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Blog Posts by Subject: English and American Literature

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 ›

April Quotes From Your Favorite Literature

While Shakespeare aligned April with youth and vitality, Eliot called it “the cruelest month.” Melville compared April to a red-cheeked dancing girl, and Millay even titled one collection Second April. Here are a few of our favorite April quotes in literature.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 ›

The Union Remembers Lincoln

Upon learning of the president’s death, the nation responded with shock, confusion, outrage, and sorrow. This tumultuous period was captured by the printing and photography of the time: both in immediate ephemera and later, more contemplative works. 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 ›

Podcast #48: Tom Wolfe on Handwriting and Humility

From February 13-27, the New York Public Library will display Tom Wolfe's papers in an exhibition called “Becoming The Man in the White Suit: The Tom Wolfe Papers at The New York Public Library.” This week on the podcast he discusses handwriting, humility, and social status.Read More ›

The Archive in the White Suit: The Tom Wolfe Papers Now Open

The collection, which was acquired by The Library in 2014, fills over 200 boxes and will be a vital resource for the study of Wolfe's writing process, his journalism-based research methods, and the creation of his hugely successful works.Read More ›

The 12 Most Quotable Lines of Pride and Prejudice

Austen's wry humor finds a perfect outlet in the repartee between Darcy and Elizabeth, making it one of the most quotable books of the nineteenth century.Read More ›

Thrills, Chills and Romance: The New Gothic Genre

Do you shiver at the thought of winds whistling down the Yorkshire moors and waves crashing against the Cornish coast? Wrap yourself up in one of these cozy gothic romance titles.Read More ›

Podcast #44: Joyce Carol Oates on Inspiration and Obsession

Joyce Carol Oates has given us some of the most frightening and elegant stories in American letters. Her impressive creative output has included novels, short stories, and memoir. We were lucky to have the author deliver the Robert B. Silvers lecture, entitled "Is the Uninspired Life Worth Living?"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 ›

Shakespeare 101: How to Use the Library to Learn about the Bard

Shakespeare is so important that he is the only author to have his own Dewey Decimal number! The works of Shakespeare and their criticism all live under call number 822.33. With countless editions of the same play, and even more works written about that same play, it’s no wonder Shakespeare requires a number all to himself. This handy guide will de-mystify Shakespeare’s home in your library, and help you find the right book on the Bard for you.Read More ›
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