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The New York Public Library’s podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.

The New York Public Library’s podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.
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New York, NY


The New York Public Library’s podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.








The Katniss Konundrum

To prequel or not to prequel? Frank and Gwen debate the new installment of the Hunger Games franchise and two very different books about life in two very different places. Suggest Hot Topix(TM) or tell us what you think about summer reading! Email podcasts[at] or call 507-NYPL-LIB.


Are You There, Frank? It's Me, Gwen

Frank and Gwen announce their return date plus reveal their Summer Reading Challenge


Gwen's Book Flare (Rebroadcast)

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 we are reading now The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer Red Clocks by Leni Zumas Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi Semiosis by Sue Burke Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst


Peyton DisPlaced (Rebroadcast)

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. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious More Peyton Place... TV and film Unbuttoning America A Biography of Peyton PlaceVanity Fair essay NYT obituary If you liked this...


The Librarian Is LIVE (Rebroadcast)

This week we take you back 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. Guest Star: Eric Klinenberg Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg More of his work in our catalog and on his website $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn...


Hogwarts & Hollywood (Rebroadcast)

It's the first-ever Reading Challenge episode! Gwen and Frank assigned books to each other to read and discuss on the air. Hijinks ensue... Book Recommendations Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling Ava Gardner: 'Love Is Nothing' by Lee Server Also mentioned: Our fourth episode, when Gwen flipped out on Frank for not having read Harry Potter. Several of Ava's movies, available from NYPL: The Night of the Iguana Earthquake The Barefoot Contessa Mogambo The Golden...


Never Let Me Go. Seriously, Never.

This week: a rebroadcast of one of our favorite episodes. Gwen and Frank take a deep, emotional dive into Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go.'


DIY ASMR, Library-Style

This episode is brought to you by our soon-to-be-rival podcast, dreamed up by YA librarian Crystal Chen—who's also this week's guest! All rights reserved by her! We talk musicals, poetry, what it really means to create a list of "best" books, and professional development for library staff members. Book Recommendations NYPL's Best Poetry Books (and our most recent best books lists) Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder Going...


Comfort Reads

Gwen and Frank tackle one book that feels comforting and homey; one that's distinctly unsettling; and one that's somewhere in between. Plus: A stranger on the train helps us deconstruct the genius of J-Patt. Book Recommendations Your Duck Is My Duck: Stories by Deborah Eisenberg The Farm by Joanne Ramos Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug Also mentioned: Mary Poppins Returns Emily Blunt and the rest of the cast going down the bathtub slide! Everything...


Carla Hayden Wants You to Read a Book

Dr. Carla Hayden sits down with Gwen and Frank to discuss what it really means to lead the Library of Congress—which, by the way, isn't only FOR Congress. Plus: lessons she learned from storytime, how she organizes her home library, and the first time she ever saw herself reflected in a book.


Reading Stonewall

It's the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and Jason Baumann—NYPL curator and Grand Marquessa of All Things Stonewall—joins Gwen and Frank to discuss the Library's new anthology about the uprising and its role in the LGBTQ civil rights movement. And then he walks us through some yoga breathing, and it's legit. Book Recommendations The Stonewall Reader in our catalog and the NYPL shop Love and Resistance: Out of the Closet Into the Stonewall Era in our catalog and the NYPL...


Call Your Librarian

Aminatou Sow, writer and co-host of the popular podcast "Call Your Girlfriend," talks with Gwen and Frank about poetry, the mental treadmill of the Internet, and her childhood best friend: the librarian. Book Recommendations Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry Magical Negro by Morgan Parker If They Come for Us by Fatimah Ashgar Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks Also mentioned: Microsoft Encarta...


Heartland, Homeland

What makes a place home? Frank follows a book rec from a listener and discovers a powerful memoir that makes him rethink the American dream. Gwen's book is a new fairytale retelling... sort of... that involves feudalism and magical gingerbread and... well, maybe you should just have a listen. Book Recommendations Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi Also mentioned: The recent Pulitzer...


Are you – Nobody – too?

Our Poetry Bonanza has arrived! In this episode --titled to pay homage to Frank's favorite Emily Dickinson stanza-- he and Gwen get to read and hear poetry recommendations from their listeners. Listener Poetry Recommendations: "My Mother Says I am Sickening" in The New Kid On the Block: Poems by Jack Prelutsky “Good Hot Dogs” by Sandra Cisneros in A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poems for Children by Caroline Kennedy "Why I Am Not a Good Kisser" in Selected Poem by Mary Ruefle "Kal"...


Breaking the Mold

Gwen and Frank meet a handful of characters who aren't bothered by what other people think. Plus: the pros and cons of reading reviews, the extra voice in translations, and the no-person's-land between picture books and middle-grade fiction. Book Recommendations: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori Sarah Berman's Closet by Maira Kalman The Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, art by LeUyen Pham Also...


Reading (or Not) as a New Parent

How on earth can you read when you have a newborn? Stephanie Anderson—a new mom and a professional book selector for NYPL and the Brooklyn Public Library—comes to talk about the shifting habits of a reader with a new baby. Plus: Frank channels Supernanny! Again. Book Recommendations: Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy by Angela Garbes Cesearian Section: An American History of Risk, Technology and Consequence by Jaqueline H. Wolf The board...


The Gods Are Alright. But the Humans...

Greek mythology and contemporary fiction join forces this week! Gwen and Frank read two books that make readers ask, what would you do—or, what should you do? Book Recommendations: Golden Child by Claire Adam Circe by Madeline Miller The audiobook of Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North by Blair Braverman Also mentioned: A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul Mythology by Edith Hamilton The Odyssey , translated by Emily Wilson On...


Dance Your Books Off

Okay, what's the deal with librarians and musical theater? This week's guest, newly minted children's librarian Kevin Kelley, traces his origin story back to the stage. He also discusses kids' books about the queer experience and offers up a brand-new first for the guessing game. Book Recommendations: New Kid by Jerry Craft The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg Non-Book Recommendations: "The Prom," a musical now playing on Broadway (LOTS of dancing!) Have a laugh with the...


Bonus Episode - Frankenstein: Our Dark Mirror

Over 200 years ago, a teenage girl started a literary legacy that continues to haunt us today. Why do we still keep telling this story and how does it reflect our darkest fears? The New York Public Library's curators join monster theory scholars and best-selling authors to trace the history of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley’s classic. This special podcast episode unpacks the genius of Shelley’s novel, its origins and evolution—from the British Romantics to Black Lives Matter—to uncover...


Playing the Long Game with Lorde and Parker

Audre Lorde and Pat Parker were close friends who fought fiercely for social justice. In this episode, Frank and Gwen discuss a powerful book of letters between the two Black feminist poets. Book Recommendation Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989, ed. by Julie Ensure More by Audre Lorde and Pat Parker: The Complete Works of Pat Parker, ed. by Julie Enszer Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde includes the poem...