Each year the Library hosts readings, lectures, and discussions by authors and other public figures. You may watch video recordings of recent programs on our YouTube channel. Our archive of audio recordings goes back more than 10 years and includes thousands of memorable Library events.
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Camille Paglia reads from 'Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars'
Camille Paglia's latest book takes readers on a journey through Western art's defining moments, from the ancient Egyptian tomb of Queen Nefertari to George Lucas' digitally enhanced duel in "Revenge of the Sith." 'Glittering Images' looks at more than two dozen seminal images: paintings, sculptures, architectural styles, performance pieces and digital art that have defined and transformed our visual world.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 43.93MB] [Play time: 01 hr 35 min]
Gregory Martin reads from 'Stories for Boys'
Gregory Martin reads from his memoir about a father and a son finding a way to build a new relationship with one another after years of suppression and denial are given air and light. -- The author struggles to reconcile a father he thought he knew with a man who has just survived a suicide attempt; a man who had been having anonymous affairs with men throughout his 39 years of marriage; and who now must begin his life as a gay man.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 30.63MB] [Play time: 01 hr 06 min]
Junot Díaz reads from 'This Is How You Lose Her'
'This Is How You Lose Her,' is his first book since winning the Pulitzer Prize for 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.' -- Díaz's stories center on Yunior de las Casas, a Dominican-born, Jersey-raised writer and chronic womanizer. "Often caught between hopeless romanticism and flippant machismo, Díaz's characters are as vulnerable and maddening as they are endearing and sexy. ... Raw and honest, these stories pulsate with raspy ghetto hip-hop and the subtler yet more vital echo of the human heart." (Publishers Weekly)
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 34.06MB] [Play time: 01 hr 14 min]
Ivan Doig reads from his latest book, "The Bartender's Tale"
'The Bartender's Tale' tells the story of a father and son left on their own in a shifting world. -- Bartender-bachelor Tom Harry and son Rusty ("who had been an accident between the sheets") make an odd kind of family, with the bar their true home. They manage just fine until the summer of 1960, the year Rusty turns 12, when two women enter their lives. -- "Doig poignantly captures the charm and pathos of Rusty's efforts to understand this complicated and often baffling adult world. Doig is famous for celebrating the American West, and he also beautifully captures the cadences and details of daily life in this Montana town." (Publishers Weekly)
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 26.57MB] [Play time: 0 hr 58 min]
Clay Jenkinson presents a debate between Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt
Humanities scholar and Chautauquan, Clay Jenkinson presents a debate between Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, and Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, as part of the McLellan/O'Donnell Living History Series. -- This podcast features a three-part Chautauqua performance. First, Jenkinson appears in costume in the persona of his characters, speaking as Presidents Jefferson and Roosevelt. Next he opens the floor to questions from the audience. Finally, he breaks character and answers questions as a scholar, based on his research.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 43.18MB] [Play time: 01 hr 34 min]
Steven Roby discusses 'Hendrix on Hendrix: Interviews and Encounters with Jimi Hendrix'
'Hendrix on Hendrix' includes the most important interviews from the peak of Jimi Hendrix's career, carefully selected by one of the world's leading Hendrix historians, Steven Roby. -- In Roby's book, Hendrix recalls for reporters his heartbreaking childhood. He explains that his concept of "Electric Church Music" is intended to wash their souls and give them a new direction. And in his final interview, just days before his death, he discloses that he wants to be remembered as not just another guitar player. -- 'Hendrix on Hendrix' (released near what would have been Hendrix's 70th birthday) includes new transcriptions from European papers, the African-American press, and counterculture newspapers; radio and television interviews; and previously unpublished court transcripts.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 22.17MB] [Play time: 0 hr 48 min]
Thomas Ricks discusses 'The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to the Present'
Thomas Ricks explores why history has been kind to the American generals of World War II and less kind to the generals of the wars that followed. -- This is the story of a widening gulf between performance and accountability. During World War II, scores of American generals were relieved of command simply for not being good enough. Today, as one American colonel said bitterly during the Iraq War, "As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war." -- "Combining lucid historical analysis, acid-etched portraits of generals from 'troublesome blowhard' Douglas MacArthur to 'two-time loser' Tommy Franks, and shrewd postmortems of military failures and pointless slaughters such as My Lai, the author demonstrates how everything from strategic doctrine to personnel policies create a mediocre, rigid, morally derelict army leadership ... " Publisher's Weekly starred review.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 21.09MB] [Play time: 0 hr 46 min]
Mark Bowden discusses 'The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden'
Mark Bowden presents a gripping account of the hunt for and elimination of Osama bin Laden. -- With unprecedented access to key sources, Bowden tells about the highest profile special-forces operation ever to have been undertaken. 'The Finish' is his page-turning narrative of how the man behind 9/11 was finally brought to justice.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 34.05MB] [Play time: 01 hr 14 min]
Jack Nisbet discusses his latest book 'David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work'
Jack Nisbet shows images and discusses his latest book, 'David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work: An Illustrated Exploration Across Two Centuries in the Pacific Northwest.' -- From 1825 to 1834, David Douglas made the first systematic collections of flora and fauna over many parts of the greater Pacific Northwest. Despite his early death, colleagues in Great Britain attached the Douglas name to more than 80 different species, including the iconic timber tree of the region. -- 'David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work' is an illustrated collection of essays that examines various aspects of Douglas' career, demonstrating the connections between his work in the Pacific Northwest of the 19th century and the modern landscape. This volume is the companion book to a major museum exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 27.60MB] [Play time: 01 hr 00 min]
Cartoonist Ellen Forney discusses her book 'Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me.'
Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would cause her to lose creativity and her livelihood, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passion and creativity. -- Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, Forney finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including: Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Styron and Sylvia Plath. She analyzes the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder as she struggles with the strengths and limitations of a parade of medications and treatments. -- Forney's graphic memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on the artist's work. Her story seeks the answer to this question: If there's a correlation between creativity and mood disorders, is an artist's bipolar disorder a curse... or a gift?
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 25.59MB] [Play time: 0 hr 55 min]