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Blog Posts by Subject: English and American Literature

The Reader's Den: Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever"

Thank you for joining us for our final week of Edith Wharton short stories in The Reader's Den!

Like "The Other Two" and "Autres Temps," Wharton's 1934 story, "

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Clinging to Books: Reading List 2012

During my vacation from the library, between Christmas and New Year's Day, I learned a remarkable lesson. You can get along very well without NEWS. For a full week, I entered a blissfully news-free vacuum. No NPR; no relentless checking of Google News; no Sunday New York Times beyond Arts and Leisure and the Book Review. I didn't care if it was the twenty-first century or the fifteenth. Without that drumbeat of doom in my head all the time, I could focus on what was really important: family, friends, dining, museums, and music.

Since winter is my favorite time 

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The Reader's Den: Edith Wharton's "Autres Temps"

At the start of Autres Temps, Mrs. Lidcote is arriving in New York on a steamer ship from Italy, after a long, self-imposed exile. Having fled New York's society years ago, when she became an outcast following her divorce, she is returning only after receiving news of her daughter's divorce and remarriage.

As the shapes of the city's skyline begin to emerge from the fog, Mrs. Lidcote is full of worry and unable to stop mulling over her past, which she fears will become her daughter Leila's future. When she shares 

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The Reader's Den: Edith Wharton's "The Other Two"

As Edith Wharton's 1904 story, The Other Two, opens, Waythorn has just returned from his honeymoon with his new wife, Alice. This is his first marriage, but her third. Although it seems a bit scandalous, he has gone in to the marriage fully aware of, and fairly unconcerned with, how Alice is viewed in society: she is well liked, but with reservation.

She divorced her first husband, Mr. Haskett, with whom she has a daughter, before coming to New York on the arm of Gus Varick, whose social 

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Five Questions for… William Moeck, curator of NYPL's Charles Dickens: The Key to Character Exhibition

Charles Dickens: The Key to Character, on view through January 27, 2013, at the Schwarzman Building, explores the men, women, and children who populate the fictional universe of English author Charles Dickens (1812-1870). William Moeck, the exhibition's curator, teaches British literature at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York. We spoke with him about what he learned while selecting items from NYPL's

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The Reader's Den: Edith Wharton's New York Stories

Happy New Year and welcome to 2013 in The Reader's Den!

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born in Greenwich Village into the wealthy New York Society that she 

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Books I Read in 2012

It's amusing to keep track of the critters, and helps me read more non-fiction, novel-hound that I am. The Library has most of these books, but I've only linked a few, as not to clutter and overburden the post. At the end of the list I award prizes, or "the Barkies," for various categories. But just two things first: Re-reads (always a good idea) are in bold, and if you have a taste for rhetorical but highly passionate drama, do read some Thomas Otway (1652-85).

I'm lucky enough 

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Reader’s Den: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Week 4

This is the last week of our book discussion of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. In my first post, I mentioned that it is a post-9/11 novel, published in 2005, but during the past month of discussion, I haven't focused on that aspect of the work. The book talks about Oskar's reaction to the 9/11 

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Reader’s Den: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Week 3

Now that you have read more of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (if not all of it), you may have noticed some of its quirky phrases (such as “heavy boots” and “feeling like a hundred dollars”). Part of my interest in reading new (for me) authors is noticing how they use language: what kind of sentence structure — long or short, simple or complex; what kind of words — familiar or out of the ordinary or a combination; lots of descriptive language or 

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Transmissions from the Timothy Leary Papers: Season’s Greetings from William S. Burroughs

Timothy Leary first made acquaintance with William S. Burroughs in Tangier, Morocco in the summer of 1961.[1] During this heady time, Leary was reaching out to beat poets and artists for participation in his early drug experiments at Harvard University, and Burroughs made an obvious comrade. Despite Burrough's disappointment with Leary's scientific method, their friendship managed to survive 

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Reader’s Den: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Week 2

Now that you have had a chance to meet Oskar, what do you think of him? Many readers have compared him to Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Others think he’s far too precocious for a nine-year-old and have suggested the author used his own 

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Mixed Bag: Story Time for Grown-Ups Featuring Charles Dickens

Mixed Bag: Story Time for Grown-Ups is a short story read-aloud program that meets every two weeks on Wednesday at lunch time (1:00 p.m). Mixed Bag PM meets at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday every two weeks. In December we are reading Holiday Classics, including an excerpt from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and

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Smoking: A Love Story

I just quit smoking for the fifthJon Hamm in Mad Men time. For me, it's all or nothing. I could never be one of those people — dilettantes! — who are able to smoke socially and then go for indefinite periods of time without a cigarette. I suppose this has to do with physiology, personality, and the times in which I grew up.

In one of my earliest memories, I'm sitting on the living room floor, my dad is smoking a cigar, and sunlight is flooding through the picture window illuminating the variegated blue, gray, and purple layers of smoke. I was mesmerized! 

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Reader’s Den: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Week 1

Oskar Schell, a precocious nine-year-old who lives in New York City, is the protagonist In Jonathan Safran Foer’s popular post-9/11 novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Oskar's active mind keeps endlessly creating new inventions, most of them somehow related to saving lives and making connections with other 

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Mixed Bag: Story Time for Grown-Ups Featuring Roald Dahl

Mixed Bag: Story Time for Grown-Ups is a short story read-aloud program that meets every two weeks at lunch time (1:00 p.m). Mixed Bag PM meets at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays every two weeks. During the month of October in honor of Halloween, the focus is on Roald Dahl, with four short stories and an excerpt from

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Book Discussion Series at the St. George Library Center

The St. George Library Center will soon be starting a Saturday morning book discussion which will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. The first date for the group to meet will be October 13, 2012. Other dates and titles to be used that are confirmed right now are listed below. We plan to continue through May 2013, take a break during the summer, and resume in the fall of 2013.

The titles and dates confirmed are:

October 13, 2012

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Find New York Times Bestsellers at NYPL - September 9th, 2012

For the week of September 9, 2012 we have hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, and paperback advice & misc. books.

If you have an iPhone, iPad or Android phone, there is a free app! Use it with your library card/username and pin.

Click on any of the titles below and place a hold to request the item. Remember to update your contact information (phone number or e-mail address), so you are notified when the book arrives for you at your local 

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The Sweetness of Twisted Apples: Sherwood Anderson in the Village

Sherwood Anderson is special to Hudson Park because I believe, I hope, that he used the branch. After all, he lived right across the street at 12 St. Luke's 

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Find New York Times Bestsellers at NYPL - September 2nd, 2012

For the week of September 2, 2012 we have hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, and hardcover advice & misc. books.

If you have an iPhone, iPad or Android phone, there is a free app! Use it with your library card/username and pin.

Click on any of the titles below and place a hold to request the item. Remember to update your contact information (phone number or e-mail address), so you are notified when the book arrives for you at your local 

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Find New York Times Bestsellers at NYPL - August 19th, 2012

For the week of August 19, 2012 we have hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, and children's series books.

If you have an iPhone, iPad or Android phone, there is a free app! Use it with your library card/username and pin.

Click on any of the titles below and place a hold to request the item. Remember to update your contact information (phone number or e-mail address), so you are notified when the book arrives for you at your local library. Don't 

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