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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.

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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Reader's Den in November: The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye, Part 1

This month in the Reader's Den we are reading a mystery set in New York City, 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 

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October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais - Week 5

Welcome back to the October 2013 edition of the Reader's Den!

This is our final week (pages 198-240; chapters 13-15) of Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais. If you missed any of this month's discussions, then you can revisit earlier weeks:

Week 1: ... Read More ›

October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais - Week 4

Welcome back to the October 2013 edition of the Reader's Den!

For week 4, we read pages 138-197 (chapters 9-12), of Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais, a continuation of this year's New York theme. It is not too late to join the discussion!

Remember that you can catch up with us and comment on any of posts at anytime in the future. If you need a copy of the book, then you can reserve one through the NYPL catalog. The book is available in both 

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October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais - Week 3

Welcome back to the October 2013 edition of the Reader's Den!

We are at the half-way mark, Week 3 (chapters 5-8; pages 70-137), of Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais, a continuation of this year's New York theme. If you need a copy of the book, then you can reserve one through the NYPL catalogue. The book is available in both print and

... Read More ›

October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais, Week 2

Welcome back to October 2013 edition of the Reader's Den!

Our title this month is Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais, a continuation of this year's New York theme. For week two, we read chapters 1-4 (pages 1-69). If you need a copy of the book, then you can reserve it through the NYPL catalogue. The book is available in both print and

... Read More ›

October Reader's Den: "Buddhaland Brooklyn" by Richard C. Morais - Week 1

"It was strange, like a dream, to be in Japan one moment and America the next."

Welcome to the October 2013 installment of the New York Public Library's online book discussion group—the Reader's Den. In continuation of this year's New York theme, our title this month is Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais.

Just before his 

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Reader's Den in September: Unterzakhn by Leela Corman

Reader's Den continues in September with an online book discussion of Leela Corman's graphic novel Unterzakhn! The narrative follows two sisters, Esther and Fanya, living on the Lower East Side of New York City from 1909 to 1923. Though the story is a work of fiction, Ms. Corman creates a world that feel authentic—almost like a personal diary of two sisters from the early 20th century.

Ms. Corman takes us on the adventure of Fanya and Esther as they are thrust 

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August in the Reader's Den: Slaves of New York, Part 2

Tama Janowitz and Andy WarholAugust will soon come to a close, and so we wrap up Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz, this month's selection in the Reader's Den.

As the stories attempt to tie loose ends with familiar characters such as Eleanor and Marley, Janowitz also weaves in some stand-alone short stories about some even more downtrodden characters, such as "Case History #15, Melinda". Melinda is a bartender in Alphabet City who takes in too many stray animals, and eventually, a stray boyfriend, who inevitably betrays her. "Ode to Heroine of the 

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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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Reader’s Den for July: Watchmen, Part 4

Welcome back to Week 4 of the Reader's Den for the book Watchmen. I hope that this book will make a comic book lover out of anyone who reads it or at least makes them appreciate the graphic novel for the literary form that it is. For August, the book is the Slaves of New York by

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Reader's Den in August: Slaves of New York

Slaves of New YorkWe continue with a New York-themed Reader's Den this month—featuring Tama Janowitz's collection of intertwined stories set in Manhattan in the 1980s—Slaves of New York. Artists, dealers, junkies, prostitutes, and writers are just some of the colorful characters envisioned in what could be considered a post-modernist comedy of manners. Stumbling towards equal parts fame and/or the gutter, the common threads of precarious real estate situations, often 

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Reader's Den in July: Watchmen Part 3

Welcome back to Part 3 of the Reader’s Den for the book Watchmen. Here are a few questions you may have thought about while reading this book. If you think of something I haven’t, please post a comment.

What can a graphic novel (or this graphic novel) do better than a traditional novel? What are its limitations? What do you think about the way ... Read More ›

Reader's Den in July: Watchmen Part 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of July’s Reader’s Den: we're reading Watchmen by Alan Moore. I had always heard about the graphic novel, but it wasn’t until the movie came out that I 

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July in the Reader's Den: Watchmen by Alan Moore

Welcome to the Reader’s Den in July! For this month our selection will be the Graphic Novel, Watchmen, written by Alan Moore

This book was written in the late '80s, but its story still resonates today and helped to create the modern comic book industry 

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June in the Reader's Den: Time and Again by Jack Finney - Part 2, Discussion Questions

"It had become habit, leaving the Dakota, to walk out and back into the winter of 1882."

Welcome back to the Reader's Den! I hope you enjoyed taking a trip to the New York of 1882 along with Si Morley, the protagonist in Jack Finney's classic 1970 novel, Time and Again. If you've been reading the book, why not share your thoughts with us through the comments form at the end of the post? There are some discussion questions (which include a few spoilers!) that can be used as a starting 

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June in the Reader's Den: Time and Again by Jack Finney - Part 1

"So all in all there wasn't anything really wrong with my life. Except that, like most everyone else's I knew about, it had a big gaping hole in it, an enormous emptiness, and I didn't know how to fill it or even know what belonged there."

What would you do to fill a similar existential hole? How does a spot of clandestine, government-sponsored time travel sound? Welcome to June in the Reader's Den! This month we're reading the classic time travel tale and novel of New York, Time and 

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