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The Librarian Is In

The New York Public Library’s podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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New Year, New (Reading) You

Want to broaden your reading horizons this year? Librarian extraordinaire Meredith Mann joins Frank and Gwen to debate the pros and cons of annual reading challenges. Plus: secret database magic, sci-fi written by robots, and our favorite British bakers. Get links to the books discussed in the episode at nypl.org/podcast.

44mins

4 Jan 2018

Rank #1

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Walk the Windswept Moors

For the last episode of 2019, Gwen surprises Frank by reading one of his all time favorite books, Frank delves into the world of Trust Exercise and Gwen shares a personal announcement. Stay warm on those windswept moors everybody, and we'll see you in 2020!

58mins

26 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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New Fiction! New Fiction!

Gwen gets fired up about reading—you guessed it—new fiction this year, while Frank dips into the backlist of a new favorite author. Plus: New Year's resolutions, The Bachelor, and the best short stories of 2018. Book Recommendations Best American Short Stories 2018, ed. by Roxane Gay The Children's Bach by Helen Garner The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley Encocylopedia Britannica's quick summary of "Beowulf"—or check out lots of versions of the actual poem from the Library Non-Book Recommendations The panel Gwen is speaking on at ALA Midwinter: “So You Want to Podcast." Come say hi! Vice Nina LaCour's podcast, Keeping a Notebook The Bachelor

46mins

10 Jan 2019

Rank #3

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How to Pull Yourself Out of a Book Slump

Gwen and Frank are both struggling to find the perfect book this week — and coming up with some ideas about how to do it. Plus: the glory that is Ilana Glazer.

36mins

1 Nov 2017

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Never Let Me Go. Seriously, Never.

Gwen and Frank take a deep, emotional dive into a masterpiece by this year's Nobel Prize winner in Literature: Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Get the full list of episodes at www.nypl.org/podcast. 

44mins

16 Nov 2017

Rank #5

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#TeamEdith, Ep. 3

We talk about how to fit more reading into busy schedules, Lin-Manuel Miranda, horror books and movies, childhood favorites, David Bowie, Lin-Manuel Miranda again, and our love for Downton Abbey’s kind Anna and unstoppable Edith.

56mins

21 Jan 2016

Rank #6

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Life-Changing Lessons

Book synergy abounds with two titles that explore the sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes supernatural relationship between parents and children. Plus, a listener question about "leisure reading" proves to be more complicated than it first seems.  Books Discussed: Lanny by Max Porter A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother by Rachel Cusk

34mins

19 Sep 2019

Rank #7

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How Many Hats Can a Librarian Wear?

Books and reading are the foundation of any library but your local librarian is doing so much more: computer help, test prep and yes, even knitting. This week, Gwen and Frank talk to Erin Horanzy, an Adult Programming Librarian at NYPL's Francis Martin Library in the Bronx. Enjoy! We want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts with us in this short survey: www.nypl.org/podcastsurvey

36mins

25 Jan 2018

Rank #8

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The Podcast That Must Not Be Named, Ep. 4

Go behind the scenes at BookOps, the Library's special secret spy agen— er, the "technical services" unit. Also: the Helen Ellis/Shirley Jackson/Anita Brookner triumvirate, Frank's shocking Harry Potter confession, and more.

59mins

4 Feb 2016

Rank #9

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Comfort Reads

Gwen and Frank tackle one book that feels comforting and homey; one that's distinctly unsettling; and one that's somewhere in between. Plus: A stranger on the train helps us deconstruct the genius of J-Patt. Book Recommendations Your Duck Is My Duck: Stories by Deborah Eisenberg The Farm by Joanne Ramos Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug   Also mentioned: Mary Poppins Returns Emily Blunt and the rest of the cast going down the bathtub slide! Everything Doris Day

47mins

16 May 2019

Rank #10

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Nancy Books

The hosts of WNYC's Nancy podcast join Gwen and Frank for a conversation about queer books, making podcasts, and Xena Warrior Princess... and they Skyped in from their vacation, no less!  Subscribe to Nancy wherever you get Podcasts, we highly recommend it.  (This episode has some less than perfect audio, which is particularly embarrassing given our super professional radio guests. We promise it's still a great episode, and we're sorry!)

38mins

29 Jun 2017

Rank #11

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Cozy Intellectualism and/or Baby Marginalia

We all love libraries, but what books do you just NEED to own? Frank coins a new genre, Gwen falls for a book about mistakes, and they both share some deep thoughts about the oxford comma. This Week’s Books: The Grammarians by Cathleen Shine The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames Dreyer's English : An Utterly correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

46mins

3 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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Dame Margaret Comes to Town: Ep. 13

Margaret H. Willison, a.k.a. The Coolest Funniest Pop-Culture-iest Librarian Ever, joins Gwen and Frank this week for the ultimate high/low-culture episode. nypl.org/podcast

55mins

26 May 2016

Rank #13

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Scandal!

Who's up for some dubious morality? We're all about the scandal this week, as Frank and Gwen tackle controversial essays, what makes a "beach read," and, um, porcupines in library book drops.

34mins

6 Jul 2017

Rank #14

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The Beginning or the End?

This week, Gwen and Frank take on books ranging  from the collapse of modern civilization to a murder "how-done-it" told exclusively from the point of view of a perspicacious fetus.  Get the full list of books discussed at www.nypl.org/podcast.

35mins

11 Jan 2018

Rank #15

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Harry Potter Meets Jane Eyre

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, Gwen and Frank fall hard for the wise and wonderful Vanessa Zoltan of the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast! We talk Harry and Jane, try the spiritual practice of lectio divina, discuss the healing power of romance novels, figure out Frank's Tinder profile... get ready for some serious revelations. Vanessa's book recs: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

51mins

30 Aug 2018

Rank #16

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Anita Brookner and Dorothy Parker Walk into a Bar...

Your hosts wax rhapsodic about two of their mainstay favorite authors. Plus: Gwen takes "cozy intellectual" suggestions from a listener's email and Frank discovers a YouTube celebrity crush. 

46mins

31 Oct 2019

Rank #17

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Don't Shush Me!

It's World Read Aloud Day, and Gwen and Frank are hearing voices from ghosts and robots. But they still manage to keep it together to recommend some books and play an extra round of their guessing game.

48mins

1 Feb 2018

Rank #18

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Hot Garbage, Summer in the City, Ep. 19

Humidity can't exist in outer space! Beat the heat by blasting off into orbit with Frank and Gwen's brand-new segment. Plus: Do audiobooks "count" as reading?

53mins

18 Aug 2016

Rank #19

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May I Remove Your Preconceived Notions?

Frank and Gwen break down romance novel stereotypes with fellow NYPL librarian Anne Rouyer. The genre often gets dismissed as fluff, but romance can subvert the traditional confines of gender, power, class, and more. (Gay Regency, anyone?) Anne's Recommendations Social Intercourse by Greg Howard The Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah Maclean  Unmasked by the Marquess and It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan (for those who love Me Before You by Jojo Moyes) Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison And for a non-book recommendation: 'Hiyori's Bed & Breakfast'

53mins

2 Aug 2018

Rank #20