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Posts from Spuyten Duyvil Library

Soldiers’ Stories

This Veterans’ Day, when we honor the contributions of the men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces, we’re thinking about books told from the perspective of soldiers, pilots, medical personnel, and everyone who’s served in combat.Read More ›

Books We Know by Heart

Reading a book aloud to a child is one of life’s sweetest pleasures, and children sometimes ask to repeat the experience with the same book over and over. And over. And over.Read More ›

What’s Making Us Happy, Part 2

What’s making us happy in the realms of TV, cooking, art and design, libraries, and online thingamabobs, and then happinesses that defy categorization.Read More ›

Down the Rabbit Hole

Lewis Carroll’s creative masterpiece turns 150 this fall, and NYPL is celebrating with a major exhibition—and, of course, with book recommendations.Read More ›

The Banned Books We Love

Eleven of our favorite challenged titles.Read More ›

Origin Stories

There are a couple kinds of origin stories. There are the backstories that super heroes have to explain how they got their powers. There are origin stories that describe how some reality came into existence. Our staff recommend some favorites here.Read More ›

The Long and the Short of It

We love 1000+-page novels here at NYPL—but we also love to see our favorite long-form writers apply their talents to shorter pieces.Read More ›

Celebrating the ADA

We asked our expert NYPL staff, “What’s your favorite book that features a protagonist with a disability, and why do you like it?”Read More ›

Can You Grok This? Stories of Strangers in a Strange Land, Part 2

In Heinlein’s honor, we asked our NYPL librarians: What are some other books that speak to displacement—of being a stranger in a strange land?Read More ›

We Know You Love to Talk About Books: Announcing the 2015 Reader's Den Online Book Discussion Schedule

Are you making your New Year's Resolutions? Is one of them to read more or to connect more with other readers? We would love to see you in the Reader's Den, NYPL's online book discussion, in 2015! Read More ›

December Reader's Den: Consider Phlebas Part 3

Considering the scale of destruction wrought in a galaxy-wide war, can either civilization fit Horza's bill as being on the side of life?Read More ›

December Reader's Den: Consider Phlebas Part 2

This week I'd like to delve into the character of Horza, why he is nearly fanatical in his pursuit of the missing Mind and what you think makes him tick. Read More ›

Tablet Buying Guide: A Primer for Technophobes, Luddites and the Just Plain Confused

Every year it's the same thing. "Buy my super-duper awesome/hallowed/glorious razzle-dazzle technology coated in gold-flecked app sauce because we're the best and the rest stink!" Nice sales pitch? Eh. Overwhelming? Yep. Confusing for some? Oh yeah. It can leave you feeling like this:

And it only gets more frenzied during the holiday shopping season as everyone from Apple to LG trots out their blank glass slabs and requests, nay DEMANDS we glue our eyeballs to a screen the size of a comic book. Hopefully this guide will take some of the mystery out of your 

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December Reader's Den: An Introduction to Caleb Carr's The Alienist

"An ungodly pummeling on the door of my grandmother's house at 19 Washington Square North brought first the maid and then my grandmother herself to the doorways of their bedrooms at two o'clock on the morning of March 3, 1896."

The gruesome case at the heart of Caleb Carr's The Alienist begins at this ungodly hour in an ungodly time of New York City's history, the turn of the 20th century, that brutal period when Teddy Roosevelt served as New York City Police Commissioner. This is 

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The March Madness Reading List

It's that time of year again. No, not Christmas or Valentine's or a forgotten anniversary. It's time to fill out the brackets for your office pool.

March Madness begins March 19th! Whether you're busy poring over stats and brackets or cursing the networks for playing reruns rather than fight the NCAA ratings bonanza, we've got some books for you.

  The Tournament and Its History

The Big 

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Learn to Express Yourself Through Art: Free Courses for Midlife and Older Adults

Thanks to Lifetime Arts for securing funding and inviting our library system to participate, NYPL is once again able to offer free sustained art courses, taught by professional teaching artists, for adults age 55 and over. Seventeen branch libraries have received funding that enables them to host these classes, which will take place from February-November 2013, and which cover a wide variety of arts including: painting, sculpting, collage, memoir-writing/performance, drawing, and quilt-making.

Because of the great interest generated over the years, many of the 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 4

The Night Circus, as we've discussed, has a nearly obsessive focus on time; its passing, linearity and infinite nature. This is exemplified in the workings of its magnificent clock and its mechanical operation.

However, within the clockworks resides a nearly infinite number of possibilities to enthrall attendees. For example splashes of color are found throughout the strict black-and-white scheme. The twins' red scarves and the fires lit on the circus's opening night come to 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 3

Last week we discussed the passage of time and the clockwork nature of The Night Circus. Time's flow tends to bring a stream of bounty and loss simultaneously.

For example, the myriad performers and founders of the circus are gifted with immortality. Some would say they were subjected to longevity's curse, especially in the case of Chandresh LeFévre.

As we head into the Thanksgiving season, think on this conundrum. Is the immortality the circus confers a bane or something 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 2

The Night Circus is crafted in lyrical and elaborate prose. Sometimes it even borders on the ornamental. The language and descriptions are fitting, however, considering the overriding theme of time's passage in the book.

If there is one thing the circus exemplifies, it is clockwork precision. The entertainments may be strange and off-kilter, but they all work together in a harmonious whole.

On its opening night twelve fires of varying hues are lit, one for each chime of Thiessen's 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 1

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not." Erin Morgenstern's literary debut, The Night Circus, begins with this intoxicating passage before ushering readers inside the tent flaps of Le Circque des Rêves, the Circus of Dreams.

For two young children, Marco and Celia, the dreams may turn to nightmares or fulfill their sweet promise as the two meet in a magical competition arranged by their adoptive fathers. 

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