The Librarian Is In

By The New York Public Library

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: Literature

Open in Apple Podcasts

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 326
Reviews: 0


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

Episode Date
Fiction...and More Fiction!

Join Frank and Rhonda as they discuss the books they read this week!

Nov 19, 2020
Book Club: The Parable of the Sower

Join Frank and Rhonda as they discuss this month's book club pick, The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler!

Nov 05, 2020
Have You Gotten Lost in a Good Book Lately?

Bonjour! Rhonda and Frank are back to discuss what they've read this week. 

Oct 22, 2020
Book Club: The Turn of the Screw

Join Frank and Rhonda as they discuss this month's book club pick: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James!

Oct 08, 2020
Is Fall Here Yet?!, Ep. 174

Happy Fall! Rhonda and Frank are ready for Spooky Season! This week they check in with each other and discuss what they've been reading!

Sep 24, 2020
Book Club: And Then There Were None

Join Frank and Rhonda this week as they discuss Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None!

Sep 10, 2020
Librarianing Ourselves in Real Time!

Join Frank as he welcomes YA librarian Susen Shi to discuss great new YA books. Rhonda will be back next week and she and Frank will be discussing our next 125 Books We Love book pick!

Aug 27, 2020
The World May Not Require Us, But We At Least We Have Our Books!

Join Frank and Rhonda as they discuss what they read this week!

Aug 13, 2020
Book Club: An Extraordinary Union

Frank and Rhonda discuss An Extraordinary Union, by Alyssa Cole. 

Jul 30, 2020
When our interests and book picks collide!

Join Rhonda and Frank as they discuss their non-book club reading picks this week!

Jul 16, 2020
Book Club: Between the World and Me

Frank and Rhonda discuss Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Jul 02, 2020
TRANSforming the Literary Landscape

Rhonda and Frank chat with Ellen MacInnis, a children's librarian in NYPL to discuss the TRANSform NYPL project and pass along book recommendations from the Trans and Gender Non Conforming book list that they and fellow librarians put together.

Jun 25, 2020
Trying To Figure Out How We Got Here

Rhonda and Frank discuss their personal reading picks for the week and announce next month's book club pick. 

Jun 18, 2020
June Book Club: The Argonauts

This week Frank and Rhonda discuss The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson.

Jun 04, 2020
Wilkommen! The Librarian Is In!

Wilkommen! Join Frank and Rhonda this week for a little bit of musical theater and their personal book picks. Don't forget to get a copy of next week's Book Club pick - The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson!

May 21, 2020
May Book Club: Train Dreams: The Librarian Is In, Ep 163

Happy May! This week is Frank and Rhonda check in with each other, as we pass the 1 month mark of podcasting while social distancing. We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. It's hard not to feel a little bit of cabin fever, especially as the weather warms. Do you find yourself dreaming of getting away? Get away for a bit with Rhonda and Frank as they discuss this month's pick from the NYPL's 125 Books We Love List, Denis Johnson's Train Dreams. 

May 07, 2020
How Y'all Doin?

Hello fellow social distancing book enthusiasts! How y'all doing? Does anyone know what day it is? What week? Is it still March?

We hope everyone is staying safe and finding ways to stay sane as we navigate this unique and scary time together. 

Escape with us for a bit while Frank and Rhonda discuss how they've been holding up and the importance of structure  during this time. 

This week our hosts share what they've been reading while staying at home.

Apr 23, 2020
Book Club: The Librarian Is In Podcast, Ep. 161

Hey all, happy April! Thanks for joining us again for another episode of  The Librarian Is In! This week Frank and Rhonda are discussing A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories  by Flannery O'Connor from the NYPL's 125 Books We Love List to read and discuss. We hope you had the chance to read along, too. 

Apr 09, 2020
The Librarian Is (Hanging) In (There)

Frank and Rhonda practice social distancing together (but separately!) to discuss the books they've read this week. We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this uncertain time. Settle in for a bit and listen to your favorite librarians discuss what they like to read (and listen to!) when they're stuck at home!

Mar 26, 2020
Machines Like Me? Monsters Like You!

Frank and Rhonda discuss their non-125 list book picks this week!

Mar 12, 2020
Giovanni's Room - February Book Club

Hi all! Thanks for joining us. This week is our inaugural book club episode! As they mentioned last episode, Frank and Rhonda picked Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin off the NYPL's 125 Books We Love list to read and discuss. We hope you had the chance to read along too. So without further ado - click "play" and be transported to 1950s Paris...

Feb 27, 2020

Didja miss us?! We missed you too! Thanks for joining us on the new season of The Librarian Is In. Our good pal Frank joins us again and welcomes our new co-host Rhonda Evans. Longtime listeners will remember Rhonda from her guest appearance on a previous episode! Rhonda shares with Frank some of her librarian background, favorite genres to read, and information about which branch she currently works, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. 

Frank and Rhonda also discuss their top 5 picks on the New York Public Library's 125 Books We Love List! 

Feb 13, 2020
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
Wallow with Me

Come stare moodily out a lonely window with us! Frank falls into a book trance after reading a French novel with a double meaning in its title, and Gwen unpacks a heartbreaker about a woman who leaves Jamaica for Brooklyn. 

Dec 12, 2019
Frozen Solid: The Librarian Is In Podcast, Ep. 154

Frank is feeling all the feelings about a book of experimental prose poetry, Gwen is charmed by a semi-autobiographical YA story, and everyone has "Let It Go" stuck in their heads now. You're welcome!

Nov 28, 2019
When Pushkin Comes to Shove

Frank reads 19th-century Russian verse out loud for a solid two minutes. What more could you want in this world? Plus: Ben Platt, call us. Maybe.

Nov 14, 2019
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
Cuckoo for Overdue

Third time's the charm! Gwen and Frank join the fine folks from the Overdue podcast to discuss Ken Kesey's 1962 novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Oct 17, 2019
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

Oct 03, 2019
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

Sep 19, 2019
Books on the Subway

This week it's Frank and Gwen's turn in the hot seat. They recently joined the Books on the Subway Podcast with Hollie and Rosy for a discussion about all things books and libraries, and we're bringing you that episode this week. Make sure to check them out at

Sep 05, 2019
Dragons and Robots

A look at how some libraries reflect the communities they're a part of through their special collections. Plus, Gwen's son weighs in on a children's book with some very un-scary dragons and Frank dives into some mind-bending stories about alternate realities and the nature of consciousness.

This weeks titles:

Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West

Exhalation  by Ted Chiang

Aug 22, 2019
Bunny, I Love You!

Frank and Gwen do a deep dive into their summer reading pick, Mona Awad's new novel, Bunnya 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] or call 507-NYPL-LIB.

Aug 08, 2019
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] or call 507-NYPL-LIB.

Jul 25, 2019
The Katniss Konundrum

To prequel or not to prequel? Frank and Gwen debate the new installment of the Hunger Games franchise and two very different books about life in two very different places.

Suggest Hot Topix(TM) or tell us what you think about summer reading! Email podcasts[at] or call 507-NYPL-LIB.

Jul 11, 2019
Are You There, Frank? It's Me, Gwen

Frank and Gwen announce their return date plus reveal their Summer Reading Challenge

Jul 04, 2019
Gwen's Book Flare (Rebroadcast)

What's the opposite of a book slump? We're calling it a flare, and Gwen is on one. She and Frank have a flurry of adult book recommendations, from dystopian novels to innovative science fiction. 

What we are reading now

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Semiosis by Sue Burke

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst

Jun 27, 2019
Peyton DisPlaced (Rebroadcast)

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.

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious

More Peyton Place...

If you liked this episode, check out our first TLII/Overdue collab: "Lord of the Guys," back in January 2017!

Jun 20, 2019
The Librarian Is LIVE (Rebroadcast)

This week we take you back to our first-ever live show, recorded in Frank's very own Jefferson Market Library! Gwen and Frank talk to Eric Klinenberg, sociologist and author of a new book about libraries and social infrastructure. Plus: the audience offers an invaluable assist during the guessing game.

Guest Star: Eric Klinenberg

Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg

More of his work in our catalog and on his website

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin

Books by Barbara Ehrenreich

O Cafe in Greenwich Village (and pão de queijo)

Jun 13, 2019
Hogwarts & Hollywood (Rebroadcast)

It's the first-ever Reading Challenge episode! Gwen and Frank assigned books to each other to read and discuss on the air. Hijinks ensue...

Book Recommendations 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Ava Gardner: 'Love Is Nothing' by Lee Server

Also mentioned: 

Our fourth episode, when Gwen flipped out on Frank for not having read Harry Potter.

Several of Ava's movies, available from NYPL:

The Golden Girls of MGM by Jane Ellen Wayne

Pottermore online

That great tweet about girls with frizzy hair (warning: language!)

Jun 06, 2019
Never Let Me Go. Seriously, Never.

This week: a rebroadcast of one of our favorite episodes. Gwen and Frank take a deep, emotional dive into Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go.'

May 30, 2019
DIY ASMR, Library-Style

This episode is brought to you by our soon-to-be-rival podcast, dreamed up by YA librarian Crystal Chen—who's also this week's guest! All rights reserved by her! We talk musicals, poetry, what it really means to create a list of "best" books, and professional development for library staff members.

Book Recommendations

NYPL's Best Poetry Books (and our most recent best books lists)

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright

Bad Blood  Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen A.F. Venable

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino


Also recommended:

The Woodstock Library in the Bronx

ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response

"VEEP" and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

May 23, 2019
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


Also mentioned:

Mary Poppins Returns

Emily Blunt and the rest of the cast going down the bathtub slide!

Everything Doris Day

May 16, 2019
Carla Hayden Wants You to Read a Book

Dr. Carla Hayden sits down with Gwen and Frank to discuss what it really means to lead the Library of Congress—which, by the way, isn't only FOR Congress. Plus: lessons she learned from storytime, how she organizes her home library, and the first time she ever saw herself reflected in a book.

May 09, 2019
Reading Stonewall

It's the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and Jason Baumann—NYPL curator and Grand Marquessa of All Things Stonewall—joins Gwen and Frank to discuss the Library's new anthology about the uprising and its role in the LGBTQ civil rights movement. And then he walks us through some yoga breathing, and it's legit.

Book Recommendations

The Stonewall Reader in our catalog and the NYPL shop

Love and Resistance: Out of the Closet Into the Stonewall Era in our catalog and the NYPL shop

City of Night by John Rechy

City Boy: My Life in New York during the 1960s and 70s (and more books) by Edmund White

The History and Practices of Hatha Yoga by James Mallinson

Also mentioned:

Kay Tobin Lahusen's photographs in our Archives & Manuscripts Division

Jason's first appearance on The Librarian Is In (episode 2!)

And check out more of the exhibition and the rest of the Library's Stonewall coverage at

May 02, 2019
Call Your Librarian

Aminatou Sow, writer and co-host of the popular podcast "Call Your Girlfriend," talks with Gwen and Frank about poetry, the mental treadmill of the Internet, and her childhood best friend: the librarian. 

Book Recommendations

Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry

Magical Negro by Morgan Parker

If They Come for Us by Fatimah Ashgar 

Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks

Also mentioned: 

Microsoft Encarta '95


"won't you celebrate with me" by Lucille Clifton 

"Final Notations" by Adrienne Rich can be found in her collection, An Atlas of the Difficult World

Apr 25, 2019
Heartland, Homeland

What makes a place home? Frank follows a book rec from a listener and discovers a powerful memoir that makes him rethink the American dream. Gwen's book is a new fairytale retelling... sort of... that involves feudalism and magical gingerbread and... well, maybe you should just have a listen.

Book Recommendations

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Also mentioned:

The recent Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold

The Netflix series "Working Moms"

The network TV show "The Rookie"

Apr 18, 2019
Are you – Nobody – too?

Our Poetry Bonanza has arrived! In this episode --titled to pay homage to Frank's favorite Emily Dickinson stanza-- he and Gwen get to read and hear poetry recommendations from their listeners.

Listener Poetry Recommendations:

"My Mother Says I am Sickening" in The New Kid On the Block: Poems by Jack Prelutsky

“Good Hot Dogs” by Sandra Cisneros in A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poems for Children by Caroline Kennedy

"Why I Am Not a Good Kisser" in Selected Poem by Mary Ruefle

"Kal" in  If They Come for Us by Fatima Asghar

The title poem in What the Living Do: Poems  by Marie Howe

"What Resembles the Grave But Isn't" by Anne Boyer

IRL by Tommy Pico

The title poem in Inventory by Dionne Brand

"I want a dyke for president" by Zoe Leonard 

"Girls of the Wild" in Wild Embers  by Nakita Gill

"Fold" in You & Yours by Naomi Shihab Nye

"Scientific Romance" by Tim Pratt

"Where the Mind is Without Fear" from Gitanjali (Song Offerings) by Rabindranath Tagore

Also mentioned:

NYPL's Poem in Your Pocket Day

Apr 11, 2019
Breaking the Mold

Gwen and Frank meet a handful of characters who aren't bothered by what other people think. Plus: the pros and cons of reading reviews, the extra voice in translations, and the no-person's-land between picture books and middle-grade fiction. 

Book Recommendations:

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata,  translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori

Sarah Berman's Closet by Maira Kalman

The Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, art by LeUyen Pham

Also mentioned:

The End of Eddy  and History of Violence by Édouard Louis 

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

NYPL's Poem in Your Pocket Day

Shrill — the Hulu series and the book by Lindy West

Apr 04, 2019
Reading (or Not) as a New Parent

How on earth can you read when you have a newborn? Stephanie Anderson—a new mom and a professional book selector for NYPL and the Brooklyn Public Library—comes to talk about the shifting habits of a reader with a new baby. Plus: Frank channels Supernanny! Again.

Book Recommendations: 

Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy  by Angela Garbes

Cesearian Section: An American History of Risk, Technology and Consequence by Jaqueline H. Wolf

The board books:  Bunny Roo, I Love You by Melissa Marr and Global Babies 

Also mentioned:

The New York Times article on cute aggression—why you want to squish and eat that baby! 

In the Witch Elm by Tana French 

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Happyland by J. Robert Lennon

The films Back to the Future and The Terminator

Angela Garbes' article, "The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am"

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, illustrated by Lauren Childs

Bull by David Elliott

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Mar 28, 2019
The Gods Are Alright. But the Humans...

Greek mythology and contemporary fiction join forces this week! Gwen and Frank read two books that make readers ask, what would you do—or, what should you do?

Book Recommendations: 

Golden Child by Claire Adam

Circe by Madeline Miller

The audiobook of Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North  by Blair Braverman

Also mentioned:

A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul

Mythology by Edith Hamilton

The Odyssey , translated by Emily Wilson

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Here Come the 123s!  by They Might Be Giants, and also please watch the amazing video of the "Never Go to Work" song (guaranteed to change your life for the better)

Mar 21, 2019
Dance Your Books Off

Okay, what's the deal with librarians and musical theater? This week's guest, newly minted children's librarian Kevin Kelley, traces his origin story back to the stage. He also discusses kids' books about the queer experience and offers up a brand-new first for the guessing game.

Book Recommendations: 

New Kid by Jerry Craft

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

Non-Book Recommendations:

"The Prom," a musical now playing on Broadway (LOTS of dancing!)

Have a laugh with the podcast "Throwing Shade

And look back at episodes of "Gilmore Girls... still so enjoyable.

Also mentioned:

Go the Way Your Blood Beats: On Truth, Bisexuality and Desire  by Michael Amherst

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Hurricaine Child by Kheryn Callender

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle

Feminasty: The Complicated Woman's Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinkng Herself to Death by Erin Gibson


Mar 14, 2019
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
Playing the Long Game with Lorde and Parker

Audre Lorde and Pat Parker were close friends who fought fiercely for social justice. In this episode, Frank and Gwen discuss a powerful book of letters between the two Black feminist poets. 

Book Recommendation

Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989, ed. by Julie Ensure

More by Audre Lorde and Pat Parker:

The Complete Works of Pat Parker, ed. by Julie Enszer

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde

The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde  includes the poem "Power" mentioned in the epsiode.

I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde  includes the essay "There is No Heriarchy of Oppression"

Also check out "Sinister Wisdom," the journal that published Sister Love, for links to articles about the book.
Pat Parker recording of "For Straight Folks Who Don't Mind Gays But Wish They Weren't So Blatant" from the album "Where Would I Be Without You: The Poetry of Pat Parker and Judy Grahn." © Anastasia Dunham-Parker-Brady and the Estate of Pat Parker, 2019, used with permission.
Mar 07, 2019
Library, Meet Bookstore

Get rowdy with Roxanne Coady, indie bookstore owner and host of the Just the Right Book podcast. Roxanne finds common ground with Frank and Gwen, talking about places where people seek connection and community with books at their heart. 


Roxanne's Book Recommendation

My Sister, the Serial Killer  by Oyinkan Braithwaite 

Also mentioned:

A Drinking Life by Pete Hamill

Lucky by Alice Sebold

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Guilded Age by Tim Wu

The Common Good by Robert Reich

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Embers by Sándor Márai

You can visit Roxanne's bookstore, RJ Julia, in Madison, Conneticuit and check out one of their events. And definitely have a listen to her podcast Just the Right Book for more book recommendations and interviews with a wide-range of authors and guests. (Including Frank and Gwen!)

Feb 28, 2019
The Librarian Is ALL IN

Gwen's quest to learn more about Carol Channing took both her and Frank to a place where divas and dames truly reign- Broadway! Plus: Frank's book taps into the cultural obsession with visiting the past (repeatedly) to figure out the future, leading us into the arms of "Russian Doll" creator Natasha Lyonne. 

Book Recommendations 

Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater by Eddie Shapiro

The Heavens by Sandra Newman

Non-Book Recommendations 

Check out the new Netflix series "Russian Doll," and you'll obsess over it too!

And watch "Happy Death Day" for more time loops, laughs and life on other planes.

Feb 21, 2019
Curatorial Curiosities

Books have lives too! Frank and Gwen take a break from talking about the words on the page and get into the stories of items in NYPL's archives. In this specially curated tour, meet the Mary Poppins doll that made peace between author and illustrator, hear about a woman spymaster during the Civil War, and find out what limp vellum is. Plus: Nancy Drew has a secret. 

Guest: Meredith Mann, Librarian for Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books at NYPL

You can learn more about the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division here.  Also check out Meredith's blog posts to discover more about NYPL's living artifacts. There is even one on marcas del fuego (marks of fire) and the Mexico City imprint that is discusssed in this episode.

Meredith's Book Recommendation 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Feb 14, 2019
The Evolution of Joy

... or the joy of evolution? Frank's book traces the whole history of humankind and Gwen's is a short narrative about big changes. Plus: You can't talk about joy without talking about Christine Baranski. It's the law.

Book Recommendations 

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

Sapiens: A brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Non-Book Recommendation

The pure and consuming joy of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Feb 07, 2019
Time(less) Travel

Book synergy abounds! Frank rediscovers Anne Frank's diary in a newly released graphic novel, Gwen becomes obsessed with a group of time-traveling historians, and everyone absorbs the small details of day-to-day lives during World War II. 

Book Recommendations

Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Ari Folman and illustrated by David Polonsky

Blackout by Connie Willis (All Clear is the second book in the series, plus much more of her work in the catalog)

Non-Book Recommendations

Sandhya Menon's Twitter post that helped Gwen understand how people feel when you mispronounce their names.

Jan 31, 2019
Don't Worry, Be Mary Oliver

Frank and Gwen celebrate the life and work of Mary Oliver by reading a handful of her poems and doing something she might approve of—letting it all go and singing about dogs.

Jan 24, 2019
Mourning Heathcliff, Hedwig, and All the Literary Dogs

Have you ever truly grieved over the loss of someone in a book? Together with Eric Molinsky, host of the Imaginary Worlds podcast, Frank and Gwen dive into the psychology of readers' responses to character deaths. Don't worry, it's not as depressing as it sounds! Maybe!

Guest Star: Eric Molinsky

Eric's podcast, Imaginary Worlds, the "Imaginary Deaths" episode, the fanfiction episode, and the Madeline Miller episode

Some books with deaths we've mourned:

More recommendations:

Jan 17, 2019
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

Jan 10, 2019
Glory Edim Is Just Getting Started

Glory Edim, creator of the coolest book club on the Internet, joins Frank and Gwen to discuss book clubs and beyond! They talk about Well-Read Black Girl, empowered storytelling, the potentials and pitfalls of making book recommendations, Black writers in the diaspora and the canon... and focusing on the things that unite us all. Happy new year, friends! 

Dec 27, 2018
Pitch Imperfect

Aca-scuse me? It's an impromptu celebration of our favorite feel-good a capella movie... and, oh yeah, some book recommendations, too. Frank goes for a soul-searching memoir about spirituality and religion, and Gwen suggests a fantastical flipbook for kids.

Dec 20, 2018
The Librarian Is LIVE

Welcome to our first-ever live show, recorded in Frank's very own Jefferson Market Library! Gwen and Frank talk to Eric Klinenberg, sociologist and author of a new book about libraries and social infrastructure. Plus: the audience offers an invaluable assist during the guessing game.

Dec 13, 2018
Anger Is a Gift

Aristotle famously (er, probably) said that anger is a gift, and Gwen's been given one this year: Rebecca Traister's book about the power of women's rage, "Good and Mad." Plus, Frank finds more presents in The New Yorker archives and NYPL announces its year-end Best Books lists.

Dec 06, 2018
Check Out This Sculpture

We're obsessed with libraries loaning unconventional items: seeds, toys, tools, clothes, games, museum passes... and sculptures. Local artist Wendy Richmond joins Gwen and Frank to talk about her work and her new installation, which encouraged patrons to take home her incredible sculptures of her own hands.

Check out our live show on Dec. 4!

Frank and Gwen will be talking to Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People, at Frank's own Jefferson Market Library! Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. -- click here for all the details.

Nov 29, 2018
Keeping You Company in the Kitchen

Whether you're cooking turkey for 20 or opting out of Thanksgiving entirely, books about food are always in season. Frank and Gwen talk about their favorite cookbooks and chef memoirs with NYPL's resident foodie, Jeanne Hodesh, and offer some family recipes of their very own.

Check out our live show on Dec. 4!

Food memoirs:

More recommendations:

And few more books that Jeanne wanted to mention:

Nov 22, 2018
Pop-Culture Storytime (with Garfield)

What makes a good story time? Anthony Murisco, youth librarian extraordinaire, joins Frank and Gwen to talk all things kids and books. Plus: everyone's favorite lazy cartoon cat, a true stumper of a guessing game, and a flurry of pop-culture recommendations.


In This Episode:

Anthony's library: The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

NLS: The National Library Service for the blind and physically handicapped

A book Anthony likes for storytime: Jump  by David McPhail

NYPL's Best Books for Kids and Teens and Anthony's 2017 list with Bookshare links

"Book That Talk and Books You Touch": Jill Rothstein's TLII episode about technology for print-disabled patrons

Kris Jenner... and All Things Kardashian (and her cookbook)

Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner

Jabberwalking by Juan Felipe Herrera

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa (and RIVERDALE!)

Garfield: The Complete Works, 1978-1979 (coming soon to the Library!)

Macy's Thanksgiving Day parades on YouTube

The Grinch Menu at iHop

Golden Girls Pez

Nov 15, 2018

A library podcast about a book about libraries? Sign us up! Frank goes meta this week with an in-depth review of Susan Orlean's new page-turner, and and Gwen sees an author of children's classics in a new light.

Frank & Gwen's Recommendations

The Library BookThe Orchid Thief, and several other books  by Susan Orlean

Check out the Library Talks podcast (after Sunday, Nov. 11) to hear an interview with Orlean! 

The works of Canadian children's author Robert Munsch:

And “The Story Behind ‘Love You Forever’ Is Probably Not What You Thought

Nov 08, 2018
The Librarian Is In... the Voting Booth!

It's almost Election Day. Do you know where your voting rights are? Christopher Famighetti, professor at Jefferson Market University, joins Frank and Gwen for an in-depth convo about voting — and what libraries have to do with it. Plus: a different take on Tolstoy and the surreal films of Luis Buñuel.

Nov 01, 2018
Between Terror and Humor

It's almost Halloween, and it got so creepy we scared Gwen away. Frank braves the gore with Isaiah Pittman, horror aficionado and adult services librarian at NYPL. They talk scary books AND movies.

Book Recommendations 

Paperbacks From Hell: The twisted history of 70's and 80's horror by Grady Hendrix

The Hungry Moon by Ramsey Campbell

Night Shift by Stephen King

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Final Girls: A novel by Riley Sager

The series-- Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

You Were Neve Really Here by Jonathan Ames and the film adaptation 

Non-Book Recommendations

Kanopy-- stream movies for free with you NYPL card!

Check out Gas Station Horror, the monthly improv show in NYC that turns bad horror movies into comedy.


Oct 25, 2018
This Is Not the Foe You're Looking For

Gwen and Frank tackle a near-future dystopian novel about space colonization and a sobering work of journalism about the fallacy of modern philanthropy. Plus: why pho is objectively the best food ever. 

Frank and Gwen's Recommendations

Haaaave you read "The Yellow Wallpaper" yet? Try the Insta Novel

Frank's old favorites: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, Pure Hollywood and Other Stories by Christine Schutt, I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Foe by Iain Reid 

Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas, and his recent conversation with Joy-Ann Reid 

His previous book, The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, which won NYPL's Bernstein Award in 2015

Oct 18, 2018
Hot Topix Galore

Frank and Gwen are all about feminist texts this week. They go back in time with the classic short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper" — which is also NYPL's newest Insta Novel — and then hit the present (hard) with "Red Clocks." In between, there's a beautiful picture book for kids. Plus: Frank figures out a literary puzzle.

Oct 04, 2018
Childhood Game-Changers

When we asked our book experts about books that changed their lives, we fell in love with their picks — and we wanted you to hear what they had to say, in their own voices. Plus: Frank and Gwen add their own childhood game-changers.

Check out the full list: 40 Books that Changed Librarians' Lives 

Sep 27, 2018
When Escape Leads You Back to Reality

Gwen and Frank discover two very different alternate worlds that speak to our present times. Their seemingly mismatched books offer stellar writing and clever takes on fantasy, dystopias and cringe-worthy identity politics. Plus: Frank has some, um... words for the author of his book.

Book Recommendations

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk

Sep 20, 2018
Thanks for Asking

Rosa Caballero-Li, manager of Ask NYPL, has all the answers! Rosa tells Frank and Gwen about the ins, outs, ups, and downs of the Library's multifaceted reference service, staffed by real-live human people. Plus: a story within a story presents some guessing game twists.

Need assistance? Have a question? Get in touch with Ask NYPL

Book Recommendation 

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado

Non-Book Recommendations

"Lots of People Love ‘To Kill A Mockingbird.’ Roxane Gay Isn’t One of Them."

The album "Dirty Computer" by Janelle Monae

The best way to support this podcast is with a gift to The New York Public Library. Click here to donate.

Sep 13, 2018
This Book Is No Joke

Which books do you wish you'd read in high school? Frank and Gwen offer up some ideas and then move on to city novels with urban themes and a picture book about a dog who tries to be a fork. Plus: what to do if you can't get enough of the Queer Eye guys.

Book Recommendations

"NYT: If You Could Add One Book to the High School Curriculum, What Would It Be?"

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Bull by David Elliott

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

The City and the City by China Miéville

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Non-Book Recommendations



Short videos of the Queer Eye guys on YouTube, such as 9 Things They’ve Never Done Before (in which Jonathan and Tan bedazzle a tie), a round of Never Have I Ever, and a bizarre social-media compliment battle

Sep 06, 2018
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
Teens Take Charge

Frank and Gwen get a visit from BridgeUP, NYPL's holistic academic support program for NYC teens. They talk to a teen scholar and program leader about this unique library initiative, what students want and need outside the classroom, and everything that goes into getting them where they want to go in life.

Discussed this week:

BridgeUp's podcast on Latino stereotypes

Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

1984 by George Orwell

The new HBO series "Random Acts of Flyness"

BridgeUp's podcast on Latino stereotypes
Aug 23, 2018
Guess What SHOULDN'T Replace Libraries?

Answer: anything! Frank and Gwen discuss why for-profit businesses cannot and should not take libraries' place in society. Plus, recommendations for two small books that contain very big worlds.

Book Recommendations

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey

The Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

Oleg Kagan's opinion piece about how libraries are not companies, and more information about Forbes deleting the original op-ed.

The best way to support this podcast is with a gift to The New York Public Library. Click here to donate.

Aug 16, 2018
America Is Not The Heart

It's our third annual Summer Reading Challenge! This year, Frank and Gwen picked America Is Not the Heart, a debut novel by Elaine Castillo, about language and love and revolution and family and the meaning of home—it's about everything, and it's incredible. 

Aug 09, 2018
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'



Aug 02, 2018
What Makes a Good Beach Read?

We're finding our midsummer vacation reading groove! Gwen is spectacularly awed by a debut novel and Frank gets drawn into a thriller (with a dash of reader real-estate jealousy).

Our Book Recommendations 

"There There" by Tommy Orange

"One Dark Throne" by Kendare Blake

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

"The Incendiaries" by R.O. Kwan

"The Woman in the Window" by A.J. Finn

Non-Book Recommendations

Frank: The film "Shadow of a Doubt"

 Gwen: These seriously comfortable boxer briefs

Jul 26, 2018
Memory Lane

We're 100 episodes old! Frank and Gwen mark their centennial by responding to listener messages and revisiting some favorite themes. Plus: a list of our favorite episodes for new (or new-ish) listeners.

Jul 19, 2018
On Your Mark, Get Set...

It's time again for our Summer Reading Challenge! In this mini-episode, Frank and Gwen pick a book to dive into together and invite you to read along with them, so place those library holds for a copy of "America Is Not the Heart" by Elaine Castillo. Discussion to air August 9!

Jul 12, 2018
You Can't Always Get What You Want

Gwen is so moved by one of the three poems she brings to the studio that she can't even read it (she tried!). And Frank is transported by a novel about a marriage in Nigeria he can't NOT talk about it.  Plus: the perils of social media and why Frank feels he is pretty much free of FOMO. 

Frank's Book Recommendation 

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

You can also listen to the author discuss this book on the NYPL podcasts here.

Gwen's Poetry Recommendations 

Airplanes” by Maggie Smith, in the Spring/Summer issue of Ninth Letter 

Ghazal: America the Beautiful” by Alicia Ostriker, and the Dear Poet video series of her reading her own work

"Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver 

Jul 05, 2018
Help Me, Rhonda!

Gwen and Frank discover some surprising pieces of family history when Rhonda Evans, Electronic Resources Librarian at NYPL, arrives in the studio with a pile of documents and connects the dots from long-ago paper trails.  Plus: Guessing game shenanigans.

Jun 28, 2018
Border Stories

Frank and Gwen share thoughts and reading recommendations about immigration, families, and children at the border. Plus: Frank asks what-if and Gwen ponders three recent books on motherhood.

Jun 21, 2018
Crossing Food Boundaries

Dr. Shayne Figueroa joins Frank and Gwen to discuss books and food nostalgia, Amish soul food (it's a thing!), and how NYC's free school lunch program is attempting to lift an age-old stigma. Plus: Frank's secret childhood eating habits and another guessing-game stumper.​

Jun 14, 2018
May I Remove Your Cravat?

Frank and Gwen revisit the recent Booker Prize winner, Lincoln in the Bardo, as Frank gets serious about the afterlife and our understanding of history. Then Gwen turns the studio in a sauna with a gay Regency romance packed with period details and subplots that add depth to the steamy novel.

Jun 07, 2018
Call Me, Jason Reynolds

Gwen and Frank get a visit from Elisa Garcia, Supervising Librarian of Teen Services at the Bronx Library Center, who brings the guessing-game drama and recommendations galore. Plus: Elisa talks about moving to and growing up in the Bronx, the global influence of '90s hip-hop, and all around back-in-the-day coolness. 

May 31, 2018
It's Not You, Book, It's Me

Frank confesses his sometimes-complicated relationship with certain books and his bouts of book insecurity. Plus: What happens when Frank and Gwen serendipitously read the same book around the same time but don't quite remember it the same way? And an unpublished work from the early 1930s finallly gets the recognition it deserves.

May 24, 2018
The Bronx Gets a New Book Festival

Saraciea Fennell, founder of the Bronx Book Festival, joins Frank and Gwen to talk about bringing this event to the borough and the line-up for this weekend. Plus: how Saraciea found her way into the publishing world, zombies, Jane Austen, and a whole bunch of her favorite children's, YA, and fantasy reads.

May 17, 2018
Gwen's Book Flare

What's the opposite of a book slump? We're calling it a flare, and Gwen is on one. She and Frank have a flurry of adult book recommendations, from dystopian novels to innovative science fiction. 

May 10, 2018
Singing in the Library

What happens when you tap the musical talents of NYPL's librarians? Frank and Gwen get to relive their professional recording cameos with Sean Ferguson, manager of Chatham Square Library and a driving force behind the Library's new album for kids.

May 03, 2018
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.

Apr 26, 2018
The Great Work Continues

Frank and Gwen's discussion with Dan Kois on Angels in America continues (an epic conversation in two parts!) Plus: a trip to The New York Public Library of Performing Arts in the Upper West Side. Doug Reside, Curator of the Billy Rose Theatre Division, gives a tour of the collections and pulls out some Angels ephemera to help put the play in its historical context.

Apr 18, 2018
The Great Work Begins

Dan Kois is a writer and editor for Slate. His recent book is called "The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America." It's a collection of oral histories, beautifully arranged by Kois and his co-author, Isaac Butler. Together they interviewed nearly 250 people about the iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning play—directors, producers, and actors from Broadway to small town theatre productions. Kois talks to Gwen and Frank about creating the book, the enduring impact of Angles in America, and getting the inside scoop from Tony Kushner himself.

Apr 12, 2018
Hard-boiled Noir

Frank dives into the dark and depraved world of noir, explains the basics of the genre and delivers a saucy read from one of his favorite books. Gwen does some detective work herself, taking us on her journey of a book rec that takes a dark turn of it's own! Plus: radio drama, man tears, and some classic YA literature.

Apr 05, 2018
Visiting the City of Librarianly Love

Frank and Gwen headed to Philadelphia and brought home the sights, sounds, and book recommendations of the Public Library Association's 2018 conference. Plus, hard-hitting journalism: Is breakfast the most important meal of a librarian's day? 

Mar 29, 2018
Bedtime Stories

Gwen and Frank share books recs for bedtime—good reads for kids of all ages and one read that's definitely for grown-ups only... Plus, if you're at the Public Librarians Association Conference in Philadelphia (March 22nd-23rd) come find Frank and Gwen for even more talk about reading recs, pick up some podcast swag and share what books are stacked up on on your bedside table!
Friday March 23rd at 11am and 2pm in the PLA Press Room in the Convention Center, 3rd level, Room 303 A.

Mar 22, 2018
Small (Town Library) Talk

Frank and Gwen chat with New York Times Features Reporter, Steven Kurutz about his recent Literary Hub essay, "In Praise of the Small Town Library." It's part coming-of-age story, part love letter to his hometown library in Renovo, Pennsylvania. Plus: book rituals, a wild non-book recommendation, and the enduring charm of an unconventional librarian.

Mar 15, 2018
The LibROCKian Is In

Fred and Barney... er, Frank and Gwen are reading books with different approaches to the same question: Who are you and what do you want out of life? (This episode has nothing to do with The Flintstones after the first 30 seconds, but the puns cannot be denied.)

Mar 08, 2018
Living in the Library

Actor Sharon Washington joins us to talk about her one-woman play "Feeding the Dragon," based on her experience growing up inside a New York Public Library branch in the 1970s. She tells us about her childhood in the library after hours, and what it's like to share her story on stage. Plus: horror movie recs, and getting judgy on "Law and Order."

Mar 01, 2018
The First Rule of Diverse Books Club Is...

RuthAnn Deveney from the Diverse Books Club gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her group's themes and book picks, her love of spreadsheets, and her Philly-specific sandwich recommendations. Plus: What will Frank say (or not say) when he goes on The View

Feb 22, 2018
New Yaaawk Stories

All the complexities of the city so nice, they named it twice! Frank goes deep into nostalgia territory, digging up childhood memories, classic accents, and urban anxieties. Gwen follows with a real-life tale of greed and gumption at a famed NYC hedge fund. 

Feb 15, 2018
They've Come UnDonne

Gwen asks, "Is this poem about God?" and Frank is (nearly) brought to tears as they untangle the divine and the bawdy (and naughty) in two John Donne poems. Luckily  Dr. Carolyn Broomhead joins them for some much needed poetry therapy. Together they traverse language, imagery and the backstory of the divine Dr. D.

Feb 08, 2018
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
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:


Jan 25, 2018
Survey Says...

IS Margaret Atwood a bad feminist? Yeeeeeesh, we don't know. Frank and Gwen talk about the allegations against Aziz Ansari and then, thankfully, move onto books: nonfiction about young immigrants from El Salvador and a novel about a sci-fi dating experiment. Also, help us out by taking our survey at!

Jan 18, 2018
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

Jan 11, 2018
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

Jan 04, 2018
Immigrants in America

Pam Nogales, a Ph.D. candidate at New York University, joins Gwen and Frank to talk about her newest class for Jefferson Market University—the free classes at Jefferson Market that are taught by college professors and open to everyone. They talk the history of politically radical immigrants in America, play the guessing game, and much more. 

Dec 28, 2017
That Episode about 'Cat Person'

Gwen and Frank take on "Cat Person," the New Yorker story that turned the Internet upside down, and make some book recs based on its tone and subject.

Get a full rundown of episodes and links to the books discussed at

Dec 21, 2017
Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy in General

Frank didn't feel well this week, but he's figuring out to be happy anyway while Gwen dives into cozy Chanukah romance and Kwanzaa picture books. And did we mention Frank didn't feel well?

Dec 14, 2017
Where Are the Fat-Positive Children's Books?

Spoiler alert: They barely exist! Frank and Gwen talk to librarian and advocate Angie Manfredi about the missing fat kids (and adults) in literature, the importance of body diversity in books, and the danger of creating a monolith of marginalized voices.

Dec 07, 2017
This Episode Was Really Hard To Title

Gwen goes nuts for an alt-history about hippo ranching (IT COULD HAVE BEEN A REAL THING!), and Frank goes nuts for a memoir by incomparable actor and role model Gabourey Sidibe.

Nov 30, 2017
A Thanksgiving Best Books Grace-Off!

Settle in with your turducken and check out our 2017 Best Books for Kids and Teens! Take a deep dive into NYPL's annual lists, with committee members Grace Yamada and Grace Dwyer debating their favorites and recommending titles.

Get links and the full list of episodes at

Nov 22, 2017
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

Nov 16, 2017
Frank Brings the Creepy

Frank has a creepy middle-grade/YA novel that's great for adults, and Gwen has a not-at-all-creepy chapter book for preschoolers and early readers that's sure to also delight parents. 

Nov 09, 2017
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
Terror! Horror! Revulsion!

Happy Halloween! Attended by demonic shrieking, adult services librarian Isaiah Pittman horrifies Gwen and Frank with scary book and film recommendations!  

Oct 26, 2017
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.

Oct 19, 2017
Bumming' In The 'Burbs

This week Gwen and Frank tackle wonderlands, "What Girls are Made Of," mid-life crisises, and no easy ways out...

Oct 12, 2017
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

Oct 05, 2017
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.

Sep 28, 2017
Llama-Famous! Poetry Extravaganza

Podcasts are red/Podcasts are blue/This episode's all poetry/We hope you like it too!

Sep 21, 2017
J.D. Salinger, Whaaaaaat?

What happens when you get My Brother's Husband, A Lost Lady, and Frog and Toad Together in the same room? Find out as Gwen and Frank discuss gay manga, Willa Cather, J.D. Salinger, and Arnold Lobel's classic books for children!

Sep 14, 2017
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.

Sep 06, 2017
Missing Persons and Nowhere Girls

On the show this week: Gwen reads a book that makes her see the world a little differently and Frank gets so lost in his book that time disappears.

Aug 31, 2017
Dancing in the Library

This week Gwen and Frank wander wondrously through the wonderland of Dance led by the dazzling Linda Murray, Lead Curator of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of NYPL's Library for the Performing Arts.  So, let's boogie! Get links to everything discussed in this episode at

Aug 24, 2017
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.

Aug 17, 2017
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, click on The Librarian Is In. 

Aug 09, 2017
Books That Talk and Books You Touch

Frank and Gwen  learn about the Library's work with patrons with print disabilities with Jill Rothstein, chief librarian at the Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library. Plus: More book recommendations than we've ever crammed into any episode, probably ever.


Get the full list of books at

Jul 27, 2017
Remembering the Future

This week, it's all in how you look at it. Feminism, space, time, language, aliens and a whole lot more.

Jul 20, 2017
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.

Jul 13, 2017

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
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
LGBTQ Sci-Fi Book Club

How gay is Sci-Fi anyway? Gwen and Frank welcome Casey Maher, leader of the LGBTQ Sci-Fi Book Crew meetup (held at the Jefferson Market Library)! They discuss everything from technology and gaming to science fiction (of course) right on up to Hemingway.

Jun 22, 2017
Seeing Yourself on the Page

The fantastic Sona Charaipotra sits down with Frank and Gwen to talk representation and what it's like to see (or not see) your own experiences reflected in a book. Plus: Archie and Riverdale, Bollywood, Hollywood, and a lot of geeking out over our favorite YA authors.

Jun 15, 2017
And Then There Was Chekhov

Wherein we discuss reading (and acting!) Anton Chekhov, the influence of Agatha Christie, and the controversial merits of Go, Dog. Go!

Jun 08, 2017
2017 Summer Reading Challenge

Join us as we embark on our Summer Reading Challenge!

Jun 01, 2017
Dark, Light, & In Between

We're swinging from heavy, major, important nonfiction to the frothiest and most delightful YA romance this week. 

May 25, 2017
Attack of the Killer Spelling Bees

Our annual spelling bee,  words we can't pronounce, a trio of music recommendations, and of course what we're reading now.

May 18, 2017
Making Grown Men Cry, Since 2015

Sweet-sad poems, ghosts of the Village Past, and melancholy post-Victorian tales of ruined childhoods in creeepy cults... But we manage to have a little fun, too.

May 11, 2017
Serving the Least Served

Libraries and activism with Cory Eckert, one of the joint chiefs of Storytime Underground! We go in-depth on libraries as non-neutral spaces and how children's librarians stand up for social justice. Plus: recommendations for romance novels and two brand-new picture books.

May 04, 2017
American Passions

The triumph and tragedy of Jim Thorpe, the difficulty of Henry James, and the ferocity of Emily Dickinson and Camille Paglia. Bonus: Barbra Streisand's underground wonderland!

Apr 27, 2017
"Hermione was Black. Dumbledore was Gay."

The founders of Black Girls Create join us to talk about what it's like to be a black girl nerd, defaulting to whiteness in books and pop culture, nerds vs. geeks vs. dweebs, feminism and visibility and representation -- and, of course, sooooo much Harry Potter.

Apr 20, 2017
Podcasting the Apocalypse

We’re going weekly!  One week, Gwen and Frank will talk books, culture, and what to read next. On alternate weeks they’ll welcome a very special guest. Let us know what you think!  This week: mesmerizing short stories, our Margaret Atwood obsession, and creepy/awesome young adult fiction.

Apr 13, 2017
What Lawyers and Librarians Have in Common

Reena Glazer of the Pro Bono Institute joins Frank and Gwen to talk about lawyers in the library and recommendations for great nonfiction about pro bono legal work. Plus: Purple diaries, yellow cable cars, and colorful characters.

Mar 30, 2017
Supermodel of the World: Sashay, Shauntee!

(Sorry! A previous version of this episode was buggy, but we fixed it. Take a listen, it's a good one!) Wait, Super Model?  Absolutely, but also:  Super Librarian!  Gwen and Frank talk to Outreach Services Librarian Shauntee Burns about her work with schools, her long and varied career at NYPL and her attendance at one very famous NYC high school!

Mar 22, 2017
A Librarian’s Path to Citizenship

How do libraries help immigrants and underserved communities? Find out with NYPL's very own Adriana Blancarte-Hayward. Plus: major love for great journalism, time travel, ghosts, Frank's hair, frozen yogurt, and Salt 'n Pepa.

Mar 02, 2017
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.

Feb 16, 2017
At Home and Abroad

With books on the Syrian refugee crisis and American "hillbilly" culture, Frank and Gwen are looking for a deeper undstanding of the world here at home, and abroad. Also, dinosaurs.  And then, the inimitable Nancy Aravecz, NYPL trainee and library-school student, joins us to talk about the core principles of libraries and the equal-opportunity learning at Jefferson Market University.

Feb 02, 2017
Lord of the Guys

Overdue in NYC! Frank and Gwen welcome Andrew and Craig of the Overdue podcast for a deep dive into William Golding's 1954 classic, Lord of the Flies. Every reader for him/her/reallyjustHIMself...

Jan 19, 2017

Happy new year! Christopher Platt joins Gwen and Frank to talk about hate crimes, privacy and transparency, and how to start a revolution from your local library. Plus: Project Gutenberg reads, our technological future, and our crush on Carla Hayden.

Jan 05, 2017
So Long, 2016

Welcome to our Very Special Holiday Mini-Episode! We talk about our families' book-giving traditions, Santa stress, and a few random gift suggestions.

Dec 21, 2016
Lots of Good Fun That Is Funny

Children's librarian Louise Lareau joins Frank and Gwen to talk about NYPL's annual Best Books for Kids list and why you should say "underpants" during first-grade storytime. Plus: Eve Babitz, Joan Didion, Zadie Smith, joy, suffering, existentialism, etc., etc.

Dec 08, 2016
Turkeys Strike Back

Gwen and Frank are joined by Sarah Ball from NYPL's Correctional Services unit to talk about library services for people in jail or prison. Plus: what we're reading, books we're thankful for, and a whole lot of Frank's singing.

Nov 22, 2016
The Woman Behind the Curtain

Lynn Lobash, manager of Readers Services, peels back the curtain how how to make great book recommendations—and puts Gwen and Frank to the recommendations test.

Oct 27, 2016
Halloween Comes Early

As fall sets in and Halloween approaches, things get a little creeeeeeepy in the studio as Frank and Gwen bravely welcome horror expert and YA librarian Brian Stokes.

Oct 13, 2016
Sixteen, Going on Seventeen

Manga madness overtakes the podcast when Frank and Gwen are joined by YA librarian Chantalle Uzan. Plus: Love for Liesel... not so much for Lionel Shriver.

Sep 29, 2016
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
(Literary) Disco Dancing, Ep. 20

Frank and Gwen are joined by Julia Pistell, co-host of the Literary Disco podcast! We play multiple rounds of guess-the-book, talk about whaling ships and virtual reality and Garfield Minus Garfield, and offer a bazillion book recommendations.

Sep 01, 2016
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
Frankster & The Veve: Ep. 18

Up for some agony? Frank and Gwen chat about suffering in literature and movies, debate the gender politics of picture books, and hang out with one of our funniest guests ever: Genoveve Stowell, manager of NYPL's new 53rd Street branch.

Learn more at

Aug 04, 2016
One Bad Podcast: Ep. 17

Gwen can barely contain herself this week when she and Frank are joined by Biz Ellis, one of the hosts of the One Bad Mother podcast, to talk kids and parents and books. And Biz's 6-year-old daughter makes a book recommendation!

Find show notes and more at

Jul 21, 2016
Hogwarts & Hollywood: Ep. 16

It's the first-ever Reading Challenge episode! Gwen and Frank assigned books to each other to read and discuss on the air. Hijinks ensue...

Jul 07, 2016
Reading Us the (Book) Riot Act: Ep. 15

Amanda Nelson, managing editor of Book Riot and host of BR's own book recommendation podcast, joins Frank and Gwen to discuss book recommendations. (What else?)

Find show notes and more at

Jun 23, 2016
Take Me Back to Manhattan: Ep. 14

Frank and Gwen keep it local this week, from a fashion show at Jefferson Market and Open Book Night with Mid-Manhattan's Elizabeth Waters to a great read about the city's Chintz Age and a karaoke trip around Broadway.

Learn more at

Jun 09, 2016
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.

May 26, 2016
Closer to Fine: Ep. 12

Along with Susen Shi from Mid-Manhattan Library, Frank and Gwen reveal their librarianship origin stories on this week's episode. Plus: Self-help books, plays in print, and the legacy of the Indigo Girls.

Learn more:

May 12, 2016
Raspberry Berets: Ep. 11

Frank and Gwen turn the tables on NYPL's Jessica Strand this week, interviewing the host of Books at Noon about the coolest authors she's ever interviewed herself. Plus: Prince's book-related legacy and Frank's best Carson impression.

Apr 28, 2016
Bros, Shakespeare, & Nudity... Not All at the Same Time: Ep. 10

Doug Reside from NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts joins Gwen and Frank to talk about the Bard and the Great White Way. He even raps a teeny tiny bit from Hamilton.

Apr 14, 2016
What, Wait, What Happened!? Ep. 9 (Bonus Episode!)

Gwen and Frank discuss books that defy description and throw reality for a loop. Longtime residents of Harlem, Greenwich Village, the Bronx, and more get shout-outs in an interview with NYPL's Alex Kelly about the Library's oral history projects.  Plus, Times Square and the attack of the Elmos. (Elmoes? Elmii?)

Apr 07, 2016
Grace Jones and Spelling Bees: Ep. 8

Who's ready to relive some traumatic moments from childhood?! We go toe-to-toe with the winner of the tri-library spelling bee: NYPL's very own Rob Kelley.

Also! After taping Rob discovered that both 'pimiento' and 'pimento' are acceptable ways to spell the pepper that stuffs an olive and wanted us (and you) to know. So, now we all know, and you'll see why that is significant in this week's episode. 

Mar 31, 2016
All the Feels: Ep. 7

Earnestness sets in when Singing Children's Librarian Emily Lazio joins us to talk about courage and encouragement, children's classics, and a cool new trend in picture books. Music by Podington Bear: "All Hot Lights" & "Ideas"

Mar 17, 2016
Far Out, Friends! Ep. 6

We're heading back to the '70s this week! Shola Lynch (of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture) joins us to talk about film, art, collecting history, and what it's like to hug Bert from Sesame Street.

Mar 03, 2016
We Love Men! Ep. 5

Taboo subjects in adult and children's books alike abound on our fifth episode. Plus, find out what makes a "rare book" rare with our very own rare book librarian, Jessica Pigza.

Feb 18, 2016
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
#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
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. 

Jan 06, 2016
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.  

Dec 23, 2015