In March of 2005, I sat down in front of a crowd in our auditorium and read them a story about a man planning to poison his wife. Six years later, our regular lunch hour program Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Grownups is still going strong on the first and third Mondays of every month, and people are still sitting still for suspenseful short stories while having a sandwich or doing a little knitting. Together we’ve enjoyed such master storytellers as Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Roald Dahl, Dorothy Sayers, Damon Runyon, Kelly Link, and many others. I feel like the luckiest librarian in the world.
Recently I’ve been talking about this program at other libraries and I’m delighted to report that quite a few adult storytimes have started up around the country. Here’s a sneak peek at the suspenseful Spring ahead (All stories begin at 12:05 in the Microsoft Auditorium on Level One):
- Monday, March 7, 2011: “Jean-ah Poquelin” by George Washington Cable
Laissez les bon temps rouler! In this gothic tale set in New Orleans, raucous revelers throw a party fit to raise the dead.
- Monday, April 4, 2011: “Surveillance” by Jeffery Deaver
The police are convinced they have their man, and are watching him around the clock, but who’s watching the watchers?
- Monday, April 18, 2011: “Something the Cat Dragged In” by Patricia Highsmith
Things are never quite the same after kitty traipses into the party and proudly presents her prize: two human fingers.
- Monday, May 2, 2011: “John Charrington’s Wedding” by E. Nesbit
He always vowed he’d be married, dead or alive.
- Monday, May 16, 2011: “The Speciality of the House” by Stanley Ellin
There are many fine and famous restaurants all across the City, but for the meal of a lifetime, only Sbirro’s will do.
Of course not everyone is downtown at lunch time, so for those of you who can’t make it, the upcoming March 7 and May 2 stories will be podcast. Previous story podcasts include The Nose by Nikolai Gogol, The Magic Shop by H.G. Wells, a festival of Short-Short Stories, and a trio of Old Fashioned Ghost Stories.