Afternoons with the Author – Virtual Author Visit with Corie Adjmi

Looking for your next great read? Join the Readers’ Services librarians for Afternoons with the Author. Learn more about the authors, the writing process, and how their impressive new books came to be! No registration required. Join via Zoom from the link on the Live Streaming Events Calendar: 

Photo credit: Alberto Vasari

Tuesday, April 13, at 3 p.m  

Short Story writer and essayist Corie Adjmi will join us to discuss the writing of Life and Other Shortcomings, a 2020 collection of linked short stories exploring the experiences of multiple women and the paths they chose from 1970 to the present.

Life and Other Shortcomings is a collection of linked short stories that takes the reader from New Orleans to New York City to Madrid, and from 1970 to the present day. The women in these twelve stories make a number of different choices: some work, others don’t; some stay married, some get divorced; others never marry at all. Through each character’s intimate journey, specific truths are revealed about what it means to be a woman—in relationship with another person, in a particular culture and era—and how these conditions ultimately affect her relationship with herself. The stories as a whole depict patriarchy, showing what still might be, but certainly what was, for some women in this country before the #MeToo movement. Both a cautionary tale and a captivating window into women’s lives, Life and Other Shortcomings is required reading for anyone interested in an honest, incisive, and compelling portrayal of the female experience.” (From the Publisher) 

-posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

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New in DVD

Our Friend

Drama R

After receiving life-altering news, a couple finds unexpected support from their best friend, who puts his own life on hold and moves into their family home, bringing an impact much greater and more profound than anyone could have imagined

Wonder Woman 1984

Action PG-13

Diana must contend with a work colleague and businessman, whose desire for extreme wealth sends the world down a path of destruction, after an ancient artifact that grants wishes goes missing.

-posted by Ralph, Media Services


Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 3pm

Led by Readers Services Librarians Donna, Evelyn, and Lisa




Identical twin sisters grow up together in small-town Louisiana before choosing very different lives. Years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same town, while the other secretly passes for white. Even separated by many miles and many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation when their own daughters’ lives intersect?

This program is free. No registration required. Copies of the book are currently available at the 2nd Floor Readers Services desk. This title is also available to borrow on a lendable nook, or to download to your own device through Overdrive/Libby.

Join via Zoom from the link on the Live Streaming Events Calendar.

2021 Long Island Reads Selection Award Event Honoring Brit Bennett

Author Brit Bennett will be honored at the 2021 Long Island Reads Selection Award virtual event for her novel The Vanishing Half in an online Crowdcast program hosted by Plainview-Old Bethpage Library on Sunday, April 11 at 2 p.m. Free tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Bennett, who is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, is the author of The Mothers,  a New York Times bestseller. The Vanishing Half is her second novel. Long Island Reads is sponsored by the Nassau Library System and the Public Libraries of Suffolk County.

-posted by Evelyn, Readers’ Services

It’s April, National Poetry Month!

Do you read or write poetry? Do you have a favorite poet?

I was thinking of the various poets I have enjoyed. When I was a child my mother would read from Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.  And my father would recite Edgar Allen Poe. As I got a little older, I was introduced to Paul Laurence Dunbar. Of course! He was from Dayton, Ohio not far from where we lived. During my years of fascination with the American Revolution, Philp Freneau became required reading. There is always someone new to discover! Shame on me: I only recently heard of Edwin Arlington Robinson and he won the Pulitzer Prize. Three times!

The Academy of American Poets launched the celebration of poetry month in 1996. You can check their website  for ways to celebrate. The site suggests many ways to explore poetry and poets. For example, did you hear Amanda Gorman’s presentation at Joe Biden’s inauguration this year? Check here for a discussion of previous inaugural poems.

Are you intrigued? Syosset Public Library has many books of poetry as well as biographies and books of interpretation and criticism.  There are also volumes of collected poems to allow you to sample different themes and styles. The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry is a good place to start. And there is the two-volume set titled American Poetry: The Twentieth Century. For a more international selection check the three-volume set World Poets.

There are many ways to explore poetry at home. The Poetry Foundation (the publisher of Poetry Magazine) aims to broaden the audience for poetry by providing online resources. You can discover poems on various subjects by looking at the collections tab: try poems celebrating the environment, or mothers or food. There is an option to listen to the poem of the day. Are you interested in sharing poetry with children ? There’s a selection here! There are videos to accompany some of the readings.

You can discover new poets by subscribing to the “poem a day” email. Each day you will receive a poem which you can listen to or read.

Here’s one to start you off: “How to Eat a Poem” by Eve Merriam,

Don’t be polite.

Bite in.

Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice that

May run down your chin.

It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.

You do not need a knife or form or spoon

 Or plate or napkin or tablecloth.

 For there is no core

 Or stem

  or rind

  or pit

  or seed

  or skin

  to throw away.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Five Years on the Blog

On this last day of March, join us for a walk down memory lane to look at some of our March blog posts in each of the past five years:




March 2017: NEW IN DVD


See you all next time we visit the last

Five Years on the Blog!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

New titles at the library: Mysteries, Historical Fiction & Romance


Cruel as the Grave by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Starring: likeable DCI Bill Slider, whose wife is expecting their second child any day.

What happens: In London’s Shepherd’s Bush area, Slider and his dedicated team investigate the murder of a handsome fitness trainer who had multiple romantic partners. Despite the dead man’s girlfriend being covered in blood, Slider thinks she may be innocent.

Series alert: This is the witty, well-plotted 22nd Bill Slider mystery; readers can start here, but those who want to see characters develop should start earlier in this popular series.

Blood Grove by Walter Mosley

What happens: In the summer of 1969, Black Los Angeles PI Easy Rawlins, a World War II vet, agrees to help a traumatized white Vietnam vet, who says that while trying to save a woman, he thinks he killed a Black man — but the scene of the supposed crime is completely clean. 

Why you might like it: Featuring unforgettable characters, this atmospheric 15th Easy Rawlins mystery takes place against the backdrop of the social and political changes of the 1960s.

Award buzz: The National Book Foundation recently presented Walter Mosley with the 2020 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Historical Fiction:

Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick

What it’s about: the true story of the life, career, and untimely death of Cuban actress Estelita Rodriguez, best known for her roles in Westerns with Roy Rogers and John Wayne.

Read it for: the compelling relationship between Estelita and her daughter Nina; the stranger-than-fiction events of Nina’s formative years, including surviving a kidnapping and witnessing the Cuban Revolution.

Try this next: Third Girl from the Left by Martha Southgate, which also chronicles the relationships between mothers and daughters who have close connections with the film industry.

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

The setup: Mixed-race Pheby Brown is anxiously awaiting her 18th birthday, when her white father (and owner) Jacob has promised to set her free.

What goes wrong: A carriage accident kills Pheby’s mother and incapacitates her father, and Jacob’s bitter and jealous wife seizes the chance to sell Pheby to a cruel jailer, whose treatment Pheby endures until an unexpected opportunity arrives.

Reviewers say:Yellow Wife is a “powerful, unflinching account of determination in the face of oppression” (Publishers Weekly). 


Shipped by Angie Hockman

The trip of a lifetime: Marketing manager Henley Rose Evans and her work nemesis, Graeme Crawford-Collins, compete for a promotion aboard one of their company’s adventure cruise ships bound for the Galápagos Islands.

Why you might like it: This “charming romp at sea” (Library Journal) features relatable leads, an enemies-to-lovers plot, and a lively supporting cast.

The Ex-Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

What it is: an enemies-to-lovers fake relationship romance set in the world of public radio. 

Starring: experienced producer Shay Goldstein and new hire Dominic Yun, workplace rivals who must pose as former lovers on a new show called “The Ex Talk” to boost the station’s ratings and save their jobs.

Read it for: witty banter, a diverse cast of well-developed characters, and an authentically depicted setting.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

New in DVD

Promising Young Woman

Drama R

Everyone said Cassie was a promising young woman, until a mysterious event abruptly derailed her future. But nothing in Cassie’s life is what it appears to be. She’s wickedly smart, tantalizingly cunning, and living with a secret double life by night. Now, an unexpected encounter is about to give Cassie a chance to right the wrongs of the past in this thrilling and wildly entertaining story.


Sci Fi R

Fleeing a devastating plague on Earth, an interstellar ark comes under attack from a shape-shifting alien force intent on slaughtering what’s left of humanity.

News of the World

Drama PG-13

Five years after the Civil War, Captain Kidd moves from town to town as a storyteller. In Texas, he crosses paths with Johanna, a ten-year-old taken in by the Kiowa people six years earlier. She is being returned to her biological aunt and uncle against her will. Kidd agrees to deliver the child where the law says she belongs. As they travel hundreds of miles, the two will face tremendous challenges of both human and natural forces as they search for a place that either can call home.

-posted by Ralph, Media Services

March is Women’s History Month

The commemoration celebrating the contributions and achievements of women dates back to the first woman’s history day in 1909, the one-year anniversary of the garment workers strike when 15,00 women marched to protest their working conditions. Not until 1978 was there a women’s history week in California. And then in 1987 President Jimmy Carter declared March 8 as Women’s History Week. Finally, in 1987 Congress declared March Women’s History Month.

This year President Biden proclaimed women’s history month noting the first female Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris. “During Women’s History Month, let us honor the accomplished and visionary women who have helped build our country, including those whose contributions have not been adequately recognized and celebrated. And let us pay tribute to the trailblazers from the recent and distant past for daring to envision a future for which no past precedent existed, and for building a Nation of endless possibilities for all of its women and girls.”

Since the pandemic postponed or cancelled many of last year’s planned events, this year continues the theme of “Valliant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.” We have all heard about the struggle for women’s suffrage which finally gave women the right to vote. What isn’t always remembered is that Native American women, Asian women and women of color continued to have their voting rights curtailed by literacy rules and poll taxes until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The National Women’s History Alliance has an annotated bibliography to encourage further research into individual suffragists and the multifaceted suffrage movement (scroll to the bottom to see New York connections). This year has seen a lot of press about Kamala Harris becoming the first female and the first woman of color to be elected Vice President of the US. Jeannette Rankin (from Montana) was the first woman elected in 1916 to Congress. Back in 1972 Shirley Chisholm (who was the first Black US Congresswoman) was the first Black woman to run for President as a major party candidate.

The library has a plethora of information about women. Of course, there are biographies of individuals. But every subject category in the card catalog has a subcategory of women. Try the database Gale in Context: US History for biographies of prominent women and summary articles about the struggle for women’s rights. (You will need your library barcode to access the database from home.)

The National Trust for Historic Preservation launched a crowdsourced campaign to identify sites linked to remarkable women. There are 1200 sites to explore here; the campaign exceeded the goal of 1000 sites! Locally, there is the Huntington home of Ida Bunce Sammis, suffragist and one of the first women elected to the NY State Assembly.

You can download Stories of Women in Stem on the Smithsonian website. Meet the inventor of the machine to make brown paper bags, Margaret Knight, and other scientists and innovators like an art conservator, an aerospace engineer, a mathematician and even a hair care entrepreneur. presents women whose achievements have enriched our lives: women like author Harper Lee, feminist Betty Friedan, environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas among many others.

And until you can travel again (maybe start planning a trip?), take a look at historical sites connected to women. In addition to links to significant buildings, there are interesting storymaps to explore topics such as women’s suffrage, women in education and women active in the Underground Railroad.

After you’ve done your reading, check your knowledge with this quiz from the National Women’s History Alliance. Click on the answers and continue to learn!

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

A blog written by the librarians at Syosset Public Library, Syosset, New York.

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