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Posts by Jenny Baum

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 salon.com, 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.

Naomi 

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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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Atomic Age

“The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.”  —Jonas Salk

"If you can do something but decide not to, it’s the same thing as saying you can't" —attributed to Richard Feynman

Jonas Salk, born in New York, created a polio 

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Reader’s Den: "Amberville" Wrap Up

Thank you for participating in this month’s Reader’s Den! If you enjoyed Amberville, try:

Christopher Moore A Dirty Job Jasper Fforde (“Nursery Crimes” series) The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear Robert Rankin The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse and The Toyminator ... Read More ›

"Amberville": Discussion Questions

Tim Davys writes:

Amberville might have a bit of Chelsea in London, Lanceheim maybe slightly Berlin. If I say Tourquai has a touch of New York and Yok a bit of Rome, I’m not lying. But I’m not telling the whole truth either. The landscape you have in mind most certainly forms the plot. But I’m not sure if that’s important for the reading experience; it’s more of an author’s tool. Every reader then forms their own opinions.”

Compare and contrast the use of setting 

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"Amberville": About the Author (Reader's Den)

“I loved Emma Rabbit. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your beloved.

Love had come stealthily. Love had waited, lain in wait and attacked when I least expected it.

I’d been defenseless.

The first days I didn’t dare say anything. We attended to our roles as usual. She asked how the night had been, I answered that it had been good. She asked if I wanted to have the window open or closed. I answered closed.

But I answered with a joy that I couldn’t rein in. Love made me strong and exhilarated. It didn’t take 

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Reader's Den: Amberville by Tim Davys

Welcome to the June 2010 edition of the Reader's Den!

A while ago, babble.com created a list of the 26 Most Disturbing Kids Movies of all time. Watership Down made the list, and if you’ve never read the book by Richard Adams, get yourself a copy, it’s a great book. At any rate, it 

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Foodstuffs and Fiction

It always bugs me when characters in novels don’t consume any food or drink. Not that the whole novel has to be about that, mind you, but the occasional mention can do so much to create setting.

I recently read that Honoré de Balzac died at age 51 from caffeine overconsumption. I assumed that this must be overstating the case because I 

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