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Blog Posts by Subject: Slavic and Baltic Literature

September 2016 International Fiction Bestsellers: China, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, UAE

Do you ever wonder what books are popular with readers in other countries? We do, so we’ve been taking a look at some bestseller lists from around the world to see what people are reading.Read More ›

The Mythology of Bruno Schulz

How did a Jewish writer, who wrote exclusively in Polish and who died in the Holocaust, become practically a cult figure of mid-­20th century literature?Read More ›

"Say What?" Look at What the Library Has in Your Language

In the "melting pot" of New York City, people from all over the world come to visit The New York Public Library. Luckily, New Yorkers can get information in languages from all around the world. Check out these databases, available from home.

Here’s how to access NYPL’s databases: 1. Go to 2. Click on ‘Find Books, DVDs, & More’ 3. Click on ‘Articles and Databases’ 4. Databases are listed in alphabetical order. If you are not accessing the 

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The Reader's Den: "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" Discussion Questions

I hope you have enjoyed reading The Death of Ivan Ilyich.  Please share your thoughts and favorite excerpts about story or Leo Tolstoy and take a moment to consider and discuss any of the questions posted below.

In the beginning of the story we read of Ivan's friends and family's reactions to his death.  Who shows ... Read More ›

The Lost Musicals: Uncovering the Dorothy Loudon flops Part Two: Lolita, My Love

After the disappointment of The Fig Leaves are Falling, Dorothy Loudon got a great part in a new musical with much more promise, but this one didn’t even make it to Broadway, despite being, without question, artistically superior.

The book and lyrics were by one of musical theatre’s heavy hitters, the music was by a successful pop hit composer and the source material was one of the twentieth century’s most acclaimed, controversial, and popular novels. The lyricist 

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Reading War and Peace

At lunchtime today I finished reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. (Tolstoy pictured here, courtesy of NYPL Digital Gallery.) I read the Louise and Aylmer Maude translation, which moved along very well, and I read the whole thing on an electronic reader. It took me just about two months to read, starting it exactly this past July 1. I have wanted to read it for awhile, and I am glad I did. However, I have a lot of mixed feelings about the book. It wasn't too hard to read, as 

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Vampire Lovers at the New York Public Library

As a professional librarian at the main reference desk, I do whatever it takes to respond to a particular question, and I never become judgmental about the quality of that question. That’s Library School 101. I will admit, however, to wondering sometimes where certain questions come from, or what it might mean for the culture at large when a number of people start asking the same question at the same time. For instance, what should I make of the fact that there have been several requests lately--by New Yorkers, no less!-- for books about vampires? Is it because Halloween is coming? 

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The Hidden Agenda

From the start, my goal in this blog was simply to emphasize what I regard as highlights of the library’s collection, specifically in the realm of literature . . . but I’ve begun to wonder if there isn’t another unifying element, or, if you will, a hidden agenda. Whatever else I’m writing about, I always seem to end up trying to convey my profound love of books and reading. This has long been one of my defining characteristics, long before there was a blog (or even an internet).

Nabokov, in Lectures 

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