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Reader’s Den

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The Reader’s Den is an online book discussion group offering library readers with busy lifestyles a convenient way to connect with books and The New York Public Library.  This virtual discussion is accessible 24/7 and gives readers an opportunity to spark insightful discussions with the surrounding community by reading at his or her own pace.

Suggestions and questions can be sent to readersden@nypl.org.

Check the schedule for past and upcoming book titles for discussion.

November Reader's Den: The Keeper of Lost Causes

The plot revolves around an attractive, popular Member of the Danish Parliament, Merete Lynggaard, who disappeared from a ferry in 2002 while on a holiday trip to Germany with her brother Uffe.Read More ›

October 2014 Reader's Den: "Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist" by Erich Kästner, Part 1

This month we’re taking a trip to Weimar Germany via Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist by Erich Kästner, translated from the German by Cyrus Brooks. This novel, originally published in Germany in 1931 under the title Fabian, follows Jakob Fabian, a well educated but underemployed youngish man, as he moves through a decaying Berlin after the economic crash of 1929.Read More ›

September Reader's Den: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, Part 2

Excerpts, discussion questions and suggestions for further reading based on Predictably Irrational.Read More ›

September Reader's Den: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, Part 1

I often find myself amazed by how weird humans are, so I appreciate books that prove we're all nuts. In the interest of sharing these hilarious, intriguing, and helpful case studies, this month I will be leading the Reader's Den in discussing the book Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely.Read More ›

August Reader's Den: The Circle by Dave Eggers, Part II

Welcome to Part II of August in the Reader’s Den. We have been discussing Dave Egger’s novel about a monomaniacal digital corporation called The Circle. Our protagonist, Mae Holland, has grown ever more fervently to believe in the positive social impact of ‘completing’ the Circle. Read More ›

August Reader's Den: The Circle by Dave Eggers, Part I

Welcome to August in the Reader's Den! This month we will be discussing Dave Egger's novel The Circle, about an all too familiar social media mega-corporation (called The Circle) that is slowly but surely invading every single aspect of our daily lives. The central theme posits—do we even have a right to privacy anymore? What if we were forced to share the details of our private lives with everyone, and would it make for a more open and just society? Or just the opposite... Read More ›

July Reader's Den: "Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It" by David Ewalt - Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to the wrap up of Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It by David M. Ewalt. I hope you enjoy or are enjoying the book as much as I have. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to write below. For August the book is The Circle by David Eggers.Read More ›

July Reader's Den: "Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It" by David Ewalt Part 3

Welcome back to the Reader's Den for part three of Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It by David M. Ewalt. In Part two we discussed the chapters on Roleplaying. In this post we discuss the history of Dungeons & Dragons itself.Read More ›

July Reader's Den: "Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It" by David Ewalt Part 2

Of Dice and Men is essentially a history of Dungeons and Dragons, but it also seeks to explain gaming to the non-gamer or the curious. Read More ›

July Reader's Den: "Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It" by David Ewalt

In Of Dice and Men, David Ewalt recounts the development of Dungeons & Dragons from its roots in the games of the Ancient World and 19th Century Europe, through its many incarnations and editions and the hysteria that came with it, to its current incarnation in video games.Read More ›

June 2014 Reader's Den: "The Judgment of Paris" Part 4

In “In Praise of Art Forgeries” Blake Gopnik argues that muddying the ability to authenticate art works, as Warhol’s Factory artists did (sometimes attributed to him, sometimes not) can help to bring positive attention to works themselves, rather than their purely monetary value. As many letters to the editor in response suggested, this article may well have been mostly tongue-in-cheek. I suspect that he is questioning the role of the authenticator. This questioning of the role of art authentication is in some ways similar to the artists' questioning of the role of the Academy in "The Read More ›

June 2014 Reader's Den: "The Judgment of Paris" by Ross King, Part 3

Other recommended works:

The Girl Who Loved Camellias by Julie Kavanagh The fascinating history of Marie DuPlessis chronicles the life of the courtesan who inspired Alexandre Dumas fils’s novel and play La dame aux camélias, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Traviata, George Cukor’s film Camille, and Frederick 

... Read More ›

June 2014 Reader's Den: "The Judgment of Paris" by Ross King, Part 2, About the Author

About the Author: The critically acclaimed author of Brunelleschi's Dome, Leonardo and the Last Supper, and Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power, King is a native of Canada who has lived in England since 1992, currently outside Oxford. Read More ›

June 2014 Reader's Den: "The Judgment of Paris" by Ross King, Part 1

Welcome back to the Reader's Den! This month we'll be looking at The Judgment of Paris by Ross King, about a turbulent era in art history.Read More ›

Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter: Questions for Discussion

When the novel Eleven Days opens, all we know is that Sara’s son Jason is a Navy SEAL who has been missing for nine days.Read More ›

Reader's Den May Discussion: Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter

It is May 11, 2011. Sara is a single mother living in a quiet Pennsylvania town. Her son Jason, a Navy SEAL, has been missing for nine days.Read More ›

The Reader's Den: Epistolary Poetry for April

The Den is warm today With April sun Just in time For Poetry Month! More epistolary poetry: letters in the form of a poem.Read More ›

Sparrows and Heroes, or Why Poetry?

After the winter we've had, I've been really looking forward to April. With the longer daylight hours, signs of green, and chances to enjoy the city's parks and rivers without shivering, I feel something in my brain waking up and it seems natural to break out the poetry.Read More ›

The Reader's Den: Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

Flannery O'Connor's short story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find," originally published in the 1955 collection of the same name, has all the classic O'Connor elements: humor, irony, tragedy, and evil. It starts off innocently enough: a grandmother sets off on a road trip with her son, Bailey, and his family: a wife, two kids, and a baby.Read More ›

The Reader's Den: Flannery O'Connor's "The Displaced Person"

In Flannery O'Connor's short story "The Displaced Person," originally published in the 1955 collection A Good Man is Hard to Find, racism, prejudice, and distrust take center stage.Read More ›
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