Tag Archives: best

Our Favorite Books of 2014

2014Nearing the end of every year we are inundated by Best of the Year lists. Of course at a library we pay the most attention to the lists of best books.  We here at Syosset R and R would like to add to the mix and tell you what our reading favorites were for 2014.  Our staff was asked to tell us what books they enjoyed most during the year and the books did not have to be published during this year.

We start off with Pam M., our Head of Programming, these are her favorite books of 2014, in no particular order:

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Eggers, Dave –  The Circle

Henriquez, Cristina – The Book of Unknown Americans

Kallos, Stephanie – Broken for You

Kenney, John –  Truth in Advertising

Kidd, Sue Monk – The Invention of Wings

Massey, Sujita – The Sleeping Dictionary

Moyes, Jo Jo –  Me Before You

Quindlen, Anna –  Still Life with Bread Crumbs

Rakoff, David –  Half Empty

Silverman, Sarah –  Bedwetter

Semple, Maria –  Where’d You Go Bernadette

Thomas, Matthew – We are Not Ourselves

Zevin, Gabrielle – The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

We will be posting more of our favorites during the rest of December – stay tuned!

- posted by Sonia, Reference Services



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Entertainment Weekly’s Top 100

entertainment weekly top 100Entertainment Weekly’s July 5-12 issue was all about the 100 All-Time Greatest Movies, TV Shows, Novels and more.  The Syosset Public Library Book Club in a Bag (BCIB) consortium has many of the books that appear on that top 100 list.  We have the following books that you may borrow for your Book Clubs:

The following “All –Time Greatest Books” were published in 2012. Although they are not available as a BCIB we can interloan enough copies for your Book Club:

The top ten books can be found online on Entertainment Weekly’s website.  Please contact Readers’ Services at 516 921-7161 ext 239 to reserve any of the BCIB in a Bag sets.

-posted by Evelyn, Readers’ Services

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Books that Shaped America

Celebration-of-the-BookLast year, as part of its Celebration of the Book, the Library of Congress released a list of books that “provoked thought, controversy and change.” The list started with 88 books but public discussion and suggestions has seen it grow to 100 titles.

Not all of them would be considered “the best books.” Nor are they the most popular. You might not even recognize some of the titles! And there are surely books that you feel should have been included but were not.

snowy daywherre the wild things areThere are political books, histories, westerns, schoolbooks, plays, poems, self-help and novels. Children’s books are represented by The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

The first book (the oldest one) is The Bay Psalm Book, a hymnal by Stephen Daye.  Dating back to 1640 it was the first book printed in what is now the United States.

our townYou probably have heard of, and perhaps even seen, Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1938 and continues to be performed.

american cookeryjoy of cookingTwo cookbooks published 135 years apart are on the list: Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery (1796) which was the first cookbook printed in the United States and Irma Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking (1931) which includes the author’s comments along with ingredient lists and directions.

How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleDale Carnegie’s self-help book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, also makes the list. Works by poets Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost are included.

You can see the entire, varied list on

the Library of Congress site.

Syosset Public Library owns many of the books on the list.  But  if you feel drawn to buy some of the books, Amazon has them available as a special collection on its website in both print format and (where digital rights are available) for the Kindle.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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Our Favorite Books of 2011, Part One

R & R has asked the Syosset Public Library staff to share which books read in 2011 were their favorites.  Here are some picks in non-fiction:

Unbroken: A World WarII Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared–Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor. – 2011 favorite of Audrey, Media Services Clerk

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

A humanities professor describes the impact had by the translation of the last remaining manuscript of “On the Nature of Things” by Roman philosopher Lucretius, which fueled the Renaissance and inspired artists, great thinkers, and scientists. – 2011 favorite of Ralph, Head of Media Services

Bossypants by Tina Fey

From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon, comedian Tina Fey reveals all, and proves that you’re no one until someone calls you bossy. -2011 favorite of Amy, Children’s Services Librarian

The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution by Keith J. Devlin

Traces the early 13th-century introduction of Arabic numbers to Western Europe by Leonardo of Pisa, documenting the influential publication of his Liber Abbaci and how it enabled everyday people to understand numbers and engage in commerce, a capacity that set the stage for larger scientific, technological and trade advances. -2011 favorite of Brenda, Reference Services Librarian

Keep checking back again with the R & R blog during the month of December to read about some more of of our staff’s 2011 book favorites!

-posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

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(some of the) Best Books of 2011

It’s that time of year…no, I don’t mean the holiday season.  It’s the time of year for the “Best Books of the Year” lists.  There’s  Amazon, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, among others, already weighing in with what their editors believe are the most important and enjoyable books published during 2011.

Here is a sampling of some of books that are already being considered as the most noteworthy of 2011:

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (fiction)

Struggling to understand why her beloved grandfather left his family to die alone in a field hospital far from home, a young doctor in a war-torn Balkan country takes over her grandfather’s search for a mythical ageless vagabond while referring to a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (fiction)

A baseball star at a small college near Lake Michigan launches a routine throw that goes disastrously off course and inadvertently changes the lives of five people, including the college president, a gay teammate and the president’s daughter.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (fiction)

The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.  A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (non-fiction)

Based on more than 40 interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues–the author offers a fascinating look at the co-founder and leading creative force behind the Apple computer company.

Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (non-fiction)

The chef of New York’s East Village Prune restaurant presents an account of her search for meaning and purpose in the central rural New Jersey home of her youth, marked by a first chicken kill, an international backpacking tour, and the opening of a first restaurant.

Don’t forget to look for the “Best Books of 2011″ display located on the main floor when visiting the library during December.

- posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services


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Question of the Week

This week Publisher’s Weekly and Amazon issued their lists for the “Best Books of 2009″.  One might say it’s a bit early, but hey, it’s always fun to read and make lists:

Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Books of 2009
1. The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science - Richard Holmes
2. Await Your Reply - Dan Chaon
3. Big Machine – Victor Lavalle
4. Cheever: A Life - Blake Bailey
5. A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon - Neil Sheehan
6. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders - Daniyal Mueenuddin
7. Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi - Geoff Dyer
8. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon - David Grann
9. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work – Matthew B. Crawford
10. Stitches – David Small
Amazon’s Top 10 Books of 2009
1. Let the Great World Spin – colum McCann
2. Strength in What Remains - Tracy Kidder
3. Wolf Hall  -  Hilary Mantel
4. Brooklyn – Colm Tóibin
5. Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
6. Crazy for the Storm - Noman Ollestad
7. The Girl Who Played with Fire - Steig Larsson
8. The City & The City – China Mieville
9. Stitches – David Small
10. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - William Kamkwamba

question-marksWhat do you think?  Are any of your favorites of 2009 listed here? 

In an effort to come up with a very unofficial and very unscientific list of favorites of R & R readers, we ask

“What 2009 book was your favorite?

- posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services


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