Art Works Blog

The Big Read

It's always fun to revisit classic scenes from epic novels, especially out loud. In today's Big Read audio pause, we're going to look at a heartbreaking moment from Charles Portis's True Grit. This scene captures the indomitable spirit of the novel's young heroine, Mattie Ross, and her trusty pony...
It's no secret that digital technology ranging from e-books to social media is forcing public libraries to innovate and adapt, and patrons are beginning to rethink what defines a library. For instance, a 2012 survey from Pew Research found that while many patrons still want to use libraries for...
Since April is not only Jazz Appreciation Month but National Poetry Month, we decided to merge the two. Below are five jazz songs and albums inspired by poetry, two of which tap the genius of Big Read poets. Gentian by Tomoko Ozawa Although pianist and composer Tomoko Ozawa isn’t the first musician...
Here's our (unofficial) soundtrack to Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence, one of the titles in our Big Read library.
How do you live in a place that might be completely alien to you? - Manil Suri Jhumpa Lahiri's first novel and Big Read selection, The Namesake , further explores an issue near and dear to the author's heart: what it feels like to be an immigrant. Though Gogol Ganguli is the protagonist, it's his...
"The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.” — Willla Cather "We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.” — Ursula K. Le Guin "Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity...
On Monday, we celebrated Dr. Seuss's 111th birthday, a children’s author whose impact is so great that the National Education Association has adopted March 2 as Read Across America Day. Seuss, whose real name was Theodore Seuss Geisel, needs no formal introduction: his books are a common sight in...
In late January, author Dinaw Mengestu spoke at New York City's Bernie Wohl Center as part of the Goddard Riverside Community Center's Big Read kick-off event. We've excerpted a piece of a longer conversation with host Cary Barbor, where Mengestu delves into the importance of melancholy...
Everyone, it seems, is looking for love. Except for kids. They hate love. For most of them, it’s a cootie-covered contaminant, something to be avoided and vehemently denied. Interactions with the opposite sex are often limited to elongated ewwwwws, and the faintest blush at someone’s...
For years, Serena Hall empowered women through her work as an equal opportunity manager for the federal government, where she trained women to “break through that glass ceiling,” as she said. After she retired, she took up painting, portraying the same type of strong women that she had...

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