What I’m Reading…

I just finished the book Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner which is a new release. Jennifer is one of my favorite authors and loves to connect to her fans on all forms of social media. When her publisher decided to move UP the date of publication, it was not expected as many other books were pushed back. It does not disappoint.

Instagram influencer Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh comes back into her life six years after huge fight.  Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is speechless but agrees to do it.

About halfway through the book there is an interesting twist and I don’t want to ruin it but I was shocked because I did not see it coming. Along the way Weiner touches on topics like Instagram filters, weight and the complexities of both female friendships and family.  I highly recommend it for a good summer escape.

Big Summer is available in ebook and audiobook formats in Overdrive.

-posted by Lisa H., Readers’ Services

Do you Miss Performing Arts?

Do you miss performing arts? There are a a number of possibilities to see wonderful performers from home:

“The Shows Must Go On” on the YouTube platform  offers a new Broadway show every Friday. The show is only available for 48 hours. So have your snacks ready! So far the offerings have included “Cats” and “Hairspray.”

Love Shakespeare? The Globe Theatre has been releasing a new show every two weeks. The current production is The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The Vienna State Opera has been streaming operas and ballets from its archive. The performances are available for 24 hours.

Like all other performing arts programs, American Ballet Theater is moving to a virtual season May 11-July 4. Daily programming include converatsions, ballet classes, concerts, artist profiles and spotlights, hair and makeup tutorials, and historical review.

And the esteemed Metropolitan Opera is offering a different encore presentation from its Live in HD series. Each performance begins at 7:30 and is available for 23 hours. At their homepage you can  link to additional information about the operas.

The Folger Shakespeare Library is presenting its 2008 production of Macbeth on Facebook.

And Port Jefferson’s Theatre Three has original short plays on its YouTube channel.

Theaters may be dark but there is a way for us to enjoy cultural events.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

There’s always a silver lining…

credit: North Heights Church of Christ

While working from home, I have on occasion been assigned a list of patrons to contact by phone, along with a suggested script.

As I looked over this list I got right to the task at hand dialing and reading from the script.   However, after the first few calls I found myself going “rogue”.  While I rattled off the information that I was assigned to convey, I realized the conversation had taken an unexpected turn.  I found that we eased into a relaxed chat.  No longer was it “my job”.  I started to enjoy it and take an honest interest in their well being.
 As I sat alone in my home making these calls, at the other end of the line was another person possibly also sitting alone at home. But while I was on the phone talking I no longer felt alone and I hoped that was how they felt as well.
And that I believe was the real point of my calling, not just to update and inform, but to let our patrons realize we are not alone.
-posted by Marie V., Circulation Services

Anyone for a Crossword Puzzle?

My family and I have always been crossword puzzle fans. When time allowed , we would try to work on them as often as we could. Not only they help to sharpen the brain but also increase your knowledge of the meaning of many words and also learn new words.

Newsday has two puzzles in the paper each day (except on Sunday – only one) so my daughter and I each have one to work on now that we have a little extra spare time. We try to do as much as we can on our own puzzle . We then switch and work on each other’s puzzle trying to fill in the missing words. After all , two brains are better then one. If puzzles are not completely solved, when my son in law comes home, he is the closer and finishes them if he can. After all, three brains are better than two !!!

There is a good feeling when puzzle is solved and we’ve all had a hand in this project and have accomplished something and enjoyed ourselves.  Try it!

-posted by Dona, Acquisitions Services


2020 Edgar Award Winners

The winners of the 2020 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America and honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction and television published or produced in 2019, are:

Best Novel: The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder; a high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favorite literature. To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn’t hers, left on the page of an old diary : Hallo Clare. You don’t know me. Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. ON OVERDRIVE (ebook only).

Best First Novel by an American Author: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG)

A dramatic murder trial in the aftermath of an experimental medical treatment and a fatal explosion upends a rural Virginia community where personal secrets and private ambitions complicate efforts to uncover what happened. ON OVERDRIVE (audio and ebook), AUDIO IS CURRENTLY ON HOOPLA.



Best Paperback Original: The Hotel Neversink by Adam O’Fallon Price (Tin House Books)

Thirty-one years after workers first broke ground, the magnificent Hotel Neversink in the Catskills finally opens to the public. Then a young boy disappears. This mysterious vanishing—and the ones that follow—will brand the lives of three generations over the course of this novel. At the root of it all is Asher Sikorky, the ambitious and ruthless patriarch whose purchase of the hotel in 1931 set a haunting legacy into motion. His daughter Jeanie sees the Hotel Neversink into its most lucrative era, but also its darkest. Decades later, Asher’s grandchildren grapple with the family’s heritage in their own ways: Len fights to keep the failing, dilapidated hotel alive, and Alice sets out to finally uncover themurderer’s identity. Told by an unforgettable chorus of Sikorsky family members—a matriarch, a hotel maid, a traveling comedian, the hotel detective, and many others—The Hotel Neversink is the gripping portrait of a Jewish family in the Catskills over the course of a century. With an unerring eye and with prose both comic and tragic, Adam O’Fallon Price details one man’s struggle for greatness, no matter the cost, and a long-held family secret that threatens to undo it all. ON OVERDRIVE ebook only

Best Fact Crime: The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity by Axton Betz-Hamilton (Grand Central Publishing)

Axton Betz-Hamilton grew up in small-town Indiana in the early ’90s. When she was 11 years old, her parents both had their identities stolen. Their credit ratings were ruined, and they were constantly fighting over money. This was before the age of the Internet, when identity theft became more commonplace, so authorities and banks were clueless and reluctant to help Axton’s parents. Axton’s family changed all of their personal information and moved to different addresses, but the identity thief followed them wherever they went. Convinced that the thief had to be someone they knew, Axton and her parents completely cut off the outside world, isolating themselves from friends and family. Axton learned not to let anyone into the house without explicit permission, and once went as far as chasing a plumber off their property with a knife. As a result, Axton spent her formative years crippled by anxiety, quarantined behind the closed curtains in her childhood home. She began starving herself at a young age in an effort to blend in—her appearance could be nothing short of perfect or she would be scolded by her mother, who had become paranoid and consumed by how others perceived the family. Years later, her parents’ marriage still shaken from the theft, Axton discovered that she, too, had fallen prey to the identity thief, but by the time she realized, she was already thousands of dollars in debt and her credit was ruined. This is Axton’s attempt to untangle an intricate web of lies, and to understand why and how a loved one could have inflicted such pain, bby breaking the unwritten rules of love, protection, and family. ON OVERDRIVE (audio and ebook)

Best Critical/Biographical: Hitchcock and the Censors by John Billheimer (University Press of Kentucky)

In Hitchcock and the Censors, author John Billheimer traces the forces that led to the Production Code and describes Hitchcock’s interactions with code officials on a film-by-film basis as he fought to protect his creations, bargaining with code reviewers and sidestepping censorship to produce a lifetime of memorable films.



Best Short Story: “One of These Nights,” from Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers by Livia Llewellyn (Akashic Books)

“One of These Nights”, has more shocking twists than most full-length mystery novels and they spring, like goblins, when you least expect it. But the protagonists are not goblins, they are adolescent best girlfriends with a dangerous, sly agenda. (from GoErie.com)”



Best Juvenile: Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught (Paula Wiseman Books)

Alternates between the detective work of middle-schooler Jesse and her new friend, Springer, after her father is accused of stealing, and post-tornado rescue efforts of Jesse and her Pomeranian, Sam-Sam. ON OVERDRIVE (only ebook)




Best Young Adult: Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)

Because her mom is always on the move, Steph hasn’t lived anyplace longer than six months. Her only constant is an online community called CatNet—a social media site where users upload cat pictures—a place she knows she is welcome. What Steph doesn’t know is that the admin of the site, CheshireCat, is a sentient A.I. ON OVERDRIVE (only ebook).

-posted by Donna, Readers’ Services

Books to Films

credit: S.Grgas

Who doesn’t love a good story? Whether it’s a book or film. Books such as Gone With The Wind** or Game Of Thrones* were not only literary successes but were blockbuster films. During this time of staying at home I’ve been binge watching some TV series.

Some of my recommendations are:

· My Brilliant Friend** is an HBO series based on the novel of the same name by the author Elena Ferrante. Set in the 1950’s in a small town on the outskirts of Naples. It’s a tale of friendship between 2 young girls, Lila and Elena, that spans a lifetime. We watch how the girls grow and change as they confront life and a changing culture.

· The Last Kingdom, a Netflix series based the book The Last Kingdom** by Bernard Cornwell. It’s an epic tale of courage, treachery, duty, politics, religion and love. Set in the late 9th century as Saxons, Britons and Danes fight for control of the land. The story revolves around King Alfred’s dream of uniting kingdoms to form England.

· I Know This Much Is True,* an HBO series released in May. Also based on the novel of the same name by Wally Lamb. The main character is Dominick Birdsey, a man full of anger and hate. He has an identical twin, Thomas who is a paranoid schizophrenic. Dominick both loves his brother deeply and resents him. The story tells a tale of how Dominick finds his roots and eventually learns to accept his fate in life.

Stay safe. Looking forward to the day we’ll see each other at SPL.

-posted by Betty P., Reference Services

Books available on **Overdrive and Hoopla or *Overdrive only.  Overdrive and Hoopla can be accessed through the Syosset Public Library website – all you need is a library card!

Anyone For Some Binge-Watching?

credit: Cleveland Clinic

Lately, I’ve been bingeing a variety of movies, documentaries and TV shows of various genres.

For action comedy, I watched the Bad Boys trilogy starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, who play two Miami detectives who encounter various crime situations.

For comedy series, I stream The Office starring Steve Carell, which is a humorous documentary-style look into the everyday lives of office workers. For a romantic comedy, I watched Always Be My Maybe and Disney’s Enchanted, a fantasy romantic comedy about true love.

For sports drama, I watched the movie Ford vs. Ferrari staring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, which is based on a true story about two men working on a race car for the Ford Motor Co. I’m also continuing to watch the sports documentary, Last Dance, about the career of Michael Jordan.

For historical drama, I continued my love for the series, Downton Abbey, by watching the film.

And yes, I did watch Tiger King, which falls into many genres!

-posted by Rosalia, Acquisitions Services

Let us help you find your own binge watches by browsing through Hoopla, Kanopy, AcornTV or Qello available through our website – all you need is a library card!


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

%d bloggers like this: