Greetings Touro community! I would like to introduce myself. My name is Kirk Snyder, and I am the new afternoon and evening Librarian at Touro College Midwood/Flatbush. I come to Touro from New York Public Library’s Harlem Library. Though I love public libraries, I am very excited to be in an academic library where I can help facilitate students’ and professors’ research.
I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and also lived in San Francisco and Connecticut before settling here in New York. My undergraduate studies were in art (I have a BFA in Painting) before receiving my Master’s in Library and Information Science from Long Island University.
When I’m not here at the Library, I am most likely engaged in my main interests: art, music, and literature. I spend a lot of time going to art galleries, mostly in Chelsea and the Lower East Side, crate-digging at record stores like Other Music and Academy Records, and scouring the shelves of book stores like The Strand or Spoonbill & Sugartown.
By way of further introduction, I’d like to share what I’ve been reading lately:
Woes of the True Policeman, Roberto Bolaño – I’m something of a fanatic of Bolaño’s. This book mainly follows Óscar Amalfitano, a principle character in one of his previous novels, 2666. The story features many Bolaño hallmarks: obscure avant-garde movements, academia, crime, and South American diaspora.
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion – Didion’s (nonfiction) meditation on grief. I love the clarity of her writing. She has such command of language and uses each word so deliberately.
Haiku, Peter Washington (Editor) – This collection of classical Japanese Haiku really caught me off guard. I connected instantly with the poems’ compact, enigmatic beauty. Features the haiku masters Basho, Issa, Buson, and Shiki.
My Struggle: Book 3, Karl Ove Knausgaard – I devoured the first two engrossing volumes of My Struggle last year and was very excited to start on the third. Knausgaard is a literary star in Norway and is quickly becoming one in America as well. My Struggle is an immense autobiographical novel that spans six books which is currently being translated into English and released one book at a time. It is often compared to Marcel Proust’s classic, similarly large and detailed work, In Search of Lost Time. While My Struggle is indeed very autobiographical, we have to remind ourselves that it is, at the same time, fiction. Could he really remember incidents from his childhood with such detail? Knausgaard has said that he wrote My Struggle as quickly as he could with no going back to edit or reflect.
Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon – Being a fan of her band Sonic Youth for many years, I jumped on the chance to read Kim Gordon’s autobiography. Although I’m not usually big on “Rock Bios”, there was no question of my excitement about this book. Gordon has always been considered somewhat aloof, guarded, and difficult to read, so the arrival of this book was kind of a surprising thrill to fans. In it we learn so much about Gordon’s California roots and arrival in New York, her art world involvement, and the personal dynamics of her band Sonic Youth.
Contributed by: Kirk Snyder, Librarian, Midwood