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.
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.
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.
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.
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 And an unpublished work from the early 1930s finallly gets the recognition it deserves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frank and Gwen's discussion with Dan Kois on Angels in America continues (an epic conversation in two parts!) Plus: a trip to The New York Public Library of Performing Arts in the Upper West Side. Doug Reside, Curator of the Billy Rose Theatre Division, gives a tour of the collections and pulls out some Angels ephemera to help put the play in its historical context.
Dan Kois is a writer and editor for Slate. His recent book is called "The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America." It's a collection of oral histories, beautifully arranged by Kois and his co-author, Isaac Butler. Together they interviewed nearly 250 people about the iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning play—directors, producers, and actors from Broadway to small town theatre productions. Kois talks to Gwen and Frank about creating the book, the enduring impact of Angles in America, and getting the inside scoop from Tony Kushner himself.
Frank dives into the dark and depraved world of noir, explains the basics of the genre and delivers a saucy read from one of his favorite books. Gwen does some detective work herself, taking us on her journey of a book rec that takes a dark turn of it's own! Plus: radio drama, man tears, and some classic YA literature.
Frank and Gwen headed to Philadelphia and brought home the sights, sounds, and book recommendations of the Public Library Association's 2018 conference. Plus, hard-hitting journalism: Is breakfast the most important meal of a librarian's day?
Gwen and Frank share books recs for bedtime—good reads for kids of all ages and one read that's definitely for grown-ups only... Plus, if you're at the Public Librarians Association Conference in Philadelphia (March 22nd-23rd) come find Frank and Gwen for even more talk about reading recs, pick up some podcast swag and share what books are stacked up on on your bedside table!
Friday March 23rd at 11am and 2pm in the PLA Press Room in the Convention Center, 3rd level, Room 303 A.
Frank and Gwen chat with New York Times Features Reporter, Steven Kurutz about his recent Literary Hub essay, "In Praise of the Small Town Library." It's part coming-of-age story, part love letter to his hometown library in Renovo, Pennsylvania. Plus: book rituals, a wild non-book recommendation, and the enduring charm of an unconventional librarian.
Fred and Barney... er, Frank and Gwen are reading books with different approaches to the same question: Who are you and what do you want out of life? (This episode has nothing to do with The Flintstones after the first 30 seconds, but the puns cannot be denied.)
Actor Sharon Washington joins us to talk about her one-woman play "Feeding the Dragon," based on her experience growing up inside a New York Public Library branch in the 1970s. She tells us about her childhood in the library after hours, and what it's like to share her story on stage. Plus: horror movie recs, and getting judgy on "Law and Order."
RuthAnn Deveney from the Diverse Books Club gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her group's themes and book picks, her love of spreadsheets, and her Philly-specific sandwich recommendations. Plus: What will Frank say (or not say) when he goes on The View?
All the complexities of the city so nice, they named it twice! Frank goes deep into nostalgia territory, digging up childhood memories, classic accents, and urban anxieties. Gwen follows with a real-life tale of greed and gumption at a famed NYC hedge fund.
Gwen asks, "Is this poem about God?" and Frank is (nearly) brought to tears as they untangle the divine and the bawdy (and naughty) in two John Donne poems. Luckily Dr. Carolyn Broomhead joins them for some much needed poetry therapy. Together they traverse language, imagery and the backstory of the divine Dr. D.
It's World Read Aloud Day, and Gwen and Frank are hearing voices from ghosts and robots. But they still manage to keep it together to recommend some books and play an extra round of their guessing game.
Books and reading are the foundation of any library but your local librarian is doing so much more: computer help, test prep and yes, even knitting. This week, Gwen and Frank talk to Erin Horanzy, an Adult Programming Librarian at NYPL's Francis Martin Library in the Bronx. Enjoy!
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IS Margaret Atwood a bad feminist? Yeeeeeesh, we don't know. Frank and Gwen talk about the allegations against Aziz Ansari and then, thankfully, move onto books: nonfiction about young immigrants from El Salvador and a novel about a sci-fi dating experiment. Also, help us out by taking our survey at nypl.org/podcastsurvey!
This week, Gwen and Frank take on books ranging from the collapse of modern civilization to a murder "how-done-it" told exclusively from the point of view of a perspicacious fetus.
Get the full list of books discussed at www.nypl.org/podcast.
Want to broaden your reading horizons this year? Librarian extraordinaire Meredith Mann joins Frank and Gwen to debate the pros and cons of annual reading challenges. Plus: secret database magic, sci-fi written by robots, and our favorite British bakers. Get links to the books discussed in the episode at nypl.org/podcast.