Staff Picks Spring 2015 Thursday, Mar 19 2015 


“When spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that
he dwells in Paris.”
Henry Miller

“He who contemplates the depth of Paris is seized with vertigo.
Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic.  Nothing is more sublime.”
Victor Hugo


The latest installment of staff picks will immerse you in the streets of Paris.  The selection, like the city, is multifaceted.  It features, for example, espionage, mystery, drama, comedy, gourmet cuisine and a nineteenth century giraffe!  So, whatever, your reading preferences, leave the darkness of winter behind and explore the City of Light!

Zarafa: A Giraffe’s True Story; from Deep in Africa to the Heart of Paris – Michael Allin

The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery

Gourmet Rhapsody – Muriel Barbery

Brassaï: For the Love of Paris – Brassaï

Mission to Paris – Alan Furst

The Other Paris: Mavis Gallant

Paris Notebooks: Essays and Reviews – Mavis Gallant

Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home – Ina Garten

Paris to the Moon – Adam Gopnik

A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway

A Giraffe goes to Paris – Mary Tavener Holmes

Strangled in Paris – Claude Izner

Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris – Sarah Kennel

Henri’s Walk to Paris – Leonore Klein

Missing Person – Patrick Modiano

Suite Française – Irene Némirosky

By Kirsty Dain, Circulation Assistant

Spring YA Picks: Romance Thursday, Mar 5 2015 


Let’s be honest guys.

This winter. It’s the WORST. And I have a feeling that a true “spring” (you know, the kind with flowers and warm weather and short sleeves?) is further away than we realize. And as the wind and snow scours at my brain, I find myself pulled more and more toward romance — maybe its imagining someplace warmer, or the warm flush of new love, but something about romance novels is really turning my crank right now. I have selected a fine, fine range: Some end happily, some end tragically, some never quite get started, and some are altogether unexpected. I hope you find something you like!

Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Sáenz
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Jennifer E. Smith
Sister Mischief, Laura Goode
Hush, Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick
If You Could be Mine, Sara Farizan
Magic Under Glass, Jaclyn Dolamore
Matched, Ally Condie
Cures for Heartbreak, Margo Rabb
There is no Dog, Meg Rosoff
Ash, Malinda Lo
My Most Excellent Year, Steve Kluger
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare, Melissa Jensen
Nantucket Blue, Leila Howland
The Difference Between You and Me, Madeleine George

Ravenous thanks Amy Eller Lewis, Writer and Circulation Assistant.

Wolf Hall Thursday, Jan 22 2015 

The BBC’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies looks great. The first episode aired last night to a huge audience. Here’s a taste:


According to the New Statesman it’s as good an adaptation as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s productions in 2014.

Photo credit: Hollywood Reporter

Photo credit: Hollywood Reporter.

Athenaeum members loved Mantel’s novels, we had multiple copies of both books. The Man Booker Prize blog has a thoughtful post on the translation of the books to television. And the internet is a-buzz with “storified” live tweets from last night’s episode and a very busy #WolfHall hashtag. U.S. audiences can see this on PBS Masterpiece beginning on April 5th.

Burroughs 100 Exhibit: A Visual Homage to “El Hombre Invisible” Tuesday, Nov 18 2014 

Burroughs Exhibit 005


 A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) is considered “one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century,” according to the 2003 Penguin Modern Classics edition of Junky. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays; his influence can be felt  not only in literature but in popular culture as well.


The exhibit is curated by Athenaeum member, John Chiafalo, with many items from his personal collection, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Burroughs birth in 1914.  Chiafalo donated two 1st American editions of Naked Lunch  after learning during Banned Books Week that this title was located in the Scruples closet at the Athenaeum until 1974. The exhibit will be in the Main Floor Exhibit Case until the end of the year.


The official website for Burroughs 100 is rich with features and events from around the world or if you’re interested Reality Studio hosts a William S. Burroughs community.


Writing for Wadewitz: An Adrianne Wadewitz Memorial Edit-a-Thon Wednesday, May 14 2014 

Photo credit: HuffingtonPost

Photo credit: HuffingtonPost

This is part of a global event to memorialize eighteenth-century scholar and Wikipedian Dr. Adrianne Wadewitz, who died suddenly in April. This loss has deeply affected Wikipedia and the academic world. Her work is recognized internationally as helping to encourage more women to contribute to Wikipedia to tackle the gender gap and systemic bias in its content. Wadewitz was one of the first academics to bring Wikipedia into the classroom as part of the Wikipedia Education Program, working with her students to improve Wikipedia instead of writing traditional term papers. At the time of her death, she was Mellon Digital Scholarship Fellow at Occidental College. She had over 50,000 edits and wrote numerous featured and good articles, including Mary Wollstonecraft. You can read more about Wadewitz and her contributions via The Wikipedia Signpost, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and the Omaha World-Herald.

What to bring: Your laptop and a power adapter.
Cost: Free
You do not need to be an experienced Wikipedia editor
in order to attend, just bring a willingness to learn.
#wadewitz and #wikiwomen
Either sign up on the Wikipedia Event pages using your username. If you are unfamiliar with Wikipedia, try this training module. There will also be alternative RSVP information on the event pages.

A group at Brown and Northeastern University will hold Write-Ins on Wednesday, May 21st and Thursday, May 22nd. Another Boston group is planning an event for June. Information for each, including links to RSVP are below.

Writing for Wadewitz: three New England edit-a-thons in memory of Wikipedian and Digital Humanities scholar Dr. Adrianne Wadewitz.
More information about Dr. Adrianne Wadewitz is on the main listing for these memorial edit-a-thons.
Thanks to Emily Kugler for the content of this post. It is Ravenous’s pleasure to spread the word.

Flappers Wednesday, Apr 2 2014 

Image credit: NYPL Digital Collections

Image credit: NYPL Digital Collections

This is one of a collection of cigarette cards held by the New York Public Library, and written about in the blog The Passion of Former Days. Flappers as butterflies, ephemeral and beautiful. But the darker side is explored in the new book, Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation. Josephine Baker, Tallulah Bankhead, and Zelda Fitzgerald, are Americans; Diana Cooper and Nancy Cunard, are British; and Tamara de Lempicka, is an escapee from the Russian Revolution. Their young lives led among the avant garde in Paris and New York, unconsciously furthered women’s rights.  




Of course a lot of what went on looks like a silly good time:


How to Commemorate the Anniversary of Poe’s Death Monday, Oct 7 2013 


Photo credit:

Well, if you are in New York, you should visit the Morgan Library and Museum exhibit, Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul, on view from October 4, 2013 through January 26, 2014. One of the donors to the exhibit is Susan Jaffe Tane, who generously lent items from her collection to the Athenaeum in 2009 when Collections Librarian, Kate Wodehouse did the Sex, Lies, and Edgar Allan Poe exhibit. The New York Times review of the Morgan exhibit is enticing.

Christina Bevilacqua, Director of Programs and Public Engagement, visited the Morgan exhibit over the weekend and while wandering the streets of New York later encountered this on the sidewalk:


If you do an image search for Poe what you find are hundreds of  representations of him and his works. Some are very interpretive and creative, like the above stencil; all are inspired by E.A.P.  Celebrate the 164th Anniversary of Poe’s death.

The Shadow over College Street: H. P. Lovecraft in Providence Wednesday, Aug 21 2013 



August 19-September 22, 2013 / Providence Athenaeum

August 19-October 24, 2013 / John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, Brown University

HOWARD PHILLIPS LOVECRAFT felt himself inextricably linked to Providence. His deep ties to the city where he was born, lived the greater portion of his life, and now lies buried, pervade his fiction.   In 1937, one month after Lovecraft’s death from cancer at age 46, his surviving aunt, Annie Gamwell, and his literary executor, R. H. Barlow, delivered the first batch of his letters and manuscripts to the John Hay Library. Over the intervening years, the Lovecraft “memorial” at the Hay has grown exponentially, according Lovecraft the immortality to which his fictional character Joseph Curwen aspired.   Thus, Lovecraft’s presence not only haunts diverse historical sites in Providence that inspired his “weird fiction,” but also occupies the stacks of the Hay, home to the largest known collection of manuscript and printed Lovecraftiana.

THIS EXHIBITION, a collaboration between the John Hay Library and the Providence Athenaeum, displays selections from the holdings of both libraries and the private collection of Donovan K. Loucks, webmaster of The H.P. Lovecraft Archive.  The main portion of the exhibition will be on view in the Philbrick Rare Book Room at the Athenaeum and the companion exhibition will be displayed in the lobby of the John D. Rockefeller,  Jr.  Library, Brown University.  Please consult the following websites for library hours.

Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street at College Street

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, Brown University, 10 Prospect Street at College Street

This exhibition has been organized to run concurrently with the NECRONOMICON PROVIDENCE convention, August 23-25, 2013.

Our special thanks to guest blogger and exhibition curator, Holly Snyder, Ph.D.
Curator of American Historical Collections and North American History Librarian, John Hay Library, Brown University.

Providence Embraces H.P. Lovecraft Friday, Aug 2 2013 


The Providence City Council recently named the corner of Angell and Prospect Streets, H. P. Lovecraft Memorial Square. The renowned author was born on Angell St. and lived on the East Side of Providence for much of his life. He’s buried in Swan Point Cemetery and his admirers installed a special headstone with the quote: I AM PROVIDENCE.


This month the city of Providence acknowledges H.P. Lovecraft in a big way. The impetus has been the arrival of NecronomiCon Providence on August 22nd to 25th. Activities abound! Including a special WaterFire event, a Brown University exhibit, the Rhode Island Historical Society conducts literary walks, and an augmented reality tour, The Call of Lovecraft, is being developed and needs some support.

Ravenous is most excited about the H. P. Lovecraft Bronze Bust Project as the Providence Athenaeum is to be its permanent home. The Facebook page has chronicled the development of the bust and here is one of the latest pictures:


As the NecronomiCon newsletter states: Strange days are here … Lovecraft would be proud.

A Panoply of Jane Austen Friday, Jul 19 2013 

One of the most clever things Ravenous saw this week is an online exhibit called What Jane Saw. The website is based on a visit Jane Austen made to an art exhibit in London in 1813, of the works of Sir Joshua Reynolds.  The reconstruction of the exhibit is done room by room with descriptions of each of the works of art she would have seen, taken from the exhibit catalogue. Brilliant!

This year Pride and Prejudice celebrates the bicentennial of it’s publication and the BBC produced a reenactment of the book’s Regency Ball:

If this is your year to travel to Austen’s England then the Wall Street Journal has a wonderful travelogue for you to use.

Digital copies of her books can be found many places, here is just one, and if you’d love to own a Jane Austen memento try the giftshop at Jane


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