Our Events

Our Events Fall 2020

The Library is open for limited services, and events continue online. Click on any event title for more details and to register where required.

All events are open to the public unless otherwise listed.

New events are added throughout the season. Join our mailing list to hear about it first (open to all).


Exhibition | Special Events | Performances | Lectures & Panels | Poetry | Seminars & Reading Groups | The Writing Life | Children's & Young Adult Events | Informal & Informational Gatherings


Exhibition

The Book Beautiful: Margaret Armstrong & Her Bindings

Margaret Armstrong was one of the most sought-after artists in an almost forgotten chapter in the history of book publishing—the golden age of the decorated book cover. Today Armstrong’s covers are once again prized by scholars, educators and collectors. This exhibition showcases some of Armstrong’s most exquisite covers, along with historic photographs and documents.

Special Events

Live from Your Living Room, Fall 2020
Thursday, October 15, 6:00 PM
online | free of charge | registration required

Library members read from their own short stories, novels, poetry, criticism, memoir, and plays.

NEW! National Book Month: Independent Bookstore Chat
Sunday, October 25, 4:00pm to 5:00pm | Zoom | free of charge | drop in

Join Library staff and friends from two of New York City's great independent bookstores for an informal chat in honor of National Book Month.

NEW! George Templeton Strong: Chronicler of New York
Wednesday, November 4, 2:00 PM | YouTube | free of charge | drop in

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of New York City diarist George Templeton Strong. Join Library staff Harriet Shapiro and Cathy McGowan for a visit to Strong's 19th-century world with historical narrative, images, dramatic readings, and music.

Lectures & Panels

Meredith Talusan, Fairest: A Memoir
Thursday, October 22, 6:00 PM
online | $10 per person | registration required

A singular, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir of a Filipino boy with albinism whose story travels from an immigrant childhood to Harvard to a gender transition and illuminates the illusions of race, disability, and gender.

Kevin Kwan, Sex and Vanity, with Jacqueline B. Weld
Monday, October 26, 6:00 PM
open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with the glittering tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men.

Leo Damrosch, The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age
Thursday, October 29, 6:00 PM
free for members of the New York Society Library and membership library members | registration required through the Athenaeum of Philadelphia

The acclaimed biographer recreates a celebrated eighteenth-century London club that included critic Samuel Johnson, biographer James Boswell, historian Edward Gibbon, political thinker Edmund Burke, economist Adam Smith, painter Joshua Reynolds, and actor David Garrick.

Lyndall Gordon, Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World
Sunday, November 8, 2:00 PM
open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

Prodigy, visionary, 'outlaw,' orator and explorer. As society's outsiders, the exceptional subjects of this study inspired a new breed of women―and one another.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr., As Much Truth as We Can Bear: James Baldwin and Our America
Tuesday, November 10, 6:00 PM
free for members of the New York Society Library and membership library members | registration required through the Athenaeum of Philadelphia

The Princeton University professor and author of Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own addresses the questions raised by Baldwin's 1962 essay "As Much Truth as One Can Bear."

Peter Brooks, Balzac's Lives, with Edwin Frank
Thursday, November 12, 6:00 PM
open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

Enter the mind of French literary giant Honoré de Balzac through a study of nine of his greatest characters and the novels they inhabit. Balzac's Lives illuminates the writer's life, era, and work in a completely original way.
 

Seminars and Reading Groups

Seminar: Jane Mallison, Virgil's Aeneid, Books VII-XII
Thursdays September 24, October 8, October 22, November 5, 11:00 AM
for members only | online | $60 for the set of four sessions | registration required

Written at the request of the Roman Emperor Augustus, this 1st century BCE epic is much more than a piece of propaganda. We’ll complete the story in Robert Fagles’ fine translation.

Seminar: Nicholas Birns, An Outsized Reality: The Novels of Gabriel García Márquez
Wednesdays September 30, October 14, October 28, November 11, 11:00 AM
for members only | online | $60 for the set of four sessions | registration required

Gabriel García Márquez was the most influential writer in the Spanish language since Cervantes. This seminar takes a deep look at his three major works One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Love in the Time of Cholera.

Seminar: Ivelisse Rodriguez, Puerto Rican Literature: From New York to Puerto Rico and Back
Thursdays, December 3, December 17, January 7, January 21, 6:00 PM
for members only | $60 for the four sessions | registration required

The author of PEN/Faulkner finalist Love War Stories explores memoirs, poetry, and fiction covering almost 100 years of Puerto Rican writing from the continental United States.

The Writing Life

Write What Life Feels Like Now with Esther Cohen
Thursdays October 8, October 22, November 5, November 19, December 3, December 17, 3:00 PM
online | by donation | registration required

It's an unusual year. There are so many words to say how we feel. Let's try together. Esther Cohen is a writer and poet in New York City. She also teaches and is a cultural activist. Most days she posts a poem at esthercohen.com.

Prompt! with Terena Elizabeth Bell
Fridays October 9, November 13, December 11, 11:00 AM (separate sessions)
for members only | online | by donation | registration required

Join your fellow member writers for a fun and stimulating hour and a half of prompts, writing, and sharing.

Live from Your Living Room, Fall 2020
Thursday, October 15, 6:00 PM
online | free of charge | registration required

Library members read from their own short stories, novels, poetry, criticism, memoir, and plays.

Writing with Tarot with A.E. Osworth
Wednesdays, November 11, November 18, December 2, 6:00 PM
online | for members only | by donation | registration required

Feeling stuck in your writing? Uninspired? Overwhelmed? Break out your tarot deck and use the 78 archetypes to shake out of your writing rut and surprise even yourself.

Children's Events

Picture Perfect
Wednesday, October 14, 4:00 PM
Zoom | recommended for grades K and up

Let's meet on Zoom at the time above for a face-to-face storytime. This school year, our elementary age monthly program will explore the illustration techniques in award-winning books.

Storytime Live!
varying dates
Zoom | for all ages | no registration required

Join us on Zoom for a live face-to-face storytime.

Storytime Online
varying dates
YouTube | for all ages | no registration required

SEE THE FULL CHILDREN'S CALENDAR HERE.

Informal and Informational Gatherings

Member Orientation Videos

Videos introducing the Library's collections, services, and online resources are now available on the website.

Digital Teatime
Every Friday until further notice, 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
for members only | online | by donation | drop in

Grab your favorite cup and your current read and spend a little time in social sipping and book-friendly chat with your fellow members. Teatime will not take place on November 27.


The Book Beautiful is generously supported by The H.W. Wilson Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Thomas E. Dewey Fund and The Felicia Fund.

The Writing Life events in 2020 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.

Children's events are generously supported by the Richard Peck Fund.


(Sidebar image: author Jamaica Kincaid is interviewed by Marialuisa Monda in our July webinar.)