Let me tell you a story

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.

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2 Responses to Let me tell you a story

  1. Not — “Jean-ah Poquelin” can it be?! One of my most favorite stories ever ever ever! But you (my new best friend for life), are my most favorite person in the world! You read like a dream — your choices are beyond brilliant!!!!! (Similar to my own, if I were ten times as clever!) You don’t falter– you don’t embarrass or put to sleep! Having read my own paltry work (sadly for years) on the radio, I am bristling with awareness that your gift is unsurpassed — please! More! More! More!
    Nothing but admiration from a new puddle of bedbug joy since finding you..
    Amanda Greenleaf-Whelan
    p/s Lie to me and say you are paid handsomely for your glistening quickness — at the very least you must be given your own island now and then? I dream as such.

  2. David W says:

    Most kind, AGW: I consider myself very fortunate to be able to do something as fun as this as a part of my job.

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