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Blog Posts by Subject: Memoirs and Diaries

Charles Kuralt and Walt Whitman on the Road

Walt Whitman filled the pages of Leaves of Grass with poetry exalting the lives of Americans. While out in the streets, he observed and recorded the beauty of daily life. Whitman's poem "I Hear America Singing" is a delightful example how common activities make up the fabric of America.  Within its lines, a boatman owns a part of America, and a mother's daily activities are considered 

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Do you like Chelsea Handler? Then Try...

Are you a Chelsea Handler fan? If you are you may like some of these books. Recently while helping a patron (at the Parkchester Library) the young woman asked me one simple question: "Do you know of any other fun authors like Chelsea Handler?" She went on to tell me that she liked the topics of her books and loved the way Handler used humor to entertain her readers. I promised the patron that I would create a blog where I would list some of these books so here 

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"As Seen On TV"... Or at Your Library

I recently moved into a new apartment with a friend of mine from grade school and one of our big splurges was the magical DVR player. For someone who rarely has time to watch TV, I was given a basic lesson by my roommate in how to record shows. As we were scrolling through TV listings, I found myself announcing the shows and movies that were first published as books. And to my roommate's displeasure, I decided to record The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

While I may be a beginner 

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What I talk about when I talk about Haruki Murakami

I recently finished the memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. I have been a big fan of his dream-like novels for almost fifteen years now, having first discovered The Wild Sheep Chase at a yard sale in Cambridge, MA. I was with a friend who declared the back cover synopsis to be the worst summary ever.  Something about it intrigued me though and I bought the copy for about 50 

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Selected memoirs and practical resources relating to disabilities in commemoration of December 3rd: The International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

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The Best Seat in the House: How I Woke Up One Tuesday and Was Paralyzed for Life

By Allen Rucker

Without warning the 50-year-old author is struck with transverse myelitis.

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Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters: A Review

The Sullivan family’s Christmas began in the traditional way that year. The six Sullivan siblings opened their gifts. Daddy-o made pancakes for breakfast and Ginger contributed her signature dish to the feast (sliced grapefruit halves sprinkled with Splenda).

Christmas would take an unexpected turn at the Sullivan’s annual holiday dinner with the family matriarch–unaffectionately known by family, friends, enemies, and most of Baltimore as “Almighty Lou.”

One of the Sullivans has deeply offended Almighty.

Subsequently the entire 

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Celeb-Readies: Chelsea Handler

I was sitting at home watching Chelsea Lately on E! one night. Right before commercial, the show cut to a big guy reading her book and saying, "This isn't funny..." as he shook his head. The book was My Horizontal Life written by comedian Chelsea Handler in 2005.

I knew I had seen that book around the library and the title always caught my eye but I never bothered with it. Luckily, something told me to go to work, hunt it down and give it a 

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Reel Books: The American

You may have seen the trailers or heard about a new movie that is out called The American, starring Academy Award winner George Clooney.

However, did you know the film is actually based on a novel, A Very Private Gentleman, written in 2004 by

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Memoir in the Teen Section: Marni, The Bite of the Mango, and Grace After Midnight

How long has it been since you’ve checked out the nonfiction side of the teen section in your library? Here are some standout titles—you can find them with young adult biographies.

The Bite of the Mango Mariatu Kamara grew up in Sierra Leone, where rebel soldiers and the government were at war. At age 12, Mariatu was caught in a rebel attack. She escaped—but first, the rebels cut off her hands. Wounded and separated from her family, Mariatu had to learn a new set of survival skills. Though there are 

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Reel Books: Eat, Pray, Love

The film Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts alongside great actors such as Viola Davis (Doubt) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), is causing quite a bit of excitement as it is scheduled to be released in August. But did you know this movie is actually based on a book? It is a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert called Eat, Pray, Love: A 

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Epileptic: An Illustrated Memoir

Memoirs are notoriously unreliable when it comes to facts. So a reader needs to read between the lines to get at the truth about a subject. That's part of the fun.

How does that work with a graphic memoir? Do the drawings help you better see inside the author?

Join the Hudson Park Book Discussion on Saturday, February 13, at 10:30 am to discuss David B.'s Epileptic and share your thoughts.

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Reader's Den January Book Discussion: "I Feel Bad About My Neck"

Happy New Year! And welcome (or welcome back) to The Reader’s Den, now in its second year.

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron, a former #1 New York Times bestseller, kicks off the list this year. As the years roll by, many over a certain age move into an increasingly-complex maintenance schedule, and several of the 15 essays in the book examine these efforts. If we can’t ultimately win the war against aging—as each of us knows somewhere inside—we might as well laugh 

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Book Discussion Group at the Tottenville Library

The Tottenville book discussion group has been meeting since this past September. Here is the schedule:

Sept 21-Martha Quest by Doris Lessing Oct 19-The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz Nov 16-Girlbomb by Janice Erlbaum Dec 14-The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton Jan 11-

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The Heart of Your Life, The Life of Your Art

In celebration of the National Day of Listening, the Art and Picture Collections have been collaborating with StoryCorps to produce an all-day drop-in event to consider your art and your life.

We invited six artists to the StoryCorps booth to record the story of art in their lives. And, on the National Day of Listening (the day after 

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A Year Without

In his recent movie review of the documentary film No Impact Man, available in book form from NYPL here and in blog form here, A.O. Scott writes, "The year of doing something crazy to learn a lesson or prove a point is by now less a gimmick than a full-fledged publishing genre. Activities that would, in the 

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