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Posts by Ryan P. Donovan

"Vixen, Return of the Lion": A Review

You probably have never heard of the superheroine Vixen before. Unlike Batman or Superman, she's not quite as famous. Although she was set to star in her own series in the late 1970s, the first issue of her comic debut was abruptly cancelled. It wasn't until July of 1981 that DC Comics introduced her in the Superman-centric title Action Comics #521. Gerry Conway and Bob Oksner are credited with creating the character, one of only a handful of African American women to appear in superhero comics. An international hero, Vixen uses a 

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A Glimpse of Life on the Inside: Reflections on Rikers Island Correctional Library Service

The typical reaction I received from many co-workers after telling them that I wanted to go to Rikers Island was, “...why? Isn’t that dangerous?” I considered that question. Would it be dangerous? Quite possibly... but after meeting with prison librarians Nick Higgins and Luis Torres, taking a trip with them out to Rikers Island was never far from my mind. Several times each week as part of the library’s Correctional Services Program, Nick and Luis alternate going out to Rikers 

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Fiction Based on Shakespeare: A Reading List

To better celebrate Shakespeare month this April, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building will be hosting a series of events this week celebrating the famous playwright. For those of you who can't attend but still want to get your Shakespeare on, here's a list of titles that are either modern re-tellings of Shakespeare's classics or novels featuring and/or inspired by characters he created.Read More ›

My Library, Anime Addicts Edition: Anthony

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Mid-Manhattan Library hosts a monthly screening of anime. This spring and throughout the summer, we will be featuring patrons who have been attending Anime Night. Over twenty people came last night to see a screening of Bamboo Blade. Want to get in on the fun? Next month on May 4th, NYPL at Nite will be 

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"Brava, Valentine" Discussion Wrap Up

Thank you for participating in this month’s Reader’s Den! I hope you enjoyed reading Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. Remember, the Reader's Den is always open! You are always welcome to begin reading the book, then come back and post your comments.

If you’re interested in reading other works by Adriana Trigiani or titles that are similar, then I would suggest these books:

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The Return of Adriana Trigiani!

A couple of weeks ago, Adriana Trigiani stopped by The Reader's Den to answer a few questions about Brava, Valentine. This week, she returns to answer a few more. Read on to see what she has to say!

You described many amazing locations in New York City and in Greenwich Village specifically. Did any one location in particular mean more to you than the others? Were some settings made up completely for the book? Out of all the places 

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Discussion Questions for "Brava, Valentine"

This week, I'm introducting a few discussion questions for this month's Reader's Den title Brava, Valentine. Want to participate? Simply comment at the bottom of this blog post.

When her Gram moves to Italy permanently at the beginning of the novel, Val feels that it’s her responsibility to step up as head of the Angelini Shoe Company. This puts her into a more forceful role than she has been in before. Her willingness to take ... Read More ›

Author Interview with Adriana Trigiani

Last week, I promised you an exclusive Reader's Den interview with this month's author of Brava, Valentine: Here is the wonderful Adriana Trigiani.

I think the first obvious question to ask you would be, how crazy is your real life family compared to Valentine Roncalli’s fictional one? Have you ever had a major holiday blowout like the one that happens in the book? That was probably 

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"Brava, Valentine" by Adriana Trigiani

The month of love may have just ended, but things are getting a bit romanticized for the March 2011 edition of The Reader’s Den. Get ready to discuss Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. An Italian-American woman born in Queens, Valentine struggles to balance love, work, and family in this heartfelt and touching novel.

This book, the sequel to ... Read More ›

Superman Earth One: A Review

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's... an angst-ridden Superman!

It's always hard trying to reimagine a celebrated fictional character who has been around for almost seventy years. Writers want to touch upon the rich history of the character while also inventing a fresh and new feel for audiences who may not be as familiar with who he or she is. A good example of this would be Clark Kent, better known to the world as Superman.

He's been through a lot; a comic book,

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Countdown by Deborah Wiles: A Review

Imagine being 11 years old and worrying every day that the world might end.

This is the very real fear that Franny Chapman, an army brat, deals with every day. She goes from frustrated that her teacher won’t call on her in class to horrified when the air raid siren starts blaring. It’s the summer of 1962 and America is about to enter what will eventually be called the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Franny doesn’t know a lot about what’s going on; she just knows that her father is being deployed again and she is stuck with her overbearing mother 

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Witch & Wizard by James Patterson: A Review

Imagine waking up in a world gone insane, where you and your brother have become outlaws overnight for seemingly no reason at all.

This is life for Wisteria Allgood.

Along with her brother Whitford, Wisty is cornered in her living room one night by a small army. They accuse her of being a witch. Which is ridiculous. Wisty is by no means perfect. She often finds herself in detention for skipping class and talking back. That doesn't mean she's magical. As she sees her parents carted away, Wisty feels an intense desire to help them... which caused her to burst 

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Reader's Den: Poetry Selections, "Learning to Love America" by Shirley Geok-Lim Lin

For the month of December, the librarians of The Reader's Den have decided to spotlight some of our very favorite poetry. To get things started, I'd like to take a look at the poem "Learning to Love America" by Shirley Geok-Lim Lin. You can read this and many other great poetry selections at The Poetry Foundation's website. Be sure to reserve and/or check of the other works by Shirley Geok-Lim Lin 

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A Graphic Novel List for Grown Ups

For Newbies - A DVD to Bite Into, part 1: The Complete First Season of The Vampire Diaries

It’s often difficult to explain The Vampire Diaries to someone who’s never seen it. The best way to describe it would be as the modern lovechild between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the early years of Dawson’s Creek. Kevin Williamson, who wrote Creek and Scream among others, developed the show for The CW along 

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The Boys, vol. 1 by Garth Ennis: A Review

Superheroes. They’re the good guys. When things get bad, heroes are the ones we turn to. What happens, however, when the heroes turn out to be pretty bad themselves?

You call in The Boys.

Written by Garth Ennis, who won multiple awards for his work on Preacher among others, this ongoing series seeks to expose the seedy underbelly of the superhero community and the guys that stop them. Using many popular superheroes as inspiration, 

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You by Charles Benoit: A Review

Kyle Chase isn't a bad kid. He isn't really a good kid, either.

Kyle goes to school, hangs out with his friends, and tries not to make waves. All that changes when he meets Zach, the articulate and outgoing "new kid" with a fondness for wearing suit jackets.

When Zach rescues him from a severe jock beating in the boys' locker room, Kyle begins to slowly accept him as something he's largely unfamiliar with: a friend. As this new kid becomes increasingly erratic, Kyle begins to fear that something bad will happen. When it finally does, will it already 

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Anime @ Night! at the Mid-Manhattan Library

Mid-Manhattan, the largest circulating location within the New York Public Library, has recently started hosting “Anime @ Night!” on the first Wednesday of every month. As part of Operation Anime, previous titles have included Case Closed: The Phantom of Baker Street and the first volumes 

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Batwoman Elegy: A Review

Everyone knows Batman. He’s iconic. He’s the superhero. All that changed, however, at the end of a DC Comics crossover event called Final Crisis. Batman was apparently killed by the villain Darkseid. With Bruce Wayne gone, there was a void in Gotham City that needed to be filled. It was the perfect time for a new costumed vigilante to rise.

Enter Batwoman.

Kate Kane was an army brat. Her father, a high ranking military colonel, moved her around a lot as a child. She was with her father when he ... Read More ›

MORE STUFF! "Center Stage: Turn It Up" (2008)

With the release of Step Up 3-D just a few weeks away, it might be a good idea to get over to the library and check out some dance movie classics. Without a doubt, my favorite choice has to be Center Stage: Turn it Up.

Kate Parker just wants to dance. She packs everything up and moves to New York City to pursue her dream. After a great audition at the American Ballet Academy... she sadly does not get in. She does, however, catch the eye of a cute boy from the 

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