A Merry Christmas in the Kingdom of Books


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Christmas at The New York Public Library

Christmas at The New York Public Library


A New York Christmas, Books and New Worlds…

Happy Holidays everyone! Nothing says Christmas quite like Patience and Fortitude, the two wonderful marble lions outside the New York Public Library, with their holiday wreaths!  I always love taking a break from work and stopping by to pat them and sit by their side for a while. Having seen them and the holiday crowds swirling around – it really does seem like Christmas!

Well, here’s a Xmas gift for you from the literary lions  – the  NYPL’s Holiday Book List Generator! Librarian-recommended books customized to your tastes: http://on.ny/1yTszO0

In the Kingdom of Books…

Books are some of the best gifts one can give to family and friends but the sheer volume and diversity of new books can be intimidating. How do you find what you really need? This fun app from New York Public Library suggests you all the latest and best books, based on the categories you are looking for.


Every Grain of Rice

Every Grain of Rice

Cooking? Here are the suggestions:

Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop
“A must-have for anyone who wants to cook Chinese food at home, home cooks and professionals alike.” — David Chang, Momofuku

The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony
The New York institution shares its recipes and philosophy.
Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes From Our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan
Recipes both sweet and savory from Santa Monica’s favorite bakery.
Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient by Michael Ruhlman
Poached or scrambled; in brioches, meringues, mayonnaise, custards, quiches, and cakes.

Want travel?

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
One woman’s 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail that runs through California and Oregon.

A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure by Marlena De Blasi
Filled with the life, love, food, and scenery of Tuscany.
Beautiful Ruins: A Novel by Jess Walter
Escapism at its finest, and so much more. Good luck putting this one down.
The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean by Philip Caputo
The author, his wife, and their dogs travel from Florida to Alaska interviewing people along the way about the state of America.
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron
A 7,000-mile journey along the ancient trading road between China and Rome.
Taste Buds and Molecules

Taste Buds and Molecules

And this being the holiday season, you’re definitely looking for books on wine! Here are the best gifts for some of your favorite people!

Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor by Francois Chartier
On the science of wine pairing.

Uncorked: The Science of Champagne by Gerard Liger-Belair
Explores the inner working of the official beverage of celebration.
Liquid Memory: Why Wine Matters by Jonathan Nossiter
Wine, like literature, art, and cinema, is a cultural production.
Thanks New York Public Library for the suggestions, fresh discoveries –  and a very Merry Christmas will be had by all!

The Library Lions

Patience and Fortitude, the world-renowned pair of marble lions that stand proudly before the majestic Beaux-Arts building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan, have captured the imagination and affection of New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world since the Library was dedicated on May 23, 1911.

Called “New York’s most lovable public sculpture” by architecture critic Paul Goldberger, the Lions have witnessed countless parades and been adorned with holly wreaths during the winter holidays and magnificent floral wreaths in springtime.

They have been bedecked in top hats, graduation caps, Mets and Yankee caps, and more. They have been photographed alongside countless tourists, replicated as bookends, caricatured in cartoons, and illustrated in numerous children’s books. One even served as the hiding place for the cowardly lion in the motion picture The Wiz

(Source: NYPL)

 Related Article:

Jhumpa Lahiri accepting her Library Lions Medallion from NYPL President Paul LeClerc in 2007. Photo by Jori Klein

Jhumpa Lahiri accepting her Library Lions Medallion from NYPL President
Paul LeClerc in 2007. Photo by Jori Klein

Books in the Age of Internet


About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!


  1. Lavina Melwani on

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    Neelam Khanna Thanks for sharing this ….spent do much of my school days at this place!