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Blog Posts by Subject: English and American Literature

What are you Reading: Carlos Alazraqui

Find out what the Rocko's Modern Life and Reno 911 star likes to read.Read More ›

Happy Birthday to Everyone's Favorite White Whale

Saturday, November 14 marks the anniversary of the publication of Melville's masterpiece, Moby-Dick. In honor of this occasion, I made a "cool, collected dive" into the Library's collections, to share early editions, illustrated works, whale charts, and even scrimshaw—works that speak to the universe within this leviathan of a novel. Read More ›

Evelyn Waugh and His "Most Offensive Work"

While in Hollywood consulting on a potential film adaptation of Brideshead that never materialized, Waugh observed American West Coast culture up close. His reaction was... not flattering.Read More ›

Little Women: Which March Sister Said It? Quiz

If you're anything like us, Little Women was one of the first 19th century novels you fell in love with. Jo, Beth, Amy, and Meg? The original fierce female foursome. So have a little fun with the Marches by taking our quiz, which asks you to identify which March sister said the following quotes.

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Podcast #80: Ron Rash on Writer Survival and Place

No one knows Appalachia like Ron Rash. The author's newest work is a novel called Above the Waterfall. Read More ›

Louisa May Alcott, In Her Own Words

On September 30, 1868, the first volume of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was published. The New York Public Library has many, many copies of Little Women and its sequels.Read More ›

Pride & Prejudice: Which Bennet Said It? Quiz

Show off your Jane Austen knowledge: tell us which Bennet said each of the following quotes. Then prepare your dance moves for the Netherfield Ball.Read More ›

The Palimpsest of Justice: Law, Narrative, and the Romantic Self

From 1750 to 1830, the legal landscape of Great Britain was significantly transformed. An accusatory form of trial gave way to an adversarial format—which was echoed in the periodical wars of the romantic press. Read More ›

Fifty Shades of Hemingway

Perhaps as much has been written about Hemingway as was written by him.Read More ›

Unlikely Beach Reads

We asked our experts: “What’s your recommendation for a long, dense, serious beach book?”Read More ›

The Friendships of Famous Authors We Love

We're honoring the Platonic ideal by remembering the friendships of some of our favorite authors. Aristotle said, "What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies." But today we're asking, "What is a literary friend? A genius dwelling in two bodies."Read More ›

Which Brontë Wrote It?

In honor of two of our favorite writers, who happen to share a last name, we're challenging you to answer: which Brontë wrote it?Read More ›

Essential J.D. Salinger Reads

On July 16, 1951, The Catcher in the Rye was published for the first time. Today we're reading some of the best writing on its author, J.D. Salinger.Read More ›

Seven Times Helen Keller Captured What It Means to Love Books

An author, political activist, and lecturer, Keller became one of the most inspiring figures of the twentieth century after publishing her autobiography The Story of My Life at age 22. What you may not know about Helen Keller, however, is that she was also a great lover of literature. Celebrate her birth with these seven Helen Keller quotes that capture what it means to love books.Read More ›

What's Your Literary Waterloo?

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s infamous defeat, we asked our NYPL staff members: What’s a book you’ve never been able to conquer? Read More ›

Going Southern Goth

Dark in tone and set in an atmosphere of decay and decline, Southern Gothic lit is colored by that intense, damp, uniquely Southern heat pressing down on its characters and stories.Read More ›

Librarians on ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

Personal reflections on Harper Lee's first (and until now, only) novel.Read More ›

A Summer of "Rogues" and Romance

If you’re Regency romance fan and have yet to read a Company of Rogues novel by Jo Beverley, then boy do I have a summer challenge/project for you! Read More ›

Weird Southern Fiction to Read While You Wait for Mislaid by Nell Zink

One really special thing about Mislaid is that despite how unconventional it is, it fits pretty squarely in with other works of Southern Gothic fiction. Whether you’re waiting to get your hands on your copy of Mislaid, or looking for some more weird Southern fiction to keep your mind busy after devouring this title in one sitting, here is a list of some titles that you might enjoy.Read More ›

Essential Longform: The Best Harper Lee Reads

This year, on April 28, Lee will turn 89. She will publish her second novel, Go Set a Watchman in July. As we await this much-anticipated encore, we're looking at the beloved author who told us that real courage was “when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”Read More ›
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