Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

The Librarian Is In Podcast, Biblio File

J.D. Salinger, Whaaaaaat? The Librarian Is In Podcast, Ep. 56


Welcome to The Librarian Is In, the New York Public Library's podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Google Play

What happens when you get My Brother's Husband, A Lost Lady, and Frog and Toad Together in the same room? Find out as Gwen and Frank discuss gay manga, Willa Cather, J.D. Salinger, and Arnold Lobel's classic books for children!

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

A Lost Lady by Willa Cather

 Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger


The Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury by Arnold Lobel

Non-Book Recommendations

Gwen: Margaret Atwood's essay about Ray Bradbury in The Paris Review

Frank: The movie Frantz directed by Francois Ozon


Thanks for listening! Have you rated us on iTunes yet? Would you consider doing it now?

Find us online @NYPLRecommends, the Bibliofile blog, and Or email us at!


How to listen to The Librarian Is In

Subscribing to The Librarian Is In on your mobile device is the easiest way to make sure you never miss an episode. Episodes will automatically download to your device, and be ready for listening every other Thursday morning

On your iPhone or iPad:
Open the purple “Podcasts” app that’s preloaded on your phone. If you’re reading this on your device, tap this link to go straight to the show and click “Subscribe.” You can also tap the magnifying glass in the app and search for “The New York Public Library Podcast.”

On your Android phone or tablet:
Open the orange “Play Music” app that’s preloaded on your device. If you’re reading this on your device, click this link to go straight to the show and click “Subscribe.” You can also tap the magnifying glass icon and search for “The New York Public Library Podcast.” 

Or if you have another preferred podcast player, you can find “The New York Public Library Podcast” there. (Here’s the RSS feed.)

From a desktop or laptop:
Click the “play” button above to start the show. Make sure to keep that window open on your browser if you’re doing other things, or else the audio will stop. You can always find the latest episode at



Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.


Frank and Gwen, Thank you for another amazing and insightful podcast. Once again I had a terrible time shutting off my phone at its conclusion. I think 30 minutes is not nearly enough time to enjoy your company.I could listen to you two speak ad nauseum and still I think I would not stop. I absolutely loved your book recommendations. A Lost Lady is now high on my list of what to read next. If you ever get the chance I would love to hear your thoughts on City of Glass by Paul Auster (this story made me want to become a writer) and also post modernism literature as a whole which I know is one of those genres that people either love or hate with no middle ground in sight. But it would be interesting to hear your perspectives and if you have found any pleasure in reading these types of novels. Once again, thank you I honestly love love love your podcast so much. You two are brilliant. Keep up the great work. -C

Thank you : )

You are so kind - thank you so much. Way back when I felt I wouldn't "like" Paul Auster but read The New York Trilogy for a book group and loved them! Auster's attention to detail and clear love of words express themselves very enjoyably. And even at his most Meta - I find him deeply rooted in authentic human emotion that is so very persuasive. I love how he plays with genre forms as he grounds his characters and settings "realistically." I've since read Book of Illusions and really must read more him!

pretty mouth and green my eyes

First, your podcast is fantastic. So engaging and well put together. I've read a few things you've recommended and have loved everything, in particular lately "Lincoln in the Bardo" and "All Our Wrong Todays" after Gwen's review (thank you Gwen, I loved them both). But I'm writing today to thank Frank -- Frank, you've given me a reason to pull "Nine Stories" off my shelf and read past "A Perfect Day for Bananafish". Not sure why I've never read the other stories before, but when I heard you say "pretty mouth and green my eyes" it clicked with me as I'm a huge PJ Harvey fan -- she references it directly (using those words, and now I wonder if there's more from the story) in her incredible song "Angelene" (off the album "Is this Desire?"). Thank you Gwank! :)

Thank you!

Thanks for sharing this! Must listen to that PJ Harvey song - as the story "Pretty Mouth" story pretty much blew me away - as did the rest of the collection!


Re your comments on Salinger. After I first read Catcher in the Rye in 10th grade I went whole hog into the ouvre. And the NYPL was instrumental in my quest. I was able to track down all his uncollected stories, some two dozen or so, at the main branch and the Mid Manhattan. As to the spartan jacket design, Salinger was adamant about that, as well as no blurbs, picture or bio. And I would recommend revisiting Joyce's Dubliners, as another collection that we couldn't really appreciate when we first attempted them.

Thank you!

This is great to hear Dennis - much appreciated! And we heard about Salinger's book cover dictates - glad you confirmed this! Also, you are right on target, we haven't read Dubliners since college - agreed, would be great to revisit. Thanks again!


My daughter studied Japanese. According to her the correct pronunciation is mahn-ga vs. Main-ga What is the traditional pronunciation in library land? My fellow librarians can't come to a consensus. I tend to agree with the Japanese. Love your podcast and banter. I learn so much!

Thank you!

We'll go with your daughter - she studied Japanese after all! Thanks again for your comment!


Hi, I listened to your podcast for the first time today and enjoyed it very much. I specifically chose this episode because there would be discussion about Salinger. I enjoyed your take on it very much and it made me want to reread his short stories, which I have not revisited in a few years, so thank you for that. I did want to argue (very nicely) to a point Frank made, though, where he said Salinger wasn't sentimental. I find him to be very sentimental, and the passage that immediately sprang to mind was a portion of Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters (I would argue that whole story is full of sentiment) but most especially the story Buddy tells of a visit his father paid to him and Seymour in their apartment where their father asks Seymour if he remembers Joe Jackson giving Seymour a ride around on the handle bars of his bike and Salinger says, "Seymour... replied gravely and at once, and in the special way he always answered questions from Les-as if they were the questions, above all others, he preferred to be asked in his life. He said he wasn't sure he had ever got off Joe Jackson's beautiful bicycle. And aside from its enormous sentimental value to my father personally, this answer, in a great many ways, was true, true, true." Aside from it's actual use of the word 'sentimental' which I don't mean to use as part of my point, I just can't help but think all of Buddy's stories come from a place of sentimental nostalgia, that is crucial to their depth, especially in the details he gives such as describing the shoes Seymour is wearing as "moccasins with the counters broken down". It is such a remarkable detail in that when Buddy is telling this story Seymour has been dead for seven years. Again, I loved the episode and look forward to listening to more, I just couldn't help but say no really, I swear, he is sentimental! Thank you.

Post new comment