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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.

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 ›

The Reader's Den: Flannery O'Connor's "The Life You Save May Be Your Own"

Flannery O'Connor's "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" was originally published in the 1955 short story collection, A Good Man is Hard to Find. Like many of her short stories, it centers around the appearance of a stranger on the horizon, (literally, in this case!) and that stranger's effect on the lives of others.Read More ›

March in the Reader's Den: Flannery O'Connor

Over the next three weeks, we will be discussing three of her most well known short stories, all included in A Good Man is Hard to Find (1955) and The Complete Stories (1971).Read More ›

Reader's Den: The Consolations of the Forest, Conclusion

Having arrived safely back to your everyday existence, I hope you enjoy the comfort of your own bed and convenient grocery store, but feel as if you have had a bit of retreat into nature and your own thoughts.Read More ›

Reader's Den: The Consolations of the Forest, Week 3

Welcome back for the third week of our reading and discussion of Sylvain Tesson’s The Consolations of the Forest. This week I’d like to offer a few more questions to consider and discuss while you are reading the book:Read More ›

Reader's Den: The Consolations of the Forest, Week 2

The Consolations of the Forest is Sylvain Tesson’s first title available in English and it won the Prix Médicis for nonfiction. But, he has written many other works on his travels around the world by bike and in Central Asia, including crossing the Himalayas on foot. He was born in Paris, France in 1972.Read More ›

Reader's Den: The Consolations of the Forest by Sylvain Tesson

This month’s Reader’s Den will encourage you to try an exploratory journey to Siberia with Sylvan Tesson as he lives alone for six months in a cabin taking in the beauty of winter and the arrival of spring in The Consolations of the Forest.Read More ›

The Little Stranger, Part 4 and Wrap-up

Readers, thank you for joining this discussion of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. This week we discuss the significance of the title, the characters and the conclusion. Let's get started!Read More ›

The Little Stranger, Part 3

Welcome back! Thank you so much for reading the book with me and for posting your comments. I'm very glad that you are all enjoying the book! Thanks to the reader who brings up the supernatural element in The Little Stranger. We're ready to discuss this aspect of the novel, so let's get started.

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The Little Stranger, Part 2

Post-WWII Britain. Rural Warwickshire. Doctor Faraday is called to Hundreds Hall to treat Betty, the fourteen-year-old maid, for stomach cramps. He is horrified at the changes to the once grand estate and home of the Ayres family,  where his mother was once a nursery maid. He is also quick to spot Betty's nervousness and anxiety. The reader meets the characters who will play significant parts in the story as the setting and context are laid out.

What is the significance of Doctor's Faraday's memory of prising the plaster acorn? The conversation between ... Read More ›

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Happy 2014 and welcome to the first book discussion of the year! This month we read and discuss The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, who primarily writes Victorian and Suspense fiction. Her books are rich in period detail and painstakingly researched to bring alive an era that is complex and contradictory to say the least. From Tipping the Velvet, to

... Read More ›

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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Reader's Den - Caleb Carr's The Alienist Part III

We now come to the third part of The Alienist, in which tragedy strikes close to home, not once, but twice. There are meetings the the high and powerful of New York, a chase heating up as the clues solidify into a killer's identity, and an extremely restless immigrant population riled even more by the bloody string of murders. As Moore says in the beginning of Chapter 43: "It is never easier to understand the mind of a bomb-wielding anarchist than when standing amid a crush of those ladies and 

... 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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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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Reader's Den in November: The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye, Part 2

I hope you are enjoying the Reader's Den selection for November, The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye. The year is 1845 and the story revolves around the establishment of the first official New York City Police Department. I 

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