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Posts from Terence Cardinal Cooke-Cathedral Library

The Reader's Den: "The Post-Birthday World" Discussion Questions

I hope everyone has been enjoying The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. Here are some discussion questions to contemplate while running holiday errands!

Shriver uses gray and white in each chapter heading to represent and distinguish between the dual lives of Irina. That is, chapter one has a gray background and 

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Reader's Den: "The Post-Birthday World" Week Two

Welcome to week two of this month’s Reader’s Den! In The Post-Birthday World, the Irinas in both parallel stories are children's book illustrators. In discussing the theme of her latest children's book, Irina lays out the premise of the novel.

"The idea is you don't have only one destiny. Younger and younger, kids are pressed to decide what they want to do with their lives, as if ... Read More ›

Reader's Den: "The Post-Birthday World"

Welcome back to the Reader's Den! This month's online book discussion will be The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver, the author of We Need To Talk About Kevin (winner of the 2005 Orange Prize for fiction

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Halloween Reads

Halloween is fast approaching, as is the opening of the new film, The Box, starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden in early November. Of course, many great books have been made into movies, and sure, there's the Twilight series and Cirque du Freak, both book 

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A Year Without

In his recent movie review of the documentary film No Impact Man, available in book form from NYPL here and in blog form here, A.O. Scott writes, "The year of doing something crazy to learn a lesson or prove a point is by now less a gimmick than a full-fledged publishing genre. Activities that would, in 

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Weird Science

Here’s a small sampling of nonfiction science books that are sufficiently strange that even readers who usually shy away from such titles may enjoy, and that readers who usually enjoy such titles may have missed. While none of them will bring back Pluto’s official status as a planet, they all have something interesting to say about medicine, science or technology.

Wendy Moore’s

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Back in the summer of 2005, Jake Gyllenhaal was quoted as saying:

I am reading a booked called SALT: A WORLD HISTORY, and it's all about salt. I have a weird fascination with specifics. I like the idea of learning a lot about one thing. And salt is something you take for granted. You think it's just something on your table. But it has a huge, long history. Wars were started over it.

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Kangaroo Run

My friend and I have a longstanding debate over whether kangaroos run or hop. Regardless of who is correct (I am), it’s true that many urban dwellers develop a curious understanding of the natural world. Here’s a small sampling of how some people, city folk and others, relate to animals or view the animal kingdom.

Marina Belozerskaya’s The Medici Giraffe: and other tales of exotic animals and power (Little Brown, 2006) has a truly striking cover, I even had someone on the train comment 

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Lazare-Nicolas-Marguerite Carnot

Lazare-Nicolas-Marguerite Carnot was the original multi-tasker, known as the “Organizer of Victory” because he applied his background in engineering to French military operations under Napoleon Bonaparte and successfully led them to victory. His background in mathematics led to innovative ground tactics and recruitment methods. To be sure, 

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Unexpected Lives of Women Authors

If you enjoyed my earlier post on the Unexpected Lives of Women, here are some authors who did or wrote about things that were different from the status quo at the time.

George Eliot, wrote under pen name of a man so that she would not be seen as, what 

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Unexpected Lives of Women

“Revolution is but thought carried into action.” —Emma Goldman

“All creative people want to do the unexpected.” —Hedy Lamarr

“If the career you have chosen has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without them.” —

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Reader's Den: "A Piece of Cake" Discussion Wrap-Up

Thank you for participating in this month’s discussion! If you enjoyed A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown, here are some more titles that you might enjoy:

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir by Janice Earlbaum Leaving Dirty Jersey 

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Reader's Den: Discussion Questions for "A Piece of Cake"

I hope you have been enjoying the memoir A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown. Here are some discussion questions to get you started. Feel free to talk about other parts of the book as well.

Which characters served as turning points in Cupcake’s life, either for better or worse? Do some characters stand out as being more influential? For example, the cop known as “Preacher” or her former boss Dave? She calls Cupcake her “first birth name” on page one, even though it ends up being changed to ... Read More ›

Reader's Den: "A Piece of Cake"

Welcome back to the second edition of the Reader's Den!

A brief summary of February's book selection: A Piece of Cake is the autobiography of Cupcake Brown. Cupcake (not her birth name) finds herself wrenched from a loving home at a young age and placed with a sadistic woman, her privileged birth daughter, and a handful of other foster-care children. Running away leads into deeper trouble — brushes with prostitution, gangs, and heavy drug use. Ultimately uplifting, this 

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