unfortunately, I have been a wee bit tardy in posting it, so some of these books are not exactly hot off the presses, but I think they are all great horror and science-fiction reads for 2012. As a bonus, some are available as e-book titles. Readers, engage!

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Mystery and Mystique in the Fashion World: Books by Kate White

The Bailey Weggins mystery series by author Kate White is a cross between Nancy Drew, Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, and occasionally, the cutthroat office politics from 

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Marathon Reading

Now that the ING New York City Marathon has wrapped up, here are some titles to inspire you to take on next year’s marathon, or to participate vicariously through them. Some runners like to listen to long audiobooks to while away the hours spent training. Of course, you can always read them and just consider it sports nutrition for your mind.

Heart of Iron: My Journey from Transplant Patient to Ironman Triathlete by

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Reading Recommendations for Video Game Players

Lately, I’ve noticed some interest in crossover titles for video game players who are looking for good fiction reads. I know I’m not the first person to think of this. Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a good, if somewhat obvious, example. Here’s a list of some other titles that may not immediately spring to mind.

In many video games, food increases health and fights 

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September Reader's Den: "Sweetness and Blood" Wrap-Up

Thanks for joining us for this month's edition of the Reader's Den! We have a special treat for followers of the Reader's Den... a live appearance by Michael Scott Moore, author of Sweetness and Blood, at Columbus Library! More details >>

Also, be sure to check out October's Reader's Den: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester.

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September Reader's Den: "Sweetness and Blood" Follow Up and Further Reading Suggestions

Library patrons might be interested to know that Jack London, as well as Agatha Christie and her husband, frequented Waikiki Beach:

"The focal point of that surfline and the wave riding connected to it was the Outrigger Canoe Club. There, Agatha Christie and her husband extended their stay in Hawaii so he could surf longer, and Jack London and the Prince of Wales who abdicated his throne, and the King of Persia, as well as Rudolf Friml, Doris Duke, Otis 

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September Reader's Den: About the Author of "Sweetness and Blood"

Michael Scott Moore's debut novel, Too Much of Nothing, is very different from Sweetness and Blood, but it is similar in that they are both odes, at least in part, to his hometown of Redondo Beach, CA. Moore is a reporter and chief stage critic for SF Weekly in San Francisco. He has also written for, San Francisco magazine, Bostonia magazine, and the New York Times, and 

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So, You Finished the Millennium Trilogy, What Next?: A Reading List

With the English-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo film due to come out in December of this year, fans of Stieg Larsson who have already seen the Swedish films and read the trilogy may be searching for more. Here is a loosely inspired reading list. For a more comprehensive list of Swedish crime writers, see this blog post on Nordic Whodunits.


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War Horse

Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse has been a London stage play for four years running and has now come to Broadway. The Spielberg film version is slated to be released December 28, 2011.

The story takes place during World War I and describes the horrific conditions and loss of life, both human and animal, that took 

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Celebrities and the Books They Are (or Aren’t) Reading

With the recent NYT article about clothing stores being the newest places to purchase books highlighting what fashionable items books can be, I thought I’d take a look at some of the books that celebrities have been seen reading. I’ll let you decide if they are actual reads, solely being used as fashion accessories or merely shielding one’s eyes from the sun at some tropical retreat.


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What If? Adventures in Possibilities

"The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over, and then expecting different results."

This quotation has been everywhere lately, and is often attributed to Einstein, although there’s no evidence that he ever said it. It does, however, illustrate the importance of change. If you find yourself on the cusp of a change in your life, sometimes books are a good way to explore different careers, lifestyles, whatever, without necessarily committing to a permanent change. Libraries are a great way to explore the "what ifs" in your 

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In Defense of the Romance Novel

These days, readers no longer need to parade their Fabio-graced romance novels in front of all the other passengers on their train or bus. Instead, they can read them discreetly on their e-readers, but why the concern? I once saw a woman on a bus in Chicago, years ago, with a cannily embroidered book jacket cover that 

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Ghosts in the Library: Reading After Life

Researching ghosts at the library is nothing new. Finding media tie-in books about ghostly television shows is a more recent pursuit. Both can be accomplished at NYPL. On occasion, ghostbusters have even been known to roam the stacks of NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

In Mary Roach’s book Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, she discusses several séance experiments in the early 1900s 

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November Reader's Den: "Kitchen Confidential" Discussion Wrap-Up

Welcome to the wrap-up of our discussion of Kitchen Confidential. We hope that we have inspired you to be adventurous in the kitchen this Thanksgiving holiday [if you happen to be reading this blog from a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving now, then we hope that it has inspired you to be adventurous in the kitchen in general], or at least inspired you to find some tasty reading.

Since Kitchen Confidential is a memoir, many of the scenes in it help us to understand why Anthony Bourdain is so 

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November Reader’s Den: About the Author of "Kitchen Confidential"

Welcome back to this month’s Reader’s Den, co-led by Jenny Baum and Ursula Murphy, about Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.

Anthony Bourdain is a polarizing figure and, as such, elicits strong responses, as strong as a few politicians I can think of. Cable channels like the Food channel, the newer Cooking channel and the Travel 

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Halloween Reads II: The Re-Ordering

Last year I blogged about Halloween movies that were inspired by books. This year, as I ponder what costume I would like to wear, in a season that promises to be rife with Lady Gagas and “The Situation”s, I thought I’d mention a few books that could be (very loosely) interpreted to inspire your own costume selections.

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