Category Archives: books

50 Years Ago…

The library has a display on the third floor commemorating the 50th anniversary of the watershed year 1968. In a Time magazine article earlier this year historian Jon Meacham compared the year 1968 to 1776, 1861 and 1941 as a time when everything in U.S. history changed http://time.com/5107482/50-years-after-1968-still-living-in-its-shadow/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was indeed a turbulent year. It was a sad year marked by the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. There was anger. In January the Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive. Protests against the Vietnam War escalated with demonstrations on university campuses and at the Democratic National Convention. Olympic runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a Black Power salute during the Olympic medal ceremony in Mexico City.

Lyndon Johnson surprisingly announced he would not run for reelection. Richard Nixon was elected as the 37th President in November.

 

The Prague Spring began the year with hope when Alexander Dubcek was chosen as the Czech leader promising a government of “socialism with a human face.” But when members of the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia with tanks and troops the period of liberalizing reforms quickly ended and totalitarian Soviet rule was reinstated.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But there were lighter notes that year. Some cultural highlights included the first TV broadcast of “60 Minutes” and “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.” In the movies “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Planet of the Apes” were popular. And “Hair” opened in London. The year also saw the introduction of Hot Wheels toy cars and McDonald’s Big Mac. The Beatles started Apple records with “Hey Jude” as its first single.

The year ended on a high note with the successful Apollo 8 mission. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William A. Anders became the first humans to see the far side of the moon.

Visit the library and choose a book (or two!) from the display to increase your understanding of this time period.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Advertisements

Looking ahead to December…Recap Your Book Club’s Year

Many book clubs skip having a December meeting as it is a very busy and hectic time of year. Instead of cancelling your meeting, your group might skip reading a new book in December and recap all the book discussions you have had during the year.  Make a holiday party of it while you discover new perspectives on the books you’ve enjoyed (or not!).  With this in mind, the following is a recap of the book discussions I had the pleasure of facilitating at Syosset Public Library during 2018. You might consider one of the following for one of your own book discussions.

January 2018: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

“This literary thriller-mystery is an entertaining and thought provoking read – extremely discussible”

Follows a Viet Cong agent as he spies on a South Vietnamese army general and his compatriots as they start a new life in 1975 Los Angeles.

April 2018: My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King

“This title was chosen to tie-in with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Not knowing much about his widow before, I was glad to have the opportunity to read this book. It is an interesting life story told well and other discussion participants thought so too.” 

The wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and singular 20th-century American civil rights activist presents her full life story, as told before her death to one of her closest confidants.

 June 2018: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles 

“My most well attended discussion of the year.  A wonderful book, one of the best I’ve read this year.” 

Deemed unrepentant by a Bolshevik tribunal in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a hotel across the street from the Kremlin, where he lives in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold.

September 2018: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

“This year’s Banned Book discussion choice was a surprise for me, not what I expected at all. 200 years old this year, the book is as timely now as it was then.”

Obsessed with creating life in a laboratory, a medical student haunts graveyards and dissecting rooms in search of the materials for his experiments. But when he achieves success, he rejects his ghastly creation. The creature — longing for love but shunned by all — turns evil and exacts revenge.

-all summaries from the publishers

 Let us know if you have any recommendations for book discussion choices in the comments.

*This article previously appeared in Syosset Public Library’s newsletter The Book Club Insider, November 2018 issue*

-Posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

 

November Book Displays

Don’t know what to read with so many great books in the library?  Try this month’s “Staff Picks” display. The display is a selection of favorites of the SPL staff. Our staff is made of avid readers so their picks will insure an enjoyable read. As usual, there is a lot to choose from.

The second display on the main floor is  “November – Memoir Month.” Truth can be stranger and more entertaining than fiction. Read someone’s life story. You can also listen to their stories on audio books. Some memoirs which have been made into movies are available on DVD for your viewing pleasure.

The two mini displays this month are:

* “The Great American Reads, The Top Fifteen Finalists”

* “Goodreads Awards, The Choice Awards for the Best Books of 2018”

*MIni-displays are subject to change during the month.

The third floor health librarian’s display is “November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month”. The books here help explain the disease and how to cope with it for both the patient and caregivers. Also on the display are Fact Sheet handouts which include information on legal and financial planning for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

One more theme for November is “Native American Heritage Month”. Learn the history of the first people to inhabit the Americas, it is a story of diverse groups of people. Books include information on their culture, art, music, jewelry, and languages.

Hope our displays help you to make your reading choices easier and more varied. Enjoy!

-posted by Betty, Reference Services

Evening Book Discussion

2011 National Book Award Winner, Fiction

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 7:30 PM

with Jackie Ranaldo, Head of Readers’ Services

“Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.” -from the publisher.

This program is free.

No registration required.

Books available at the Circulation Desk. 

Photographs and videos taken during library programs may be used for library publicity.

-posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

 

 

Books for your Halloween reading pleasure…

Like the series … read the book…

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Dr. Montague, an occult scholar, and his team–Theodora, his assistant; Eleanor, a fragile young woman with a close acquaintance with the paranormal; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House–conduct an unusual research project in a reputedly haunted house.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of…

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Obsessed with creating life in a laboratory, a medical student haunts graveyards and dissecting rooms in search of the materials for his experiments. But when he achieves success, he rejects his ghastly creation. The creature — longing for love but shunned by all — turns evil and exacts revenge.

By a master of horror fiction…

It by Stephen King

It began–and ended–in 1958 when seven desperate children searched in the drains beneath Derry for an evil creature, but in 1985, Mike Hanlon, once one of those children, makes six phone calls and disinters an unremembered promise that sets off the ultimate terror

By the Queen of Mysteries…

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

At a Halloween party, Joyce—a hostile thirteen-year-old—boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the `evil presence’. But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer…

If like you like it cozy (with recipes)…

A Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford

Hired to cater a charity haunted house at the old Peabody School, sisters Bernadette and Libby Simmons find murder on the menu when the death of wealthy socialite Amethyst Applegate could hold the key to solving the decades-old “accidental” death of a young girl.

A scary read that’s true…

Ghostland : an American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Explores some of the United States’ most infamously haunted places, including old mansions and hotels, abandoned prisons, empty hospitals, and other locations, and reveals the repressed history they represent.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

 

 

October Book Displays

The theme for the first main floor display is It’s A Spooky Time of Year, containing books to get you in the Halloween spirit. Ideas for party planning, crafts, decorating, costumes, and trick-or-treating. The display also includes some good old fashioned ghost stories and tales of haunted houses.

Games People Play is the topic for the second display. Learn about the history, rules and people involved with various sports and games, such as baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, soccer, poker, and bowling.  The display includes both DVDs and books- a great collection for the sport enthusiast!

The themes for the two current* mini displays are:

The Great American Read (voted on by the American public) includes both lots of great reads and a bibliography of the great reads.

October 5th is James Bond Day – 007 is a collection of both books and movies about the fictional British spy.

*Mini displays are subject to change during the month.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Currently on the third floor, the first display is Mental Health Awareness Week which is October 7-13.   You will  find books and handouts on all types of mental illness. The website for more information is http://www.MHAWEEK.org. For the rest of the month, this display will focus on October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The next third floor display is October is Family History Month.  If you want to learn more about your genealogy, this display is for you. Besides the books to help locate resources and guides to using the resources, the reference librarians have created a useful handout, Resources for the Amateur Genealogist, a must-see for any budding genealogist!

-posted by Betty, Reference Services

Banned Book Discussion/Book-to-Film Discussion

Join us for this year’s

BANNED BOOK DISCUSSION,

celebrating the 200th Anniversary of

publication in 2018

With Sonia Grgas, Reference Librarian

Tues., Sept. 25. 1:30 PM

A PBS The Great American Read selection

  • The program s are free.
  • No registration required.
  • Books are available at the Circulation Desk.
  • Photographs and videos taken during library programs may be used for library publicity.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services