Welcome back to the reading and study spaces!
We are excited to announce that on Tuesday, September 8, we move into the next phase of our gradual reopening: welcoming members back to the reading and study spaces. As you might expect, there are a few changes of note, so please take a moment to read through What to Expect When the Reading and Study Spaces Reopen and this month’s letter from the Head Librarian.

A few important highlights: 
  • Expanded opening hours beginning September 8: Monday & Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Tuesday-Thursday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Saturday & Sunday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Masks will be required at all times when in the building 
  • Capacity will be limited in the reading and study spaces. The study rooms and seats in a number of spaces will require pre-booking, while other seats will be available for walk-ins. 
  • Book pickup service will continue. 
News and Links
The exhibition The Book Beautiful: Margaret Armstrong & Her Bindings has been extended through the fall. Full details and links to our online gallery and other resources here.

William J. Dean, who passed away in late August, was a defining figure in the life of the New York Society Library for three decades - passionate about books, New York City, and those who loved both. We remember him here.

Staffer Marialuisa Monda looks at what's popular and what's problematic in romance reading in this new post - and look for her September Instagram Live event below!

Biographer Gayle Feldman brings us the best books about the book business - historic, personal, scandalous, and all - in this recommended reading list.
One-Question Survey
In August we asked what you'd been enjoying in e-book form. Responses highlighted the great summer title How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell, plus James McBride's Deacon King Kong, Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, and Riley Sager's Home Before Dark.

Wrapping up the season: What's the best book you read this summer? ADD YOUR ANSWER HERE.
LECTURE - FOR LIBRARY MEMBERS AND MEMBERSHIP LIBRARY MEMBERS
Roxana Robinson, Dawson's Fall

Tuesday, September 8, 6:00 PM
online | by donation | registration required

In Dawson’s Fall, a novel based on the lives of Roxana Robinson’s great-grandparents, we see America at its most fragile, fraught, and malleable. Set in 1889, in Charleston, South Carolina, Robinson’s tale weaves her family’s journal entries and letters with a novelist’s narrative grace, and spans the life of her tragic hero, Frank Dawson, as he attempts to navigate the country’s new political, social, and moral landscape.

Interested in this event, but not ready to register? Get a reminder closer to the date.
WRITING LIFE WORKSHOP - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Write What Life Feels Like Now
with Esther Cohen

Thursdays September 10, September 24, October 8, October 22, 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.

November and December dates follow those listed above. Register once to attend any or all sessions.

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.

Interested in this event, but not ready to register? Get a reminder closer to the date.
THE WRITING LIFE - FOR MEMBERS ONLY
Prompt!

Fridays September 11, October 9, 11:00 AM
online | by donation | registration required

Come write with us on Friday mornings. Join your fellow member writers for a fun and stimulating hour+ of prompts, writing, and sharing. Sessions are separate - attend any or all.
ONLINE CHAT - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The Hopeless Romantic
with Marialuisa Monda

Sunday, September 13, 4:00 PM
Instagram Live | free of charge | drop in

Join us on Instagram Live at 4:00 PM on September 13 for an informal, interactive discussion with Library staff member Marialuisa Monda about guilty pleasures and pet peeves in classic romances and contemporary love stories, from Jane Austen and fairytales to manga.
CONVERSATION - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The Past Is Never Past:
Jan Eliasberg, Hannah's War
Ellen Feldman, Paris Never Leaves You

Wednesday, September 16, 6:00 PM
online | $10 per person | registration required

Two acclaimed novelists discuss their research and writing about the experiences of women in the Second World War and its aftermath.

Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Ellen Feldman's Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.

A "mesmerizing" re-imagination of the final months of World War II (Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network), Jan Eliasberg's Hannah's War is an unforgettable love story about an exceptional woman and the dangerous power of her greatest discovery.

Interested in this event, but not ready to register? Get a reminder closer to the date.
LECTURE - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
S.A. Cosby, Blacktop Wasteland

Tuesday, September 22, 6:00 PM
online | by donation | registration required
 
A husband, a father, a son, a business owner...And the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi.
 
Like Ocean's Eleven meets Drive with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby's Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime. Lee Child calls it "sensationally good - new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended."
 
S.A. Cosby is a writer from Southeastern Virginia. He recently won an Anthony Award for Best Short Story.

Interested in this event, but not ready to register? Get a reminder closer to the date.
WRITING LIFE WORKSHOP - FOR MEMBERS ONLY
25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way
with Geraldine Woods

Wednesdays September 23, October 7, 6:00 PM
online | by donation | registration required

25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way unpacks powerful examples of “the smallest element differentiating one writer’s style from another’s, a literary universe in a grain of sand.” And that universe is very large: the hundreds of memorable sentences gathered here come from sources as wide-ranging as Edith Wharton and Yogi Berra, Toni Morrison and Yoda, T.S. Eliot and Groucho Marx.

Join master teacher Geraldine Woods to take apart classic sentences, see how they tick, and apply their secrets to your own writing. Each session lasts 75-90 minutes.

Interested in this event, but not ready to register? Get a reminder closer to the date.
SEMINAR - FOR MEMBERS ONLY
Virgil's Aeneid, Books VII-XII
with Jane Mallison

Thursdays September 24, October 8, October 22, November 5, 11:00 AM
online | $60 per person for the four sessions | registration required

Less widely read than the first half of the epic poem, these books offer many interesting aspects of their own. With the survivors of Troy on Italian soil, they now attempt to make the land their own. There will be a stalwart female warrior, a tour of the primordial site of Rome, and a moment where pious Aeneas loses his cool. And Book IX will provide, in a provocative context, the line chosen for inscription at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum: No day shall erase you from the memory of time.

Interested in this seminar, but not ready to register? Get a reminder closer to the date.
LECTURE - FOR LIBRARY MEMBERS AND MEMBERSHIP LIBRARY MEMBERS
Christopher Bonner, Runaways, or Citizens Claimed as Such

Tuesday, September 29, 6:00 PM
online | free of charge | registration through the Athenaeum of Philadelphia required
 
In the decades before the Civil War, African Americans in the North lived in a tenuous freedom, denied political rights and threatened with kidnapping and enslavement. In this presentation, Remaking the Republic author Christopher Bonner explores individual and collective strategies African Americans used to defend their freedom and secure rights.

Interested in this event, but not ready to register? Get a reminder closer to the date.
SEMINAR - FOR MEMBERS ONLY
An Outsized Reality: The Novels of Gabriel García Márquez
with Nicholas Birns

Wednesdays September 30, October 14, October 28, November 11, 11:00 AM
online | $60 per person for the 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.

Interested in this seminar, but not ready to register? Get a reminder closer to the date.
LECTURE - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Lowell Thing, Cover Treasure: The Adventures of a Margaret Armstrong Collector

Thursday, October 1, 6:00 PM
online | $10 per person | registration required
 
The foremost expert on the book art of Margaret Armstrong talks about her life and career, with stunning images from his own comprehensive collection of her bindings.

This event takes place in connection to our exhibition The Book Beautiful: Margaret Armstrong & Her Bindings. Learn more about the exhibition here.

Interested in this event, but not ready to register? Get a reminder closer to the date.
PLUS
The Writing Life events in 2020 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.
Quick Links
 
Library Hours Through September 4

Library Hours Beginning September 8
Monday and Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

The Library will be closed Saturday, September 5, Sunday, September 6, and Monday, September 7 for Labor Day.