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  • 03/09/16--12:35: She's Cracking the Case
  • Last week, we delved into girl detectives; this week, we’re looking at those girls growing up.

    Young-adult fiction is rich with young women who investigate crimes, solve mysteries, and apprentice in magical archives. Here are some of our favorite YA heroine sleuths.

    (Again, hat tip to the ALA Think Tank Facebook group for this idea and the suggestions!)

    kiki strike

    Ananka Fishbein
    An NYC story with a twist: When a sinkhole opens up in the park across the street from her apartment, Ananka discovers the Shadow City. It’s a secret underground world of vengeful ex-Girl Scouts, brilliant hackers, killer rats, and much more… including the new girl in school, Kiki Strike.

    First book in the series: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller




    sukie o'dare

    Sukie O’Dare
    The heroine of the Grimm Legacy series starts out as a page working at the "New-York Circulating Material Repository”— a library-esque archive that catalogs magical objects.

    First book in the series: The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman






    Beka Cooper
    In an alternate magical universe, quiet, brave, smart Beka helps solve crimes as a member of the Provost’s Guard—the peace-keeping force the nation of Tortall.

    First book in the series: Terrier by Tamora Pierce




    cassie hobbes

    Cassie Hobbes
    Seventeen-year-old Cassie joins the FBI as a member of an elite teen force with special powers. Suspense, action, and insight into the inner life of a profiler.

     First book in the series: The Naturals by Jennifer Barnes





    mary quinn

    Mary Quinn
    When Mary—an orphan and a thief—is accepted into Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls after she’s spared from the gallows in London in the 1850s… only to find that the elite school is a cover for “The Agency,” a super-secret all-female investigative unit.

    First book in the series: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee




    sally lockhart

    Sally Lockhart
    Another historical London mystery! Newly orphaned, Sally finds herself drawn into a dark Victorian world in this classic mystery series.

    First book in the series: The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman






    Kami Glass 
    Sorry-in-the-Vale—the fantastically named English town where Kami Glass lives—is awash in secrets and lies. And when an old Sorry-in-the-Vale family returns to its ancestral home, Kami must reevaluate the town itself and the boy she’d always assumed was her imaginary friend.

    First book in the series: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan





    Rory Deveaux
    A Jack the Ripper copycat is murdering girls in present-day London… and Rory—far from her home in Louisiana, and able to see ghosts—is part of a team trying to get to the bottom of the killings.

    First book in the series: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (The Boy in the Smoke is a prequel!)




    tory brennan

    Tory Brennan
    Exposure to a canine virus leaves Tory and her friends with incredible new powers. The author, a forensic anthropologist, blends science and adventure in this fast-paced mystery series.

    First book in the series: Virals by Kathy Reichs




    Have trouble reading standard print? Many NYPL titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

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    Image ID: 3988597

    epis·to·lary \i-ˈpis-tə-ˌler-ē/ adjective: relating to or denoting the writing of letters or literary works in the form of letters.

    Do people still write letters? The answer is a bit of yes and no. We really don’t mail letters anymore but we send a near constant stream of emails and text messages. Epistolary novels can also take the form of journals, newspaper clippings, blog posts, Twitter and Facebook posts...the possibilities are endless. The following are my absolute favorite young adult  epistolary novels. 

    1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
      Have you ever wondered about those people who screen office emails? Lincoln is one of those people. More specifically, he reads the wacky and sometimes inappropriate conversations between Jennifer and Beth. Of course, he ends up falling for one of them. What kind of story would it be if he didn't? 
    2. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
      Tells the story of Rosie and Alex, two best friends who are separated because Alex had to move to Dublin. The novels consists of their emails and letters and they fight to maintain their friendship in spite of the distance.
    3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
      Follows wallflower Charlie as he walks the line between childhood and adulthood. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was made into a movie starring Harry Potter's Emma Watson.
    4. ttyl by Lauren Myracle
      The first book in the Internet Girls series.  Told in a series of instant messages, texts and emails, ttyl follows a group of friends as they experience life in high school. The rest of the books in the series (ttfn, l8r,g8r, and yolo) are just as good,  too. 
    5. World War Z by Max Brooks
      The Zombie War has happened and Max Brooks travels the world recording the firsthand accounts of survivors. If you like The Walking Dead, you'll love World War Z.
    1. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
      Sloppy Firsts if the first book of the Jessica Darling series. Told in a journal form, the series follows Jessica Darling as she experiences everything from the loss of her best friend to a crush on a mysterious bad boy (of course).
    2. Feeling Sorry For Cecilia by Jaclyn Moriarty
      Consisting of notes, letters and messages written to and from Elizabeth Clarry, Feeling Sorry For Cecilia tells the story of Elizabeth who has to deal with her crazy best friend, Celia, her errant parents and an English assignment that requires her to have a penpal.
    3. Letters From Inside by John Marsden
      Letters From Inside is also about penpals but it is much darker than Feeling Sorry For Cecilia. Letters From Inside is a psychological drama about penpals Mandy and Tracey. The question is, can they really trust each other in spite of the anonymity? Is everyone who they say they are?
    4. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
      Monster is one of my absolute favorites. It tells the story, in the form of a screenplay, of Steve Harmon, a teenager in juvenile detention and on trial. Of all the books I have read in my life, Steve is one of the characters that has stayed with me.
    5. Dracula by Bram Stoker
      I couldn't resist including a classic because I love them and Dracula is one of my favorites. Dracula is so much more than a vampire novel. It is psychological horror, a thriller, a bit of a romance and, most importantly for us, an epistolary novel.  After you've finished Dracula, give Bloodline by Kate Cary a try.

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    Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora.

    Each episode highlights a letter from popular collections housed in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

    Today’s episode features a note from Harlem Renaissance writer Nella Larsen to an unidentified friend—“Eddie”—regarding a social gathering preceding the lavish and notorious wedding of Yolande Du Bois and Countee Cullen.  

    To learn more about the “mystery woman of the Harlem Renaissance” and the Cullen-Du Bois Wedding, plan a visit to the library!

    Writer Linda Villarosa runs the journalism program at The City College of New York. A journalist with a rich history writing for Essence, the Root and other black media, Linda has long admired the work of Nella Larsen. Linda's novel Passing for Black was inspired by the themes in Passing by Larsen, and Linda included a quote from the book as her foreword.  She recites today’s correspondence. 

    Special Note: All text is represented as originally written by the correspondent.  

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    A big shout-out for Women's History Month from us here at NYPL Recommends!

    Well Done, Sister Suffragette!

    Cast off the shadows of yesterday! Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!

    Know Your Feminisms

    Feminism 101. These books are required reading, essential for understanding the history of feminism and the women's rights movement.

    She's Cracking the Case

    Last week, we delved into girl detectives; this week, we’re looking at those girls growing up.

    Looking for a good book for the weekend? Join us on Twitter @NYPLRecommends Fridays from 10-11 a.m. for #TheLibrarianIsIn.

    This week, Lynn is reading the soon-to-be-published The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves Vodoo Death and the Search for the Meaning of the World's Strangest Syndroms  and wondering... how do I get a job where I travel around the world and write about things I find fascinating?

    Gwen is reading Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan, which is fantastic magical realism, and this really sad Ann Beattie story in the New Yorker.

    Also, don't miss The Librarian Is In Podcast for more freewheeling book talk. 

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    The Art of People by Dave Kerpen

    In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar the soothsayer warned: “beware the ides of March,” yet this year I say “embrace the ides of March” because on March 15 Dave Kerpen  is launching his new book The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want.

    Since Dave is a baseball fan it’s only fitting to describe his book as a home run. The book is a compilation of Dave’s life and business stories which helped him attain his goals or taught him valuable lessons in the art of dealing with people.

    It’s a very easy and enjoyable read, and since I admire Dave, it was a good way to peek into his mind and actions. The Art of People led me to understand the things Dave does that make him so “likeable” and that result in him being such a great influencer and leader in his field.

    Dave provides an honest and humble view into the challenges and situations that he has encountered in his personal path, as well as in dealing with employees, colleagues and investors throughout his business life. From learning to listen to his client at a sales meeting, to appointing his daughter as the “President of Table Clearing,” Dave’s stories will make you laugh, cry, cringe and, more importantly, learn how to finesse your people skills. Applying the 11 actionable skills will allow you to connect better, have more meaningful relationships, and make people smile when they think of you. 

    Thanks for a great book, Dave, and best wishes for continued success!

    P.S. - Here's a little cheat sheet to help you remember the 11 skills (but you still have to read the book to understand it): PDF iconThe Art of People.pdfPDF icon). Print, cut, fold in half along the orange line and it’ll be the size of a business card to fit in your wallet.

    Connect with Dave via Twitter, LinkedIn, or set up a time to video-chat with him on a Thursday afternoon

    More books by Dave Kerpen:

    Likeable Social Media

    Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks).


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    You’re a savvy person. I don’t need to explain blogs to you because you’re reading a blog right now! You probably also know what books are since you’re reading a library blog. But what about blogs turned into books? Here’s a guide to some popular blogs that were turned into even more popular books!

    Blogging is a free and accessible way to gain readership and have your creative work seen. The luckiest, or perhaps hardest working, bloggers have been able to use their blog as an avenue to having a published book, allowing them an even larger readership. Just like blogs come in all different shapes and sizes, so do their corresponding books. The use of illustrations, lists, personal commentary, cartoons, etc. in blogs make for interesting and diverse books.

    The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, has awarded her loyal followers with two hardcover, paper-flipping, books. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy contain uproariously funny stories about Jenny’s childhood, current life, and the way her mind works.

    PostSecertPostSecret was one of the trailblazers in 2007, relying on interaction with their readers and artistic mixed media presentation. Their books have the same format of people anonymously revealing their secrets.

    Celebrity gossiper Perez Hilton was also in on the ground floor in 2005 and rose to celebrity heights himself with four books in our collection.

    Webcomics are as old as the Internet itself and many have published anthologies of their work.

    The Oatmeal has “instructional guides” like How To Tell If Your Cat is Plotting To Kill You, Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, and 5 Very Good Reasons To Punch A Dolphin in the Mouth.

    Hyberbole and a Half is Allie Brosh’s insane self-portrait pulled from her blog.Hyperbole and a Half

    Sh*t My Dad Says was just a twinkle in Twitter’s (and Justin Halpern’s) eyes in 2009 but grew to a national sensation in mere months.

    For pure eye candy The Sartorialist brings us fashion from streets all over the world. Hopefully, these two books will not be the last ones we see.

    Humans of New York has beautiful portrait photography but also human interest stories. Check out Brandon Stanton's work in book form. (He sometimessnapsus too!)

    One of the great things about starting as a blog is that you can have direct communication with your readers through the comments section. They will tell you what they like, what they don’t like, and it can be used to edit your style as a focus group of sorts which will only make the final product more informed and successful. Sharing our own hard-earned knowledge is another reason we write.

    Notorious RBGby Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik is a thoroughly researched biography on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was first a Tumblr that celebrated all things Ginsburg.

    The Happiness Projectallowed us to follow Gretchen Rubin on her journey to bring more light to her life in real time through her blog and then after the fact, all tied together in her book.

    Thug KitchenMatt Holloway and Michelle Davis brought us Thug Kitchen and their book of the same name comes with lots of delicious recipes and at least 2 Cups of cursing.

    Finally, we have Julie and Julia. Julie Powell began her intrepid year of cooking everything in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 2002. When she completed the daunting task she compiled what she learned into a book titledJulie and Julia. Things did not stop there. In 2009 the book was converted into a blockbuster film of the same name and it all started with putting her words out there on the Internet.

    These are only a small sampling of blog success stories. Are you inspired to one day have your blog turned into a book or even a movie? Get started right now!

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    Ladders for Leaders is a nationally recognized program that offers high school and college students the opportunity to participate in paid professional summer internships with leading corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies in New York City.  The program is an initiative of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and supported by the NYC Center for Youth Employment and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.


    Ladders for Leaders:  Ladders for Leaders gives studentrs a unique opportunity to explore their interests and discover new ones through:

    • Pre-employment Training: Receive help with resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing skills.  Learn essential workplace readiness skills and business etiquette.
    • Paid Summer Internships:  Paid internship opportunities available in a variety of industries to accommodate student interests.
    • Opportunity to join our growing Alumni Network:  Broad network of alumni,  post-internship opportunities and networking events open to past participants of the program.

    Who is Eligible?

    • Youth between the ages of 16-22 who are enrolled in high school or college
    • A minimum Grade Point  Average (GPA) of 3.00
    • Resident of one of the five boroughs of New York City
    • Anyone with prior work experience, either paid or volunteer
    • Legally allowed to work in New York City

    Accepting applications now

    Orientation is Friday, March 25th

    For information, please call 718-449-5000 ext. 5 or email

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    Everything is happening in the city. Move with the flow. Kids can play jump rope, skip cracks on the sidewalk, ride on the train or in a carriage around Central Park. People can go shopping, play with the pigeons, throw coins into the fountain, ride the bus, sing a city song and have fun doing it all.

    There are many places to see in the city: dance studios, theatres, cinemas, music stores, bake shops, book stores, hotels, car washes, zoos... and more!

    City Street Beat by Nancy  Viau, 2014

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    Fantastic World of Mr. Phelps
    Pieces of Mr. Phelps's life. Photo: Dalit Shalom


    Postcards have been cherished by people as tokens of memory since at least the 1800s. This is something I’ve known since I was a kid, but never really thought about until I worked on a research and design project centered on the postcard collection at the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection. The project led me to one man in particular who collected postcards sent from his friends who traveled the world. His postcards took me on an unforgettable journey. That man was Mr. Walter Phelps Warren.

    Postcards have been used for sending greetings from afar and expressing to a loved one how you wished they were with you. These capsules of time, landmarks and monuments attempt to capture places in order to showcase them to those who are not there. Do postcards successfully depict a place? Do culture, behavior and current events come across in this media? Are postcards like the social media we use today? These questions and many others were the base for one of the most memorable research projects I’ve ever conducted.

    Many postcards across the years and from across the globe, seem to illustrate a place through a naive and pleasing lens. Taking a look at landmarks that have been documented over time, it can even seem as if there is an ideal place to take the winning shot. By practicing this imaginary documentation, we create false images that appear to be timeless, when inherit characteristics that define a location are its beat, its change, and its people. If postcards genuinely represented places, we would witness more conflict, more surprise and more everyday life.

    In many ways, the sharing of postcards can be seen as a former version of the social media channels we use today. Over the past century, distinct patterns have emerged in the way a place is portrayed, but also in the way people communicate to one another. Friends, family, colleagues and lovers have scribed their most personal feelings—completely exposed for the world to see. As tokens from territories, postcards have been known to communicate short bursts of excitement and intimate dialog with a close person. They can even be written in code that only the two will know how to decipher, just because of the nature of closeness between the sender and the receiver. The image on the front side resembles the essence of Instagram, sharing curated and filtered photos with friends. The front also resembles the location-based app Foursquare, as it is a location-based recommendation or suggestion. On the opposite side, a memo can be written in the designated area, similar to the way messages and comments are written on Facebook. The Twitter format is also echoed on the back side of postcards, as brevity is one of the elements that distinguish them from other traditional types of correspondence. These are interesting points to think about today, when social media drives us to create an extreme amount of content, reaching an extreme amount of people, with presumably less intention than the intimate and personal expression postcards offer.

    Discovering Mr. Phelps

    My adventure started on a trip to the New York Public Library as part of an assignment for a class called Cabinets of Wonder, a class examining museums and design for public spaces taught at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU. The assignment was to experience and observe any one of the library branches, and I found myself browsing the Picture Collection located on the third floor of the mid-Manhattan branch. At first I was a bit confused as to why such a collection would be important to a library as opposed to a museum, but after examining some of the items there, it made sense to me. At the Picture Collection, images are cataloged in a similar way to books—by subject heading and in alphabetical order. Folders per subject heading can be found with images of pandas, orange groves, politicians, ancient maps, and many many more. And you can borrow them if you have a library card.

    A remarkable compilation within the Picture Collection is one of postcards, all categorized by their place of origin. I was immediately drawn to them, and after going through several postcards, I noticed two addresses that kept coming up. I didn’t give it much thought other than just being a coincidence, until the following week when I found six more postcards addressed to that same person. I then started to look for cards sent to this individual, and wondered if any more could be found. At the end of a five-hour rummage through the collection, there were sixty postcards addressed to Mr. Walter Phelps Warren on the table.

    Mr. Phelps postcards
    A small selection of the many postcards addressed to Mr. Phelps, originally scattered around the Picture Collection. Photo: Dalit Shalom

    My first reaction to this discovery was the fascination of having access to the personal correspondence of a stranger. What details could be revealed about this character and what relationships did he have with the people sending them? Staring at the pile of postcards without a clue about where to begin, I was determined to uncover any information possible and begin my investigation of Mr. Phelps.

    Since there was no distinct starting point for my exploration, I did the first obvious thing that came to mind and looked up the locations of Mr. Phelps’s residence on Google maps.

    Mr. Phelps Address
    Google Street View for one of two primary addresses that postcards were sent to Mr. Phelps.

    I noticed that both locations were on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and fairly close to one another. The buildings looked beautiful on Google Street View, and one of the locations looked especially luxurious. I wondered about the lifestyle and background of someone who could afford such a lovely place. With the little information just uncovered, an image of Mr. Phelps began to emerge of an important businessman and socialite.

    My online search continued, but without much success. The last name ‘Warren’ is a fairly common one, and it seemed unlikely to find a result on Google that would be the exact person I was looking for. It was only when “Walter Phelps Warren New York” was entered that more results came up (and with much excitement I vigorously opened them all). From the links it looked as though there was indeed a person with the same exact name, but from Troy, New York. The evidence from the postcards clearly stated two primary locations, both in Manhattan. I saved these links for later since they were probably relevant, but premature for my current stage in the research process. The search I conducted on Google gave me fairly limited results, so my investigation continued, but this time back at the New York Public Library. A researcher recommended digging in the archives over at the Division of Local History and Genealogy. He mentioned they had documentation of the Federal Census over years, birth certificates, obituaries and more.

    The librarian at the Division of Local History and Genealogy showed me how records and documents referencing people can be found on Ancestry and what the ideal search entries for finding them were. Many results can come up with just a name and an address, or even just a name and a date of birth. I felt in the perfect spot because I had both of those details (Mr. Phelps’s date of birth came up in a previous search of mine). Conducting a search on Ancestry with these bits of information lead me to references in the New York City directory, a few mentions from the Federal Census, newspaper clippings, and a family book.

    The family book was the first item I located and carefully examined the pages so not to miss any next clues. One detail that started connecting dots for me was the discovery that Mr. Phelps’s father and grandfather were also named Walter Phelps Warren. I also learned the family had been based in Troy, New York for several years. Later, documents from the Federal Census proved the Warrens were a well-established family living in Troy for at least several decades.

    Another exciting discovery was learning about a company co-founded by Mr. Phelps. The New York City directory, which can be accessed by viewing scans on microfilms, pointed me to an address of a wallpaper and interior decor company owned by him named “Katzenbach & Warren”, and, when I returned to the postcards at the Picture Collection, indeed, a postcard in the collection was addressed to the same exact address as the company. Searching for “Katzenbach & Warren” online lead be to an even more remarkable discovery—a collection of the actual wallpaper samples archived at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

    Mr. Phelps Wallpaper 1
    Ilonka’s Cinderella, wallpaper design and illustration by Ilonka Karasz, who worked almost exclusively for Katzenbach & Warren. Image: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

    A similar stunning revelation happened by repeatedly reading the postcards, and coming across a friend congratulating Mr. Phelps on writing a book about Irish Glass. It wasn’t long before I located the book in the Art and Architecture Collection, but, when conducting an online search, I found myself once again directed to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, where Mr. Phelps's entire Irish Glass collection is kept.

    Mr. Phelps Irish Glass Book
    The book Irish Glass by Walter Phelps Warren was published in 1981 by Faber & Faber and can be viewed at the New York Public Library. Photo: Dalit Shalom

    The Fantastic World of Mr. Phelps

    All these discoveries seemed too good to be true. I spent long hours thinking about the best way to tell the story of this person while showcasing all the clues that helped me assemble the character of Mr. Phelps. On one hand, exhibiting the artifacts seemed necessary and interesting, but I strongly wanted the visitors of my exhibition to experience a bit of the exhilaration in the uncovering of Mr. Phelps as I did.

    For this, it seemed appropriate to bring the visitors in to the world of Phelps, and surround them with the breathtaking imagery of the postcards. I could not think of better way to do that then to create an experience traveling through Mr. Phelps postcards in virtual reality (VR).

    Euro Pano 1000 2
    One of several collages created from original postcards sent to Mr. Phelps to be viewed in virtual reality (VR). Image: Dalit Shalom

    My final presentation for the Cabinets of Wonder class was an immersive installation was designed to be part exploratory (visuals and clues from my research posted on a wall) and part experiential (getting inside the head of Mr. Phelps). Visitors can examine documents from up close and witness the connections I made along my journey. The installation climaxes with the experiential part, which is a series of imaginary worlds assembled as collages from the original postcards, experienced in virtual reality, viewed through a custom-made viewer.

    Dalit Shalom Final Presentation 2
    The virtual reality is initiated by sliding a postcard inside the viewer, transporting the participant to an imaginary world. Switching the postcards in the viewer enables travel between different worlds.
    Photo: Shir David
    Dalit Shalom Final Presentation 1
    Design for the final presentation. An authentic environment allows the audience to examine postcards and documentation of the process.
    Photo: Dalit Shalom

    The participant is seamlessly transported to 360° worlds by inserting a postcard with a hidden NFC (Near Field Communication) sticker into the viewer. When the sticker registers communication with the mobile device inside the viewer, a particular application projecting an imaginary world is triggered to start. Beyond the immersive environments viewed in virtual reality, the experience includes sound clips of narration from the original postcards, sound effects, and slight animations that bring elements in the worlds to life once gazed upon in virtual reality (watch a short demo of the virtual reality experience).

    Experiencing virtual realities is not uncommon these days. That said, many are the times virtual reality projects can be found as a gimmick or have a lack of justification as to why that particular medium was used. I strongly believe that when used as a time-travel tool, especially for traveling to imaginary places we are unable to travel to in real life, this emerging technology can do much justice in illustrating visual concepts in one's mind and opens boundless possibilities for the future of storytelling. I hope that your visit to the Fantastic World of Mr. Phelps will not only be magical, but will allow you to look at the world we live in, as well as the medium of postcards with new and fresh eyes.

    Billy Parrott with Dalit Shalom VR
    Billy Parrot, Managing Librarian of the Picture Collection virtually visits the fantasy postcard world of Mr. Phelps. Photo: Dan Marwit

    Dalit Shalom is a designer and creative technologist living in New York City, and is a Masters candidate at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP, Class of 2016). As an insatiably curiosity individual and storyteller at heart, Dalit experiments with new technologies and media, aspiring to bring memorable and meaningful experiences to the lives of others.

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    SAGEWorks Boot Camp - Enrollment Now Open.  SAGEWorks assists people 40 years  and older in learning relevant, cutting-edge job search skills in a LGBT-friendly environment.  This 2 week training takes place from Monday - Friday, 3/21/16- 4/1/16 - 9:30 am to 2:00 pm at The SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001. 
    SAGEWorks Workshop: Employer Panel at the SAGE Center Midtown.  Get free insight from a  panel of experts on what Managers and  HR Departments are really looking for, at The SAGE Center,  305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, Great Room A, New York, NY10001.  SAGEWorks assists people 40 years and older in learning relevant, cutting-edge job search skills in a LGBT-friendly environment.  
    Action Environmental Group will present a recruitment on Saturday, March 19, 2016, 9 am - 12 pm for CDL A / CDL B Truck Driver (5 openings) at  Action Environmental Group, 315 Casanova Street, Bronx, NY 10474.  This position requires a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) Class A or B, and experience driving heavy vehicles.

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1

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    Apprenticeship Opportunities in New York City.

    Brooklyn Community  Board 14:  Available jobs

    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 page will be revised when more recruitment events for the week of March 13 become available.

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  • 03/14/16--11:27: Hello Out There…
  • What would Harry Potter look like with iPhones instead of owls?

    Or Pride and Prejudice, if Elizabeth could have called a friend to gather intel on Darcy?

    Or Romeo and Juliet, if Juliet could have texted “brb, not rly dead”?

    Phone home! From the New York World's Fair 1939-1940 records in NYPL's Digital Collections.

    The first telephone call celebrates its 140th anniversary this month, so we asked our NYPL book experts to name stories that would have gone drastically differently if the characters had been able to use phones.


    fellowship of the rings

    Gandalf: “Yo Gwaihir, could you and the rest of the Eagles drop in, fly us over to Mount Doom? There’s some nasty orcs in Moria I’d like to avoid and it’s a really long trip. Dude here says we can’t just walk in.”

    Gwaihir: “No prob, bud. When and where?”

    Gandalf: “Oh Rivendell sometime tomorrow, ‘k? Great, dude. TTYL.”

    That’s how the whole Balrog debacle could have been avoided in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Saved everyone a lot of aggravation, really. —Joshua Soule, Spuyten Duyvil



    If Xerxes and Leonidas in Frank Miller’s 300 had the option to hash out their differences on the phone, they might have avoided a great deal of bloodshed. (Probably not, though.)—Daniel Norton, Mid-Manhattan





    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. If there was a phone involved, maybe Marianne and the rest of the family would have found out about Willoughby a lot sooner. The same goes for Edward Ferrars. His secret engagement to Lucy Steele would have been revealed a lot quicker through one simple telephone call instead of a slip of the tongue. —Tabrizia Jones, Sedgwick






    If the phone is the great communicator, then perhaps it would have helped the characters in Pride and Prejudice actually communicate with each other. Perhaps Elizabeth would have discovered how wrong she was about Darcy sooner—she could just call up Georgiana and ask her what her brother’s “damage is.” Maybe Darcy would have been less mysterious if he’d simply called Elizabeth up to explain why George Wickham was not to be trusted instead of all that hemming and hawing and letter writing…On the flip side, Lydia would just Instagram her whole shotgun wedding to George with Darcy glowering in the background of her wedding day selfie, letting the whole family know just how much Darcy had helped them. —Anne Rouyer, Mulberry Street



    On Stage


    The first work that comes to mind is Romeo and Juliet! If only Juliet could have texted Romeo her whole plan then maybe they both could have lived! —Rebecca Kluberdanz, Kingsbridge








    It’s safe to say that Samuel Beckett’s absurdist masterpiece Waiting for Godot would have been an entirely different play if there were telephones. Vladimir and Estragon would probably be waiting by a pay phone instead of a tree, making daily calls to (the still elusive) Godot’s secretary instead of receiving visits from the young messenger. —Suzanne Lipkin, Library for the Performing Arts




    Kid Lit


    It’s amazing the lengths that the wizards in Harry Potter will go to in order to avoid technology. In Order of the Phoenix, if Harry had just texted Sirius to check if he was being tortured in the Department of Mysteries, [SPOILER ALERT!!!] maybe he wouldn’t have gotten Sirius killed. Of course, Harry could have also used the two-way mirror that Sirius gave him, but that’s none of my business... —Laura Rietz, Communications and Marketing






    If only Brian in Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet had had a smart phone...

    “Hey Dad, the pilot just had a heart attack and I had to crash land the plane. NBD.  I’m okay!  I’ll drop a pin and send you my location, just send a rescue team, please?  With a pizza?  I’m hungry!”   

    But it’s a good thing he didn’t because it makes one heck of a survival story! —Emily Lazio, Tompkins Square




    Anne of Green Gables! If a phone was involved they may have gotten the boy that Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert asked for. —Jacqueline Quinn, George Bruce


    Canonical Seuss


    If they’d had access to a phone in Green Eggs and Ham, maybe the protagonist would’ve told Sam-I-Am to shove it and ordered delivery! —Susie Heimbach, Mulberry Street






    cat hat

    If the kids in Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat had picked up a phone and called 911 to report a mysterious feline intruder in their house, Thing 1 and Thing 2 might not have wrecked the place quite so thoroughly. —Gwen Glazer, Readers Services






    Greek mythology could have seriously used a telephone! For example, in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, poor king Aegeus wouldn’t have thrown himself into the sea if Theseus had called and said “Hey dad, defeated the Minotaur, totally still alive, headed back home.” Instead they had the whole “change the sails from black to white if you survived,” an arduous task our hero forgets to do in his grief over Ariadne. —Alessandra Affinito, Chatham Square






    Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, may have been a completely different story if Marlow had a phone available to call Kurtz’s camp to ask whether things were going well or not, or if Kurtz had a phone available to call and let the Company know that he wasn’t feeling so hot anymore, that he’d be calling in sick indefinitely and they should send someone ASAP. —Katrina Ortega, Hamilton Grange






    Dracula by Bram Stoker would surely have gone differently had there been a telephone. Jonathan Harker could have called for help to be rescued from Dracula’s castle and possibly had the vampire destroyed. He also would have been able to warn others at his home in London about the sinister force on its way to harm them. —Chasity Moreno, Ask NYPL




    Adult Fiction


    Dorothy Parker’s short story “A Telephone Call” might have been told very differently today. Or not.

    “I must stop this. I mustn’t be this way. Look. Suppose a young man says he’ll call a girl up, and then something happens, and he doesn’t. That isn’t so terrible, is it? Why, it’s going on all over the world, right this minute. Oh, what do I care what’s going on all over the world? Why can’t that telephone ring? Why can’t it, why can’t it? Couldn’t you ring? Ah, please, couldn’t you? You damned, ugly, shiny thing. It would hurt you to ring, wouldn’t it? Oh, that would hurt you. Damn you, I’ll pull your filthy roots out of the wall, I’ll smash your smug black face in little bits. Damn you to hell.”

    So hey, um... didn’t you get my text? —Lauren Lampasone, Digital Experience

    sand fog

    In the The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, character Kathy Nicolo loses her home in Corona, partly due to circumstance and partly due to the lack of a good phone line. At one point she falls in love with Lester Burdon, a police officer, and lives in a fishing cabin on the Purisima River without a phone line, running water, or electricity. Things could have turned out much differently for everyone involved with a good conference call or two. —Jenny Baum, Jefferson Market




    Forget the Snail Mail

    De Laclos’ Dangerous Liaisons might have been much shorter and more tabloid in nature if the Vicomte de Valmont and Marquise de Merteuil had used phones to dish to and about each other in real time, rather than sending carefully crafted and wonderfully articulate letters. There would have been many instances of one hanging up the phone and an instant later thinking, “Doh! I just thought of a better way I should have phrased that barb! I wonder if I should call back. Is it too early to call back?  What is the rule again, wait 24 hours lest it sound too desperate?” —Christopher Platt, Administration


    If young Werther (The Sorrows of Young Werther, by Goethe) could have used a telephone to pour out his life’s storms and stresses to his friend Wilhelm, instead of confiding them to paper to be dispatched by snail mail, Wilhelm might have been able to transfer one of his desperate later calls to a suicide hotline, thus averting a tragedy. —Kathie Coblentz, Rare Materials






    Ian McEwan’s heartbreaking novel Atonement would have been a much different story if only Robbie could have sexted Cecelia...  instead of passing a lewd love note to her through her much younger cousin. —Nancy Aravecz, Jefferson Market






    Have trouble reading standard print? Many NYPL titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

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    A historical thriller set in New York City debuts at No. 1 this week, with wedding romances, British love stories, and scary stories of captivity rounding out the list.


    #1 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Gangster by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott, more historical thrillers:

    Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith

    Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

    The Confession by Olen Steinhauer




    me before you

    #2 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, more British love stories:

    Other People's Childrenby Joanna Trollope

    One Day by David Nicholls

    The House We Grew Up Inby Lisa Jewell





    #3 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Room by Emma Donoghue, more frightening tales of captivity:

    Above by Isla Morley

    Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

    The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks





    #4 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, more books starring women and set during WWII:

    The Sea Gardenby Deborah Lawrenson

    Citadel by Kate Mosse

    The Last Time I Saw Parisby Lynn Sheene




    wedding dress

    #5 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck, more wedding romances:

    The Winter Bride by Ann Gracie

    Married 'til Monday by Denise Hunter

    Sweetheart Bride by Lenora Worth




    Have trouble reading standard print? Many NYPL titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

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    Please join us for these upcoming public programs, sponsored by the Dorot Jewish Division.

    All events are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Eve Jochnowitz

    Seasoned with Song: Sacred Music of the Ashkenazic Sabbath Meals, with Dr. Eve Jochnowitz

    Thursday, March 31, 2016, 6:30 PM
    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Fully accessible to wheelchairs
    Sponsored by the Dorot Jewish Division



    Sholem Aleichem 1907

    Tales from the Train: Sholem Aleichem, 100 Years Later

    STAGED READING with Yiddish theater stars Shane Baker, Allen Lewis Rickman, and Yelena Shmulenson in English and Yiddish with English translations.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 6:30 PM
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Auditorium
    Fully accessible to wheelchairs
    Sponsored by the Dorot Jewish Division.  



    Dr. Dovid Katz

    Who Are the Litvaks? An Illustrated Lecture with Professor Dovid Katz

    Monday, April 11, 2016, 6:30 PM
    Mid-Manhattan Library
    Fully accessible to wheelchairs
    Sponsored by the Dorot Jewish Division.

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    Subscribe on iTunes.

    Darryl Pinckney is a Whiting Award winner, a former Cullman Fellow, and a longtime contributor to the New York Review of Books. He visited the New York Public Library for Conversations at the Cullman Center co-sponsored by the NYRB to discuss his book Black Deutschland with Zadie Smith, the Orange Prize-winning author of several works including White Teeth and NW. This week for the New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present Darryl Pinckney and Zadie Smith discussing achievement, inspiration, guilt and Beyoncé.

    Darryl Pinckney and Zadie Smith

    One of Pinckney's major influences is Christopher Isherwood's The Berlin Stories. He discussed Isherwood and other literary antecedents:

    "I can remember sitting in study hall reading The Berlin Stories in an obsessive way that meant you weren't going to finish the term paper you had due, and that book is rather coded, but if you can hear the dog whistle, it speaks and speaks and speaks to you. Then a few years later, Isherwood wrote a memoir called Christopher and His Kind, and it was this rather irate concordance about everything he couldn't say openly at the time. I actually like the coded book better, because then I knew I was a member of a select club. Isherwood is an inspiration for the narrator, but he's not a model for me and this book... He does these interesting things in The Berlin Stories. The women dismiss Isherwood the narrator as unsuitable for boyfriend material, so he doesn't have to fake anything, and he's off the hook, and he can just be an observer, and he's very much an observer. The narrator of this book is much more participant in his grand mistake, which is what going to Berlin and staying in Berlin kind of is. I always think of Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison and the way that they couldn't find for themselves antecedents in nineteenth century American fiction because race always got in the way, even Hawthorne or something like that. So they chose the Russians because the same things were involved: freedom, serfs, national identity. The narrator I always have first in mind are these sort of rootless losers from Dostoevsky like the guys says in The House of the Dead, 'I'm just going to talk about this prison, nothing else,' or the guy in Notes from the Underground says, 'I'm not a nice person, but you're going to listen to this story.'

    Pinckney traced the history of black achievement, how it has oriented around both negative and positive connotations and how memoirs like Margo Jefferson's Negroland help to prevent the erasure of a 1960s conception of achievement as not antithetical to authenticity:

    "My father would insist that this life of negro achievement cannot be separated from the brutality of its context, and neither can the achievers. There is no way. There is no separation. In the old days, all black classes lived very near one another, and then if there was white flight, there was brown, beige, high yellow flight as well. Whatever you want to call it. I think one of the things Margo Jefferson's marvelous memoir does it to remind us that classed aspiration was at one time a radical act or a radical mode for black people, because white people didn't want you to leave the plantation. They didn't want your barber shop to succeed. They didn't want you to go to college. They didn't want you to have Latin in college because they violated what DuBois called 'personal whiteness.' It wasn't until the late fifties with the E. Franklin Frazier book Black Bourgeoisie that all this was demonized, that black middle class. DuBois also raked everyone over the coals for wanting to play golf instead of wanting to be in the NAACP. And then in the sixties, middle class life became an optic of scorn anyway. So blacks were doubly scorned, for 'trying to be white,' which was a deep insult because these people had found a way to be black, and that wasn't respected at all. And so Margo Jefferson sort of restores that sixties generation in the proper historical continuum where negro achievement is not selling out."

    Smith asked Pinckney to talk about his reaction to Beyoncé's "Formation" music video, which she had sent him prior to the NYPL event. He described some initial confusion, followed by a sense that Beyoncé's generation has advantageously eschewed a sense that success and blackness are mutually exclusive:

    "The first thing I feel looking at a Beyoncé video is old. You know, and I'm not sure I understood it. It is a very deep change because of hip-hop from my political generation in the attitude toward materialism. Of course the revolution was righteous and so you expected people to give up all this stuff, which you know, no one wanted to go to the demo and sneak off. This generation doesn't feel any contradiction between success and being black. And I think that's really very good, and here's this woman married to this tycoon, and she's a tycooness, and she's got an amazing body and can do this stuff that my mother would really not approve of. It would shock her so much. The lyrics I found shocking once I understood them. I didn't get them right away."

    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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  • 03/15/16--08:26: Dachshunds in Fiction
  •  1523477
    Dachshund. Image ID: 1523477

    Whenever I run across a children's book featuring a dachshund on the cover, I smile. I've always thought dachshunds were a great breed but I never thought I'd be a pet parent to one of these spunky, comical looking little dogs with odd proportions.

    Almost three years ago, I went to the Humane Society of Westchester at New Rochelle to adopt a dog. They had an adorable year-old terrier. I was set to adopt him and went back the next day with my husband. We got there 15 minutes after the shelter opened and he was already being adopted.

    The following week I looked on their website and saw a photo of a dachshund available for adoption. In the photo he was sitting on a table covered in a blue cloth which set off his copper colored fur. His head was tilted slightly to the side and he had a pleading expression in his eyes. His name was Dougie. I was intrigued and found out he was still available for adoption.

    I went to the shelter the next day and told the man I wanted to meet Dougie. In a few minutes another staffer came up with this squirmy little dog. The staffer asked me if I wanted to take him for a walk and I said sure. We stepped out into the hot August sun and began walking around the neat grounds. Then I said, "Okay Dougie, let's run" and we sprinted off. Since then, he's been my running buddy.

    Today Dougie is quite the charmer as he happily walks or runs by folks, eliciting smiles and happy comments from both children and adults.

    So for dog and dachshund lovers alike, here are some children's and adult books that celebrate this spunky little dog with the big personality.


    Pretzel by Margret Rey; with pictures by H.A. Rey.

    Pretzel is the longest dachshund in the world, but that's not enough to win the favor of Greta, the little dachshund from across the street.






    Lumpito and the Painter from Spain by Monica Kulling; art by Dean Griffiths

    Did you know that a dachshund was the muse to one of the most famous modern artists? Lump the dachshund, lives with a photographer and a larger dog in Italy. They travel to the south of France to meet Pablo Picasso, who promptly names him "Lumpito," in a story based on actual events.


    Ire of Iron Claw

    The Ire of Iron Claw by Kersten Hamilton; with illustrations by James Hamilton.

    Boy inventor Wally Kennewickett, along with his loyal dachshund Noodles and his scientific genius family, along with a staff of automatons join forces to keep the world safe from evil sky pirates, cross Europe in a giant mechanical spider, and defy the evil Mesmers.





    Zoe Sophia's Scrapbook

    Zoe Sophia's Scrapbook: An Adventure in Venice by Claudia Mauner and Elisa Smalley; illustrated by Claudia Mauner

    Nine-year-old Zoe Sophia travels with Mickey, her dachshund, on an amazing journey from New York City to Venice, Italy, for a visit with a famous author—her aunt Dorothy.




    Bud Barkin, Private Eye

    Bud Barkin, Private Eye by James Howe; illustrated by Brett Helquist. (Tales From the House of Bunnicula 5.)

    In an affectionate parody of the gumshoe genre, Howie, the wirehaired dachshund, tries his paw at writing a new kind of novel, a mystery in which he stars as a private investigator and Delilah as the "mysterious dame" (a beautiful blonde, not the breed).



    Amazing, Odorous Adventures of Stinky Dog

    The Amazing, Odorous Adventures of Stinky Dog by James Howe, illustrated by Brett Helquist. (Tales from the House of Bunnicula 6)

    Howie, the wire haired dachshund, creates a story featuring a super hero whose ability to stink enables him and his side-kick, a sparrow named Little D, to fight crime in Central City.





    Albert the Dog

    Albert, The Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis by Cynthia Zarin; illustrations by Pierre Pratt

    Albert the dachshund loves nothing better than riding in taxicabs. One day he embarks on a taxicab adventure to the airport.




    Timothy Cox Will Not Change His Socks

    Timothy Cox Will Not Change His Socks by Robert Kinerk; pictures by Stephen Gammell

    Timothy Cox, who enjoys following through on ideas, decides to wear the same unwashed socks for one month, ignoring the strong objections of his dachsund, Walt, and everyone else around him.




    A Last Goodbye

    A Last Goodbye by J.A. Jance

    Ali Reynolds is finally marrying her longtime love B. Simpson. But wedding plans seem to be going awry with her simple Christmas Eve wedding getting more complicated by the minute. Even as Ali's friends—Leland Brooks, Sister Anselm, and more—descend on Vegas, the bride-to-be finds herself juggling last-minute wedding plans and a mystery in the form of a stray miniature dachshund. Ali's grandson rescues the little dog when she's tossed out of a car on the Strip, but Ali's not in the market for a pet right now.



    The End of the Road

    The End of the Road by Sue Henry

    Maxie McNabb and her miniature dachshund, Stretch, investigate a murder that shatters the quiet in their hometown of Homer, Alaska.





    The Refuge

    The Refuge by Sue Henry (a Maxie and Stretch mystery)

    Maxie McNabb and her miniature dachshund Stretch have spent nine months on the road and Maxie is ready for some R&R, Alaska-style, but no sooner has the sixty-something RVer parked the Mini-Winnie than a pleading phone call sends her flying to Hawaii.





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    Recently, I started thinking about YA novels featuring characters who are missing their memories.  Memory loss can definitely happen in realistic fiction (a character has a head injury, or is in a state of shock, or gets blackout drunk).  But what I’d like to focus on today are some of my favorite examples of missing memories in fantasy and science fiction.  In these books the characters’ minds are wiped with drugs, surgery, rays, or mysterious techniques that we can’t even imagine.

    Sometimes the characters in these books know that they’re missing their memories, but sometimes they don’t realize it until much later.  While the memory loss itself is fascinating, I have to admit that my favorite part of these stories is when those blocked memories start coming back!  

    More Happy Than Not
    The Program

    Beta by Rachel Cohn

    Elysia is a 16-year-old clone.  All she knows is that the real girl she was cloned from is dead.  But who was that girl?  What was her name?  How did she die?  Does anyone miss her?  Elysia can’t help but wonder about the dead girl who looked just like her.  

    More Than This by Patrick Ness

    The last thing Seth remembered was swimming in the ocean, fighting against the waves that smashed his body into the rocks.  He remembered drowning, and then he remembered waking up in front of a house that looked vaguely familiar.  He has no idea where he is.  And he doesn’t know if he’s alive, if he’s dead, or if he’s dreaming.

    The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

    Two weeks ago Jenna woke up from a coma, but huge pieces of her memory are still missing.  She can’t even recognize her own family.  Now she spends time every day watching videos that her parents filmed of her childhood, and she waits for her memories to come back.

    More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

    The Leteo Institute offers to wipe away a person’s memories of the past.  Is it worth the price to try to get rid of your own bad memories?  This miraculous procedure might be too good to be true.

    Slated by Teri Terry

    Nine months ago Kyla was Slated—her mind was wiped clean of its memories.  She know very little about herself, except that she must have been a criminal.  Because being Slated is supposed to be more humane than jail or the death penalty.

    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

    When Tally turns sixteen, she will finally be transformed into a pretty.  She can’t wait to have all of her ugly features fixed and cut away, and to have a fun and happy life filled with wild parties and lots of new friends.  She can’t wait to become so beautiful that she won’t have to think about who she used to be.

    The Program by Suzanne Young

    Teen suicide was at an all-time high.  One out of three teenagers were killing themselves, and nobody could explain why it was happening.  That’s why the government started taking any teens who showed signs of depression and forcing them into the Program, because it was the only cure for suicidal thoughts.  But in the process of removing those thoughts, it removed other memories, too.

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    Spring titles are still on the horizon, but already we are seeing some wonderful new middle grade ficiton titles. Here are a few we think are exceptional.


    Paxby Sarah Pennypacker

    Told from multiple perspectives—that of a boy whose life is being torn apart by a war and that of his pet fox.  This is not your typical anthropomorphizing: You really feel like you are in the skin of the fox here.





    The Wild Robot

    The Wild Robotby Peter Brown

    A robot thrown overboard in a hurricane washes up on an island shore. Her only hope for survival is to learn from the island's decidedly illogical animal inhabitants.






    Behind the Canvas

    Behind the Canvasby Alexander Vance

    Claudia sets out to rescue a boy who has been trapped behind a canvas for centuries by an evil witch.






    When Mischief Comes to Town

    When Mischief Comes to Town by Katrina Nanestad

    A mischievous, spirited girl moves to a remote island in Denmark and turns the place on its head. For fans of Pippi Longstocking and Anne of Green Gables.






    All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

    All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor

    Perry has lived in the Blue River Co-Ed Correctional Facility since he was born. Now he has moved in with a foster family and feels incarcerated. 






    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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    If you want a safer job, go work in a library. These are the sentiments of undercover FBI agent, Joaquin "Jack" Garcia. He infiltrated the NY Mafia like only one agent had before him; Greg DePalma even wanted to induct him as a "made" member of the mafia. 

    Born a Cuban American, the FBI schooled Garcia on how to look, sound, and act like an Italian wiseguy. As part of his training, he ate at Italian restaurants and learned how to pronounce the names of the foods correctly... the Italian way. He watched Italian cooking TV shows, such as Everyday Italian with Giada De Luarentiis. He dressed to the nines, wearing suits every day, down to the right shoes. Mobsters are impeccable about their personal hygiene and appearance.

    Living a double life, few of Jack's friends or neighbors knew about his true profession. When he retired from the FBI, his daughter was only six years old, so even she did not know what her father did. At any moment, Jack could have been killed by his mobster friends. In fact, there was information that a hit was put out on him when the case was closed, and the FBI collared many known wiseguys.

    Making Jack Falcone: an Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family by Joaquin "Jack" Garcia, 2008

    This book was beyond fascinating. Jack Garcia is a very bright individual who is also an amazing actor. It is scary to realize that the mob exists in the Bronx and White Plains, New York. I learned much about organized crime, undercover work and the FBI.

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    As part of the ongoing Early American Manuscripts Project, NYPL has recently digitized a number of exciting collections relating to North America in the eighteenth century.

    1. The Hugh Gaine Receipt Book and Hugh Gaine Papers document the life and business activities of an influential New York printer who from 1752 to 1783 printed and published the New-York Mercury, and later the New-York Gazette, and the Weekly Mercury.

    Indentur of Apprenticeship of Hugh Gaine to Samuel Wilson and James Magee, 1740. Image ID: 5507778

    2. New York Vice Admiralty Court Records detail the proceedings of a court charged with such cases as claims for salvage and seamen’s wages, claims for prize vessels and cargoes taken in wartime, and violations of British trade and navigation statutes, in some cases smuggling.

    New York Vice-Admiralty Court, October 5, 1758. Image ID: 5529368

    3. Reports of the Board of Treasury (1785-1787) document the proceedings of the institution charged with managing the treasury and finances of the United States during the Confederation era.  Most of the  volume consists of reports to Congress by the Board commissioners during this period, Arthur Lee (1740-1792), Walter Livingston (1740-1797), and Samuel Osgood (1748-1813).

    Board of Treasury
    Board of Treasury Report from September 20, 1787. Image ID: 5493074


    4.Fort Niagara Statement of Account with Edward Pollarddocument the account of the British Army's garrison at Fort Niagara with trader Edward Pollard from 1773 December 25 to 1774 July 8, for sundries furnished to Indians, and the services of an interpreter and a blacksmith.

    First Page of Fort Niagara Accounts. Image ID: 5492178

    5. John Hyslop Diary from 1793, documents the journey of Hyslop, a Scottish-born baker, from New York City up the Connecticut River to Springfield.  It contains Hyslop’s notes on the many towns he passed through along the way.

    Hyslop's Memorandum of the Country & Customs of the people since I left New York. Image ID: 5552054

    About the Early American Manuscripts Project

    With support from the The Polonsky Foundation, The New York Public Library is currently digitizing upwards of 50,000 pages of historic early American manuscript material. The Early American Manuscripts Project will allow students, researchers, and the general public to revisit major political events of the era from new perspectives and to explore currents of everyday social, cultural, and economic life in the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods. The project will present on-line for the first time high quality facsimiles of key documents from America’s Founding, including the papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Drawing on the full breadth of the Library’s manuscript collections, it will also make widely available less well-known manuscript sources, including business papers of Atlantic merchants, diaries of people ranging from elite New York women to Christian Indian preachers, and organizational records of voluntary associations and philanthropic organizations. Over the next two years, this trove of manuscript sources, previously available only at the Library, will be made freely available through

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    As an immigrant who successfully climbed her way to the top of the corporate ladder, Lucy Chen is using her retirement as an opportunity to help younger immigrant women navigate their new lives in the city. Through a program at the Library, Lucy has become a friend and mentor to young women who are following in her footsteps—and she has opened up a whole new world for herself in the process. Learn more about how Lucy uses her own experience to guide others, and how being a mentor brings her joy and satisfaction, in this week's Library Story.

    Library Stories is a video series from The New York Public Library that shows what the Library means to our users, staff, donors, and communities through moving personal interviews.

    Like, share, and watch more Library Stories on Facebook or YouTube.

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