All posts by Sonia

We’re Still Reading Holiday Books

Murder for Christmas

by Francis Duncan

“When Mordecai Tremaine arrives at the country retreat of one Benedict Grame on Christmas Eve, he discovers that the revelries are in full swing in the sleepy village of Sherbroome—but so too are tensions amongst the assortment of guests.

When midnight strikes, the party-goers discover that presents aren’t the only things nestled under the tree…there’s a dead body too. A dead body that bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas. With the snow falling and suspicions flying, it’s up to Mordecai to sniff out the culprit—and prevent anyone else from getting murder for Christmas.” -from the publisher

Sonia, Reference Librarian says, “This was an old fashioned Agatha Christie type mystery featuring a charming amateur sleuth, Mordecai Tremaine, written in the 1940’s and a first in series.  A little too much time was spent describing the oppressive cloud of suspicion hovering over the household but I basically liked it and will probably read the second installment.”

A Christmas Journey

by Anne Perry

“Readers of Anne Perry’s bestselling suspense novels revel in a world that is all their own, sharing the privileged existence of Britain’s wealthy and powerful elite in West End mansions and great country houses. It is also a world in which danger bides in unsuspected places and the line between good and evil can be razor thin. This new novel features Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould – one of the most memorable characters from the Thomas Pitt series – who appears here as a lively young woman, the ultimate aristocrat who can trace her blood to half the royal houses of Europe.” -from the publisher

Brenda, Reference Librarian says, “Normally, I really enjoy Anne Perry’s mysteries especially those featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt. So choosing this novella as a Christmas read seemed a good choice. As always, the author crafts a story enriched by detailed descriptions of Victorian life. At a country house during the Christmas season one guest, Isobel Alvie, made a comment that led to the suicide of another guest, the recently widowed Gwendolen Kilmuir. Isobel was tasked with making the trip to explain the circumstances of the death to the dead woman’s mother. The message was clear and poignant: seemingly simple remarks can have a profound effect. But the journey of Isobel Alvie accompanied by Lady Vespasia seemed to drag. And I was disappointed since it wasn’t really a mystery. I think I will try another in the series. I am loyal to the authors I like!”

Have you read any books set around the winter holidays? Tell us about them in the comments.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

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We Read Some Holiday Books…

The Twelve Clues of Christmas

by Rhys Bowen

“She may be thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the new year—before a Christmas killer wrings another neck…

‘On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.

So it’s a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out ofA Christmas Carol! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie falls out of a tree, dead…. Dickensian, indeed!:” -from the publisher

Brenda, Reference Librarian says,  “What fun! This book has an engaging heroine, a quirky supporting cast and a clever plot. The love interest between Lady Georgiana Rannoch and Darcy O’Mara is sweet. I would be happy to visit the village of Tiddleton-under-Lovey, Devonshire if it existed! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading this cozy mystery.’ “

How the Finch Stole Christmas

by Donna Andrews

“Meg Langslow’s husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.

The show must go on, even if the famous―though slightly over-the-hill―actor who’s come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him. And why is Caerphilly suddenly overrun with a surplus of beautiful caged finches?” -from the publisher

Sonia, Health Reference Librarian says, “I have always wanted to try a book in this cozy mystery series .  The murder did not happen until fully halfway through the novel. Until then the reader gets to know Meg, her extended family and friends as well as the town Caerphilly at Christmastime with sometimes over the top detail.  I liked the book much better after the body appeared rather than before but I don’t think I’ll be returning to Caerphilly anytime soon.”

Have you read any books set around the winter holidays? Tell us about them in the comments.

Read about other holiday books in past posts, here or here.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

New in DVD

Birth of the Dragon

Action PG-13

Set against the backdrop of 1960s San Francisco, this is a modern take on the classic movies that Bruce Lee was known for. It takes its inspiration from the epic and still controversial showdown between an up and coming Bruce Lee and kung fu master Wong Jack Man, a battle that gave birth to a legend.

Dean

Comedy PG-13

A comedy about loss, grief and the redemptive power of love, Dean is an NY illustrator who falls hard for an LA woman while trying to prevent his father from selling the family home in the wake of his mother’s death.

Good Time

Drama R

After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Constantine Nikas embarks on a twisted odyssey through New York City’s underworld in an increasingly desperate, and dangerous attempt to get his brother out of jail. Over the course of one adrenalized night Constantine finds himself on a mad descent into violence and mayhem as he races against the clock to save his brother and himself, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Action R

The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.

Ingrid Goes West

Comedy R

Ingrid is an unstable young woman who secretly moves to LA to befriend Taylor — a woman with a fabulous boyfriend, a cute terrier, and a ton of online followers. Ingrid’s plan is threatened when Taylor’s brother arrives in town.

Lemon

Comedy Not Rated

A man watches his life unravel after he is left by his girlfriend of 10 years.

The Limehouse Golem

Horror Not Rated

Lizzie has been accused of murdering her husband, and her death by hanging seems all but inevitable. That is until Detective Inspector John Kildare is assigned to the case of a serial killer who murders innocent victims while leaving his distinctive signature in blood.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Action PG-13

In the 28th century, Valerian and Laureline are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha. A mystery is at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the city.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

5 Years on the Blog

Time for a walk through some of  SyossetRandR’s blog posts in  November in the past five years:

2016: Veteran’s Day…Honoring All Those Who Served

2015: Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

2014: What We’re Reading Now

2013: Next Book Club Pick: Why Not a Short Story Collection?

2012: Additional MOMA Pass!

Watch out for when we take another nostalgic look at the past five years again in December.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Five Years on the Blog: October

Welcome back to our regular monthly feature: A walk through some of  SyossetRandR’s blog posts in  October in the past five years:

2016: Upcoming Books to Films

2015: Back to the Future Week Continues

2014: Research Your Family Tree

2013: Plan Ahead for a Fun and Festive Book Club Meeting

2012: CONGRESS.GOV

Take another nostalgic look at the past five years again in November, stay tuned!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Afternoon Book Discussion

with Sonia Grgas, Reference Librarian

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 1:30 PM

Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, and poverty characteristic of their part of America. -(summary from the publisher)

This program is free.

No registration required.

Books are available at the circulation desk .

 

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

New in DVD

The Big Sick

Comedy R

Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail connects with grad student Emily after a standup set. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing.

Certain Women

Drama R

A stirring look at three women striving to forge their own paths amidst the wide-open plains of the American Northwest: a lawyer who finds herself contending with both office sexism and a hostage situation; a wife and mother whose determination to build her dream home puts her at odds with the men in her life; and a young law student who forms an ambiguous bond with a lonely ranch hand. A portrait emerges of flawed, but strong-willed individuals in the process of defining themselves.

Wonder Woman

Action PG-13

Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

-posted by Ralph, Media Services