All posts by susanta2heads


Stefanie Pintoff

Joins us

Friday, October 29, 2010 at 7:00 PM

for a reading from

A Curtain Falls”




“A Curtain Falls” is the second book in the series featuring Detective Simon Ziele and criminologist Alistair Sinclair.

It is March of 1906…

A killer lurks among the back alleys of Times Square, targeting the actresses fo the Great White Way. When Detective Simon Ziele is drawn into the investigation, he knows exactly who to call  upon for his expertise: criminologist Alistair Sinclair.  Partnering together once again, they race to make sense of clues found in physical evidence as well as in secret messages embedded in the killer’s communications.

The author will sign her book after the presentation.  The book will be sold by The Friends of the Library at the event.

– posted by Susan, Readers Services’



Are you dying for a great mystery? Visit the new display on the first floor and perhaps you’ll discover an old favorite author or a killer new series.

Save the date: Stefanie Pintoff, Edgar Award winning mystery writer will visit the Syosset Public library to discuss her latest Simon Ziele novel  A Curtain Falls. Her books are a staff favorite here and we’re all looking forward Stefanie’s visit.  Join us on Friday, October 29 at 7 PM in the theatre to hear her discuss the historical New York that inspired her books.

(To read more about Stephanie Pintoff, go to this “Syosset R and R” post published earlier this year.)

– posted by Susan, Readers’ Services

Review:Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

The only thing one can be sure of as the story of the McAllan and Jackson families unfolds in Mudbound by Hillary Jordan is that someone has died and a grave must be dug.  Henry and Jamie McAllan, brothers separated by a generation, a war and so much more, are desperately trying to dig a grave in between torrential rainstorms in rural Mississippi in the years following World War II.  As the hole goes from three feet to four feet deep they unearth the remnants of a crime that, while having occurred perhaps decades before,  foreshadows the events that transpire within the narrative.  The crime?  The murder of a runaway slave in a part of the country that even after World War II hadn’t changed its perception of the African Americans who helped to farm their land and fight their war.  African Americans still entered and exited from the back door, sat on the back of the bus, and replied “yes suh” and “no suh” with downturned eyes.

But while race relations play a central part in Mudbound, love (familial, carnal, and romantic) is ever present.  Laura McAllan, wife of Henry, believes “Death may be inevitable, but love is not.  Love you have to choose.”  Laura , a college educated spinster of 31, meets and marries Henry.  Was it love or fear of “petrification” on Laura’s part?  Henry tears Laura away from her gentle existence to settle on a farm in rural Mississippi in a home that’s more shack than house.  Farming was a dream that he had had all his life, a dream he never shared with her, a dream that was his alone.  Not only does Henry impose this harsh existance on Laura, he also thrusts the care and keeping of his nasty, abusive, racist father upon her.  From the first moment that Pappy meets Laura, her dislike for him blooms.  Life on the farm is hard on everyone: the family, the share croppers, and the tenant farmers.

The Jackson family lives on Henry’s land as tenant farmers trying to eke out a living by paying a portion of what they produce to Henry for the use of his land.  Hap and his wife, Florence, eagerly await the return of their son Ronsel.  The war is over, but he’s found life over in Europe so freeing that he dreads coming home. From the moment Ronsel hits town the characters’ lives spiral out of control until the inevitable conclusion.

Mudbound is a beautifully constructed story about racism, and the extent to which a family can be melded together or broken apart by secrets, betrayals, and misplaced love.  A must read.

Please join the Monthly Book Club on Tuesday, October 26 at 1:00 PM or 7 :30 PM as we discuss this marvelous novel.

– posted by Susan, Readers Services’

Syosset Patron Picks

See what your neighbors are reading, and then share your favorite book with us.

Here’s another review from one of your neighbors:

James A. recommends Conquering Gotham by Jill Jonnes.

Review: The dream of Alexander J. Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad (1899-1906) was to bring the railroad across the Hudson into New York (or “Gotham”-Washington  Irving first called New York this in his Salmagundi 1807) to link the main line with New England and provide a more convenient transportation to NYC-bound passengers (who up until Penn Station was built, had to take a time consuming ferry ride.)  Author Jill Jonnes escorts the reader through the complex events, the colourful and able personages, there several construction related accidents and the incredible engineering, technical, political and financial difficulties that had  to be me in order that the Doric Temple-styled artist’s delight could stand on august 1, 1910 where a blighted and seedy “Tenderloin” District had stood before– and area covering seven and a half acres.  This new edifice was not only the world’s largest train station but was the world’s fourth largest building, bested only by St. Peter’s in Vatican city, the Tuileries in Paris, and the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.  It was not only functional,but a class act.

It was the advent of the automobile and Feral and State government’s support of private transportation (tax-payer funded tunnels, bridges and interstate highways) that precipitated the downfall of the rail industry and brought about the 1961 demolition of Penn Station and the ascendance of an artless Madison Square Garden and an office tower.  The LIRR now carries the greatest numbers (as compared to Grand Central Station) but instead of entering the city “like a god.” Wrote architect Vincent Scully, “one scuttles in now like a rat.” (p.315)

We want to hear what you think:  Fill out a Patron Picks form, send us an e-mail at,  leave your picks in a comment below, or stop at the Readers’ Services desk and share your favorites with us, and then we’ll in turn share them with you.

– posted by Susan, Readers’ Services

New Main Floor Display

Labor Day is almost here signifying the end of yet another summer of great summer reading.  Come browse the new main floor display “What I Read on My Summer Vacation” to see some of the most popular books of the summer-and perhaps find your favorite book of the fall!
–posted by Susan, Readers’ Services

Syosset Patron Picks

At Readers’ Services, we love to recommend books but we also enjoy finding out about gems that we may have overlooked.  So, a call for Patron Picks went out months ago .  Since then we’ve received over 100 reviews from patrons, but you’re not off of the hook yet-we would love for your recommendations to keep coming.  Fill out a Patron Picks form, send us an e-mail at,  leave your picks in a comment below, or stop at the Readers’ Services desk and share your favorites with us, and then we’ll in turn share them with you.

The first pick we’ll share also happens to be the first patron pick we received:

Saving CeeCee HoneyCutt by Beth Hoffman

Just finished Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.  If you are in the mood for a book that redeems your faith in a community’s ability to mend the sorrows of a young girl’s heart after years of neglect and loss, then this is the book for you.  With a sprinkling of southern charm throughout, Hoffman creates real characters whose generosity mimics that of the very ordinary good neighbors or friends you might know.  It is a refreshing read that builds hope with every turn.  You will find yourself caring for CeeCee knowing life is truly full of daily miracles if we have the eyes to see.

Reviewed by Marianne L.

If you like: The Secret Life of Bees, Garden Spells, or novels by Fannie Flagg Saving CeeCee Honeycutt may be your next favorite book.

-posted by Susan, Readers Services

Debut Author Visits the Library

Author, Sonya Chung, joins us on Friday, May 21 at 1:30 PM, to discuss her critically acclaimed debut book, Long for This World.

Library Journal says, “Readers who enjoy superbly crafted, globe-trotting family sagas will swoon over Chung’s breathtaking debut”.  The author will be available to sign books at the end of the program.  The book will be sold by the Friends of the Library at the event.

Read our review and take a look at the event flyer.

– posted by Susan, Readers’ Services