Library Blog

Home again in Chinatown

Monday, 26 April 2010 11:51 Written by
Bestselling author Lisa See will present her new novel, Shanghai Girls, at the Library, Wednesday, April 29 at 19h30. Today she shares an essay that originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times, about the relationship between Los Angeles's Chinatown and her book. Almost all writers write about place. Los Angeles…

Great moments in art

Sunday, 25 April 2010 14:20 Written by
Really, really bad cover art for science fiction books, lovingly collected for your perusal, admiration, and ridicule.

Curious George: The war years

Saturday, 24 April 2010 08:21 Written by
“It feels ridiculous to be thinking about children’s books.” wrote Hans A. Rey, co-creator of Curious George, in September 1939. He and his wife and co-author Margret Rey, German Jews newly arrived in France, had just fled Paris for the refuge of a château in southern France. But they did,…

From Rushmore on down

Friday, 23 April 2010 08:12 Written by
Has the Library of America jumped the shark? When volumes on "Rushmore-sized" authors such as Melville, Twain, and Faulkner give way to volumes on H. P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, and Dawn Powell, and then John Cheever, Raymond Carver, and Shirley Jackson, then it's reasonable to ask if "the Library…

What would Gutenberg say?

Thursday, 22 April 2010 15:04 Written by
Kindle or iPad. Apple vs. Google vs. Amazon. Will publishing -- and bookstores, and libraries -- perish? The diligent Ken Auletta tries to sort it all out in The New Yorker.

New titles

Wednesday, 21 April 2010 14:20 Written by
Here are a few of the newest books on our shelves, as recommended by Collections Librarian, Simon Gallo: Greece: A Jewish History by K.E. Fleming -- The first comprehensive, English-language history of Greek Jews and the only history that includes material on their diaspora in Israel and the United States.…

Event cancelled -- Wednesday, April 21

Tuesday, 20 April 2010 17:46 Written by
Alas, we've been Eyjafjallajokull-ed. Due to the cat-ash-trophe caused by everyone's favorite Icelandic volcano, our speaker, Peter Gibian, was unable to fly to Paris, and thus he won't be in town to speak at the Library tomorrow night. His talk "John Singer Sargent's Traveling Culture: Portraits of Expatriate Experience," which…
Peter Gibian of McGill University will present his talk "John Singer Sargent's Traveling Culture: Portraits of Expatriate Experience" at the Library on Wednesday, April 21 at 19h30. Bons baisers de Montréal! I’m really looking forward to discussing my favorite John Singer Sargent images, next Wednesday, in Paris—where Sargent got his…

Pulitzer surprise

Thursday, 15 April 2010 15:08 Written by
A tiny press, an unknown author, a compelling story carried to publication by word of mouth, and without a Facebook page! That's how Paul Harding's novel "Tinkers" won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction this week. A fascinating, heartening account of this season's Cinderella by Geoff Edgers in the Boston Globe.…

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…