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Blog Posts by Subject: Memoirs and Diaries

Veterans Resources at Saint George Library: Serving Those Who Have Served Us

"Freedom is not free." —Walter Hithcock "In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." —Franklin D. Roosevelt

American freedom has been achieved and maintained due to the perseverance and sacrifice of our service men and women. Although we show our support by honoring those in service as well as veterans twice a year, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, this does not fulfill their daily needs as they once 

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Orange Is the New Black: A Reading List

Orange Is the New Black is the latest series from Netflix based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name. The main character, Piper Chapman, is a middle class woman who has to leave behind her life in order to serve 15 months in prison for transporting a suitcase full of drug money for an international drug smuggler/former lover.

Piper and other characters such as Tastyee, Red and Alex are seen reading or referencing various books throughout the series. I decided to watch Orange Is the 

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June Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Should we worry about a Medicare Meltdown? Is a newly identified autoimmune disease responsible for instances of demonic possession recorded in the past? What is the Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola? How can we best care for

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Following Cheryl Strayed's Journey on the Pacific Crest Trail

How interesting could a book about a long walk possibly be? In the case of Cheryl Strayed's book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, the answer is very. Some may have foolishly initially shied away from this book because it's an Oprah's Book Club selection and a memoir, a combination that proved problematic for James Frey's

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Mother's Day Reads

If you had to say, who is the person most responsible for instilling your love of reading? Was it your local librarian? Was it your mom?

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Focus On: Recent Acquisitions in the Manuscripts Division

The Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library supports historical research. Each year, individuals with all levels of library experience arrive at the Division's Reading Room to consult collections assigned the classmark, or call number, 'MssCol.' In an effort to provide a glimpse into activities of the Manuscripts Division, kindly accept this blog series 'Focus on,' as I seek to highlight recent acquisitions, research opportunities, and new publications.

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Can Fans of "Survivor Stories" Appreciate a Book About Someone Who DOESN'T Survive an Ordeal?

When I first saw a copy of Regine's Book: A Teen Girl's Last Words by Regine Stokke, my first thought was that this would be a great book to recommend to teenagers who are always looking for more books like Dave Pelzer's A Child Called "It" and other books that are both tragic and real.

But then I thought... there's a big difference between someone who goes through an 

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English Nature Writers: Charles Waterton

Charles Waterton by Charles Willson Peale oil on canvas, 1824 ©National Portrait Gallery, London. Creative Commons BY-NC-NDMost recently discovered, just last week, is Charles Waterton (1782–1865). I've not read enough to evaluate him as a writer (of which all authors tremble in dread), but he certainly led an interesting life. Of a very ancient Catholic family including St. Thomas More and Margaret of Scotland among his ancestors, he became interested in nature in 1804 when he travelled to British 

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English Nature Writers: Richard Jefferies

"Why, we must have been blind all our lives; here were the most wonderful things possible going on under our very noses, but we saw them not." —Walther Besant.

Richard Jefferies (1848-1887), though a novelist, is more known as a nature writer. His childhood was spent on a farm in Wiltshire (now a museum), during which he began his observation and awareness of nature and people within it. At the age of 9, he was already an adept at tracking and hunting, and perhaps not surprisingly, left school at the 

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English Nature Writers: Gilbert White

I'm a literary Anglophile. There — I've confessed and we can move on. One of their really cool genres is nature writing. They do it in such a quiet and smooth style, as if they've lived in field and woods all their lives. (Dah!)

Perhaps the most famous, or at least the most referred to, is

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The American Teenager Project Comes to the Kingsbridge Library!

Part photography program. Part exploration of personal history. All teenagers. The American Teenager Project has combined photographic portraits with oral histories of hundreds of teenagers over the last several years, and now is the chance for YOU to participate in this unique program at the Kingsbridge Library in the Bronx.

Tell the story of your life with film and friends. Join award-winning journalist Robin Bowman for a six-week series where you'll learn how to craft a narrative using photographs, 

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Creative Aging Continues to Bloom at The New York Public Library

In recent decades, much has been said about the demographic changes that New York City shares with the rest of the world. Yes, we are getting older!

One widespread response has been a surge of programs to promote creativity in mid- and later life. NYPL has happily participated in these efforts, especially since 2010 when we started partnering with Lifetime Arts Inc. to offer our first Creative Aging courses, which took place in six branch libraries. Each course was taught by a professional teaching artist 

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Celebration of "Memoirs: Penned and Spoken"

For eight weeks a group has gathered at the St. George Library for a class called, "Memoirs: Penned and Spoken." They have exercised their writing skills, reflecting back on their lives and experiences, with a willingness to share with their fellow students. At the Celebration event they will be reading some of their work, and reflect on their lives and times.

All are welcome to attend.

Memoirs: Penned and Spoken is part of Creative Aging in Our 

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Meet the Artist: Lauren Jost

Starting June 5th, the Kingsbridge Branch Library will be hosting a Memoir and Performance workshop for older adults 55+, which is part of the Creative Aging in Our Communities, a program of Lifetime Arts. During the workshop, participants will craft a short-story memoir with the help of teaching artist Lauren Jost. In this blog post, Lauren tells us a little about herself 

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Little House on the Prairie of Horrors: Memories of Charles and the Gang

It was during the early '80s that my mom decided Little House on the Prairie would be more beneficial to my development than Welcome Back Kotter, so the TV dial went from channel 5 to channel 11 every night during dinner at 5 P.M. I haven't seen an episode of Little House on the Prairie in over 20 years but some of the scenes are burned into my memory... some good but mostly bad.

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A Snapshot of Your Life: Memoir Writing

Memoirs are the stuff of memory, or more specifically, according to Webster's Dictionary, a narrative composed from personal experience. In other words, a memoir is written from a person's recollection of a life experience. It might not all be exactly as it happened but, rather, how the author perceived it to happen. Do you remember the controversial “autobiography" A Million Little Pieces by James Frey? Mr. Frey 

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Manifesting Destiny: First Person Accounts of Westward Migration

The 1840s marked a period of unfettered expansion and exploration in America. Whether inspired by the romantic nationalism of John O'Sullivan's "Manifest Destiny," or by the more material goal of striking gold at Sutter's Mill, nearly half a million Americans pushed westward by land and by sea in search of new ground, new opportunities, and new lives. Within these larger historical currents, researchers can find the stories of individual 

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Memoirs: Penned and Spoken at St. George Library Center

The St. George Library Center recently received a grant — "Creative Aging in Our Communities: The New York City Libraries Project" — from Lifetime Arts, Inc., a Westchester County-based nonprofit organization. Over 25 locations in The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library systems received grants.

The project at the St. George Library Center will be a memoir writing workshop aimed at people who are 55 years of age or older. The goal is to have the participants realize 

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She Pretended to Be Pregnant: Gaby Rodriguez at TeenLIVE

Happy New Year from TeenLIVE! For our first TeenLIVE event in 2012, we were lucky enough to hear from teen author and activist Gaby Rodriguez about her book, The Pregnancy Project. Seeing the effect of teen pregnancy on her family and peers, the straight A student decided to stage a pregnancy for a senior project at school to combat stereotypes and gossip. The day after she revealed that her 

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I'm With the Band: Muses, Groupies, and the Go-To Guys

When I was a child in the 1960s and 70s, I was convinced that everybody was having a good time but me... As it turns out, I was right!

This was rock's Golden Age, a hedonistic time of "sex and drugs and rock and roll" (when no one knew any better), a time that produced some of the most amazing popular music of the 20th century.

Here are a few of the best books by people who hobnobbed with rock and roll royalty — the wives and girlfriends, the groupies, and the go-to guys, those indispensable fellows (and gals) who "managed" things, 

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