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Blog Posts by Subject: Popular Culture

Kate Claxton Head Shots: This Week Only

The cartes de visite, cabinet photographs and stereograms of Kate Claxton, an intensely photogenic actress.Read More ›

Contact Strips and Head Shots

The advent of contact sheets was great for photography studios and of course, actors and their agents.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 ›

So You've Read "Paper Towns," Now What?

Here are other books filled with friends, road trips, elusive and mysterious dream girls (and dream boys) who force us out of our comfort zones and universal truths about life, love and living in the moment.Read More ›

Transgender Books for Teens

Teen literature spends a good proportion of its existence taking on tough topics, shedding light on what it means to be different and how we strive to become our most authentic selves. So it should come as a surprise to no one that teen lit has been showcasing the courageous, true and fictional, stories of transgender teens, teens struggling with gender identity and teens dealing with transgender friends and family members for years. Read More ›

We Need Diverse Books at BookCon 2015

The goal of We Need Diverse Books is for diversity to become the norm by promoting "literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people." During the BookCon panel it was noted that the literary world should reflect the diversity in the world.Read More ›

Mad Men Fashion

The series finale of Mad Men that aired on AMC on May 17 roughly coincided with NYPL's digitization of over one-thousand fashion illustrations produced in the 1950s and '60s by New York City-based firm Creators Studios. See if you can spot the traces of the show's female protagonists in these ready-to-wear design drawings.Read More ›

Fantasy of Power and Betrayal: "Game of Thrones" Readalikes for Teens

A recent trend in YA Lit is the fantasy sub-genre: court and political intrigue fantasy. It’s full of all the stuff that makes for great high stakes drama: power, family, politics, love, betrayal, swords, treachery, corruption, duplicity, vengeance, manipulation, secrets, nefarious plots, fighting, revenge, occasionally some dragons and usually, a good healthy dose of flirtation and swoon. Read More ›

Waiting for "Downton Abbey" 2015!

It’s going to be rough wait, but we will do it together and somehow find other books and films to fill the Downton-sized hole in our hearts.Read More ›

Podcast #53: RuPaul on Fantasy, Identity, and Diana Ross

RuPaul was crowned the “Queen of Manhattan” in 1989 and has since published two books and released hit songs over the course of eleven studio albums. We were lucky to hear our LIVE from the NYPL guest discuss the dualistic nature of identity, the great Diana Ross, and fantasy.Read More ›

Waiting for "Outlander"

Way way back, in 1990, I wandered into a Portland, Oregon bookstore and found a romance novel, set in Scotland, involving time travel and I was hooked! Since then, it’s been a 25 year odyssey of reading and waiting. Outlander finally returns to TV on April 4.Read More ›

The Legacy of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana in YA Fiction

In the rain soaked Seattle of the early '90s, grunge rock was the soundtrack to our lives and Kurt and Nirvana were at its center. Twenty one years on, his legacy continues in two recent YA books Carnival at Bray and Love Letters to the Dead. Both books examine the power of music and words to bring people together, inspire us and give us hope.Read More ›

More Nordic Noir

With the bleakest part of the winter now upon us, some readers may be craving a feast of Scandinavian noir. Here are a few more contemporary Swedes (and one Norwegian) I've enjoyed.Read More ›

Sesame Street and the People In Your Neighborhood

Beyond the animation cels, drawings, media and the amazing experience of seeing the Muppets up close, the exhibition, "Somebody Come and Play,” lets us see and hear the way that research and entertainment/production values inform each other to create memorable moments. And, since the 1970-1971 season, those moments have include Jeffrey Moss’ song “Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?”Read More ›

Best Books for Teens 2014!

The list includes a selection of 25 novels, non-fiction books, and graphic novels chosen by a committee of Young Adult librarians who work with teens in NYPL’s neighborhood branches. Read More ›

Four by One Direction: A Track by Track (Sort of) Review

A track by track review of their new album, by a “1D AF.”Read More ›

From the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives: Blood, Rats, and Scream Queens!

We love Halloween and want to celebrate it by sharing some great Halloween themed recordings we have in our holdings. Read More ›

Song and Dance: The Power Of Black Music

American music is largely influenced by African American music, so concluded eminent musicologists just before the 20th century.Read More ›

Guitars, Gigs, Girls (& Guys): Four Lists of Teen Books that Rock!

Books and plots involving music, musicians, fans and bands go together like peanut butter and jelly. In other words, perfectly! They’re pretty much a top 10 sub-genre of YA fiction for me and here’s why.Read More ›

Punk and the [Anti-]Prom

Every year, my interns and I have the pleasure of working with the students at the High School for Fashion Industries in conjunction with the Library’s wonderful Anti-Prom projects, managed by our colleagues in Teen services. Past themes have included Goth, Monsters, Super Heroes, and Glam. This year was Punk.Read More ›
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