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    Finished Go Set a Watchman this weekend? Or The Girl On the Train? Looking for more? Here are this week's read alikes. Enjoy!

    Go Set a Watchman Cover

    #1 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, more Southern gothic:

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

    Nothing Gold Can Stay by Ron Rash

    The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor




    The Girl On the Train Cover

    #2 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, more suspense novels told from multiple perspectives:

    And Then There Was One by Patricia Gussin

    Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

    The Son by Jo Nesbø





    #3 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Grey by E.L. James, more novels about sexual dominance and submission:

    The Lover by Marguerite Duras

    Henry and June by Anais Nin

    The Key by Junʼichirō Tanizaki




    The Good Girl Cover

    #4 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, more novels about amnesia:

    Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy

    Bank of the Black Sheep by Robert Lewis

    The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall




    All the Light You Cannot See

    #5 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, more titles with blind protagonists.

    Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow

    How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall

    What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your picks! Tell us what you'd recommend: Leave a comment or email us. 

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    Print on silk adhered to cardboard mount.
    Calvary - Before Treatment

    As the New York Public Library's Paper Conservator, most of the objects that I treat are flat paper items, such as documents, maps, and prints. Recently, I worked on some projects from the Prints Division that were more unusual; like this engraving on silk that came to conservation to be removed from its old mount and get better, updated housing.

    Calvary is a crucifixion scene printed in black ink from a dome-shaped plate onto fabric. It was originally aquired from a London dealer who noted: "This print by an amateur engraver is dedicated to Kaspar Kindelman, Abbot of Ottobeuren from 1547-1584… This is a beautiful example of the work of a late sixteenth-century amateur with knowledge of early Italian Renaissance prints."

    The platemark (or plate impression) is visible about 6mm beyond the engraved border. Under the microscope, two distinct layers of the fabric could be distinguished. The bottom layer is constructed of bundles of white fibers lying side-by-side horizontally. Finer, vertical strands of pale gray, shiny fibers rest on top of, and interweave with, the bottom layer. The right and left edges appear to be selvage edges, where the horizontal fibers fold back inward on themselves and are tightly woven in with the top layer. At the top and bottom, where the fabric appears to have been cut from a larger piece, the fibers are loosely bound. Six stray fibers were resting on the backing board near the top and bottom edges, but no longer attached to the object. I placed these on a microscope slide with a drop of deionized water, examined them under a polarized light microscope, and compared them to known sample slides. Four of the fibers were close matches with the silk sample, and two of the fibers were close matches with the cotton sample. I surmised that the thicker, bottom layer of the fabric is cotton, while the finer, top layer is silk.

    The engraving is dated 1570, but this impression may have been made after that date. The object's file notes that it was examined by Clare Browne of the Victoria and Albert Museum, who "confirms that the silk dates from the seventeenth century, and was made certainly before the industrialisation of silk production in the eighteenth century."

    The textile had been mounted to a thick backing board using a yellowish adhesive, which was tested using chemical tests for both protein and starch[i]. The protein test was positive, while the starch test was negative, suggesting that the adhesive was derived from animal collagen.

    The main difficulty with this treatment stems from the fact that the adhesive was water-soluble, while silk is very sensitive to water. To minimize exposure to moisture, I first removed the cardboard backing layer-by-layer. After many hours, all but the board fibers embedded in the adhesive were removed. The adhesive was scraped with a variety of small tools until no more could be removed using dry methods.

    Verso of silk print after adhesive has been removed
    Calvary - After Treatment Recto

    I tested various methods of removing the adhesive while keeping the silk as dry as possible. The most successful was to place a tiny square of damp blotter on the adhesive, then briefly press a small heat tool on the back of the blotter. It would create a faint hiss as the dampness was pulled toward the heat and the adhesive transferred onto the blotter.

    This photograph shows the back of the print after the adhesive was removed. Instead of using adhesive to attach the print to a new mount, it was sewn to a larger piece of lightweight polyester fabric with silk thread. The polyester was stretched around a piece of matboard and covered with a new mat. It was not necessary to apply any new adhesive to the print this time around, and it can be easily removed from its mount in the future.

    Silk print after stitching to polyester
    Calvary - After Treatment

    [i] Odegaard, Carroll and Zimmt. Materials Characterization Tests for Art and Archaeology, ed. 1. Archetype Publications, London: 2000. Starch test: page 128; Protein test: page 144.

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    炎炎夏日; 除了正好眠之外, 最大享受莫過於香茶一 盅, 好書一本. 加強知識也好, 休閒閱讀也好, 都是莫大人生快事. 下列介紹的數本書籍, 不知會否引起你的閱讀興趣. 讓你沈醉於書香內呢?

    于丹字解人生 于丹字解人生




    女殇:寻找侵华日军性暴力受害者女殇 : 寻找侵华日军性暴力受害者
















    成龙:还没长大就老了成龙 : 还没长大就老了












    智能穿戴改变世界智能穿戴改变世界 : 下一轮商业浪潮




    沈冰自述沈冰自述 : 我和周永康的故事











    給那些對生活不滿 身心疲憊,卻難以找到出口,想要靈性,卻恐懼宗教,想要禪修,卻仍想享受一杯好酒,這本書為你而寫。

    Ni shi chen ai ye shi guang你是尘埃也是光 : 面纱下的阿富汗








    Zheng xing shi ri ji整形室日记








    虎媽的戰甲虎媽的戰甲 : 三項黑暗人格特質, 竟然讓人出類拔萃!

    蔡美兒(虎媽) & 傑德。魯本菲爾德


    這回虎媽精心萃取出成功的黃金三角=優越情結×不安全感×衝動控制,將再次顛覆你慣有的生活思維,翻轉你邁向成功的看法, 挑動 你身處舒適圈中的安逸。閱讀中,將不斷喚起你既有觀念的矛盾與疑惑。但肯定的是,也同時為你帶來全新的視野,燃起驅動的力量,蓄積備戰的能力,淋漓盡致地 突破桎梏與困境,創造屬於你獨特的人生劇本。





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    Whether teens are dashing headlong into the wilderness or shipped off against their will, summer camp provides the perfect backdrop for YA adventure, romance, and drama.

    I Have a Bad Feeling

    I Have a Bad Feeling About Thisby Jeff Strand
    Survival camp isn’t really 16-year-old Henry’s thing. But when it turns out the campers are in actual danger from escaped criminals on a rampage, he has to channel his inner superhero in this funny, sarcastic tour de force.





    Born at Midnight

    Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
    Move over, Hogwarts: Shadow Falls Camp is a training ground for shape-shifters, fairies, warewolves, vampires, and all sorts of teens who are trying to learn how to harness their magical powers.





    Five Summers

    Five Summers by Una LaMarche
    Bonfires, canoe trips, games of Capture the Flag… this is a true camp novel, transporting readers into the world of four long-time campers navigating their changing friendship now that they’re teens.






    Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs
    “Geek Camp,” a place for gifted students to come into their own, serves as the backdrop for Gloria’s smart and lovely coming-of-age story.






    Summer of Firsts and Lasts

    The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy
    Three sisters take turns narrating this book about summer love and family dynamics at Camp Callanwolde.






    Summer I Wasn't Me

    The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi
    Lexi’s conservative mother falls into a deep depression after discovering her daughter is gay, so Lexi agrees to go away to a Christian camp to try to become straight.






    Proof of Forever

    Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
    When four estranged friends meet again at a summer camp reunion, they’re transported via magical photo booth to two years earlier, when their friendship fell apart, and get another chance to fix things. Perfect for fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.





    Every Little Thing in the World

    Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont
    After Sydney and her best friend steal her mother’s car, her parents send her to a month-long canoe camp to get her out of trouble… but they don’t even know about the biggest trouble she’s in.  





    Pregnant Pause

    Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan
    Newly married to her slacker boyfriend—and seven months pregnant—Elly is working as a substitute counselor at weight-loss camp and trying to figure out how to become a mother.






    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your picks! Leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend.

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    Here are some recommendations of foreign films and TV shows from Sweden, the UK, Indonesia, Canada, France, Indonesia, and Mexico.

    The Swedish film trilogy The Girl with the DragonTattoo is excellent.  The series tells the story of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and a hacker named Lisbeth Salander. Together they work to  solve the mystery of a woman missing woman. 

    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo film trilogy was based on the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

    The Musketeers protect King Louis XIII's as his personal bodyguards while the Cardinal Richelieu and his secret weapon, Milady plot against the King. 

    The Musketeers show is based on the book The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

    Orphan Black is a science fiction thrill ride. The show begins with a woman named Sarah Manning witnessing a woman  that looks just like her commit suicide by jumping in front of a train. Sarah steals the woman's identity and falls in to a world full of scientific drama she never knew existed.

    Lost Girl  tells the story of a succubus named Bo. She feeds on the sexual energy of humans. Bo is a also a detective who helps humans and Fae by solving mysteries and fixing problems. 

    In the show Atlantis  "Washed up on the mysterious shores of Atlantis, Jason searches for his missing father and stumbles into deadly rituals that test his quick reactions and physical strength. Perilous trials, from leaping over charging bulls and fighting the dreaded Minotaur, to surviving the rites of Dionysus and the temptations of a snake-headed goddess, ensue. No matter how great the danger, Jason can count on his two new friends, studious Pythagoras and portly Hercules, to lighten the battle with a laugh."

    The French films The ChorusThe Intouchables, and La Vie En Rose are touching dramas I really enjoyed.  The memoir You Changed My Life by Abdel Sellou inspired The Intouchables film.


    The Raid and The Raid 2 are very entertaining action films with fantastic fight sequences. 

    Rubi is a soap opera about a beautiful but poor woman who has to decide between marrying for love or riches.  

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    Subscribe on iTunes.

    It's difficult to overstate the influence of The Velvet Underground. In 1982, Brian Eno famously said of the band's debut album, "Everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band." For this week's episode of the New York Public Library Podcast, we're thrilled to present The Velvet Underground's Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker, and Doug Yule with prolific music journalist David Fricke discussing Andy Warhol and the early days of the band.

    Lou Reed banner
    Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker, and Doug Yule

    In 1965, The Velvet Underground was introduced to Andy Warhol by filmmaker Barbara Rubin. Warhol would become one of the most important figures in the band's history. Lou Reed remembered the artist as The Velvet Underground's guardian:

    "Warhol was one of the greatest people I’ve ever met in my life... he was like the big protector. We played all these galleries. We couldn’t get hired anywhere, so if he had a gallery opening, he took all of us. That’s how that worked. He fed everybody, and when they hired us to make a record, it wasn’t because of us, it was because of him. They didn’t know us, they thought he was the lead guitarist or something.  They were incredibly stupid, and they never listened to the record, they never listen to anything, they’re just stupid. And he just said, 'whatever you do, don’t change anything,' and so he was like the guard dog. And they say, 'how did he produce it?' Well, he really did it, he would really be there, and he’d say, 'oh, that’s great,' and then they’d say, 'what about the—' 'No, no, that’s great.' And it stayed that way and that’s why the records sound the way they sound, that’s why nothing got changed, because Andy said, 'don’t change anything, leave it alone, just do exactly—the exact same thing you’re doing, don’t let them near it.'”

    Early on, the band decided to wear black. When asked about their wardrobe, Reed explained how this decision dovetailed with Warhol's film work:

    "Part of the black thing is because Andy was projecting movies and the sunglasses was also the same thing, it was blinding and the strobes, and he was so smart. He would take some of these movies and pictures and make them in geometric shapes, no curves, and then project it on black, so we were like human screens for his potpourri of images. I mean, there’s a famous photo with John and a big thing of an eye and it’s his eye, and you know random, but we never—you know, so we just stayed that way, which is also the cheapest way."

    Perhaps the most famous album cover of all time is that for The Velvet Underground & Nico, which features an Andy Warhol print of a banana. Reed explained the genesis of the image and discussed his favorite cover art:

    "What he said was, 'Oooooh, what are we going to do?  We have to do a cover, oh, Mooooe,' and someone—who knows where the idea is, because everybody was there. But, I mean, the thing about the banana is you peel it. That’s when the fun started for Andy. No one ever saw a pink banana...  I love the cover of White Light/White Heat. All these reprints, I don’t know if they keep the original one, was one of the guys there had a tattoo, a death’s head tattoo on his shoulder, and you can only see it—No one knew this, but when they put shrink wrap over it, it disappeared, so it looked like a black cover, but then when you took this thing off, imagine, when people were stoned, 'aaaah! What’s that? The cover’s moving!'”

    You can subscribe to the New York Public Library Podcast to hear more conversations with wonderful artists, writers, and intellectuals. Join the conversation today!

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    This post was written by interns Emily Imbarrato and Rosie Shewnarain.

    M.D Payne was our first author of the fourth and final week of Imagination Academy. He has assisted with many works such as Goosebumps, and has written stories of his own. He started off the session by asking the kids what brought them here today. Many said that they wish to become writers; others said that they were here last year and loved it, and most said that they wanted to improve their writing skills. He spoke about his current four book series, Monster Juice, which is about a boy and his friends who team up with retired monsters to defeat new ones who are trying to take over the world. His inspiration for these books came from his love of monsters and Halloween. He advised the aspiring writers to write what they know and love. One of the exercises had the kids generate three ideas for potential stories.  While sporting a soccer jersey, Oliver used Payne’s advice to write a story in which aliens played humans in a soccer tournament. Some other ideas included: a best friend who turned into a dragon, a magical donut genie, and a daycare for monsters. At break time, several of the kids demonstrated that they are not only amazing writers but also talented pianists. After the break, we began a different exercise that taught us how to collaborate with other writers. Using the same ideas from the previous exercise the kids were asked to write an outline for someone else’s story.

    MD Payne works with some of the kids on their outlines.

    Patricia Lakin, author of biographies, picture books, and graphic novels, joined us on Wednesday. She told us about her childhood and her teachers shaped her into becoming a writer. She explained that when she was a child her mean old teacher taught her that she had to have perfect spelling order to be a good writer. Sadly for her, she was a terrible speller which discouraged her from following her dreams. She became an elementary school teacher but soon after decided to give book writing a shot. Though she was a bad speller, she had lots of help from editors, publishers, and a writing group that she attends. After sharing her writing experience, the group broke off into an activity based on perspective. She showed a series pf pictures and asked the kids to write about what they saw. In the first picture, she asked everyone to write three words describing what they saw. Though many saw a picture of a dog and a woman, one kid saw mountains. For the second picture they had to name the person and explain what he had overcome and what he was going to do next. The last picture was of a woman sitting in room and the young writers had to make up the reason why she looked so sad. Intern Emily explained that the women was sad because she did not know what she would do after her last performance starring as Cinderella. For the last exercise, the kids had to pick three things in the room to write about.

    Patricia Lakin and the group respond to writing prompts as Kathy  (in orange) gets a burst of inspiration.

    Our last author for this year’s Imagination Academy was Matt London, author of The 8th Continent. He showed the group a list of what it takes to write a good action story:

    • An ordinary world
    • The call to adventure
    • Crossing the first threshold
    • Seeking the adventure

    He then had the children write their own adventure stories, one of which was about a girl who tries to escape one dangerous adventure only to be led into another one. Then they talked about creativity and how sometimes when working with someone you have to be able to work with their ideas. With that, Matt introduced an improv exercise called “yes, and?” which is when a pair acts out a scene but you have to start with the line “yes, and...” This taught the kids that when working with a partner, instead of disagreeing with them, you go along with their idea. After this we did the same but with writing stories. Working in teams of three, each kid would write a sentence in their notebooks and they would pass it to their left. They would then add another sentence to the story they received and it would continue on like that.

    Matt London helps the kids with a collaborative story.

    That’s a wrap for Imagination Academy 2015! 

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    August 2, 1945: The high temperature in New York City was 84 degrees, and the second World War was drawing to a close. Where were Greenwich Villagers going to wile away the hot evening hours? Why, Little Shrimp, The Golden Eagle, and Dick the Oyster Man, of course!

    These ads were found in the August 2, 1945 issue of the neighborhood paper, The Villager, which we've recently been working to digitize. Issues from 1933-1959 are now available to search at Jefferson Market Library. A number of these bars and restaurants are still operating today, including The Old Homestead, The Stonewall Inn, John's Pizzeria, and Monte's.

    The Old Goldenrod was closed for the month of August, but you could still go square dancing and get a "complete dinner" at Barn, for only $1.50!

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    Coloring books are all the rage… for the kindergarten set and for grownupstoo. You could say it's a fad, but there's nothing quite like putting pencil or crayon to paper and seeing pure creativity flow out, no matter your age.

    The library has a few coloring books, but we'd prefer that you not color inside them. You'll have to buy your own for that. We do have many books about beginning drawing that might reawaken those skills you picked up in elementary school art class, or just sitting at the kitchen table with your box of 64 colors. We also have books about doodling that can inspire new techniques for geometric and abstract designs.

    Digital Collections to Browse

    Chôju ryakugashiki = How to draw simple animals. (1797)

    View the collection or flip through the book. Ehon are Japanese picture books featuring beautiful and distinctive calligraphy.

    Image ID: 1401003
    Image ID: 1401014

    Trawler cigarettes: Drawing Made Easy

    This series of 30 cards is a zoo full of creatures for you to draw. They are part of the George Arents collection of cigarette cards.

    Image ID: 1524061
    Image ID: 1524063
    Image ID: 1524081

    B. Morris & Sons cigarette cards: How to Sketch

    This series of 50 cards aims to make you proficient in still lifes, landscapes, animals and body parts. And you don't have to smoke an entire case to get to them! They are also part of the George Arents collection.

    Common objects. Image ID: 1643432
    Horse's head (thoroughbred). Image ID: 1643472

    Public Domain Books in HathiTrust to Download

    What to Draw and How to Draw It (1920)

    Make dots, make lines, connect them all, and you have a picture! Don't press too hard with the pencil, you'll need to erase some of those guiding lines.

    Squirrel from What to draw and how to draw it.
    Squirrel from What to draw and how to draw it.

    How to Draw: A Practical Book of Instruction in the Art of Illustration (1904)

    How to draw shoes and "the perfect man," among other things. You can then turn them into fiction or news drawings, cartoons or comic strips.

     a practical book of instruction in the art of illustration
    From How to draw: a practical book of instruction in the art of illustration

    Books to Check Out

    Sachiko Umoto Illustration School

    These books are too cute for words. Impress your friends with happy people, cute animals, and plants and small creatures—why not just add one to every piece of paper that comes your way. There are also lots of cute drawings and people on her Instagram.

    Let's Draw Happy People
    Illustration School Let's Draw Cute Animals
    Let's Draw Plants and Small Creatures

    Ed Emberley

    Maybe you won't win a Caldecott award, but why not learn from someone who did? If you remember Ed Emberley's drawing tip books from your childhood, pick one up for your own child (or your inner child) again today.

    Ed Emberley's Big Green Drawing Book
    Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals
    Ed Emberley's Fingerprint Drawing Book
     Ed Emberley's Big Purple Drawing Book

    20 Ways to Draw

    There's more than one way to skin a cat, and at least 20 ways to draw one too. Learn how to draw 44 animals and 44 flowers between these two titles. What an incredible wildlife scene that will be.

     20 Ways to Draw A Cat and 44 Other Awesome Animals
     20 Ways to Draw A Tulip and 44 Other Fabulous Flowers

    Lee J. Ames's Draw 50 Series

    Over 50 books containing instructions on drawing 50 objects on a theme. 50 x 50... That's 2,500+ drawings! Get busy!

     Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures
     Draw 50 Aliens
     Draw 50 Beasties
     Draw 50 Princesses

    Ralph Masiello's Drawing Books

    Some of these instruction books are available in print as well as electronic format. Learn how to draw the fairy godmother and robot butler you wish you had!

     Ralph Masiello's Fairy Drawing Book
     Ralph Masiello's Robot Drawing Book
     Ralph Masiello's Ocean Drawing Book
     Ralph Masiello's Bug Drawing Book


    Too many representational images? Chill out with tangle drawing. Put on your favorite music and doodle the day away. Form tiles, lines, swirls and loops with plenty of spaces to color. Feel your troubles float away.

     One Zentangle A Day
     The Beauty of Zentangle
     Zentangle Untangled
     Creative Tangle
     Zen Doodle


    There are oodles of ways to doodle, even en français. You can be just like the President of the United States.

     The Doodle Revolution
     Doodles Unleashed
     Doodling in French
     Presidential Doodles

    For many more books on drawing from beginner to advanced for adults, kids and teens, take a look through our catalog.

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  • 08/05/15--10:54: 陈公博 || Chen Gongbo
  • 陈公博回忆录A. Chen, Gongbo.  Chen Gongbo hui yi lu.  Xianggong: Ha Ye Chu Ban She, 2009. ISBN 978-1-936043-16-3 (Chi B Chen, Gongb C) 陈公博陈公博回忆录。香港: 哈耶出版社,2009。

    B. Chen Gongbo.  Ku xiao lu.  Beijing: Dong Fang Chu Ban She, 2003. ISBN7-5060-1706-7 (Chi B Chen Gonb)


    陈公博也算是近代是上赫赫有名的人物。这本“苦笑录” 是他在1939年于香港完成的。其在自序中声明必须在其死后方得以出版。 原书1979年由香港大学亚洲研究中心出版。 内容记述1925年国民政府在广州成立到1936西安事变为止这段时间内,其亲身经历的历史事件。在西安事变一节中,其指责张学良”我又认定这个人(张学良)不知有国,只知有己“ “呵!原来他在沈阳的不抵抗,锦州的让出,都是他(张学良)故意的,而且在计划中的,这我(陈公博)可不能原谅了,...." A本262页; B本234页。

    A书的封面上标示“限量发行,仅供研究”;B书封面上亦有“内部发行,仅供研究”字样。 对近代史有兴趣的朋友应该一睹此书为快。

    H.Y Chang

    Special thanks goes to Hung-yun Chang at Mid-Manhattan Library and Maria Fung in Collection Development for all their help with this blog post.

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  • 08/05/15--10:59: Middle Grade Mysteries
  • Who better to go undetected than a seemingly innocent middle grader. If you have a budding sleuth at home (hint—she probably loves Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated) here are some titles to hone her skills. 

    The Apothecary


    The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

    Magic, mystery and historical fiction set in 1952 London.





    Under the Egg


    Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

    A hidden painting leads to a search for clues through Greenwich Village.





    Pie Cover


    Pie by Sarah Weeks

    1950s era small town Pennsylvania and a quest to find who is going to great lengths to find a secret pie recipe—includes pie recipes.





    The Westing Game


    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

    Classic mystery plot—a group of heirs must solve for a mysterious death before they can inherit their fortune.





    When You Reach Me Cover


    When You Reach Meby Rebecca Stead

    Set in 1980 New York, this book has it all—mystery, adventure, great characters and a fantastic sense of place.





    Ruby Redfort Cover


    Ruby Redfort Look Into My Eyesby Lauren Child

    It takes a daring detective and code-cracker to match this mystery.





    Operation Bunny


    Operation Bunnyby Sally Gardner

    Emily Vole, an orphan, with a knack for detective work, takes on a magical case.





    The London Mystery Cover


    The London Eye Mysteryby Siobhan Dowd

    A 12-year-old Londoner whose brain is "specially wired" narrates this page-turner.





    Chasing Vermeer


    Chasing Vermeerby Blue Balliett

    11-year-old sleuths take on an international art scandal.





    Three Times Lucky


    Three Times Luckyby Sheila Turnage

    Mo LoBeau sets out to solve a murder mystery and discovers some truths about her own mysterious past along the way.




    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your picks! Leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend.

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    Building Works is a pre-apprenticeship training that prepares interested candidates for careers in the building trades.  In partnership with the NYC District Council of Carpenters Labor Technical College, the 3 month training is tuition-free and provides both classroom instruction and hands-on experience preparing you for success in a union apprenticeship.  Participants in Building Works gain experience  from a wide range of courses, including job readiness, industry related math, health and safety, as well as hands-on instruction in shop classes under the supervision of journey-level union carpenters.

    Certifications received during the training may include:

    carpenter's shop
    Image ID: 1642122
    • OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety
    • 40 Hour Hazardous Waste Worker
    • Scaffold User

    A first year apprenticeship in the Carpenters Union earns $19.95/hour while receiving on the job training and technical classroom instruction.   For more than a decade, Building Works has successfully trained hundreds of candidates most of whom have joined—and are completing—unionized apprenticeships...and are building careers in a skilled trade. Together we are helping to build the future of organized labor.

    Candidates for the Fall 2015  Building Works Pre-Apprenticeship Training  must:

    • Be at least 18 years of age at time of enrollment
    • Have a High School Diploma or GED, and pass a basic skills test at 8th grade level
    • Be either unemployed or under-employed
    • Be physically able to work
    • Be legally eligible to work in the U.S.
    • Pass a drug test
    • Commit to completing the entire, full-time, 3 month training with classes running from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm

    Open House at Chinese - American Planning Council, 165 Eldridge Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10002

    Monday, August 10 at 9:30 am.

    No one will be admitted after that time.

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  • 08/06/15--07:47: Unlikely Beach Reads
  • An 800-page biography doesn’t immediately spring to mind as the perfect beach read… unless you’re Lin-Manuel Miranda.

    The playwright and musician read Ron Chernow’s epic portrait of Alexander Hamilton during a Mexican vacation and turned it into a smash-hit musical a few years later.

    So, as our thoughts turn to beach reads, we’re thinking about some non-traditional choices. We asked our NYPL experts: “What’s your recommendation for a long, dense, serious beach book?”


    Shadow Wind

    Just finished Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Shadow of the Wind, and though I read it in places like the subway and my couch, it strikes me as being a great serious beach read. Fast-moving and surprising, it will keep you reading despite beach distractions, yet is smart and mind engaging as well. A Barcelona boy seeks information on an author and is lead into a world of lost loves, crime, and madness. And since it takes place in the underworld of the Barcelona booksellers community, this is a book for book lovers. —Danita Nichols, Inwood




    Little Life

    I am loving A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s the story of four college roommates—young, broke, and full of ambition—who move to New York City.  Each young man has his own path full of triumphs and tragedies, but one of them has a mysterious, painful past and a particularly rough row to hoe. The coming-of-age element reminds me of what I loved about The Goldfinch.—Rebecca Dash Donsky, 67th Street Branch






    Possessionby A.S. Byatt is a gorgeous, dense literary mystery that also offers a pair of satisfying love stories as two modern scholars uncover the hidden relationship between two Victorian poets. It’s a perfect bookish beach read. (The movie doesn’t even begin to do it justice.) I’m also a fan of fat 19th-century novels, especially Dickens, as vacation reading. —Elizabeth Waters, Mid-Manhattan






    Try Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence. Two words: sun and sand. Plenty of both, and there’s also an occasional glimpse of the sea. Throw in Middle Eastern conflicts that still resonate today, guerrilla warfare, diplomatic intrigues, vivid descriptions of exotic peoples and places, explosions, camels, and in the middle of it all, the charismatic and enigmatic Englishman famed as “Lawrence of Arabia,” who here tells his own story in his own inimitable (if perhaps not entirely reliable) fashion. —Kathie Coblentz, Rare Materials





    True Stories


    Jill Lepore’s piece in the current New Yorker reminded me that I have always wanted to read Up In the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell, who is known for his portraits of eccentric characters living in New York City. Up In the Old Hotel is a compilation of four books and other published and unpublished work by Mitchell. ​NYPL recently acquired his papers, so the quest for Joe Gould’s secret will continue here. ​—Lynn Lobash, Readers Services






    Rebecca West has an opinion on everything, and she’s not shy about sharing it. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia is an account of a trip she made with her husband in 1936 in the years just before WWII as Hitler’s power was growing. It’s a fascinating mix of travel, politics, and history—a great way to learn more about a complex region through West’s compelling (and opinionated) voice. Think of it as a thousand-page love letter. —Lois Moore, Mid-Manhattan




    Story of Art

    Generally, when I’m on the beach, my attention span is a whole lot shorter than anywhere else, so I always choose something that goes well with beach naps, swimming breaks, and the requisite sticky ice cream snack time. Plus, I’m usually with friends or family, so it’s always nice to read something with little fun facts to share with the group. Hence I usually take a good piece of nonfiction with me. Recently, I’ve gotten into E.H. Gombrich’s The Story of Art and Apollo’s Angels by Jennifer Homans—fascinating episodic histories of visual art and ballet, respectively. It’s worth noting that I finally finished Zinn’s mammoth A People’s History of the United States on the beach, too! —Nancy Aravecz, Mid-Manhattan





    “The taxi’s radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast. Janáček’s Sinfonietta—probably not the ideal music to hear in a taxi caught in traffic. The middle-aged driver didn’t seem to be listening very closely, either. With his mouth clamped shut, he stared straight ahead at the endless line of cars stretching out on the elevated expressway, like a veteran fisherman standing in the bow of his boat, reading the ominous confluence of two currents. Aomame settled into the broad back seat, closed her eyes, and listened to the music.” Readers of Murakami’s melancholic, mesmerizing, and fantastical epic 1Q84 will be utterly transported. —Miriam Tuliao, Selection Team



    Fall of Giants

    If you’re looking for a sprawling, historical epic to take to the beach, look no further than Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants. Clocking in at nearly 1000 pages, this novel follows several families across Europe, Russia and America from 1911 to 1924 as they face the world-changing juggernaut that is WWI. It’s a heavy, thick tome, but Follett is a natural-born storyteller and the interweaving storylines stay gripping right to the end and has you asking for more. And when you’re done reading for the day, you can lie down in the sand and use the book as a pillow. It’ll elevate the head perfectly. —Anne Rouyer, Mulberry Street



    For the Visually Inclined


    I’m planning to finish Death and Mr. Pickwick, a novel by Stephen Jarvis, while I’m on vacation. It’s a fascinating read about the life and times of the brilliant and unconventional graphic artist Robert Seymour (1798-1836), who captured life on the streets of London and prefigured many of the characters and the antics of many of the “types” that ended up immortalized in the novels of Charles Dickens. I’m actually a third of the way through the book, but because of its weight and the recent heat wave I gave up toting it around. It’s already packed in my holiday book bag. —Virginia Bartow, Rare Books




    One Summer

    This One Summerby Mariko Tamaki. This Caldecott-winning graphic novel is an evocative coming-of-age tale that perfectly captures the innocence of feeling small when experience reveals that the world is a much larger and darker place than the familiarity of summer suggests. Exceptional for its insight, but even more so for the artist’s masterful use of line work, panels and perspectives. This is the type of story that leaves you both wanting and changed. —Daniel Norton, Mid-Manhattan




    Otherworldly Tales


    Can’t get any longer or more dense than fantasy doorstoppers. Check out The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s so heavy even the mass-market edition feels like bricks, but it’s sure to press all the boredom out of a beach vacation. A picaresque fantasy related by Kvothe, it ranges from a magic academy to remote villages plagued by dragons to tavern music to nighttime skulks. Kvothe is an engaging tale-teller and Rothfuss has some of the most lyrical prose I’ve read in modern fantasy. —Joshua Soule, Spuyten Duyvil





    There is a world where turning 16 means you get to finally have the surgery that will make you look beautiful and perfect. You will attend endless parties, dress in the most amazing clothes, and eat whatever you want and stay thin—but there is a cost, and some people are running away to avoid perfection. Westerfeld tackles society’s obsession with beauty in his amazing and adventurous four part YA series: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras. —Karen Ginman, Selection Team




    Grace of Kings

    For those waiting for The Winds of Winter (George R.R. Martin’s next installment), Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings should tide you over. A hated dynasty in turmoil, a 12-year-old king, warrior Mata Zyndu, and charismatic Kuni Garu. Who will rule the kingdoms of Dara? An epic fantasy filled with political intrigue, unwavering Han traditions, and magical realism. —Susen Shi, Seward Park





    Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell’s latest artful novel,The Bone Clocks, interweaves time from the 1980s in England, to the Australian bush, makes a pass out of the known world, and leaves us in a computer-free future. It is a voyage full of clairvoyance, with an eclectic cast of characters: some charming, others loathsome, all struggling with personal battles and interlinked in a mystical war. You will be flipping pages to figure out the bigger picture, while reconsidering all those psychic moments you’ve had. —Jessica Cline, Mid-Manhattan





    Wayward Bus

    Anything by John Steinbeck makes a great beach read. My recommendation would be The Wayward Bus—which, coming in at just over 300 pages, is one of Steinbeck’s shorter, though equally serious, novels. It was the first Steinbeck I read, and it opened my eyes to his deep understanding and love of both the Central California Valley and everyman characters who ceaselessly come up against incidences of fate and justice. —Lauren Restivo, 115th Street






    Last summer I read  The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas for my book club. Those of us who actually finished it really enjoyed it. This summer, I’ll be hauling Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo to the beach at the end of this month. At more than 1,200 pages, I may need to extend my vacation to finish it! —Maura Muller, Volunteer Office







    Although my usual beach read choices are light and fluffy, when I want to read something literary, I tend to choose books that are dark and dreadful. I’ve found that reading any collections of HP Lovecraft stories while sunbathing will serve two different purposes. The first is that you’ll find yourself oh-so-gradually slipping into a world of mind-expanding horror. The second is that if anyone comes up to you and uses that old pickup line “So... what are you reading?” you’ll have an answer that will make them decide to turn around and go the other way, and then you can finish your book in peace. —Andrea Lipinski, Kingsbridge


    Moby Dick

    I would recommend Moby Dick by Herman Melville. You know you’ve always wanted to read the whole book, and this summer is the perfect time. Look up from your book every now and then and marvel at the power and mystery of the ocean. And if you happen to be on the beach at Nantucket, be sure to stop by the whaling museum. You will feel connected to American history in ways you could not expect. —Gregory Holch, Mulberry Street





    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your picks! Leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend.

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    The following titles on our Recent Acquisitions Display are just a few of our new books, which are available at the reference desk in the Dorot Jewish Division. Catalog entries for the books can be found by clicking on their covers.

    The following new acquisitions are also available to read online by authenticating with your library card number.

    Through Project Muse

    Colonial Jerusalem: The Spatial Construction of Identity and Difference in A City of Myth, 1948-2012 by Thomas Philip Abowd

    That Pride of Race and Character: The Roots of Jewish Benevolence in the Jim Crow South by Caroline E. Light

    Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud by Moulie Vidas

    We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry, A Documentary History

    Through Oxford Scholarship Online

    Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era by Julia Phillips Cohen


    Jabotinsky: A Life by Hillel Halkin

    That Pride of Race and Character: The Roots of Jewish Benevolence in the Jim Crow South by Caroline E. Light

    The Treblinka Death Camp: History, Biographies, Remembrance

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    Hospitality  careers training program at Chinese American Planning Council (CPC).

    Learn skills necessary for obtaining various positions in  hotels, such as Room Attendant and Houseman.

    Job placement assistance for graduates

    Monday to Friday, 9 am - 3:30 pm 

    240 hours (about 9 weeks of class)

    Program includes:

    • Introduction to Hospitality Industry
    • Housekeeping Skills 
    • Workplace Communication Skills
    • Job readiness skills

    Minimum Eligibility:

    • At lease 18 years old
    • 8th grade education level
    • Legally able to work in the U.S.
    • High School Diploma/GED/TASC or education equivalent required
    • Able to lift 50 lbs. and perform other physical duties
    • Prior work experience preferred

    Open House

    Monday,  August 10,  2015
    9:30 am sharp (no one will be admitted after that time)
    Address:  165 Eldridge Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10002
    Directions:  Take the B, D train to Grand Street or take the F train to Delancy Street

    Scholarships available for those who qualify.   (Training offered at no charge for qualifying individuals who are unemployed or underemployed)

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    A Country Called Childhood

    When you reminisce about your childhood, is it filled with summertime freedom to traverse the neighborhood without your parents always watching? In the book,A Country Called Childhood: Children and the Exuberant World, Jay Griffiths explores the relationship between children and nature, and the need for wildness in play for the mind to wonder, for independence and confidence to be built, and for an understanding of the earth to be had. She writes, “The riddle of this book is that of a child’s human nature, which includes a sense of quest, the need for identity and the demand to honour the ludic principle—the principle of play. It is about how that human nature is nested in nature which co-creates the child” (p. 7).

    Her passion for the subject is supported through the practices of indigenous cultures, mythology tales, and modern day cultural studies. The independent child in nature is a theme that was exploited by the Romantics and embraced readily in literature ever since, from The Secret Garden, to the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Peter Pan. The union between animals and children has been savored since the Romulus and Remus creation myth, celebrated by Rudyard Kipling in The Jungle Book, and beautifully portrayed in the film The Fox and the Child.

    The Fox and The Child

    Education has had movements to embrace the hands on approach to nature through school gardens and forest schools, while free-range parenting and parents arrested for letting kids play outside alone has garnered a great deal of media coverage recently. Griffiths writes, “Naturally kindled in green, they need nature, woodlands, mountains, rivers and seas both physically and emotionally, no matter how small a patch; children’s spirits can survive on very little, but not on nothing. Yet woodlands are privatized; children are scared away from the outdoor world by alleged stranger-danger so the toy and entertainment industries benefit from that enclosure, while the streets—the commons of the urban child—have been closed off to them” (p. 342).

    Other recent titles to explore that take on the theme of children and nature:

    how to raise a wild child

    How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott D. Sampson. The paleontologist featured in Dinosaur Train wants to help you get your kids back to nature.


    the truth about nature

    The Truth About Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths About the Great Outdoors by Stacy Tornio. Get the facts on animals, plants, and lucky charms.


    last child in the woods

    Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorderby Richard Louv. Discusses how technology, media exploitations, increasing homework, and traffic and stranger fears have children suffering from a nature-deficit disorder.


    home grown

    Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting Off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World by Ben Hewitt. A personal story of how Hewitt and his wife homeschooled their kids on the family’s northern Vermont farm to be in touch with nature.


    free to learn

    Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray. A psychological look at the need for children to have free play.


    make it wild

    Make it Wild! 101 Things to Make and Do Outdoors by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks. From snow sculpting to making fire balloons, there are some really neat projects to do in this book.


    What are your favorite representations of children communing with and enjoying nature or expressing their independent spirit?

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    Bottom Line Construction and Development will present a recruitment on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 10 am - 2 pm, for Assistant Project Manager (1 opening), Construction Site Helper (3 P/T openings), at the  New York State  Department of Labor, 9 Bond Street, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

    Combined Life Insurance will present a recruitment on Thursday, August 13, 2015, 10 am - 2 pm, for Sales Agent (3 openings), at the New York State Department of Labor, 9 Bond Street,  Brooklyn, NY 11201.

    H & R Block will present a recruitment on Thursday, August 13, 2015, 10  am - 2 pm, for Tax Preparers (10 seasonal  openings), at Lower Manhattan Workforce 1 Career Center, 75 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013.

    Spanish Speaking Resume Writing Workshop  ( En Espanol.  Organize, revise and update your resume) on Thursday, August 13, 2015, 12:30 - 2:30 pm for all interested jobseekers and dislocated workers at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138 60 Barclay Ave  2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.

    Apprenticeship Opportunities in New York  City.         

    The New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCE&TC) is an association of 200 community-based organizations, educational institutions, and labor unions that annually provide job training and employment services to over 750,000 New Yorkers, including welfare recipients, unemployed workers, low-wage workers, at-risk youth, the formerly incarcerated, immigrants and the mentally and physically disabled. View NYCE&TC Job Listings.

    Digital NYC is the official online hub of the New York City startup and technology ecosystem, bringing together every company,  startup, investor, event, job, class, blog, video, workplace, accelerator, incubator, resource, and organization in the five boroughs. Search  jobs by category on this site.

    St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development provides Free Job Training and Educational Programs in Environmental Response and Remediation Tec (ERRT). Commercial Driver's License, Pest Control Technician Training (PCT), Employment Search and Prep Training and Job Placement, Earn Benefits and Career Path Center. For information and assistance, please visit St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development or call 718-302-2057 ext. 202. 

    Brooklyn Workforce Innovations helps jobless and working poor New Yorkers establish careers in sectors that offer good wages and opportunities for advancement. Currently, BWI offers free job training programs in four industries: commercial driving, telecommunications cable installation, TV and film production, and skilled woodworking.  

    CMP (formerly Chinatown Manpower Project) in lower Manhattan is now recruiting for a free training in Quickbooks,  Basic Accounting, and Excel. This training is open to anyone who is receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Class runs for eight weeks, followed by one-on-one meetings with a job developer. CMP also provides Free Home Health Aide Training for bilingual English/Cantonese speakers who are receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Training runs Mondays through Fridays for six weeks and includes test prep and taking the HHA certification exam. Students learn about direct care techniques such as taking vital signs and assisting with personal hygiene and nutrition. For more information for the above two training programs, email:, call 212-571-1690, or visit. CMP also provides tuition-based healthcare and business trainings free to students who are entitled to ACCESS funding.

    Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) trains women and places them in careers in the skilled construction, utility, and maintenance trades. It helps women achieve economic independence and a secure future. For information call 212-627-6252 or register online.

    Grace Institute provides tuition-free, practical job training in a supportive learning community for underserved New York area women of all ages and from many different backgrounds.  For information call 212-832-7605.

    Please note this site will be revised when more recruitment events for the week of August 9 become available.

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    "All over America today people would be dragging themselves to work, stuck in traffic jams, wreathed in exhaust smoke. I was going for a walk in the woods. I was more than ready for this."

    “So woods are spooky.”

    A Walk in the Woods

    Welcome back to the Reader’s Den!  This August we’re making a virtual escape from the hot and steamy New York summer with Bill Bryson’s classic travelogue, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, originally published in 1996.

    Our reading list this year includes books featuring heroes, superheroes, and antiheroes. “So how exactly does A Walk in the Woods fit into this theme?” you might ask. Well, as a not particularly fit fortysomething myself, I have to admire the heroic effort put forth by Bill Bryson and his ill-prepared hiking companion Katz, who slowly but surely walked hundreds of miles on the Appalachian Trail. Isn’t perseverance a kind of heroism?  And doesn't it require courage to take a risk and embrace a new experience? But perhaps we could also ask: Where does heroism end and foolhardiness begin?

    Why would anyone wish to hike more than 2,000 miles over rugged terrain, carrying all needed supplies on their back? Bill Bryson got the idea when he stumbled upon a section of the Appalachian Trail near his home in New Hampshire:

    "It seemed such an extraordinary notion—that I could set off from home and walk 1,800 miles through woods to Georgia, or turn the other way and clamber over the rough and stony White Mountains to the fabled prow of Mount Katahdin, floating in forest 450 miles to the north in a wilderness few have seen. A little voice in my head said: ‘Sounds neat! Let's do it!’"

    Earl Shaffer
    June 3, 1948: Earl Shaffer
    Photo: National Museum of 
    American History Smithsonian Institution

    As we learn in A Walk in the Woods, the first thru-hiker, or person to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (AT), was Earl V. Shaffer, a World War II veteran who walked over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine over four months in 1948. There were no trail guides at the time, so Shaffer had to rely on his considerable experience as an outdoorsman, often bushwhacking through overgrown sections of the trail. Shaffer describes his hike in Walking with Spring: The First Solo Thru-Hike of the Legendary Appalachian Trail. Bryson and Katz embarked on their walk on a well-maintained trail, armed with (not always satisfactory) guides and advice passed on by hikers famliar with the AT. What they didn’t have at the beginning were Shaffer’s wilderness skills, which makes for some entertaining reading. On a more serious note, as Bryson describes his walk, he also explores the human and natural history of the AT and its environs. 

    Melissa Scheurer is my co-blogger this month in the Reader's Den. We hope that you’ll join us for an informative and frequently hilarious trek on the Appalachian Trail in the company of Bill Bryson and his unforgettable trail companion, Stephen Katz. We'll be posting discussion questions later this month, but please feel free to make comments about the book below. We'd love to know what you think about A Walk in the Woods!

    You can request a copy of A Walk in the Woods from the library. It's available as a book, e-book, or audiobook

    And if you're interested in doing some actual hiking in the New York City area, this Ticketless Traveler post lists some great resources.

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  • 08/07/15--08:32: HAMILTON: The Archive
  • Alexander Hamilton
    Alexander Hamilton

    In the musical Hamilton, which opened last night on Broadway, George Washington tells Alexander Hamilton, “You have no control...who tells your story.”  At the New York Public Library, we preserve the artifacts that allow such stories to be told, and we have an especially strong collection of archives related to the women and men whose lives inspired the characters in the musical.  In recent months, we have been engaged in a focused effort to digitize many of these archives, making it possible to tell Hamilton’s not on ink and paper but on screens and pixels.  Since tickets to Hamilton are about as rare as Gutenberg Bibles, I thought it might be fun to summarize the story here using NYPL’s digitized collections.  Two quick caveats though: 1) There are spoilers aplenty here (but then, the primary plot points are nearly 250 years old and so have surely passed the spoiler statute of limitations), and 2) This summary is based on my memories of the show at the Public and in an early Broadway preview. I know there have been some changes, but the song list in PlaybillVault suggests the summary is still mostly accurate.


    Aaron Burr meets Hamilton and introduces him to friends, John Laurens, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Herclues Mulligan (not pictured):

    Aaron Burr
    Aaron Burr
    John Laurens
    John Laurens
    Marquis de Lafayette


    The audience is then introduced to the Schuyler sisters, the daughters of the wealthy General Philip Schuyler.
    Eliza Schuyler
    Elizabeth Schuyler
    Philip Schuyler
    Philip Schuyler
    The sisters, we are told, sneak into the city to the watch the "minds at work."  In this case, the minds on display are Hamilton and the Episcopalian Bishop Samuel Seabury, who are debating whether revolution against England is the right course for the colonies.  Seabury supports peaceful relations with England; Hamilton argues for revolution.  In reality, these debates took place in a series of open letters with titles like "Farmer's Letter" and "The Farmer Refuted" (the latter of which serves as the title of the scene in the Playbill).
    Samuel Seabury
    Samuel Seabury.


    The debate is interrupted by a "message from the King," George III, who tells the colonies they will regret "breaking up" with him.
    King George III
    King George III


    We are then introduced to General George Washington, who fights alongside Hamilton at the Battle of Trenton.

    Washington and Hamilton meet
    Hamilton and Washington meet at Trenton

    Washington asks Hamilton to be his secretary, but Hamilton initially refuses, longing for the glory of the battlefield rather than a desk job.  Washington tells Hamilton he was once impulsive like Hamilton.  In a line at the Public Theatre (now rewritten), Washington mentioned that his impulsivity started the French and Indian War.  NYPL preserves Washington's diary from that period of his life.

    George Washington notebook as a Virginia colonel, 1757
    George Washington notebook as a Virginia colonel, 1757

    Hamilton eventually accepts Washingtons offer, and becomes his "right hand man," often writing letters on behalf of the General.  NYPL has preserved some of these letters:

    Letter to Gen. [Henry] Knox
    Letter to Gen. [Henry] Knox 1779


    This musical then moves to a ball where the Schuyler sisters and Hamilton are present.  It is not clear where this ball is meant to take place, but it may be at the Schuyler mansion in Albany and where Hamilton eventually married Eliza.

    Schuyler Mansion
    Schuyler Mansion.

    The Schuyler's also had land in Saratoga.  During the war, Mrs. Schuyler burnt the crops on this land in order to prevent the British from using them.

    Mrs. Schuyler firing her corn fields on the approach of the British.
    Mrs. Schuyler firing her corn fields on the approach of the British.

    The scene then shifts to the battlefield.  The war is not going well.  Washington has appointed Charles Lee to lead the troops at the Battle of Monmouth, but Lee ordered a retreat contrary to Washington's directions.

    Washington and Lee at Monmouth
    Washington and Lee at Monmouth


    Washington places Lafayette in charge in Lee's place.  Lee is court-martialed and campaigns against Washington's leadership.  In response, Hamilton's friend John Laurens challenges Lee to a duel.  Lee is injured but survives.  Washington places Lafayette in charge, and eventually, Hamilton is also given command of a battalion of troops.  Together they surround and defeat the British at Yorktown, Virginia.

    Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown, Va. Oct. 19th 1781.
    Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown, Va. Oct. 19th 1781.


    After the war, Aaron Burr marries Theodosia Prevost, the widow of a British officer who fought against the Americans in Georgia and the West Indies.

    Theodosia Burr

    Meanwhile, Hamilton is elected to the Constitutional convention. He drafts a version of the Constitution which NYPL has preserved in our archives.

    Alexander Hamilton plan of a constitution for America
    Alexander Hamilton plan of a constitution for America

    He also writes the majority of the Federalist Papers--essays explaining the Constitution to the citizens of the new nation.

    The federalist; a collection of essays, written in favour of the new constitution
    The federalist; a collection of essays, written in favour of the new constitution



    Hamilton is appointed Secretary of Treasury in Washington's new cabinet.  Thomas Jefferson returns from France, becomes Secretary of State, and teams up with James Madison to oppose Hamilton's centralization of federal power.

    Thomas Jefferson


    James Madison
    James Madison














    Jefferson and Hamilton fight over state debts, alliances with France, and just about everything else during their time in the cabinet.  Jefferson kept an account book of expenses during this period, which is now preserved at NYPL.

    Thomas Jefferson account book, 1791-1803
    Thomas Jefferson account book, 1791-1803

    Eventually Jefferson resigns his position in protest, and announces his intention to run for president after Washington's second term.  In the musical, Washington tells Hamilton that Jefferson will be running against someone else, because he plans to retire.  Hamilton helps Washington draft his farewell address, a manuscript of which is preserved at NYPL.

    Farewell Address as President to the citizens of the United States.
    Farewell Address as President to the citizens of the United States.

    John Adams is elected the second president.  Hamilton opposes him in the press.  In this letter, Jefferson congratulates Adams on his win, but warns him of "the subtlety of your arch-friend of New York" (Hamilton):

    Letter from Jefferson to Adams, 1796
    Letter from Jefferson to Adams, 1796.


    Hamilton is successful in opposing Adams, but his own political career is destroyed when, in an effort to clear his name from a charge of financial impropriety, he publishes a pamphlet confessing his adultery with a woman named Maria Reynolds whose husband blackmailed Hamilton and was the receipient of the money Hamilton was secretly paying out.  Hamilton's son, Philip, attempts to defend his father's honor and is killed in a duel.  The Hamiltons move "uptown" to "the Grange," where, as Hamilton says in the musical, it is "quiet."

    The Grange, Kingsbridge Road, The Residence Of Alexander Hamilton.
    The Grange, Kingsbridge Road, The Residence Of Alexander Hamilton.

    Although not competitive in the election of 1800, Hamilton's support of Jefferson cost Aaron Burr the presidency.  Burr and Hamilton spar over this and other issues in the press, eventually leading to Burr challenging Hamilton to a duel.  Before heading to New Jersey, Hamilton writes a letter to his wife in which he calls her "best of wives and best of women."

    Letter to Eliza.
    Letter to Eliza.


    Hamilton and Burr meet and duel at Weehaken.  Hamilton "throws away his shot" by aiming "his pistol at the sky."

    The duel
    Duel of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, July 11, 1804, Weehawken, N.J. From Lamb's History of New York.


    Hamilton died at the Bayard Mansion in Greenwich Village the next  day.

    The Bayard Mansion where Hamilton Died.
    The Bayard Mansion, where Hamilton Died.

     Hamilton's wife Eliza lived another 50 years after her husband's death.

    Life portraits of Eliza.
    Life Portraits of Eliza.


    The musical chronicles her legacy which includes raising funds for the Washington monument and establishing an orphanage in Greenwich Village.  

    Alexander and Eliza also had seven children in addition to the son who died in the duel.  In 1904, a photograph of three generations of Hamilton descendents was sent to the Lenox Library (the collections of which became part of the foundation for NYPL):

    Three generations of Hamiltons
    Three generations of Hamiltons.

    These are, of course, only a tiny fraction of the materials related to Alexander Hamilton in the library, and of course, his is only one life whose story is recorded, in fragmentary pieces, in our archives.  There are many other stories here, just waiting for someone to tell them. Come visit!

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    Cats: muse to T.S. Eliot poetry, Caturday stars, and inspiration behind countless hashtags. Need we say more? Over the years, we've ogled our fair share of cute cat photos and now we've narrowed down the adorable masses to just seven of the most lovable types of cats to librarians. Share your favorite type of feline in the comments below!

    The #BookfaceFriday Cat

    The #CatInTheHatFace Cat

    The Coffee Cat
    Coffee Cat

    The Library Card Cat
    library card cat

    The Three Mus-Cat-Teers
    The Three Mus-Cat-Eers

    The Paws Everything and Read Cat
    The Paws Everything and Read Cat
    Photo Credit: Heather Kresge

    The Out of the Archives Acro-Cat

    Balanchine, George 1436
    Balanchine, George 1436


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