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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.








Cozy Intellectualism and/or Baby Marginalia

We all love libraries, but what books do you just NEED to own? Frank coins a new genre, Gwen falls for a book about mistakes, and they both share some deep thoughts about the oxford comma. This Week’s Books: The Grammarians by Cathleen Shine The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames Dreyer's English : An Utterly correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer


Life-Changing Lessons

Book synergy abounds with two titles that explore the sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes supernatural relationship between parents and children. Plus, a listener question about "leisure reading" proves to be more complicated than it first seems. Books Discussed: Lanny by Max Porter A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother by Rachel Cusk


Books on the Subway

This week it's Frank and Gwen's turn in the hot seat. They recently joined the Books on the Subway Podcast with Hollie and Rosy for a discussion about all things books and libraries, and we're bringing you that episode this week. Make sure to check them out at


Dragons and Robots

A look at how some libraries reflect the communities they're a part of through their special collections. Plus, Gwen's son weighs in on a children's book with some very un-scary dragons and Frank dives into some mind-bending stories about alternate realities and the nature of consciousness. This weeks titles: Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West Exhalation by Ted Chiang


Bunny, I Love You!

Frank and Gwen do a deep dive into their summer reading pick, Mona Awad's new novel, Bunny—a dark satirical take on female friendship, loneliness, desire, and creative writing MFA programs. Alert: spoilers! tons of 'em! Tell us what everybody's talking about in your world of books and libraries! Suggest Hot Topix(TM) by email or voice memo to podcasts[at] or call 507-NYPL-LIB.


The Dog-Eared Days of Summer

Do you dog-ear? Use bookmarks or sticky notes? Write notes in margins? Or do you—heaven forbid—underline? We delve deep into the ethical implications of leaving your mark on library books. Plus: two new summer reads and one musical cue. Suggest Hot Topix(TM) or tell us what you think about summer reading! Email podcasts[at] or call 507-NYPL-LIB.


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" in...