Library Blog

By any other name would smell as tweet

Thursday, 15 April 2010 14:51 Written by
'Romeo and Juliet' has been reinvented as opera, ballet, musical,and ice show. What next? "Such Tweet Sorrow," a 4,000-tweet drama staged in real time (five weeks!), created by a 16-year-old and endorsed bythe Royal Shakespeare Company. Read all about it in the Guardian, or go straight to the site.

'First Amendment game-changer'

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 11:25 Written by
What is broadly considered a major defeat for campaign finance reform may be a victory for free speech, in the contrarian analysis of the First Amendment Coalition’s Peter Scheer. The U.S. Supreme Court’s much-lamented (including by President Obama) January ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission is in fact…

Scrabble Babel

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 11:21 Written by
Any Scrabble nuts out there? The shocking rumor that some proper nouns are now acceptable for play -- a rumor later proved false -- prompts a backgrounder on the long war over authorized words and dictionaries by Scrabble maven Stephen Fatsis in the New York Times. Among other things, he…

New to our shelves

Monday, 12 April 2010 12:57 Written by
The Library has 120,000 books in its collection -- and counting. Here are some intriguing new acquisitions, selected by our Collections Librarian, Simon Gallo: For the Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus by Frederick Brown -- A portrait of fin-de-siècle France. "Brings to life The Third…

Points of reference

Friday, 09 April 2010 14:55 Written by
If the American Library in Paris – or the internet – provides access to an online version of the information you seek, should the Library still buy and keep the paper version? The advent of high-speed access to and digitized versions of information poses all kinds of challenges to libraries,…

Medicinal reading

Friday, 09 April 2010 14:38 Written by
The actress Emma Thompson, depressed after her first marriage broke up, chose Jane Austen for a therapist and 'Sense and Sensibility' for medicine. And it worked. JoJo Moyes, writing in the Telegraph, explores the healthy self-medication of reading great novels, with quotes by those who swear by the cure and…

Categories upon categories

Friday, 09 April 2010 14:26 Written by
Putting books in the right categories is not as easy as it used to be. “In our mashup-crazy, zombie-besotted culture, genre-bending is a trend that shows no signs of abating,” writes Keir Graff on Booklist OnLine’s Read Alert service. Rebecca Stead's Newbery winning “When You Reach Me”: Time travel? Mystery?…

1000 years of merde?

Tuesday, 06 April 2010 10:03 Written by
Today's guest blogger, bestselling author Stephen Clarke, will be at the Library tomorrow at 19h30 to speak about his new book, 1000 Years of Annoying the French. On Wednesday April 7, I will be at the American Library to talk about my new book, 1000 Years of Annoying the French.…

Pad nauseam

Sunday, 04 April 2010 12:36 Written by
Does the launch of any commercial product merit the fawning, breathless attention being given the iPad? No, says Mark Potts, on his blog Recovering Journalist.

PEN/Faulkner to Alexie

Friday, 02 April 2010 10:29 Written by
It's the season of literary awards. The PEN/FaulknerAward for Fiction has gone to Sherman Alexie for 'War Dances.' Read all about it. The four other finalists: Barbara Kingsolver, 'The Lacuna'; Lorraine M. Lopez, 'Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories; Lorrie Moore, 'A Gate at the Stairs'; and Colson Whitehead, 'Sag…

Printing less is more

Friday, 02 April 2010 08:58 Written by
It’s never a bad idea to save paper, and a better idea to get more out of your printer. PC World has come up with ten printer downloads that can “reduce paper and ink consumption, print out CD and DVD labels, create posters, and generate business cards – and that’s…

April fuel

Thursday, 01 April 2010 14:51 Written by
Do you remember the surprising news from the fast food world about the introduction of the left-handed Whopper? Or the Italian spaghetti harvest? Portable zip codes you take with you when you move? Legislative efforts to ban the use of the internet while drunk? Jack Shafer, Slate's media critic, recalls…

The Bancroft pantheon

Tuesday, 30 March 2010 10:18 Written by
Virtually every great American historian of the postwar era has received the Bancroft Prize. The 2010 Bancroft Prizes have just been announced, and the winners are: • Linda Gordon for her Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, about the celebrated Depression-era photographer; • Woody Holton for his portrait of American’s…

The Loneliness of the long distance researcher

Monday, 29 March 2010 10:00 Written by
Today's guest blogger, biographer Veronica Buckley, will be at the Library on Wednesday, March 31 at 19h30 to speak about her new book The Secret Wife of Louis XIV, Francoise d'Aubigné, Madame de Maintenon. Read a rave review from the New York Times. Can a building shrink? I don’t remember…

'Picturing America' at the Library

Friday, 26 March 2010 13:45 Written by
The work of American artists Childe Hassam, Richard Diebenkorn, John Singleton Copley, Dorothea Lange, John J. Audubon (born near Nantes), and Jacob Lawrence are on display at the Library now. These handsome reproductions were created by the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts “Picturing America” series of American masterworks for…

The Paris book fair

Friday, 26 March 2010 09:57 Written by
The annual Salon du Livre at the Porte de Versailles, this one celebrating the last 30 years (the first salon was held in 1980), opens today and runs through Wednesday at the Porte de Versailles. Among 90-some authors, French and otherwise, due to make appearances are Paul Auster, Umberto Eco,…

Dial elsewhere for murder

Thursday, 25 March 2010 09:49 Written by
“Will the American thriller go the way of the American automobile?” asks Alexander Narazyan in The Daily Beast. “Is it possible that the entire Anglo-American world offers too narrow a scope? That even the work of whiskey-swilling private eyes has been outsourced? In one word, yes. He explains: “This past…

Check them out

Wednesday, 24 March 2010 17:06 Written by
What do these great writers have in common? Marcel Proust, Philip Larkin, Anne Tyler, Jorge Luis Borges, Madeleine l’Engle, Lewis Carroll, Archibald MacLeish, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Berger, Angus Wilson…. Answer: At one time in their lives they were librarians. Whoda thunkit. The online bookseller Abe selects the top ten…

Keeping the Cake

Tuesday, 23 March 2010 10:51 Written by
Today's guest blogger, Paula Butturini, will present her memoir, Keeping the Feast: One Couple's Story of Love, Food and Healing in Italy, at the Library tomorrow, March 24 at 19h30. After nearly a month back in the U.S. -- speaking in bookstores and libraries about my memoir, Keeping the Feast…

Chiseled in stone?

Monday, 22 March 2010 19:21 Written by
Proclaiming that Moses himself was a revisionist, Christopher Hitchens offers a new and improved version of the Ten Commandments. As the Bible offers “three or four wildly different scriptural versions…. we are fully entitled to consider them as a work in progress.” Making graven images of the Lord: “This appears…