Library Blog

Mr. Darcy, you smell so good

Monday, 21 June 2010 12:55 Written by
"The pheromone that attracts female mice to the odour of a particular male has been identified. Named 'darcin' by researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology (after Darcy, the attractive hero in Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice"), this unusual protein in a male's urine attracts females and…


Sunday, 20 June 2010 12:43 Written by
The weird stationery of Mussolini, Ian Fleming, Charles Atlas, Dr. Seuss, Marlene Dietrich, and more ... all collected by Letterheady. According to the rubric, "Letterheady is an online homage to offline correspondence; specifically letters. However, here at Letterheady we don't care about the letter's content. Just its design."

Shelf talk

Saturday, 19 June 2010 12:41 Written by
One of the most admirable and inventive and current library blogs around comes from the Seattle Public Library. Its Shelf Talk blog is a trove of ideas and informaiton that keeps coming and sets an example for library blogs everywhere. Recent trolling by our own tireless remote researcher, Andrea Delumeau,…

Tradition and the individual bookseller

Monday, 14 June 2010 09:29 Written by
Today's guest blogger, Keri Walsh, is the editor of The Letters of Sylvia Beach, a collection of the Shakespeare & Co. doyenne's correspondence. She'll be speaking about the book at the Library on Wednesday, June 16 at 19h30. Sylvia Beach (1887-1962) was the owner of the English-language bookstore Shakespeare and…

Martin Gardner, R. I. P.

Saturday, 12 June 2010 23:53 Written by
A few weeks ago the world lost one of its most original and unusual intellects, Martin Gardner, polymath and prankster and puzzler, the "Mathematical Games” columnist of Scientific American for 25 years, the annotator of “Alice in Wonderland,” the debunker of superstitions masquerading as science, and a demigod to many.…

Radio drama

Wednesday, 09 June 2010 17:06 Written by
Before the TV mini-series, there was the radio play. Happily, despite the advent of flat-screens, DVDs, DVRs and other innovations we don't really understand, this form of entertainment has endured, particularly in the U.K., where radio plays are popular and broadcast regularly. On Friday, June 11, we'll be tuning in…

The lost art of concentration

Sunday, 06 June 2010 17:37 Written by
The time we spend on the internet is diminishing our power to concentrate, to pay attention. Nicholas Carr believes our contemporary on-line life threatens “a form of human regress,” a permanent loss of the human capacity for contemplation. “It follows us even when we turn off our computers,” he says.…

Boring, and skewering

Thursday, 10 June 2010 17:28 Written by
For some reason Browser can’t get enough of these withering remarks made by one author about another: Gore Vidal on John Updike: “Just another boring little middle-class boy hustling his way to the top if he can do it.” D. H. Lawrence on Herman Melville: "Nobody can be more clownish,…


Monday, 07 June 2010 16:58 Written by
You may not think you would like to hear the following paragraph spoken aloud 1,300 times, or even once, but read on to change your mind: “Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of…

New books on our shelves

Monday, 24 May 2010 13:34 Written by
A few new titles, as selected by Collections Librarian, Simon Gallo. The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps by Eric Hazan -- A historically rich tour through the construction of Paris, exploring the places and struggles that have marked its growth. Living Opera by Joshua Jampol -- A collection…

The Library at 90

Thursday, 20 May 2010 00:00 Written by
Ninety years ago today the American Library in Paris was incorporated. Some two million books had been sent from American libraries, through the Library War Service, to American servicemen joining the allied effort in the war. American expatriates in Paris decided to build a library around the core of that…

The Second Sex, a second time

Monday, 17 May 2010 09:35 Written by
Today's guest bloggers, Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier, will present their new translation of Simone de Beauvoir's masterwork, The Second Sex, at the Library on 19 May, 2010 at 19h30. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, the seminal study of woman that continues to resonate and inspire, has just…

'Men don't read books'?

Thursday, 06 May 2010 18:05 Written by
"If you've worked in publishing, you've heard the tired old maxim: Men Don't Read. Try to acquire or sell a book aimed predominantly at men, and odds are you'll be told Men Don't Read. ... If you keep telling yourself something, regardless of its validity, eventually you'll begin to believe…

Sunday best

Sunday, 02 May 2010 15:29 Written by
A rainy Sunday afternoon. Twilight of the vacances. A perfect time to stop by the Library to check out the magazines or study for exams or bring the children to a story hour. In this photo gallery, volunteer Katherine Thompson (left) and chief Sunday children's room volunteer Kate Price entertain…


Thursday, 29 April 2010 13:07 Written by
Time to pop a well-meaning bubble: All religions are basically the same. Stephen Pothero calls this “naive theological groupthink – call it Godthink --” perpetrated by everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Karen Armstrong to Elizabeth Gilbert to the Dalai Lama. He says it is a fantasy, specifically, “to imagine that…

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.