All posts by Sonia

5 for the Oscars

Here are the five books that inspired the films that are nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award this year.  The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony honoring the best films of 2019 will take place on Sunday, February 9 at 8 pm ET.

I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt

A longtime mob associate relates his descent into a life of crime, his position as both a hit man and head of the Teamsters union in Wilmington, Delaware, and his inside knowledge of payoffs, mob hits, and the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

An avid member of the Hitler Youth in 1940s Vienna, Johannes Betzler discovers his parents are hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa behind a false wall in their home. His initial horror turns to interest — then love and obsession. After his parents disappear, Johannes is the only one aware of Elsa’s existence in the house and the only one responsible for her survival. By turns disturbing and blackly comic, haunting and cleverly satirical.

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore

One bad day. According to the grinning engine of madness and mayhem known as The Joker, that’s all that separates the sane from the psychotic. Freed once again from the confines of Arkham Asylum, he’s out to prove his deranged point.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young women.  Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.

The Pope: Francis, Benedict, and the Decision That Shook the World by Anthony McCarten

Why did Pope Benedict walk away at the height of power, knowing his successor might be someone whose views might undo his legacy? How did Pope Francis — who used to ride the bus to work back in his native Buenos Aires — adjust to life as leader to a billion followers? If, as the Church teaches, the pope is infallible, how can two living popes who disagree on almost everything both be right?

-all summaries from the publishers

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

Five Years in the Blog

Time for a walk through some of Syosset Public Library’s  past blog posts in January for the last five years:

2019: OUR JANUARY BOOK DISPLAYS

2018: WHAT WE’RE READING NOW

2017: NEW IN DVD

2016: 2016 OSCARS’ BOOKS TO FILM

2015: MONTHLY BOOK DISCUSSIONS: A YEAR IN REVIEW

Hope you enjoyed our memories!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

Our Favorite Books of 2019, Pt. II

The New Year is here and you might want to start it off with a good book. Here are some titles that our staff read and found to be particularly good in 2019.

Sonia, Reference Services:

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

“This compelling story of two ministers and their wives was basically a meditation on different ways people can live their faith or non-faith – a lot to think about.”

In a novel that spans decades, the lives of two young couples become intertwined when the husbands are appointed co-ministers of a venerable New York City church in the 1960s.*

Celine by Peter Heller

“I had to read a different book by this author for a book club earlier in the year and really did not like it. I was so surprised when I read this title for the same book club and loved it.”

A missing-persons tracker who specializes in reuniting families to make amends for a loss in her own past, Celine searches for a presumed-dead photographer in Yellowstone, only to be targeted by a shadowy figure who wants to keep the case unsolved.*

The last 7 Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny 

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“I caught up on on the series this year  and it averages into one continuous great reading experience. I’m currently re-reading the first!”

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets–and facing a few of his own ghosts.*

Ed, Head of Reference Services:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Discovering a mysterious book of prisoner tales, a Vermont graduate student recognizes a story from his own life before following clues to a magical underground library that is being targeted for destruction.*

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

A talented baker running a business out of her nursing home reconnects with her master brewer sister at the same time her pregnant granddaughter launches an IPA brewpub.*

 

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

When their middle brother Cameron, who went missing the week before Christmas, is found dead, Nathan and Bub are forced to confront devastating secrets.*

The Paragon Hotel by Lindsay Faye

Fleeing to 1921 Oregon, Alice takes refuge in the city’s only black hotel and helps new friends search for a missing child, hide from KKK violence and navigate painful secrets.*

 

Pam, Assistant Library Director:

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

A sequel to Olive Kitteridge finds Olive struggling to understand herself while bonding with a teen suffering from loss, a woman who gives birth unexpectedly, a nurse harboring a longtime crush and a lawyer who resists an unwanted inheritance.*

Becoming by Michelle Obama

An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House.*

Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services:

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

“An incredible memoir detailing the moment one woman’s entire identity is stripped by an at-home DNA kit and the inspiring aftermath of her journey.”

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her.*

Maid by Stephanie Land 

“A powerful and eye-opening account of a young, single mother living in poverty while working as a minimum wage earning housekeeper.”

A journalist describes the years she worked in low-paying domestic work under wealthy employers, contrasting the privileges of the upper-middle class to the realities of the overworked laborers supporting them.

Rosemarie, Children’s Services Librarian:

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

While working as divers with the all-female diving collective on a small Korean island, Mi-ja and Young-sook find their friendship challenged by their differences and forces outside their control.*

The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl

Manipulated by a stranger, an affluent Sandefjord woman is forced to prove just how far she is willing to go to protect her life and family.*

 

 

Megan, Systems Administrator:

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

“Part gothic fiction, part who-done-it, part space opera, Gideon the Ninth is a genre-bending story about a young woman ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a zombie, but must first act as a bodyguard to her lifelong frenemy in a thousand-year-old intergalactic struggle.”

1491:  New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

“In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.  I could not believe how much of what I was taught in school, even recently, was so very wrong!”

We wish all of our readers a very happy and healthy New Year!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

Our Favorite Books of 2019, Pt. I

The New Year is here and you might want to start it off with a good book. Here are some titles that our staff read and found to be particularly good in 2019.

Jessikah, Head of Community Engagement:

Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz

A geologist desperate to change the past and a teen rebel who has witnessed a history-changing murder are swept up in a secret historical war in a parallel-world America where time travel is possible.*

 

The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Surviving a horrific multiple homicide, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks is unexpectedly offered a full scholarship to Yale, where her mysterious benefactors task her with monitoring the university’s secret societies.*

Janice, Teen Services Librarian

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

“What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?”

After an international incident affects U.S. and British relations, the president’s son Alex and Prince Henry must pretend to be best friends, but as they spend time together, the two begin a secret romance that could derail a presidential campaign.*

Meghan, Children’s Services Librarian:

From Scratch: a Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke

An actress and TEDx speaker describes how her professional chef husband’s Sicilian family didn’t initially approve of him marrying a black American woman and the three summers she spent with them after he succumbed to cancer.*

 

Sharon, Head of Teen Services:

Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong

“Written as a series of ridiculous letters to her baby daughters, this is a collection of essays about dating in NYC, her travels abroad in Vietnam, being a female comedian, and how she “trapped” her husband.”

Collects the standup comedian’s humorous and heartfelt letters to her daughters, covering everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession and how she trapped their dad.*

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay.

“A provocative and very honest and open look at feminism, popular culture and how we as a society can do better.”

A cultural examination of the ways in which the media influences self-perception, and discusses how society still needs to do better.*

Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian:

This Tender Land by WIlliam Kent Krueger

Fleeing the Depression-era school for Native American children who have been taken from their parents, four orphans share a life-changing journey marked by struggling farmers, faith healers, and lost souls.*

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

A tale set over the course of five decades traces a young man’s rise from poverty to wealth and back again as his prospects center around his family’s lavish Philadelphia estate.*

*all summaries from the publishers

We’ll be back tomorrow with more staff favorites.

We wish all our readers a very happy and healthy New Year!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

New in DVD

Rojo

Drama Foreign NR
Set in Argentina during the Dirty War of the mid-seventies, on the eve of the nation’s descent into a military dictatorship, Benjamín Naishtat’s hypnotic neo-noir drama follows Claudio, a renowned lawyer living a seemingly picture-perfect life in a deceptively quiet provincial city. One night, a stranger starts insulting Claudio in a restaurant for no apparent reason. Later that night, the stranger intercepts Claudio and his wife Susana.

Judy

Drama PG-13
Thirty years after rising to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in London to perform a five-week sold-out run at the Talk of the Town. While preparing for the shows, Garland battles with management, reminisces with friends and adoring fans, and embarks on a whirlwind romance with soon-to-be fifth husband Mickey Deans, all while bravely struggling to overcome intensifying anxiety and physical decline.
-posted by Ralph, Media Services

Five Years in the Blog

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

2018: 50 YEARS AGO…

2017: OUR FAVORITE BOOKS – 2017 (PART I)

2016: OUR DECEMBER DISPLAYS

2015: OUR FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2015

2014: YEAR- END BOOK CLUB CELEBRATION WITH AUTHOR PAULLINA SIMONS

Hope you enjoyed these posts and Happy Holidays!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

Title Swap Tuesdays

Title Swap* Tuesdays

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

at 1:30 pm

Share tea, cookies and your favorite titles with Readers’ Services staff.  We promise you’ll leave with a list of good reads.

See you there!

*What is a Title Swap?
Title Swap is a time for patrons and Readers’ Services librarians to gather in front of the fireplace to share titles they’ve enjoyed. The discussion is always lively and refreshments are served. After the title swap, a list of the titles mentioned is compiled and made available at the library.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services