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Blog Posts by Subject: Biography

NLS Quick Pick: Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism by Thomas David Brothers

New biography available from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.Read More ›

Booktalking "Catch Me If You Can" by Frank Abagnale, Jr.

Frank William Abagnale, Frank Williams, or any of the other aliases he gave people, cruised through life alternately as an airplane pilot, pediatrician, civil lawyer, academic professor, and finally as a researcher/writer in what he thought was the safe haven of Montpellier, France. He bought a nice cottage there, and he brought a suitcase full of cash with him.Read More ›

Lives of the Famous and Infamous: Collective Biographies For Teens

Some of my favorite nonfiction books to recommend to teenagers are collective biographies, which provide information about different people who were famous for different reasons. They’re good for homework, good for browsing, and good for spontaneously discovering people you’ve never heard of before.Read More ›

Oprah Winfrey's What I Know for Sure

Oprah's new book asks deep questions and makes readers think.Read More ›

Margot Adler 1946-2014

Remembering Margot Adler, a writer in the Allen Room.Read More ›

Booktalking "Endgame" by Frank Brady

On his sixth birthday, Robert James Fischer received a chess set from his 11-year-old sister Joan. It was the beginning of Bobby Fischer's epic journey from a poor Brooklyn school boy to a national and international chess celebrity.Read More ›

Book Notes From The Underground: May 2014

Here are some new noteworthy titles that may or may not be receiving the attention they deserve. Read More ›

Tributo a Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014)

Gabriel García Márquez, el noble autor galardonado con el Premio Nobel de la Literatura, acaba de fallecer a la edad de 87 años. García Márquez ha sido considerado uno de los más grandes escritores de habla hispana.Read More ›

Every Song From The Morrissey Autobiography

I have been waiting for the release of Morrissey's Autobiography for quite some time. While reading this wonderful book I kept track of every song Morrissey mentions that was not part of his solo career or The Smiths. Below is a list of all the songs, the pages he mentions them, and a link to the sound recording from our catalog that contains the track. Enjoy!

Millie - "My Boy 

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Commémoration du cinquantenaire de la mort de Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)

Jean Cocteau était un écrivain français, cinéaste et artiste aux multiples talents reconnu internationalement et cette année marque le cinquantenaire anniversaire de son décès. Pour cette occasion on veut commémorer l’héritage littéraire, cinématographique et artistique de son œuvre.

« D'abord attiré par la société aristocratique, il publie le Prince frivole (1910). Il se tourne ensuite vers les dadaïstes, avec lesquels il organise des spectacles de choc 

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When They Trod the Boards: Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad-Ass on Broadway

Being an actor doesn't shield you from having a conscience.

—Giancarlo Esposito

Giancarlo Esposito, as Gus Fring, stares down a sniper in the TV series Breaking Bad, 2011.Giancarlo, as Julio, sings in the Broadway musical Seesaw, 1973.A true NYC moment: Giancarlo and brother Vincent take a sidewalk hotdog break during the musical The Me Nobody Knows, 1971. Photo: NewsdayI don't know how the final season of the TV series Breaking Bad will end, but it is pretty clear that Walter White is on a one-way trip to hell. As the well-intentioned chemistry teacher turned 

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August Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

What is it like to be a convicted murderer just released from prison? What company was the Apple of the 1960s and 70s? Can you forage for edible plants in New York City? How much do you know about life in

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When They Trod the Boards: Christopher Walken, Song and Dance Man

How do we love Christopher Walken? On his 70th birthday, let us count the ways. Star of film, TV, and NYPL's own iBook Point, somehow everyone has a favorite film that stars him, be it The Deer Hunter, True Romance, or Pulp Fiction. The consummate villain, he faced off

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Playboy: A Seductive Periodical or Champion of Sexual Liberalism?

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is intended for mature readers onlyRecognize the icon above? Perhaps you may not realize this but Playboy the publication, historically speaking, has been a leading magazine devoted to freedom of expression and human rights (to a certain extent). Founded in 1953 in Chicago by Hugh Hefner, Playboy has often been perceived as a "taboo" 

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Just Who Was DeWitt Wallace, Anyway?

DeWitt Wallace Periodicals Reading Room

In the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, there is a reading room with high wooden carved ceiling called the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Reading Room. You may have seen the historical room decorated with large murals reflecting major publishers of periodicals, newspapers and books at the turn of the century by

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Business Books from "The Economist," July 7, 2012

The Economist. You have to love it, you probably also hate it. A weekly journal with too much to read in a week (especially for slow readers). And it keeps arriving in the mailbox, even when you're on vacation. In other words, it's taken until now to get around to putting up a post about these books reviewed several issues ago.

For those interested in the articles, you can find them through some of our electronic resources (I recommend our

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The Emperor of the United States

Some people are already tired of hearing about the 2012 election campaign. But they should be grateful for our election process, because our democratically-elected government was once a monarchy. No, I'm not referring to the British royal family. I'm talking about Joshua Abraham Norton, the self-styled "Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico" — and surely one of the most eccentric American Jews of the nineteenth century. You can read about his exploits in books from the Dorot Jewish 

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The Passionate Brontës

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. (The Catcher in the Rye)

Over the last few months, I have read all seven novels, many of the poems, and selected bits of juvenilia by the three Brontë sisters — as well as several biographies, odds and ends of literary criticism, and a

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The Drillmaster: Biography of Baron de Steuben

Von Steuben has been a figure of pop Revolutionary War mythology for too long. This excellent 2008 bio places him firmly within the context of the 1700s. With family connections close to the Hohenzollern Monarchy, Steuben should have been placed to rise pretty high in the Prussian officer hierarchy. He saw active service in the beginning of the Seven Years War and witnessed the bloodshed of the first heavy battles of the war at Prague in 1756. He saw further 

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April Reader's Den: You Know Nothing of My Work! by Douglas Coupland - Week 3

It is worth noting that both Marshall McLuhan and his biographer Douglas Coupland, each keen observers of modern communication technologies, are both from Canada. It is also a place called home to Harold Adams Innis, a contemporary of McLuhan's, who was another early pioneer of media studies. Coupland says of Innis and McLuhan "This ability to contemplate wide distances with no overriding imperialist 

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