Library Blog

Summer Reading Courtesy of a Friend

Friday, August 5, 2022

At the end of June, Library staff members were delighted to receive an unexpected and generous present from an anonymous donor: individual gift certificates to our local indie, the Corner Bookstore. While of course we love to read from our Library collection (300,000 volumes in print alone), most of us can't resist adding to our own bookshelves as well. As you may know, Corner's space is small, but they use it creatively and keep it packed with loads of exciting new and classic titles. We're enjoying the summer treat of heading up to 93rd Street with money in our pockets.

Head of Development James Addona and I each picked up a copy of Morgan Talty's Night of the Living Rez, looking forward to his event with us on October 3. (Details and registration here!) We hear that this debut story collection is an unforgettable portrayal of an Indigenous community - the New York Times says " electric, captivating voice."

James also scored a copy of Doireann Ní Ghríofa's remarkable A Ghost in the Throat and Anthony Trollope's Doctor Thorne - we know he's not the only Trollopian around here. "Thank you, Library friend!" he added.

Events Assistant Marialuisa Monda hosted our great discussion with six romance writers on June 22 (stream the recording here!), so she completed her set in print of the books discussed in that event, acquiring The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett and Twice a Quinceañera by Yamile Saied Mendez. Marialuisa and I both ended up with a bit of spare funding and tossed in a stationery item from Corner's well-selected cupboard of notebooks and bookplates.

Of course a book you own is handy to carry on summer travel, and both Children's & Young Adult Librarian Susan Vincent Molinaro and Head Librarian Carolyn Waters looked into travel guides and travel-related books. Carolyn said,

Since the Library has pretty much everything I want to read (& Acquisitions is always happy to consider requests), my bookstore buying comes down to titles that I desire to write my own notes in (definitely frowned upon in Library books) or know that I will consult over and over again. With this lovely gesture from our “Library friend,” I’ll (probably) pick up, unless I am swayed by impulse towards something else: Spirits of San Francisco: Voyages Through the Unknown City by Gary Kamiya. This - and Kamiya’s earlier book about the city, Cool Gray City of Love, are not precisely guidebooks, but I definitely use them that way. I’m also going to replace my copy of A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, one of my favorite books ever, which I once loaned to someone and never got back (I don’t blame them.)

Any visitor to Corner will note its strong offerings in contemporary literary fiction. "I just went to Corner Bookstore this week!" page Justin Schwartz reported - "I picked up two books: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh."

Summer may also offer some free time for non-reading hobbies, and Head of the Children's Library Randi Levy was planning to browse Corner's tasteful selection of cookbooks for some new foodie inspiration. Communications Designer Doreen Pastore got a double purpose out of her gift certificate, buying the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child (with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle) for her husband's birthday - but I hope and trust that Doreen herself will benefit from the delicious results!

As a recurring fan of the 1960s and its music, I was instantly attracted by the whirly swirly trippy light-show cover of Rob Chapman's Psychedelia and Other Colours. It was published by the UK's Faber & Faber in 2015, and I hadn't come across it before, but I look forward to making my August just a little more Summer of Love-like with this clearly definitive volume. ("Can you dig it?" asks my bracelet in this photo.)

Loads of gratitude to our anonymous Library friend! Library staff wish them - and you - hours of bookish joy.

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