Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Writing Life Winter 2012

I'm really excited about the Winter 2012 programming for The Writing Life at The New York Society Library. The January events have already been announced to the membership in the e-newsletter that came out this week, but I thought I'd give the faithful blog readers a heads up on the rest...Don't forget to register, because spaces are limited.

The A-B-C's of E-Book Publishing
with: John Snyder, author of Hill of Beans; Joshua Tallent (Founder and CEO of eBook Architects); and bestselling author Parnell Hall.
January 10 at 10am, Members' Room
Free of charge. For Library members only.

Literary Magazine Salon
hosted by Adam Kirsch
January 18 at 6:30pm, Members' Room
$10. Open to the Public. Nonmembers can register by calling or emailing Events office at 212-288-6900 x230 or
Celebrate the literary magazine at our third annual Salon, featuring food and wine, conversation, visual presentations, and readings. Editors of The Paris Review and Triple Canopy will discuss thoughts on literature old and new, on the page and on the Web.

Blurb is a Verb! Adventures (and Misadventures) in Book Publicity
February 14 at 10am, Whitridge Room
Free of charge. For Library members only.
Sarah Pinneo is the author of the popular blog Blurb is a Verb!, in which she shares true (and sometimes terrible) stories of book publicity gone right (and wrong). In this talk, the self-described publishing nerd will reveal what she's learned about online book publicity, book bloggers, social media, bookstore events, working with your in-house publicist, and how to find your audience.

Close Reading: The Craft of Reading Fiction Like a Writer
with: Dylan Landis
March 13 at 10am, Whitridge Room
Free of charge. For Library members only.
In this session we'll take the first chapter of Daniel Woodrell's novel Winter's Bone, read it aloud one sentence or paragraph at a time, and hold each part up to the light. Close reading is a slow, surprisingly exciting process. It reveals how a writer does the critical jobs of storytelling: creates conflict, ramps up tension, reveals and deepens character, establishes place and time, anchors a world in sensory detail, and moves the story forward. Through close reading we refine our ability to learn, as writers, the craft of fiction from the authors we admire.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Notes on: Organizing Your Notes

Thanks to all the member writers who attended the Library's Writing Life discussion Organizing Your Notes on Tuesday, Dec 13. The event was structured as an audience forum, moderated by biographer Gayle Feldman, whose current project (a biography of Bennet Cerf, a man of many lives) would sorely test the limits of patience of even the most organized among us.

The discussion revealed one observable fact: the majority of the member writers in the audience (Gayle included) do not use organizing software and actually do not use many electronic tools in organizing research notes. Those of you that do use organizing software, please weigh in in the comments section below!

Gayle Describes Her Own Project to Set up the Discussion
As she sees it, there are 2 separate organizing challenges:
1) the "stuff" itself - papers, archival materials, photos, etc.
2) how to have the material available to use it for writing

Gayle's own research "stuff" includes:
1) Physical Files - these are papers that she has organized in three ways: People, Thematic, and Chronological. Cross-referencing of paper files is ESSENTIAL.
2) 7 dedicated Bookcase Shelves - organized thematically and chronologically
3) Computer Files - these mirror the paper files in some respects
4) Archive Files - Archival collections in libraries often have finding aids online; some archival libraries are organized better than others. Gayle keeps physical file folders for each archive and since many will let you photograph materials, she does, prints them at home, and adds slips of paper with notations on the archive (eg. "Faulkner Box 20, UVA")
5) Interviews - Gayle's project involves over 200 interviews. She started the project 9 years ago using mini discs, which are now unfortunately obsolete. She does not transcribe interviews as it takes too long. Instead, she's developed her own form of shorthand, and she records the interviews in steno notebooks. An interview index (name, date, a few sentences of the important info or quotes) helps her to find the stuff later.

What Gayle does with the "stuff":
She has a big, general outline
- Each decade of her subject's life is a section
- Within each section are individual chapters
- She creates an outline for each section, sub-divides the section, culls all the "stuff" from filing cabinets and the computer files and puts it into files. Also uses post it notes on papers in files to flag things according to the outline. Once it's written, she pulls off the post it notes.
- Each chapter has a title
- Each chapter also has a footer indicating its place in the grand outline (eg. "Part 4, Chapter 6, Draft 12_2011)

The Discussion
Q (to Gayle): When do you get rid of drafts? A: She keeps them all.

Q (to Gayle): How do you manage transitions in the work and know when you've used material or mentioned various people, events, etc? A: Use search/find in the document

Q: How to manage bibliographies? One audience member suggested, which allows you to register, create lists, and export bibliographies and citations in various formats. Other suggestions were citation software like the fee-based EndNote and the free Zotero. Check out Zotero in the notes from the tech class on Citations Made Simple that one of our librarians taught last year.

Q (to Gayle): Do you ever convert the paper research you've acquired to electronic? A: No, there's basically too much photocopied correspondence. Audience members weighed in to suggest easy ways to digitize various files and formats so it can be used electronically. Adobe Acrobat can be expensive, but you can then run optical character recognition (OCR) on the output to make the content searchable. Paper Port software from Nuance was reported to be cheaper than Acrobat. Scanning can be quick and easy too. One audience member recommended her Fujitsu Scan Snap S1300 which is relatively inexpensive and can scan 8-10 pages at a time. It's also possible to purchase attachments for feeding slides for scanning.

Q: Perhaps off the topic for writers, specifically, but how would the audience suggest organizing personal papers? A: Again, much like when you're writing, you should think about the "stuff" and how you'll be using the "stuff". Audience suggested putting some order to it possibly by topic, and then by chronology.

Q: Any suggestions for software to cross-reference material? Writer has been using FileMaker Pro, which she finds difficult to use. Audience did not have alternate suggestions.

Q: Dictation software? A: Many audience members reported having great experiences using the latest edition of Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is very accurate. Another member suggested the add on software Utter Command, a speech command system that works with Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Other audience members recommended OneNote, which according to the Microsoft website is a "note-taking and information-management program where you can capture ideas and information in electronic form".

Please continue to inform the discussion by adding your own comments and suggestions!

These notes were taken with plain old pen and paper and were therefore difficult to decipher and interpret 5 days later. {sigh}

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Books at the Bar, Thursday, Dec 1

Once again directing your attention to this terrific author series at The New York City Bar Association. Books at the Bar chair (and NY State judge AND NYSL member) Diane Kiesel says:

"Washington, DC author John A. Farrell, who will speak about his new biography, Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned. If you think there is nothing new to say about old Clarence, you will learn you are quite wrong. The Farrell book is full of interesting, entertaining surprises about this legal icon."

The program begins at 6 PM with a wine and cheese reception (!) for the author, followed by a book talk, question and answer period, book sale and signing.

Thursday, Dec 1, 6pm
The City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street (betw 5th and 6th avenues)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Crime Scene!

Something to plan for next week:
It's the 8th Annual Festival of New Literature from Europe and this year's literary series theme is Crime Scene. There are readings, panels, and films scheduled from Nov 15 - Nov 20, but there's one in particular that you should check out.

NYSL member B.J. Rahn (Profesor of English at Hunter College and a scholar of crime fiction) will be moderating the panel The Shifting Scene at The Center for Fiction on Nov 16 at 6:30pm.

8th Annual Festival
New Literature From Europe
New York, Nov 15-20,2011
Click here for details

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Invitation from the Colonial Dames

A.R. Gurney's The Dining Room
A Reading Benefiting the Colonial Dames Museum House
Wednesday, November 2

Cocktails and Hors D'oeuvres 6:00 p.m.; Reading 7:00 p.m.
215 East 71st Street (2nd/3rd Aves.)
Informal tours of museum available
$75 or two for $125; Call 212-744-3572 to reserve

Join New York Society Library member and past presenter Bill Connington at a benefit reading of The Dining Room by beloved American playwright A.R. Gurney. The play is a comedy of manners about white European culture in 20th-century America. The reading also stars TV/Broadway performers Barbara Walsh (Company, Falsettos), Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Avenue Q), Edoardo Ballerini (Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos), David M. Lutken (Inherit the Wind), and Annmarie Benedict (Robeson).

The evening benefits the restoration of the dining room at Van Cortlandt House in the Bronx, historically important as the headquarters of General George Washington in the Battle of White Plains.

For more information on the Colonial Dames, click here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Center for Fiction's New Crime Writing Academy

Calling all aspiring crime writers! The Center for Fiction (one of the 3 membership libraries along with us here in NYC) has just announced a new program dedicated to the art of crime writing. Full press release below:

New York, October 14, 2011 -- The Center for Fiction, founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library, has announced the February 2012 debut of The Crime Fiction Academy, the first ongoing, rigorous program exclusively dedicated to crime writing in all its forms. Students accepted into the program will be taught by successful practitioners of the genre, including workshop leaders and master teachers Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Lee Child, Thomas H. Cook, Linda Fairstein, Susan Isaacs, Dennis Lehane, Laura Lippman, Joyce Carol Oates, SJ Rozan, Jonathan Santlofer, Karin Slaughter and more. Crime fiction writer and CFA workshop leader Megan Abbott says, "Crime fiction doesn't just engage and entertain. It tells us volumes about the world we live in, and has helped form the foundation of American literature and storytelling. I am honored to be a part of a program that celebrates crime fiction and, more importantly, will serve as a launching pad for the next generation of crime writers and a vital incubator for hundreds of rich and exciting novels to come." Classes will take place in The Center’s 8-story building at 17 E. 47th Street in Manhattan.

CFA’s challenging and thoroughly engaging curriculum will include:
• a 14-week writing workshop
• a monthly Master Class
• a crime fiction reading seminar
• special lectures and discussions with editors, agents and distinguished persons from the world of crime fiction and publishing
• 24-hour access to the Center for Fiction’s Writers Studio
• Use of the extensive circulating collection (the Center for Fiction recently won a Raven Award for their amazing in-depth crime fiction collection)
• Free admission to all Center for Fiction events.

CFA Program Director and crime fiction writer Jonathan Santlofer says, “It was time for someone, someplace to take crime fiction seriously enough to create an in-depth, ongoing program devoted exclusively to the genre. And what better place then New York’s own Center for Fiction, founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library, an institution that has been dedicated to writers and readers for almost 200 years. A chance to hone one’s writing skills with successfully published crime fiction authors, to shape that novel or story you’ve been thinking about, working on, but just couldn’t finish, in one of New York City’s most intimate and nurturing environments — what more could any writer ask for?”

All classes, workshops, and lectures will take place in the evening. Students may enroll for one term, but a year-long commitment is suggested to take full advantage of the program. Admission is limited and competitive and is based on work samples. CFA will be accepting applications, beginning in November 2011 for the term beginning in February 2012. Click here for details.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Paul Werner Brooklyn Book Festival

Member Paul Werner will present and discuss his recent book, The Red Museum: Art, Economics and the Ends of Capital.

Brooklyn Book Festival
Sunday, September 18, 2011, 10am - 6pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Member C.S. Hanson's new play CHARLES WINN SPEAKS opens in previews tonight at the Cherry Lane Studio Theater.

Previews: Sept. 15 and 16.
Opening night: Sat., Sept. 17.
Closing night: Sat., Oct. 1.

By C.S. Hanson

Directed by Lynn M. Thomson
Starring Christopher Kipiniak and Lindsey Gates

September 17 – October 1, 2011

Cherry Lane Studio Theatre
38 Commerce Street
New York City -- in the West Village

Tickets: $18. Call Telecharge: 212-239-6200 or
buy tickets online

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Books at the Bar features Nina Burleigh

On Thursday, September 15, Nina Burleigh will be the first guest of the Books at the Bar's new season, discussing her just-published, The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox.

American college student Amanda Knox thought she would spend a year abroad studying in picturesque Perugia. Instead, she may spend the rest of her life in an Italian prison for the gruesome murder of her roommate. But did she do it? See what Nina has to say as she explores the lurid case in her latest true-crime book and also delves into the realities and myths of Italian life, culture and the criminal justice system.

The program begins at 6pm with a wine and cheese reception for the author and is followed by a book discussion and question and answer session. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. The evening is free, fun and all are welcome.

Nina Burleigh, author of The Fatal Gift of Beauty

Books at the Bar
Thursday, Sept 15, 6pm
New York City Bar Association

42 West 44th Street (between 5th/6th Aves)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Writing Groups this Week

Interested Library members should contact me to inquire about space availability.

Monday, September 12
11am - 1pm Children's/Young Adult Writing Group

3pm - 4:45pm Non-Fiction Writing Group

Thursday, September 15
10am - 12pm Memoir Writing Group 2

All groups meet in the Whitridge Room.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekend Hours Begin Tomorrow

The Library weekend hours resume tomorrow. Come visit us and take our minds off the fact that our beach-going days are officially over.

Now Open:
Saturdays 9am - 5pm
Sundays 1pm - 5pm

Friday, September 2, 2011

Help a Small Town NY Library

Hurricane Irene may be just a memory to most New York City residents now - the hurricane that wasn't - but for many others not too far away, the storm was a tragedy.

The Wells Memorial Library, in the tiny Adirondacks town of Upper Jay, was devastated by Hurricane Irene. All but a few of their Children's Library collection has been lost to the extraordinary flooding they experienced.

For more information and ways to help rebuild their Children's collection, see here.

Closed for Labor Day

Just a reminder that The New York Society Library will be closed Monday, September 5 for Labor Day.

We're open till 5pm today (Friday, Sept 2) so come on in and stock up for your weekend reading!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Poets Meeting on Tuesday

Poets writing group will be meeting Tuesday, August 23, from 4:30pm - 6:30pm in the Whitridge Room.

Library members only.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Writing Groups This Week

Memoir Group
Monday, August 15, 2:30pm - 4:30pm, Whitridge Room

This the last meeting of the full group. In September, interested memoir writing members will be split into 2 groups. If you are not sure which group you've been assigned, please contact me.

Fiction Group 1
Tuesday, August 16, 5pm - 6:45pm, Whitridge Room

Please note that NYSL writing groups are open to Library members only.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How Do You Generate Buzz for the Debut & Mid-List Titles?

Many of you will remember Elisabeth Weed, founder of Weed Literary, from The Writing Life talk we held this past January on Finding a Literary Agent*. In addition to her daily work, Elisabeth also manages to find time to write a very informative blog about the publishing business.

In her most recent post, she talks to Lucinda Blumenfeld, an agent who also works as an outside publicist and marketing professional, about the challenges of raising awareness for debut and mid-list titles.

Lucinda’s message is that word of mouth (she calls it “WOM”) is crucial, and appears to be the catalyst for the most popular books. We’ve talked about it before, in a number of The Writing Life programs, how authors must do more for themselves and must start much earlier in the process. Lucinda worked with NYSL member writer Gretchen Rubin on publicity for her wildly successful The Happiness Project. In our April 2010 talk Social Networking for Writers, just after publication of her book (and its debut on the NYT Bestseller List), Gretchen regaled (and slightly terrified) our member writers with the story of what it takes to build that word of mouth. It’s hard work. It takes time, effort, and dedication. But, according to Lucinda, it can also be gratifying for authors when their “fangelists” start tweeting and blogging the book.

She’s upfront about the fact that authors need to be realistic. You’re probably not going to get the front page of the New York Times Book Review or a tv spot, so look for non-traditional routes like writing an op-ed or a trend piece. Find outlets where you can have a larger impact, a place where you can get a larger conversation started which will be the hook that gets readers back to your book.

So get to it. Now’s the time! (Lucinda suggests getting started 6-8 months before publication.) Read the full interview with Lucinda in The Weekly Weeder.

*for recaps of The Writing Life talk Finding A Literary Agent, click here, here, and here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stacy Schiff, PEN Literary Award Winner

Congratulations to member Stacy Schiff , for winning the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography for her blockbuster latest Cleopatra: A Life!

...and congratulations to NYSL friend Brigid Hughes for winning the PEN/Nora Magid Award, given to a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits. Our very first literary magazine salon featured Brigid and A Public Space , so we're thrilled for her.

For more 2011 PEN Literary Award winners, click here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Are You On the Galley Cat List?

Galley Cat, the publishing blog site, has created a list of authors willing to travel to book clubs (or visit via video or phone chat).

Book clubs can be a great way to create some buzz and build an audience, and writers often find themselves booked for return engagements if a club has enjoyed a visit. Publishers do have lists of book clubs but here's another way for the clubs to find you. Galley Cat has created an Authors Who Visit Book Clubs directory in Google Docs.

Check it out here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

WOOPS! Correction Non-fiction Writers Group TOMORROW

WOOPS! I made a big mistake. The Library's Non-fiction Writers Group will actually meet TOMORROW. (I previously inaccurately wrote they were meeting today; the August meeting of the group is not being held on their regularly scheduled day.) Sorry for any confusion.

Tuesday, August 9, 3pm - 4:45pm
Whitridge Room

*open to NYSL members only

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This Won't Take But a Minute of Your Time!

August. The writing life slows down. It's the time of year agents and publishers shut down for a little R&R. The Library thins out as the members leave for the country (and I don't mean Brooklyn). Maybe you're vacationing, maybe you're taking a little break from writing. But I'm here, planning The Writing Life programming for Fall and beyond and I'd love to know what you think about the following topics. Could you help me out by leaving a comment below or better yet, send me a postcard! from whatever fabulous place you're at. Oh, and I am ALWAYS open to suggestions.

Organizing your work - tips, tricks, and tools for keeping your notes in line

Using the collections at NYPL - NYPL librarians talk about the collections and resources available to scholars and writers

Social Networking for Writers Redux - we had a very popular program in the Spring 2010, but it might be time for a refresher

Getting Published WITHOUT an Agent

Overcoming Writer's Block - strategies and stories

Finding and Applying for Grants and Prizes

Ebook Basics - publishing and publicizing your book for the ebook market

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Invitation for NYSL Members: Pete Hamill at MCNY TONIGHT

The Museum of the City of New York is once again extending a special invitation to members of The New York Society Library for a program featuring acclaimed author Pete Hamill.

Tuesday, August 2 at 6:30 PM
Pete Hamill, Tabloid City

The New York Times writes that Pete Hamill, in his latest novel, Tabloid City (Little, Brown & Company, 2011), “captures the grit and smell and pulse of Gotham’s sidewalks and subways.” In 50 years of newspaper reporting, 10 novels, and two collections of short stories Hamill has traced the ever-changing landscape of the city. Learn about the award-winning writer’s unique perspective on New York as he discusses Tabloid City, which chronicles the 24 hours following the death of a wealthy Greenwich Village socialite and her secretary.

Reservations required: 917-492-3395 or email
$6 museum members; $8 seniors and students; $12 non-members
$6 when you mention The New York Society Library

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY 10029

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Non-fiction from NYSL Members

It's been a busy publishing season for NYSL member writers. There's something here for every kind of reader. {For a recap of member writers's fiction offerings, see my previous post.}

I'd definitely want Ina Caro to be my guide if I were traveling through France. In Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train, she takes readers on 25 enchanting and informative one-day journeys from Paris.

In the travel narrative The Other Side of the Mirror: An American Travels through Syria, Brooke Allen provides a refreshing alternate view of a country very much in the news lately.

Erica Jong is definitely not done being provocative. She's compiled powerful essays and stories about women's sexual experiences in her latest, Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex . Added bonus: the book also features essays by a number of other NYSL members, Daphne Merkin, Susan Cheever, and Molly Jong-Fast.

For all you Tony Bennett fans, David Evanier's All the Things You Are: The Life of Tony Bennett should hit just the right note (ok, bad pun).

Careful blog readers (hello, are you out there?) will note that Ronald De Feo has not one, but two books out this summer. His non-fiction entry is At the Margins: A reader's notes on the forgotten, the little read and the under-appreciated (Aug 22).

Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family – A Test of Will and Faith in World War I is Louisa Thomas's compelling story about her great-grandfather Norman Thomas, a six-time Presidential candidate and a conscientious objector, and his three brothers.

Beverly Behan has written a primer for the CEO in Great Companies Deserve Great Boards: A CEO's Guide to the Boardroom.

Mark Cannizzaro may not technically be a Library member, but he is married to yours truly, and since the football season is back on...New York Jets: The Complete Illustrated History (Aug 19) is the perfect book for the Jets fan in your life. Trust me.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Fiction from NYSL Members

The dog days of summer are here indeed. I've compiled a list of new fiction from some of the Library's own member writers that would be perfect for a trip to the beach, the country cottage, or simply to the couch in your air conditioned apartment....


Two veteran journalists mine their rich experiences for a couple of debuts featuring high adventure in exotic locales. The Explorer's Code is from award winning CNN reporter Kitty Pilgrim, who sends her brainy oceanographer protagonist around the world in an action packed search for a valuable land deed. Nina Darnton's An African Affair also features a feisty heroine in a tale ripe with journalistic intrigue, political corruption, and romance.

If you like your globe trotting hit men with a passion for art and architecture, check out Ronald DeFeo's forthcoming Calling Mr. King (August 30).

From screenwriter (The Boys from Brazil, Fort Apache: The Bronx) and novelist Heywood Gould comes the fast paced, cinema style thriller The Serial Killer’s Daughter.


Gregory Murphy's atmospheric debut Incognito is a literary mystery set during the Gilded Age in New York and on Long Island.

Next to Love , the latest from Ellen Feldman, follows the lives of three women before, during, and after WWII. {this one is a particular favorite of mine...I chose it as a staff pick in our summer reading feature in the Summer Newsletter}


In two very different new novels, Manhattan's elite take center stage. Helen Schulman weaves a tale for our time in This Beautiful Life (August 2), exploring the fallout after a teenager sends an explicit video to a fellow student at an exclusive private school.

And The Social-Climber’s Handbook is Molly Jong-Fast 's dark and entertaining comedy about a woman who'll do anything to stay at the top of the social ladder.

Coming up: New non-fiction from NYSL members.

a note to all our fantastic NYSOCLIB member writers: if you've written a new book or have upcoming book talks or other appearances around the area, let me know! I'd love to share them with the rest of our membership.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Library discards as art

Those of you that know our newest Children's Librarian, Julia Weist, also know that she's an amazing artist (her impressive resume includes an art degree from Cooper Union).

My sincerest apologies for the late notice, but you've got 2 days to get to the Gasser/Grunert gallery to see the current exhibition Against the Way Things Go , which features Julia's latest mixed media installation. It's a fascinating study of library books as cultural objects. As librarians, we love books. Some, like Julia, also write books. And many of us, end up {almost always reluctantly} weeding and discarding them as well. Check out the exhibit before it's gone. And yes, some of those discards did come from NYSL.

Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Inc.
524 West 19th Street
Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm and by appointment

Monday, July 18, 2011

Writing Groups this Week

All group meeting are held in the Whitridge Room. Library members only.
For questions, please contact me!

Memoir Group
TODAY, Monday, July 18, 2:30pm - 4:45pm

Fiction Group I
Tuesday, July 19, 5pm - 6:45pm

Fiction Group II
Wednesday, July 20, 11am - 1pm
Please note this is the last meeting for Group II for the Summer. Group resumes in September (Tues, Sept 27, 11am; note this date is not the regularly scheduled day due to the Jewish holidays.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ina Caro at B&N 82nd Street tonight

NYSL member Ina Caro will present her latest book Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train, which guides you through a history of France in twenty five train trips departing from Paris. Publishers Weekly calls it a "charming, rapturous guide to la Belle France that tells you where to go-and why."

Monday, July 11, 7pm
Barnes & Noble, 2289 Broadway (at 82nd St)
Event info

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Erica Jong & Molly Jong-Fast at Bookhampton Tonight

Those of you that are lucky enough to be in the Hamptons this week (that would NOT include me, but whatever) should head over to BookHampton tonight to hear mother/daughter (and NYSL members) Erica Jong and Molly Jong-Fast read from the new anthology Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex.

Thursday, July 7, 8pm
41 Main St, East Hampton, NY
event info

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Check out a Library Netbook today!

Starting today, you can check out one of the Library's new netbooks for in library use. The netbooks automatically pair with our wireless internet to let you use e-mail, do research, write, or do most Windows or browser-based activities.

Members may check out netbooks (one per membership) at the Circulation Desk for one-day use in the Library. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis, not by reservation, and must be returned the same day.

Anything created, downloaded or saved on the netbook will be wiped out when it shuts down--guaranteeing privacy but also requiring you to save your own content online or on a flash drive. 2GB flash drives are available for purchase at the Circulation Desk for $10.

For full details on laptop checkout and guidelines, see the policy document here or ask at the Circulation Desk.

Happy computing!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July weekend! As a reminder, the Library will be closed on Monday, July 4.

This weekend, I have an aggressive reading plan in place. The vision I have for my holiday weekend includes not much more than a lounge chair, a bunch of books (and technology) and some frosty beverages.

All of my holds come at the same time (sound familiar?) So, in making the excruciating decision about what stays and what goes, Kate Christensen's The Astral made the cut. I got hooked after reading her Pen/Faulkner award winning The Great Man, and then went on a Christensen reading spree.

And what better time than a holiday weekend to revisit David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again? If the title essay is any indication (which I've previously read), I am really going to enjoy the rest of them.

On my Nook, I'm in the middle of NYSOCLIB member writer Katharine Davis's atmospheric Capturing Paris, which I started reading while on vacation in Tuscany. I like to think I'll be enjoying her forthcoming novel, which is set in Tuscany, on a visit to Paris.

I also have a few weeks worth of The New Yorker on my Nook to catch up on too. {I'm a relatively late bloomer to the whole smartphone scene, but I recently got an iPhone and downloaded the Nook app. Anyone know why I can see all my ebooks but not my beloved New Yorker on there?}

I suppose there will be a barbeque or two, and some naps. I shall report back on my progress...

What are YOUR plans this weekend?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Writing Groups week of June 20

Writing groups are open to New York Society Library members only.

Monday, June 20, 3pm
Memoir Group - please note that this group is now full. A new group will be forming in the Fall. Details on the new group will be provided in the Fall Events newsletter.

Tuesday, June 21, 5pm
Fiction Group I

Wednesday, June 22, 11am
Fiction Group II

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Call 311 today to support NYC's public libraries

As I've mentioned in other blog posts, New York City's public libraries are again facing staggering budget cuts. Let Mayor Bloomberg know that the programs and services that the New York Public Library, Queens Library, and Brooklyn Public Library provide are crucial to you and the city.

At noon today, Thursday, June 16, call 311 (call 212- 639-9675 if you're outside the city).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thursday: Erica Jong and Molly Jong-Fast read from Sugar in My Bowl

Mother and daughter (and NYSL members) Erica Jong and Molly Jong-Fast read from the new anthology Sugar in my Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex at McNally Jackson Books.

Thursday, June 16, 7pm
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince St

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tuesday: Barnet Schecter at New York Historical Society

NYSL member Barnet Schecter will join Barry Lewis and moderator Harold Holzer for a discussion about the 1863 draft riots.

New York City’s only "Civil War Battle" was the 1863 Draft Riot—a convulsive, racially-motivated street fight for the very soul of Manhattan. Experts provide a frank, no-holds-barred account of the sickening excesses of the bloody struggle, its lasting impact on New York politics, the efforts of the mayor, governor, and President Lincoln himself to quell the frightening disturbance, and what it all meant to the future of New York.

Barnet Schecter is an historian and the author of several books, including The Devil's Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America and George Washington's America: A Biography Through His Maps. Barry Lewis is an architectural historian and the host of a popular series of walking tours on PBS. He currently teaches at Cooper Union Forum and the New York School of Interior Design. Harold Holzer (moderator) is Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and served as co-chair of the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission for nine years. He is the author, co-author, or editor of 41 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era.

Tuesday, June 14, 6:30pm, $20
The New York Historical Society
170 Central Park West

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dolores Rice's Mr. Benn - A Femoir

Member Dolores Rice, artist in residence at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, will be presenting her newest work Mr. Benn - A Femoir: An exploration of life, with one costume change to the next on Monday, June 13.

Emerging from an on-screen world of costumes is an on-stage world into which Dolores Rice steps into multiple costumes as she travels through her semi-fictional life aided by story and song. This is an adaptation of the popular TV series Mr. Benn from 1971. Mr. Benn visits a fancy-dress costume shop where he is invited by the mustachioed, fez-wearing shopkeeper to try on a particular outfit. When he leaves through a magic door at the back of the changing room, he enters a world where he has an adventure before the shopkeeper reappears to lead him back to the changing room, and the story comes to an end. Mr. Benn returns to his normal life, but is left with a small souvenir of his magical adventure. Dolores Rice is a playwright, film-maker and novelist.

Monday, June 13th, 7pm, $10
Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Chambers St.between Greenwich and West Side Highway
For tickets online click here or call 212-220-1460

Monday, June 6, 2011

NYPL's Magathon

Arrange your reading slot at the 24 Hour Read-In to save New York City libraries so you don't miss NYPL's Magathon, also being held this coming weekend.

If you love literary magazines, you gotta be there. This is the 12th year that NYPL and CLMP have hosted this event. In honor of NYPL's centennial, editors will read a favorite selection from their magazine's very first issue.
The Magathon
Saturday, June 11, 4 - 6:30pm

New York Public Library's DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room, 5th Ave. at 42nd St.

On Sunday, June 12, 11am-4pm, load up on discounted lit mags at the Giant Lit Mag Fair!
Housing Works Used Book Café, 126 Crosby Street

It's that time again

It's that time again. Funding for New York City's public libraries is again on the chopping block. We need public libraries now more than ever. Here's how you can help:

Starting at 4pm Saturday, June 11 and running through Sunday, June 12, the advocacy group Save NYC Libraries is hosting another We Will Not Be Shushed 24-hour Read-In on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library's Grand Army Plaza branch. Sign up here to read or just come by to show your support. Over 1,200 people attended last year's read in to support New York City libraries.

Download and print an advocacy letter and bring it by the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue on June 15 between 5 and 7 p.m. Get 25 or more library lovers to sign advocacy letters and you'll receive a free NYPL Centennial book.

If you can't make these events, you can still do your part by writing, calling, or emailing your New York City council member. Do it now. You'll be doing a great service to our great city.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Week of May 23

I am on vacation (arrivaderci, folks!) but here's what's going on this week:

Mon, May 23, 6pm
The popular Books at the Bar lecture series (run by NYSL member Diane Kiesel) is back with their last program for the season: author Daniel Feldman will talk about his latest book with Gerald Benjamin Tales From the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State. If you've ever wondered how in the world things work -- or don't -- in Albany, now is your chance to find out. Wine and cheese reception, reading & discussion, book signing. FREE.
City Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves)

Tues, May 24, 4:30pm
Poets Writing Group {NYSL members only}
Whitridge Room

Wed, May 25, 11am
Fiction Writing Group II {NYSL members only}
Whitridge Room

Fri, May 27 - Thurs, Jun 2, 6:30pm
Screening of NYSL member Michael Bergmann's very funny movie Tied to a Chair. Discounted tickets ($6.50 instead of $13) are available if you email and indicate which day you'd like to attend.
check out the trailer here
Big Cinemas Manhattan, 239 E. 59th St.(betw. 2nd & 3rd Aves)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tracy Quan joins Chester Brown at The Strand Thursday

Member Tracy Quan (Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl) joins author Chester Brown to discuss his latest Paying For It - a comic-strip memoir about being a john.

Thursday, May 12, 7pm
The Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway

Monday, May 9, 2011


About 2 years ago now {my, how time flies}, we held a Writing Life talk called Marketing and Publicity for Writers. It was less a talk than a moderated discussion, and member Ellen Feldman and former book editor/NYSL Circulation Assistant Andrew Corbin led the assembled audience of writers in a spirited give and take about the new realities of book marketing and publicity. The bottom line was unanimous: authors are pretty much on their own. Member writers shared lots of terrifically creative ideas that day, as well as plenty of sad (and unfortunately, humiliating) stories about self promotion.

One of the audience members that day was member Sarah Pinneo. Sarah has since left New York for greener pastures (or more literally, White Mountains) but she has continued her quest for the holy grail of book publicity.

Her new blog Blurb is a Verb is subtitled "adventures (+ misadventures!) in book publicity". HuffPo has already picked up one of her posts and it seems clear that she's going to get a lot of publicity about ...publicity. She wants to hear your stories. Plenty of other writers will too.

p.s. we miss you, Sarah...

Adam Gopnik & Cathleen Schine at MCNY Tuesday

The Museum of the City of New York is generously offering a member's discount to New York Society Library members for tomorrow's event:

Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 pm
Cathleen Schine and Adam Gopnik
In Conversation

In the essay “Place in Fiction,” Eudora Welty posited that “Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable as art, if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else.” Join two quintessentially New York writers, best-selling novelist Cathleen Schine, author of The Three Weissmanns of Westport (Picador, 2011), a humorous novel about three Upper West Side women who move to a cottage in Westport to re-group, and Adam Gopnik, columnist for The New Yorker and author of Through the Children’s Gate: A Home in New York (Vintage, 2007), a collection of essays about life in New York since 2000, for a conversation about the role place has played in their work.

Reservations required: 917-492-3395 or e-mail
$6 museum members; $8 seniors and students; $12 non-members
$6 when you mention the New York Society Library

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY 10029

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meg Wolitzer TONIGHT

Member Meg Wolitzer, will discuss and sign her latest novel The Uncoupling tonight at Stony Brook Manhattan.

More info on Meg's website.

Monday, May 2, 7pm
Stony Brook Manhattan
101-113 East 27th Street, 3rd Floor

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Conversation about Character

This past Wednesday, the authors (and, we're proud to say, also NYSL members) Meg Wolitzer and Elizabeth Strout got together in our Members' Room for a conversation about character. The room was filled with writers - when I saw the attendance list, I believe I blurted out to Sara, NYSL's Events Coordinator, "these are MY people!!!"

I was thinking about blogging about the event, but I don't need to. Member writer Sidney Stark has done it for me, and far better than I could have. Read her impressions of the evening on her blog, The Unblocked Writer...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jan C. Grossman at NYPL 96th Street

Member poet Jan C. Grossman will be reading from a manuscript in progress this Saturday at The New York Public Library's 96th Street branch.

Jan has been instrumental in the success of our own writing groups here at The New York Society Library. She facilitates the robust members only Poets Writing Group, which meets the 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm.

Come on out and support Jan this weekend!
Poetry Reading by Jan C. Grossman
Saturday, April 30, 2pm
96th Street Library, NYPL


Monday, April 25, 2011

Time's Most Influential

The 2011 TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world is out, and as The New Yorker points out, there are, sadly, only 4 writers on the list.

At least one of those 4 is one of our own:
NYSL member Jonathan Franzen

Videos, a reading, food & wine, and 2 great magazines

So, are you sick of me mentioning the Library's 2nd annual Literary Magazine Salon that's coming up this Thursday? Please indulge me, because I am really, really excited about it! And you should be too. It's a critic's pick this week in Time Out New York and featured in The Word in New York Magazine.

The arts & culture magazine BOMB is marking its 30th anniversary this year (The New York Times reported on their benefit gala last week in words and pictures) and they will be continuing the party this week at our salon. Paul Morris, BOMB's General Manager of Digital Media & Marketing will take us on an audiovisual tour of the magazine's illustrious history.

And then there's the upstart, 1-year old Electric Literature. Co-publisher and Editor-in-Chief Andy Hunter will be screening some short films inspired by work by Michael Cunningham and others and will be presenting author Nathan Englander, who will be reading from a new story to be published in the magazine's forthcoming issue #6.

We'll have food and wine and plenty of time to chat up our guests and pick up some current and back issues of the magazines. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 28, 6:30pm
$10; Advance registration

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's a Busy Week: April 25 - 29

Next week is a busy one at the library....

Monday, April 25, 10am - 12:00pm
Children's/YA Writers Group {members only; Whitridge Room}

Tuesday, April 26, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Poets Group {members only; Whitridge Room}

Wednesday, April 27
11am - 1pm Fiction Writers Group II {members only; Whitridge Room}

6:30pm Meg Wolitzer and Elizabeth Strout: A Conversation about Character and Contemporary Fiction {Members' Room; this event is FULLY REGISTERED}

Thursday, April 28, 6:30pm
A Literary Magazine Salon featuring BOMB and Electric Literature
{Members' Room}
Join us for food, wine, conversation, readings, video, and more celebrating two amazing literary magazines.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Week Ahead: April 18 - 22

A few writing group meetings, a few tech classes of note...Open to NYSL members only. All programs are held in the Whitridge Room.

Monday, April 18, 3pm - 4:45pm
Memoir Writers Group
Please be aware that this group is now at capacity. Interested new members are welcome to sit in and observe at this time; a new group will be forming in the Fall.

Tuesday, April 19, 5pm - 6:45pm
Fiction Writers Group I

Wednesday, April 20
10am - 11:30am Tech Workshop: Etsy {taught by Peri Pignetti}
2pm - 3:30pm Tech Workshop: JStor/Project MUSE {taught by yours truly}
A little space still available for both. Register here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This Just In! Nathan Englander coming to NYSL!

Exciting news this morning!

Nathan Englander, author of The Ministry of Special Cases and For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, has joined the program for our Literary Magazine Salon on April 28.

NYSL's Literary Magazine Salon features two amazing publications: the 1-year old Electric Literatureand the 30 year old BOMB magazine. Nathan will be reading from work to be published in EL's 6th issue.

Literary Magazine Salon
Thurs, April 28, 6:30pm

readings, food & wine, conversation!
$10 with advance registration
members register here
non-members please call or email our Events office:
212-288-6900 or
The New York Society Library
53 E. 79th Street

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Books at the Bar, Thurs, April 14

I've written about this book talk series before. NYSL member and NY State Court Judge Diane Kiesel is the chair of Books at the Bar, a wonderful author lecture series that is held in the beautiful New York City Bar Association building.

Author Michael Greenburg will speak about his new book The Mad Bomber of New York: The Extraordinary True Story of the Manhunt that Paralyzed a City. The book chronicles the story of the disgruntled Con Edison employee who placed bombs around New York City landmarks in the 1950s.

The talk begins with a wine and cheese reception at 6 PM.

Thursday, April 14
The New York City Bar

42 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Literary Journals are thriving, have you heard?

Literary magazines are thriving, according to The New York Times.

Are we supposed to be surprised? We aren't. Our members are passionate readers of literary magazines - and thanks to some generous donors, we recently added subscriptions to jubliat, BOMB, Ploughshares, the Southern Review, and Barrow Street to our collection.

The Library is also proud to sponsor an annual Literary Magazine Salon, this year featuring the 30 year old BOMB magazine and the 1 year old Electric Literature. Both magazines have been using new media to explore different forms and attract audiences. This year's event will be held on April 28 at 6:30pm in the Members' Room. There will be food and wine, readings, short films, and a good dose of great conversation. Join us! Event information is on our website and on Facebook.

There's also a great program TONIGHT at NYPL. And truth be told, Periodically Speaking is the inspiration for The New York Society Library's Lit Mag Salon. As a library student, I interned with Karen Gisonny, the Helen G. Bernstein Librarian for Periodicals and Journals at NYPL, who has been running this literary magazine series along with the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses for a number of years. The experience was eye opening - I discovered magazines I'd never seen before and received a real education in what a labor of love it is for the people who tirelessly work to put out these gems. I highly recommend you attend tonight's event - I think you'll be amazed.
Periodically Speaking: The Little Magazine Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room
The New York Public Library, 5th Ave at 42nd St.

A Literary Magazine Salon featuring BOMB and Electric Literature
Members' Room, The New York Society Library
53 E. 79th Street (between Park and Madison)
Thursday, April 28 at 6:30pm
$10 w/advance registration

Non-members can register by calling or emailing our Events office: 212-288-6900 x230 or

Monday, April 11, 2011

Remembering Matthew Phillips

All of us here at The New York Society Library were saddened to hear that one of our member writers, Matthew Phillips, died last week. Matthew was the son of member and writer Louis Phillips.

A memorial service was held yesterday on the Upper West Side. The news website Mondoweiss, for which Matthew often contributed, published a moving tribute and reported this account of the memorial service.

Matthew's family has set up a fund at the Library in his name. Contributions will be used to buy books for the collection which will include a special memorial bookplate with Matt's name. Contributions can be mailed to The New York Society Library, 53 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075.

The Writing Life this week

Monday, April 11
10 am - 12 pm! Children's/Young Adult writing group starts!
Whitridge Room

3 pm - 4:45 pm Non-fiction writing group
Whitridge Room

Tuesday, April 12
10 am Journaling for Writers with Hilary Thayer Hamann
Whitridge Room
room still available; email me at

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lisa Dierbeck makes longlist for Independent Bookseller's Award

Member Lisa Dierbeck's The Autobiography of Jenny X has been named to the longlist for the first ever Independent Booksellers Choice Award.

The short list will be announced on May 1, and the 5 winners will be announced on May 23 at Housing Works Bookstore.

Congratulations, Lisa! A full list of all of the nominees is here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


We still have some room in next week's daytime Writing Life talk on Journaling for Writers.

Next Tuesday, take a break from your writing and join us for an illuminating discussion about how to use journaling to improve your writing,

Our speaker is Hilary Thayer Hamann, the author of the cult classic novel The Anthropology of an American Girl, which was independently published and later picked up by Spiegel and Grau.

Tuesday, April 12, 10 a.m.
Whitridge Room

register by
e-mailing me at:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Revising Your Dissertation

We've just acquired a book that may be of some interest to our member scholars: Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors.

This book, edited by Beth Luey, is full of great tips and information for turning your dissertation into a book or into articles for commercial publication. Check it out!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meg Wolitzer at Barnes and Noble

NYSL Member Meg Wolitzer will join Mary Gordon in conversation on Tuesday to discuss their respective new novels: Wolitzer's Uncoupling and Gordon's The Love of My Youth.

Tues, April 5 at 7pm
Barnes & Noble
86th & Lexington

Friday, April 1, 2011

Meredith Bergmann at Bowery Poetry Club

This Sunday, head on down to the Bowery Poetry Club for a reading by Rachel Hadas and NYSL member Meredith Bergmann, plus an open mic for metrical poetry.

Meredith will be reading a disobedient sestina and giving a mock-art-historical-murder-mystery slide lecture.

Sunday, April 3, 6:00-7:30 PM
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery(just north of Houston St.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Biographers in the House?

If you're a biographer or historian, you really need to attend The Compleat Biographer Conference. This year, on May 21 at the National Press Club in Washington DC, the Biographers International Organization will be hosting its 2nd annual conference.

It's an amazing chance to network and learn from renowned biographers, agents, editors, publicity directors, librarians, archivists, and social networking experts. Highlights of the daylong conference include sixteen workshops on such topics as organizing your research, funding your work, turning research into narrative, interview techniques, writing the young adult biography as well as an opportunity to participate in Agent Speed Dating {maybe attend the Author/Agent Fit workshop first...}

The luncheon keynote address will be given by none other than NYSL trustee Robert Caro. NYSL Member Stacy Schiff will be interviewed and will sign copies of her latest blockbuster biography Cleopatra at an end of day reception.

May 21, 2011
The National Press Club
Washington DC

Conference Information

Monday, March 28, 2011

Open Mic. Closed Mic.

Ok, so I admit that it really isn't an Open Mic. You can't just show up and expect to read. But the 16 Library members that signed up in advance and read from their newly published or work in progress were terrifically entertaining nonetheless. We had a packed house for the Library's 4th Open Mic (Closed Mic?) last Thursday night.

As I was acting as hostess and emcee, I had the unenviable job of marking time and enforcing the 5 minute reading rule. I may have been as nervous as the writers, my heart racing as the timer I was using clicked down the seconds; as a result, I surely missed some nuances in the readings and I definitely couldn't take down notes as I had hoped. In any case, here's a rundown on the evening...If you were there, please feel free to add your two cents to the comments below.

Someone has to go first and that job fell to Betsy Hulick, a member of the Library's poetry writing group, who read two potent poems from a collection called Shorts {along with one referencing a certain male anatomical part that got a good laugh}.

Fiction was well represented on Thursday. The first of 7 fiction offerings began with E.E. Liberty's forthcoming spy thriller Aquarius. Carol Rial, who runs the Great Reads reading group at NYSL, gave us a taste of Another Manhattan, her novel in progress.

Donald Paneth then stirred up the journalist-heavy crowd with a scathing critique of the current media with his Proposal for a new type of newspaper. The missive prompted a number of readers who followed him to out themselves as journalists to the crowd.

Former WSJ reporter {as we now know} Lauren Lipton, author of The Mating Rituals of the North American WASP, read from her as yet unnamed new novel.

Lauren Lipton

Unusual for our Open Mics, there were only 3 poets on the program. Carlyn Parker mused about a life of traveling and then finding herself widowed with an empty nest in a series of poems from her book Riding the Waves: A Memoir in Poetry and Prose.

Eric Best, another former journalist {San Francisco Examiner}, read the prologue from his moving and emotional memoir Into My Father's Wake. CUNY biology professor Sally G. Hoskins then changed the tone with a dose of canine insight in Doggedly Dreaming, a hilarious, laugh out loud essay from her book in progress called Not As Expected: A Scientist Looks at 21st Century Life.

Sally G. Hoskins is Doggedly Dreaming

A Portuguese Fado singer in Providence, RI is the protagonist in Cathy Torigian's atmospheric novel in progress, Fatima, who we first heard at Open Mic II.

Jack Levin then gave us What Men Don't Know {in only 5 minutes!}, a theater work in progress, which he later confessed he wrote the night before.

The remaining fiction came from Marion Cuba, author of Shanghai Legacy, who read from her latest historical fiction in progress, The Crucible of Vichy and Gary Schlesinger shared a chapter of his novel A Son and A Father, which is currently in revision.

Playwright C.S. Hanson called on friend and actor Vince Gatton to help read a scene from Etruscan Lovers and Other Fools, which was developed at LaMama and just finished a run at The Cornwall Town Hall in Cornwall, CT.

C.S. Hanson and Vince Gatton

From Sydney LeBlanc, we learned that x=3 (or it should, anyway) from the first chapter of her humorous memoir of growing up in Louisiana, Escape Velocity.

As the readings wound down, another journalist, Patricia Lawler Kenet read her short story Jeremy's Dream. And the Library's very own Alan Behler closed the readings with two powerful poems, one an ode to his vanishing hometown, Detroit.

After the readings, member writers and audience members finished up the wine and snacks and mingled and networked. We took a few pictures once we remembered we had a camera. Here's a link to all the snaps.

Thanks again to all our readers and to the rapt audience for a great evening!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Remembering Steven Kroll

All of us at the Library were saddened by the news that member writer Steven Kroll died last week.

Steven Kroll presenting A Neighborhood of Stories with young fans at the Library last April.

Head Librarian Mark Bartlett shared the following remembrance of Steven:

"I was so saddened to hear that author and Library member Steven Kroll died last week.

Steven was a lovely and kind man. We first met two years ago at his good friend Richard Peck's book launch for A Season of Gifts. The Children's Library was so pleased to feature Steven as part of our National Library Week month-long celebration in April 2010. In a presentation called "Neighborhood of Stories", he spoke about the inspiration for his storytelling. He entertained an appreciative audience of kids, parents and Library staff. Steven signed a copy of the Library week poster and it hangs in my office in the Library. My sister is a school teacher in Toronto and I'm happy to note that I gave her two of Steven's recent books, which she uses in her classroom library."

Steven was the author of over ninety books for children and young adults, including Jungle Bullies (2009) and The Biggest Pumpkin Ever (1984). A tribute to Steven can be found on the PEN American Center website. He will be missed.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Unexpected New York with Sandy Miller

Member Sandy Miller discusses his latest book Unexpected New York at the Brooklyn Historical Society on Sunday.

Sunday, March 13, 2pm
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jonathan Franzen and Jhumpa Lahiri at the New School on Friday

NYSL member Jonathan Franzen (Freedom) and Jhumpa Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth) will read from their latest novels tomorrow at the New School.

Friday, March 11, 7 pm
The New School

Tishman Auditorium, Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street
$10 register by email: or call: 212.229.5488.

Tonight's Event with Laura J. Snyder Postponed

Unfortunately, for medical reasons, member Dr. Laura J. Snyder has had to postpone tonight's event on her new book The Philosophical Breakfast Club .

It will now take place on Thursday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m. in the Members’ Room. Anyone currently registered has a confirmed space for the new date; if you have prepaid, that will carry over.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Congratulations to members Louis Begley and Robert A.M. Stern who have been voted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Academy is a distinguished honor society of 250 architects, composers, artists, and writers. Election to the Academy is a singular honor for Americans in the arts.

Louis Begley is the author of 11 books of fiction and non-fiction. Wartime Lies was a finalist for the National Book Award and About Schmidt was made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson. His non-fiction includes his latest work, the highly acclaimed Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters.

Robert A.M. Stern is an award winning architect whose work has been classified as postmodernist. He is Dean of the Yale School of Architecture and is the author of numerous books on architecture, including the National Book Award finalist New York 1930

Begley and Stern join NYSL members Robert Caro, Joan Didion, Jules Feiffer, Francine du Plessix Gray, Shirley Hazzard, and Tom Wolfe as members of the Academy.