Rank #1: Bunny, I Love You!
Frank and Gwen do a deep dive into their summer reading pick, Mona Awad's new novel, Bunny—a dark satirical take on female friendship, loneliness, desire, and creative writing MFA programs. Alert: spoilers! tons of 'em!
Tell us what everybody's talking about in your world of books and libraries! Suggest Hot Topix(TM) by email or voice memo to podcasts[at]nypl.org or call 507-NYPL-LIB.
Rank #2: Introducing Ourselves: Ep. 1
Hello, listeners! "The Librarian is In" is the New York Public Library's new podcast about books, culture, and what to read next. On this, the very first episode, your hosts Frank and Gwen talk about book shame, their reading origin stories, the glory of Jefferson Market, and why some young people are saying "swell" without irony.
Rank #3: The Dog-Eared Days of Summer
Do you dog-ear? Use bookmarks or sticky notes? Write notes in margins? Or do you—heaven forbid—underline? We delve deep into the ethical implications of leaving your mark on library books. Plus: two new summer reads and one musical cue.
Suggest Hot Topix(TM) or tell us what you think about summer reading!
Email podcasts[at]nypl.org or call 507-NYPL-LIB.
Rank #4: The Great Nancy Pearl
Frank and Gwen are beyond thrilled to talk to Nancy Pearl, a.k.a. America's Librarian, a.k.a. the guru of readers' advisory, a.k.a. OUR HERO.
Rank #5: 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.
Rank #6: 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.
Rank #7: 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
Rank #8: The Right Book At The Right Time
Frank and Gwen tackle two powerful narratives of self-acceptance -- and then take respite in a roller derby comic and a love story.
Rank #9: Never Let Me Go. Seriously, Never.
Rank #10: Summer Reading Challenge: Greeks vs. Romans!
For our second Summer Reading Challenge, Gwen and Frank chose a book for each other that they thought they'd love but would never read otherwise. This year, a strange symmetry emerged as they chose oddly complementary books: a novel about the antics of ancient Greek students and a modern-day translation of ancient Roman myths.
Rank #11: Parker, Postman, and Pooh
A 30-year-old book remains intensely relevant for today's world, Gwen rediscovers Dorothy Parker AND reading Pooh to her pre-schooler and Frank raps!...(sort of).
Get links to all the books discussed and full list of episodes at nypl.org/podcast, click on The Librarian Is In.
Rank #12: 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:
Rank #13: Shoutout to the Ex
New NYPL librarian Jenny Chisnell joins the show to talk artist books, The New York Book Fair, and enough of her extraordinarily varied interests and recommendations that Gwen and Frank are immediately exhausted!
Find links to the books discussed and back episodes at www.nypl.org/podcast.
Rank #14: 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.
Rank #15: Cloning Clooney, Ep. 2
We talk about feminist comics, The Golden Girls, squids and snails, intellectualism, and -- yes -- cloning George Clooney. Plus Frank and Gwen are joined by NYPL's very own Jason Baumann.
Rank #16: Heaven Is a Place on... Another Planet?
Frank and Gwen traverse the globe and beyond this week, with two dystopian YA books about life on other planets and a memoir about international travel, journalism, and feminism. Plus: Banned Books Week and, yes, Belinda Carlisle.
Rank #17: 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.
Rank #18: Hey, Mr. Producer
Against his better judgment, the producer of the Librarian Is In joins Gwen and Frank to talk books, tattoos, and how the podcast came to be.
Rank #19: Kilts, Cupcakes, and Romance Novels
Frank and Gwen dive into two very different romance novels with NYPL librarians Annie Lin and Kate Fais. Plus: a super-clean podcast, a binge-watch-able show, and a gender-bending picture book.
Rank #20: Peyton DisPlaced
Another crossover episode with our fine friends from the Overdue podcast! Frank and Gwen join Craig and Andrew in Philadelphia to discuss the 1956 novel Peyton Place. Is it a classic? A soap opera? A groundbreaking statement about sexuality? Is it “ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle” — the first line of the book? You decide.