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The Time Machine: Reading List 2013

Some years ago, while considering ideas for my next blog post, I thought I might compile a list of the books I had read during the previous year—not only to keep a record for myself (tending, as I do, to forget things), but to share my bookish enthusiasms and perhaps offer a few recommendations to anyone who might be interested. Then, before I knew it, another list came along, and then another, and now, in what seems the blink of an eye, it is four years later, and I am putting together yet another list of books read during the improbable year just passed. I don't think it is coincidental Read More ›

Author Interview with Lamar Giles

One of the cool perks of being a librarian is that you sometimes get to read books before they come out. I had the opportunity (and immense pleasure) to get an electronic galley copy of Lamar Giles's debut novel Fake ID for just this reason. After loading the advance review copy on my nook, I have to admit... the story was hard to put it down. I found the story of "Nick Pearson" and his family on the run quite compelling. It left me with several follow up questions for the author, which we agreed to share with all of you.Read More ›

February Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Who was Miss Anne in 1920s Harlem? How did George Washington define the American presidency? What is keeping a majority of Americans from eating well? Can the world’s most endangered big cat be saved? How can we improve brain performance at any age? What fascinating stories does Murray Hill have to tell? Find out at Mid-Manhattan this month!Read More ›

Reading Trollope on My iPhone: Confessions of a Midlife eBook Convert

Do you feel that e-books are just not right for you? Download one and you might be surprised. I was...

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Let's Talk About Reading - the Reader's Den 2014 Online Book Discussion Schedule

Happy New Year! 2013 has officially ended. If one of your New Year's Resolutions was to join a book club, then we here at the New York Public Library have the perfect group for you. Join the Reader’s Den: the original NYPL online book discussion club. With a knowledgeable collective of book discussion leaders hailing from Chatham Square, Jefferson Market,

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2013 in Reference and Recommendations

Whether you come to The New York Public Library looking for something good to read or to find that missing bit of information you needed, we hope you were able to find what you were looking for in 2013. We're always here to help, and we hope to see you again next year!Read More ›

January Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

A mystical history of NYC below Chambers Street… the link between our financial and environmental crises… the life and photographs of Ansel Adams… our

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Rubber Band Bracelets From Your Favorite Book

They are all the craze this holiday season, with kids immersing themselves in hours upon hours of crafty creation.  They have even been banned from some area schools for causing fights on playgrounds.  What has caused such a frenzy of creativity and violence? Rubber band bracelet looms.

Gwendolyn Accoo, Office Associate III at the Mid-Manhattan Library, recently poked her head in my office and said “Look what ... Read More ›

December Reader's Den: Caleb Carr's The Alienist, Part II

New York City in 1896 was not a hospitable place to live if you were not one of means. Part II of The Alienist opens with another gruesome murder of a boy prostitute, this time at Castle Clinton during its conversion to house the New York City Aquarium. 

As the team fleshes out the killer's profile, John Moore begins to investigate the worst of New York's sex industry, attempting to find connections between past and possible future victims. Moore is, in many ways, the opposite of 

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Great Graphic Novels for Kids 2013

Late last year, I featured some of my favorite graphic novels aimed at children 12 and under from the New York Public Library's collection. The list proved so popular I even made a sequel. Many people have asked me for a list of updated titles, so I have featured five of my new favorite comic titles that were published this year. A few of these selections are even featured in the

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December Reader's Den: Caleb Carr's The Alienist, Part I

Last week we did a quick introduction and description for The Alienist, a mystery set in late-19th century New York City at the dawning of forensic pathology. Child prostitution, gruesome at any time, becomes even more grisly; a serial killer hunts the boys plying this trade in Teddy Roosevelt's New York, removing their eyes as part of the killings. Part I of the novel sees the titular alienist, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, assemble an 

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December Reader's Den: An Introduction to Caleb Carr's The Alienist

"An ungodly pummeling on the door of my grandmother's house at 19 Washington Square North brought first the maid and then my grandmother herself to the doorways of their bedrooms at two o'clock on the morning of March 3, 1896."

The gruesome case at the heart of Caleb Carr's The Alienist begins at this ungodly hour in an ungodly time of New York City's history, the turn of the 20th century, that brutal period when Teddy Roosevelt served as New York City Police Commissioner. This 

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Edith Wharton, A Writing Life: Marriage

In a writer's life, nothing is ever wasted. Every wrinkle in the fabric of experience can be transformed into fictional material. Although there is nothing directly autobiographical in the novels and stories of American novelist Edith Wharton (born Edith Jones), they reflect very distinctly both the shape of her life and the movements of her thought. In my previous post about her childhood, I left off with an unresolved question, one which would have been deeply troubling to Lucretia Jones, Edith's 

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November Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Is Detroit City really the place to be? What happens in a typical day at a busy NYC hospital? How does a traveler lose himself all over the globe? Is it possible for the government to achieve full employment in 

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Author Interview with Hollis Seamon

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Author Hollis Seamon recently wrote an amazing young adult novel, Somebody Up There Hates You, featuring two teenagers living in hospice care while suffering from terminal cancer. Despite the grim subject matter, I can honestly say that this was one of the more heartful and thoughtful books I've read this year. Hollis was kind enough to answer a few 

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Fight for Your Right to Read: Banned Books Week 2013

From 2000 to 2009, 8 out of the top 10 books on "The Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books" were specifically written for teens or children. In fact out of that list of 100, 67 were books for teens or children. Titles such as the Harry Potter series (#1), the

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Great Book Web Sites

I was inspired to write this blog from my terrific experience with booktv.org. I very much enjoy watching and listening to authors describe their research and conclusions that they have metamorphosed into works of literature.

BookTV is featured on CSPAN2 (Channel 66 in my neighborhood) on weekends, if you have cable TV. It features authors of nonfiction works being interviewed about their books. Following the interview, the floor is opened up to audience questions. One weekend, I was delighted to discover that they have a web site. It got me to thinking about what 

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Inspired by Jack Finney's Time and Again: A Gilded Age Reading List from 1882 New York

"The great demand is for fiction!"

"Among all classes of people, do you think?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then you mean to say," persisted the reporter, "that the principal portion of the reading public of New York is composed of novel readers."

"That is it exactly, so far as library patrons are concerned," replied the librarian.

—The New York Times, January 22, 1882

Welcome back to the Reader's Den. I hope you enjoyed reading

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A List of Lists: August 2013

Need a recommendation? Ask usLibrarians across the country have voted on their most-anticipated books coming out in the month of September. They are:

    Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector 
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The Wonder Years: Music and References from Season One

What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?

I don't know about you, but certain songs are for me forever associated with certain movies and television shows.

What do you think of when you hear Roy Orbison's "In Dreams"? How about when you hear Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With 

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