Rank #1: Bonus Episode - Frankenstein: Our Dark Mirror
Over 200 years ago, a teenage girl started a literary legacy that continues to haunt us today. Why do we still keep telling this story and how does it reflect our darkest fears? The New York Public Library's curators join monster theory scholars and best-selling authors to trace the history of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley’s classic. This special podcast episode unpacks the genius of Shelley’s novel, its origins and evolution—from the British Romantics to Black Lives Matter—to uncover how it’s helped us better understand ourselves, our humanity, and our future.
Mar 12 2019
Rank #2: 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.
Jan 04 2018
Rank #3: 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!
Dec 26 2019
Rank #4: 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.
Best American Short Stories 2018, ed. by Roxane GayThe Children's Bach by Helen Garner
The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley
Jan 10 2019
Rank #5: 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.
Nov 01 2017
Rank #6: Never Let Me Go. Seriously, Never.
Nov 16 2017
Rank #7: #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.
Jan 21 2016
Rank #8: 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
Jan 25 2018
Rank #9: 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.
Oct 31 2019
Rank #10: 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.
Feb 04 2016
Rank #11: 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.
Your Duck Is My Duck: Stories by Deborah Eisenberg
The Farm by Joanne RamosBelonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug Also mentioned:
Emily Blunt and the rest of the cast going down the bathtub slide!
Everything Doris Day
May 16 2019
Rank #12: 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!)
Jun 29 2017
Rank #13: Dame Margaret Comes to Town: Ep. 13
May 26 2016
Rank #14: 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.
Jul 06 2017
Rank #15: 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.
Jan 11 2018
Rank #16: 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:
Aug 30 2018
Rank #17: 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.
Feb 01 2018
Rank #18: 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?
Aug 18 2016
Rank #19: 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?)
Social Intercourse by Greg Howard
The Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah Maclean
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison
And for a non-book recommendation: 'Hiyori's Bed & Breakfast'
Aug 02 2018
Rank #20: Winnie-the-Podcast, Ep. 21
Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, and Roo join Frank and Gwen in the studio this wee... just kidding. But we have the next best thing: Michael Inman, curator of NYPL's Rare Book Division, who tells us about the restoration of the Library's historic Winnie-the-Pooh dolls. Plus: children's and YA books galore, and queens of all kinds.
Sep 15 2016