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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.

Reader's Den: Leaving the Atocha Station, Week 3

Atocha Station, Madrid via Wikimedia CommonsWelcome to the third week of reading Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner. As you are nearing the end of the novel and as we just passed the anniversary of the terrorist attack on Atocha Station (March 11, 2004), there are a few themes to ask questions about or consider further.

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Reader's Den: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner, Week 2

The author of Leaving the Atocha Station, Ben Lerner, is originally from Kansas and has a BA in political science and an MFA in creative writing from Brown University. He was a 2003-2004 Fulbright Scholar in Spain and he currently teaches in the English Department at Brooklyn College. Leaving the Atocha Station 

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Reader's Den: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner, Week 1

Welcome to the Reader's Den for March. This month we will be discussing Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner. It is a novel set in Spain, written by a New York author. The novel follows Adam Gordon to Madrid in 2004 on a fellowship to write poetry influenced by the Spanish Civil War. We learn about Adam's relationships as a poet-tourist-student and his process of writing and self-discovery through experiences outside of his 

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February Reader's Den: "Telegraph Avenue" Week 4

This is a view of Broadway, in Oakland, California from NYPL's Digital Gallery. Although it's not Telegraph Avenue where Oakland and Berkeley intersect, I think it still contributes to envisioning the setting of the novel. How do you envision the area where Telegraph Avenue takes place? Do you think that this picture fits with that idea? That time frame?

In the novel, Gibson Goode builds a mega 

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February Reader's Den: "Telegraph Avenue" Week 3

If you're enjoying Telegraph Avenue, here are some suggestions on what to check out next:

Telegraph Avenue Pinterest page, including Candygirl Clark and Strutter movie original artwork by Greg "Stainboy" Reinel.

Read-alikes and watch-alikes:

Marvel Comics' ... Read More ›

February Reader's Den: "Telegraph Avenue" Week 2 - About the Author

If you'd like to know all about Michael Chabon's prolific publishing history, Contemporary Authors Online has an exhaustive biography of him in our online databases. As I already noted, comics have been a big influence on his work and I surprized to learn that he worked on the screenplay of Edgar Rice Burrough's A Princess of Mars (novelized by Stuart Moore as

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February Reader's Den: "Telegraph Avenue" Week 1

Welcome back to the Reader's Den! Today we take a slight detour from our focus on New York City to the sunny climes of Northern California. Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue is a fictional place that the NYT book 

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The Reader's Den: Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever"

Thank you for joining us for our final week of Edith Wharton short stories in The Reader's Den!

Like "The Other Two" and "Autres Temps," Wharton's 1934 story, "

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The Reader's Den: Edith Wharton's "Autres Temps"

At the start of Autres Temps, Mrs. Lidcote is arriving in New York on a steamer ship from Italy, after a long, self-imposed exile. Having fled New York's society years ago, when she became an outcast following her divorce, she is returning only after receiving news of her daughter's divorce and remarriage.

As the shapes of the city's skyline begin to emerge from the fog, Mrs. Lidcote is full of worry and unable to stop mulling over her past, which she fears will become her daughter Leila's future. When she shares 

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The Reader's Den: Edith Wharton's "The Other Two"

As Edith Wharton's 1904 story, The Other Two, opens, Waythorn has just returned from his honeymoon with his new wife, Alice. This is his first marriage, but her third. Although it seems a bit scandalous, he has gone in to the marriage fully aware of, and fairly unconcerned with, how Alice is viewed in society: she is well liked, but with reservation.

She divorced her first husband, Mr. Haskett, with whom she has a daughter, before coming to New York on the arm of Gus Varick, whose social 

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The Reader's Den: Edith Wharton's New York Stories

Happy New Year and welcome to 2013 in The Reader's Den!

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born in Greenwich Village into the wealthy New York Society that she 

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Reader’s Den: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Week 4

This is the last week of our book discussion of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. In my first post, I mentioned that it is a post-9/11 novel, published in 2005, but during the past month of discussion, I haven't focused on that aspect of the work. The book talks about Oskar's reaction to the 9/11 

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Want to Talk About Reading? Reader's Den 2013 Online Book Discussion Schedule

It’s hard to believe that 2012 is almost over. As we look forward to the new year, I am proud to present our upcoming Reader’s Den online book discussion titles for 2013. With an eclectic mix of book discussion leaders hailing from Jefferson Market, Columbus, Mulberry Street, Battery Park

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Reader’s Den: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Week 3

Now that you have read more of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (if not all of it), you may have noticed some of its quirky phrases (such as “heavy boots” and “feeling like a hundred dollars”). Part of my interest in reading new (for me) authors is noticing how they use language: what kind of sentence structure — long or short, simple or complex; what kind of words — familiar or out of the ordinary or a combination; lots of descriptive language or 

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Reader’s Den: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Week 2

Now that you have had a chance to meet Oskar, what do you think of him? Many readers have compared him to Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Others think he’s far too precocious for a nine-year-old and have suggested the author used his own 

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Reader’s Den: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Week 1

Oskar Schell, a precocious nine-year-old who lives in New York City, is the protagonist In Jonathan Safran Foer’s popular post-9/11 novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Oskar's active mind keeps endlessly creating new inventions, most of them somehow related to saving lives and making connections with other 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 4

The Night Circus, as we've discussed, has a nearly obsessive focus on time; its passing, linearity and infinite nature. This is exemplified in the workings of its magnificent clock and its mechanical operation.

However, within the clockworks resides a nearly infinite number of possibilities to enthrall attendees. For example splashes of color are found throughout the strict black-and-white scheme. The twins' red scarves and the fires lit on the circus's opening night come 

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Reader's Den Chat: Meet the Author Michael Scott Moore

Last year around this time, author Michael Scott Moore read from his book Sweetness and Blood at the Columbus branch. I wanted to share it with everyone who couldn't attend. Sweetness and Blood focuses on the history of surfing and was also an NYPL Reader's Den 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 3

Last week we discussed the passage of time and the clockwork nature of The Night Circus. Time's flow tends to bring a stream of bounty and loss simultaneously.

For example, the myriad performers and founders of the circus are gifted with immortality. Some would say they were subjected to longevity's curse, especially in the case of Chandresh LeFévre.

As we head into the Thanksgiving season, think on this conundrum. Is the immortality the 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 2

The Night Circus is crafted in lyrical and elaborate prose. Sometimes it even borders on the ornamental. The language and descriptions are fitting, however, considering the overriding theme of time's passage in the book.

If there is one thing the circus exemplifies, it is clockwork precision. The entertainments may be strange and off-kilter, but they all work together in a harmonious whole.

On its opening night twelve fires of varying hues are lit, one 

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