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In partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Brooklyn Public Library is celebrating Immigrant Heritage Week from April 13 to 19. The week pays homage to the legacy of April 17, 1907, the day in New York City history the largest number of immigrants (11,000!) entered the U.S. through Ellis Island. To celebrate, we’ve gathered a list of e-books centered around the immigrant experience in New York, with a special focus on Brooklyn. Panic in a Suitcase by Yelena Akhtiorskaya  A dazzling novel about a Russian immigrant family living in the Brighton Beach...


Trudging through the chilly breeze and long, dark evenings of winter, we looked forward to spring: budding of new leaves, sunnier days, and those two magic words: Play Ball! Spring training would have been the first sign of hope for warmer days, evenings spent watching a favorite team on TV, or listening on the radio. Whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan who grew up loving a favorite team, or a more recent fan, it’s clear that this season isn’t going to be what you remembered, and may not be what you hoped to find. Brooklyn has its own deep roots and history with baseball, from the...


Much of the beginning of February is the leadup to Valentine's Day—if you don't have your plans ironed out much further in advance. For many the holiday is a divisive one. Today, we're joined on the blog by two Brooklyn Public Library staff members who will be making their case for and against the day—supported, of course, by some exemplary examples in literature. Please note: Spoilers may be ahead for anyone who hasn't read some of the books mentioned. I was recently reading Fleabag: The Scriptures when I came across a gem of a speech given by a character named Priest. (or, as he's become...


Perhaps it’s the never ending stream of end-of-decade, best-of and worst-of lists of TV shows, movies, plays, books, albums, memes, restaurants, etc.? Or, it could be the deluge of contantly streamable media is giving us all Lack-of-Season-al Affective Disorder (LSAD)? Or maybe it’s because we are entering an election year while still in the middle of year forever of a hostile and contentious political climate? Whatever the reason, who could blame you for feeling end-of-the-decade dread. We at Off the Shelf would like to ease that dread by offering resources and materials for a more...


BPL at the Brooklyn Book Festival in 2017. The Brooklyn Book Festival rolled into town this week and brought with it its celebration of readers, authors, publishers, and love of literature through free or low-cost programs.  If you have not yet had the opportunity to visit the festival, you should take advantage of this weekend’s fine weather and attend. Saturday, September 21st is Children’s Day at the book festival with readings and activities for young people of all ages. Infants and Toddlers had attend book readings by popular authors such as Grace Lin's (A Big Mooncake for...


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Dad.  Father.  Padre. Papa.  Pa. Pops. Whatever you call them, this Sunday, June 16th, we celebrate them!  Below is a list of books that celebrates Famous Fathers - both fiction and non - in all their glorious, ridiculous, maddening complexity. Fiction Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird: I tried leaving Atticus Finch of this list because including him on a list of literary father’s is a cliche, but sometimes a characters comes along who cannot be ignored and The Finch fits that bill. Ignore his rough-drafted alter ego...


Maybe you have an hour or two to spare over the weekend and want to complete a book instead of reading a chapter.  Maybe you want to read on the beach but don’t want to spend too much time in the sun. Or maybe your partner has taken the kids for a couple of hours and finding two articles in the stack of unread New Yorkers is too much trouble. Whatever the case, we’ve got you covered. Below are a list of Quick Reads to enjoy over the holiday weekend. Each is under 100 pages and offer a variety of topics for a variety of tastes. For the La Manch-an In You Mona Lisa by Alexander...


Washington.  Lincoln. Jefferson.  Both Roosevelts. Nixon.  Reagan. Clinton. Obama. These presidents loom large in our imaginations: easily identifiable figures whose influence defines the Presidency and the evolution of our country. The library stacks are filled with biographies that investigate the deeds and personalities of these men, but what about the other presidents? Those not easily identified whose places in history are often overlooked? For Presidents' Day, we highlight those commanders-in-chief who may have fallen under your radar. An Honest President :...


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