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Blog Posts by Subject: Memoirs and Diaries

Podcast #71: Vivian Gornick on Voice in Memoir

Vivian Gornick is one of the most prolific writers in American letters, with eleven books published since 1973. Most recently she's published a memoir The Odd Woman in the City detailing her life as a woman of intelligent discontent. In this week's episode of the New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present Vivian Gornick discussing voice, adherence to fact, and lucid sentences.Read More ›

Rock 'n' Read: Hutch Harris of The Thermals

Hutch Harris is the lead guitarist and vocalist of Portland, Oregon–based band The Thermals. His songs paint vivid pictures and pose challenging questions, not unlike our favorite books and prose. See what books he recommends!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 ›

Podcast #69: Patti Smith on Loving to Learn

Over the last four decades of her remarkable career, the singer has released eleven studio albums and published the National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids. This week on the New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present Patti Smith discussing her love of learning.Read More ›

Podcast #68: Sally Mann on Ethical Photography and Stories

Primarily working in black and white portraiture, Mann imbues her work with luminosity and a sensual macabre. Her memoir Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs is newly published, and this week on the New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present Sally Mann discussing ethical photography and stories.Read More ›

A Few Favorite Author Diaries

What has made Anne Frank's diary a classroom classic is also Anne's voice, her treatment of the diary as a dear companion.Read More ›

Humans and Nature: A Reading List from Open Book Night

When we asked people to share books related to the theme of nature at our recent Open Book Night, we heard about titles related to both the natural world and to human nature, with an emphasis on humankind’s relationship to nature.Read More ›

Podcast #61: Alan Cumming on NYC and Acting

He's Eli Gold on The Good Wife. He's been Nightcrawler in X-2: Men United and Hamlet and Mr. Elton in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. Alan Cumming has also written a memoir, Not My Father's Son. He recently spoke to us at Books at Noon.Read More ›

Book Notes From The Underground: May 2015 (New Nonfiction)

From magical realism to Nazi occupation, delve into essays, memoirs, and more.Read More ›

Cooking the Books: Spring 2015 Edition

This Spring, everything is coming up foodie! Here is a list of recent books on cooking and eating.Read More ›

Podcast #60: Diane von Furstenberg on Confident Women

Diane von Furstenberg, when asked to describe herself in seven words, provided a resounding statement on her identity: "Woman, woman, woman, woman, woman, woman, woman."Read More ›

Ask the Author: Sally Mann

Sally Mann comes to Books at Noon next Wednesday, May 13 to discuss her latest work, Hold Still: A Memoir With Photographs. We asked her six questions about what she likes to read.Read More ›

Podcast #59: Sonia Sotomayor on Education and Color Blindness

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has lived and continues to live with passion, vigor, and curiosity. In her memoir My Beloved World, Sotomayor recounts her childhood living in The Bronxdale Houses, public housing since renamed the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses; the death of her father; and her rise through the ranks of the judiciary. Read More ›

Salute to Narrative Nonfiction: Memoirs

Narrative or creative nonfiction is somewhat newly recognized genre. Naturally, as librarians we have a great appreciation for the research, the primary source documents and interviews, but it is the narrative, the skillful pacing, the phrasing, and the insight that make it read like a thriller that set these books apart from other nonfiction.Read More ›

Ask the Author: Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming comes to Books at Noon next Wednesday, May 6 to discuss his latest work, Not My Father's Son. We asked him six questions about what he likes to read.Read More ›

We Are New Yorkers: A Reading List for NYC Immigrant Heritage Week

Here are some vivid representations of the New York immigrant experience in fiction, as well as a few memoirs and biographies of New Yorkers past and present, who arrived here from all over the world and made their mark on our city. Read More ›

Podcast #51: Ann Patchett and Elizabeth Gilbert on Writing

Ann Patchett and Elizabeth Gilbert are not merely both writers; they're friends and longtime pen pals. Patchett, winner of the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for her novel Bel Canto, has  written ten books. Gilbert has published six. And between the two of them, the insights into the work of a writer are nearly endless.Read More ›

Podcast #45: Cheryl Strayed on Wild Success

Recently, the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's Wild received Oscar nods for Reese Witherspoon (Best Actress) and Laura Dern's (Best Supporting Actress) performances. Wild, the story of Strayed's journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, has become a runaway hit both onscreen and off. Strayed joined NYPL to discuss the blockbuster memoir, measuring success, and good advice. Read More ›

Finding the Right Nonfiction Book For You

Reading nonfiction books can open your eyes to different subjects and make you see them in a new light, and I’m not just saying that because I haven’t eaten a burger from McDonald’s since I read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. Reading nonfiction books can change your perspective in both small and profound ways. Read More ›

7 Facts You May Not Know About Susan Sontag

In 1972, Susan Sontag wrote in her journal, "I want to make a New Year's prayer, not a resolution. I'm praying for courage." And intellectual courage is, indeed, one of the great legacies of the writer's career. Today, January 16, we celebrate Sontag's birthday by re-reading her journals, those intimate musings and half-musings. Read More ›
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