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The Librarian Is In

The New York Public Library’s podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.
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The Librarian Is In
2018
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Oct 11, 2018

Kadiatou Tubman, Education Coordinator from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, joins Gwen and Frank for an intense analysis of Angie Thomas' classic: book vs. movie, casting choices, implications in the classroom, and much more.

Oct 4, 2018

Frank and Gwen are all about feminist texts this week. They go back in time with the classic short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper" — which is also NYPL's newest Insta Novel — and then hit the present (hard) with "Red Clocks." In between, there's a beautiful picture book for kids. Plus: Frank figures out a literary puzzle.

Sep 27, 2018

When we asked our book experts about books that changed their lives, we fell in love with their picks — and we wanted you to hear what they had to say, in their own voices. Plus: Frank and Gwen add their own childhood game-changers.

Check out the full list: 40 Books that Changed Librarians' Lives 

Sep 20, 2018

Gwen and Frank discover two very different alternate worlds that speak to our present times. Their seemingly mismatched books offer stellar writing and clever takes on fantasy, dystopias and cringe-worthy identity politics. Plus: Frank has some, um... words for the author of his book.

Book Recommendations

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk

Sep 13, 2018

Rosa Caballero-Li, manager of Ask NYPL, has all the answers! Rosa tells Frank and Gwen about the ins, outs, ups, and downs of the Library's multifaceted reference service, staffed by real-live human people. Plus: a story within a story presents some guessing game twists.

Need assistance? Have a question? Get in touch with Ask NYPL

Book Recommendation 

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado

Non-Book Recommendations

"Lots of People Love ‘To Kill A Mockingbird.’ Roxane Gay Isn’t One of Them."

The album "Dirty Computer" by Janelle Monae

The best way to support this podcast is with a gift to The New York Public Library. Click here to donate.

Sep 6, 2018

Which books do you wish you'd read in high school? Frank and Gwen offer up some ideas and then move on to city novels with urban themes and a picture book about a dog who tries to be a fork. Plus: what to do if you can't get enough of the Queer Eye guys.

Book Recommendations

"NYT: If You Could Add One Book to the High School Curriculum, What Would It Be?"

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Bull by David Elliott

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

The City and the City by China Miéville

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Non-Book Recommendations

 

 

Short videos of the Queer Eye guys on YouTube, such as 9 Things They’ve Never Done Before (in which Jonathan and Tan bedazzle a tie), a round of Never Have I Ever, and a bizarre social-media compliment battle

Aug 30, 2018

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, Gwen and Frank fall hard for the wise and wonderful Vanessa Zoltan of the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast! We talk Harry and Jane, try the spiritual practice of lectio divina, discuss the healing power of romance novels, figure out Frank's Tinder profile... get ready for some serious revelations.

Vanessa's book recs:

Aug 23, 2018

Frank and Gwen get a visit from BridgeUP, NYPL's holistic academic support program for NYC teens. They talk to a teen scholar and program leader about this unique library initiative, what students want and need outside the classroom, and everything that goes into getting them where they want to go in life.

Discussed this week:

BridgeUp's podcast on Latino stereotypes

Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

1984 by George Orwell

The new HBO series "Random Acts of Flyness"

BridgeUp's podcast on Latino stereotypes
Aug 16, 2018

Answer: anything! Frank and Gwen discuss why for-profit businesses cannot and should not take libraries' place in society. Plus, recommendations for two small books that contain very big worlds.

Book Recommendations

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey

The Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

Oleg Kagan's opinion piece about how libraries are not companies, and more information about Forbes deleting the original op-ed.

The best way to support this podcast is with a gift to The New York Public Library. Click here to donate.

Aug 9, 2018

It's our third annual Summer Reading Challenge! This year, Frank and Gwen picked America Is Not the Heart, a debut novel by Elaine Castillo, about language and love and revolution and family and the meaning of home—it's about everything, and it's incredible. 

Aug 2, 2018

Frank and Gwen break down romance novel stereotypes with fellow NYPL librarian Anne Rouyer. The genre often gets dismissed as fluff, but romance can subvert the traditional confines of gender, power, class, and more. (Gay Regency, anyone?)

Anne's Recommendations

Social Intercourse by Greg Howard

The Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah Maclean 

Unmasked by the Marquess and It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan (for those who love Me Before You by Jojo Moyes)

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison

And for a non-book recommendation: 'Hiyori's Bed & Breakfast'

 

 

Jul 26, 2018

We're finding our midsummer vacation reading groove! Gwen is spectacularly awed by a debut novel and Frank gets drawn into a thriller (with a dash of reader real-estate jealousy).

Our Book Recommendations 

"There There" by Tommy Orange

"One Dark Throne" by Kendare Blake

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

"The Incendiaries" by R.O. Kwan

"The Woman in the Window" by A.J. Finn

Non-Book Recommendations

Frank: The film "Shadow of a Doubt"

 Gwen: These seriously comfortable boxer briefs

Jul 19, 2018

We're 100 episodes old! Frank and Gwen mark their centennial by responding to listener messages and revisiting some favorite themes. Plus: a list of our favorite episodes for new (or new-ish) listeners.

Jul 12, 2018

It's time again for our Summer Reading Challenge! In this mini-episode, Frank and Gwen pick a book to dive into together and invite you to read along with them, so place those library holds for a copy of "America Is Not the Heart" by Elaine Castillo. Discussion to air August 9!

Jul 5, 2018

Gwen is so moved by one of the three poems she brings to the studio that she can't even read it (she tried!). And Frank is transported by a novel about a marriage in Nigeria he can't NOT talk about it.  Plus: the perils of social media and why Frank feels he is pretty much free of FOMO. 

Frank's Book Recommendation 

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

You can also listen to the author discuss this book on the NYPL podcasts here.

Gwen's Poetry Recommendations 

Airplanes” by Maggie Smith, in the Spring/Summer issue of Ninth Letter 

Ghazal: America the Beautiful” by Alicia Ostriker, and the Dear Poet video series of her reading her own work

"Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver 

 
Jun 28, 2018

Gwen and Frank discover some surprising pieces of family history when Rhonda Evans, Electronic Resources Librarian at NYPL, arrives in the studio with a pile of documents and connects the dots from long-ago paper trails.  Plus: Guessing game shenanigans.

 
Jun 21, 2018

Frank and Gwen share thoughts and reading recommendations about immigration, families, and children at the border. Plus: Frank asks what-if and Gwen ponders three recent books on motherhood.

Jun 14, 2018

Dr. Shayne Figueroa joins Frank and Gwen to discuss books and food nostalgia, Amish soul food (it's a thing!), and how NYC's free school lunch program is attempting to lift an age-old stigma. Plus: Frank's secret childhood eating habits and another guessing-game stumper.​

Jun 7, 2018

Frank and Gwen revisit the recent Booker Prize winner, Lincoln in the Bardo, as Frank gets serious about the afterlife and our understanding of history. Then Gwen turns the studio in a sauna with a gay Regency romance packed with period details and subplots that add depth to the steamy novel.

May 31, 2018

Gwen and Frank get a visit from Elisa Garcia, Supervising Librarian of Teen Services at the Bronx Library Center, who brings the guessing-game drama and recommendations galore. Plus: Elisa talks about moving to and growing up in the Bronx, the global influence of '90s hip-hop, and all around back-in-the-day coolness. 

May 24, 2018

Frank confesses his sometimes-complicated relationship with certain books and his bouts of book insecurity. Plus: What happens when Frank and Gwen serendipitously read the same book around the same time but don't quite remember it the same way? And an unpublished work from the early 1930s finallly gets the recognition it deserves.

May 17, 2018

Saraciea Fennell, founder of the Bronx Book Festival, joins Frank and Gwen to talk about bringing this event to the borough and the line-up for this weekend. Plus: how Saraciea found her way into the publishing world, zombies, Jane Austen, and a whole bunch of her favorite children's, YA, and fantasy reads.

May 10, 2018

What's the opposite of a book slump? We're calling it a flare, and Gwen is on one. She and Frank have a flurry of adult book recommendations, from dystopian novels to innovative science fiction. 

May 3, 2018

What happens when you tap the musical talents of NYPL's librarians? Frank and Gwen get to relive their professional recording cameos with Sean Ferguson, manager of Chatham Square Library and a driving force behind the Library's new album for kids.

Apr 26, 2018

Another crossover episode with our fine friends from the Overdue podcast! Frank and Gwen join Craig and Andrew in Philadelphia to discuss the 1956 novel Peyton Place. Is it a classic? A soap opera? A groundbreaking statement about sexuality? Is it “ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle” — the first line of the book? You decide.

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