The Book Drop





From Aaron to Zyzak (and Back)


For this month's Book Drop, Jon Michaud talks about every book lover's dream: exploring a collection with books dating back 200 years. The Center for Fiction, founded as the Mercantile Library in 1820, holds such gems as a first edition copy of Yeats's The Tower, a letter postmarked 1928, and century-old notes scrawled in the margins of books. Hear about the newly completed catalogue (a decade-long project!) and what has been found in the stacks along the way. read





David Swinson’s Long Road

from Cop to Crime Novelist


In this month’s Book Drop, Jon Michaud speaks to crime fiction writer David Swinson, who worked as a nightclub promoter, movie producer, and policeman before publishing his first novel. Swinson discusses his unlikely connections to Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy, and considers how screenwriting and police work influenced his Frank Marr trilogy. read





Dueling Dystopias


We're not sure why (ahem) but dystopian fiction seems to be everywhere these days. Jon Michaud takes a look at two of these novels for this month's Book Drop: Lydia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan, and Omar El Akkad's American War. Read





Michael Knight’s Stories to Put in Your Pockets


In this month's Book Drop, Jon Michaud talks to Michael Knight about his new short story collection Eveningland. The two discuss the difference between writing short stories and novels, embracing the influence of other authors, and how a collection of stories by John Cheever inspired his book. READ





Whatever Happened to Kathleen Collins?

For this month’s Book Drop, Jon Michaud examines Kathleen Collins’s posthumously published short story collection Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? Michaud discusses Collins’s use of cinematic elements, themes of race, and the parallels between the collection and Kia Corthron’s The Castle Cross the Magnet CarterREAD





The Wild Imagination of Harry Stephen Keeler


January 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of prolific mystery and sci-fi writer Harry Stephen Keeler's death. In this month's Book Drop, Jon Michaud talks about Keeler’s work and legacy with writer and editor (and Keeler fan) Ed Park and Richard Polt, professor of philosophy at Xavier University and head of the Harry Stephen Keeler Society. READ





Ten from 2016


While many of us are relieved to see 2016 come to an end, we're amazed by some of the incredible fiction that came out this year. In this month's Book Drop, Jon Michaud counts down some of his favorite reads from this year. We even let Jon slip in some nonfiction and poetry into the list! And we hope you'll come by the Center to grab your next great read. READ





Entertain Me, Move Me, or Die.

For the November Book Drop, Jon Michaud talks to author Peter Orner about throwing books, the use of memory in fiction, and his new collection of essays, Am I Alone Here? from Catapult.






Monsters Literal and Figurative


This month in The Book Drop, Jon Michaud discusses Nathan Ballingrud's collection of short stories, North American Lake Monsters. Michaud considers how Ballingrud's stories tap into the Southern Gothic tradition, taking characters often seen as monstrous and making them sympathetic. READ





The Indefatigable Caroline Leavitt


This month in The Book Drop Jon Michaud, profiles New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt (Pictures of You, Is This Tomorrow). Leavitt returns with her eleventh book, the hotly anticipated Cruel Beautiful World, about a teenage runaway in rural Pennsylvania during The Summer of Love. Michaud and Leavitt discuss the difficulties of writing, being a good literary citizen, and her inspiration for this latest book. READ








To Bard or Not to Bard


We're pleased to introduce The Book Drop by Jon Michaud, author of When Tito Loved ClaraJon is also a regular contributor to The New Yorker and The Washington Post. We're thrilled to share his new monthly column with you, in which he'll discuss all things literary! For his first piece, Jon writes about the pleasures and perils of reinterpreting William Shakespeare, a challenge some of our favorite authors are taking on in a collection from Hogarth.










The Book Drop is a monthly column of thoughts, trends, and tidings from the desk of our former librarian, Jon Michaud. 


Jon Michaud is the author of the novel When Tito Loved Clara, named a best book of 2011 by the Barnes & Noble Review. He was Head Librarian at The New Yorker from 2003 to 2012. Prior to that, he worked in libraries at Time Inc. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A regular contributor to The New Yorker’s Page-Turner and Culture Desk blogs, Jon also reviews books for The Washington Post. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with his wife and two sons where he is at work on a new novel.


You can find him on twitter @jonmichaud