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





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Dec 20, 2018

Aca-scuse me? It's an impromptu celebration of our favorite feel-good a capella movie... and, oh yeah, some book recommendations, too. Frank goes for a soul-searching memoir about spirituality and religion, and Gwen suggests a fantastical flipbook for kids.

Dec 13, 2018

Welcome to our first-ever live show, recorded in Frank's very own Jefferson Market Library! Gwen and Frank talk to Eric Klinenberg, sociologist and author of a new book about libraries and social infrastructure. Plus: the audience offers an invaluable assist during the guessing game.

Dec 6, 2018

Aristotle famously (er, probably) said that anger is a gift, and Gwen's been given one this year: Rebecca Traister's book about the power of women's rage, "Good and Mad." Plus, Frank finds more presents in The New Yorker archives and NYPL announces its year-end Best Books lists.

Nov 29, 2018

We're obsessed with libraries loaning unconventional items: seeds, toys, tools, clothes, games, museum passes... and sculptures. Local artist Wendy Richmond joins Gwen and Frank to talk about her work and her new installation, which encouraged patrons to take home her incredible sculptures of her own hands.

Check out our live show on Dec. 4!

Frank and Gwen will be talking to Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People, at Frank's own Jefferson Market Library! Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. -- click here for all the details.

Nov 22, 2018

Whether you're cooking turkey for 20 or opting out of Thanksgiving entirely, books about food are always in season. Frank and Gwen talk about their favorite cookbooks and chef memoirs with NYPL's resident foodie, Jeanne Hodesh, and offer some family recipes of their very own.

Check out our live show on Dec. 4!

Food memoirs:

More recommendations:

And few more books that Jeanne wanted to mention:

Nov 15, 2018

What makes a good story time? Anthony Murisco, youth librarian extraordinaire, joins Frank and Gwen to talk all things kids and books. Plus: everyone's favorite lazy cartoon cat, a true stumper of a guessing game, and a flurry of pop-culture recommendations.


In This Episode:

Anthony's library: The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

NLS: The National Library Service for the blind and physically handicapped

A book Anthony likes for storytime: Jump  by David McPhail

NYPL's Best Books for Kids and Teens and Anthony's 2017 list with Bookshare links

"Book That Talk and Books You Touch": Jill Rothstein's TLII episode about technology for print-disabled patrons

Kris Jenner... and All Things Kardashian (and her cookbook)

Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner

Jabberwalking by Juan Felipe Herrera

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa (and RIVERDALE!)

Garfield: The Complete Works, 1978-1979 (coming soon to the Library!)

Macy's Thanksgiving Day parades on YouTube

The Grinch Menu at iHop

Golden Girls Pez

Nov 8, 2018

A library podcast about a book about libraries? Sign us up! Frank goes meta this week with an in-depth review of Susan Orlean's new page-turner, and and Gwen sees an author of children's classics in a new light.

Frank & Gwen's Recommendations

The Library BookThe Orchid Thief, and several other books  by Susan Orlean

Check out the Library Talks podcast (after Sunday, Nov. 11) to hear an interview with Orlean! 

The works of Canadian children's author Robert Munsch:

And “The Story Behind ‘Love You Forever’ Is Probably Not What You Thought

Nov 1, 2018

It's almost Election Day. Do you know where your voting rights are? Christopher Famighetti, professor at Jefferson Market University, joins Frank and Gwen for an in-depth convo about voting — and what libraries have to do with it. Plus: a different take on Tolstoy and the surreal films of Luis Buñuel.

Oct 25, 2018

It's almost Halloween, and it got so creepy we scared Gwen away. Frank braves the gore with Isaiah Pittman, horror aficionado and adult services librarian at NYPL. They talk scary books AND movies.

Book Recommendations 

Paperbacks From Hell: The twisted history of 70's and 80's horror by Grady Hendrix

The Hungry Moon by Ramsey Campbell

Night Shift by Stephen King

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Final Girls: A novel by Riley Sager

The series-- Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

You Were Neve Really Here by Jonathan Ames and the film adaptation 

Non-Book Recommendations

Kanopy-- stream movies for free with you NYPL card!

Check out Gas Station Horror, the monthly improv show in NYC that turns bad horror movies into comedy.


Oct 18, 2018

Gwen and Frank tackle a near-future dystopian novel about space colonization and a sobering work of journalism about the fallacy of modern philanthropy. Plus: why pho is objectively the best food ever. 

Frank and Gwen's Recommendations

Haaaave you read "The Yellow Wallpaper" yet? Try the Insta Novel

Frank's old favorites: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, Pure Hollywood and Other Stories by Christine Schutt, I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Foe by Iain Reid 

Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas, and his recent conversation with Joy-Ann Reid 

His previous book, The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, which won NYPL's Bernstein Award in 2015

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.

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