What We’re Reading Now

Here are a few books that some of our library staff are currently reading:

Karen, Library Director is reading

arsonistThe Arsonist by Sue Miller 

A series of summer house fires exposes deep social faults in the hometown of Frankie Rowley, who makes unsettling discoveries about her aging parents while engaging in an affair with a local journalist.

Jean, Library Clerk is reading

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

americanahSeparated by differing ambitions after falling in love in occupied Nigeria, beautiful Ifemelu experiences triumph and defeat in America, while Obinze endures an undocumented status in London until the pair is reunited in their homeland fifteen years later.


Audrey, Media Clerk is reading

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

sleepwalkers guide to dancingDecades after an interrupted visit to his mother’s home in 1979 India triggers a haunting series of events, brain surgeon Thomas Eapen begins having conversations with his dead relatives, prompting his daughter to investigate a painful family history.


Neela, Head of Acquisitions is reading

flight 232Flight 232 : A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales

Reconstructs the crash of United Airlines Flight 232, which hit the runway in a huge fireball after experiencing engine failure and loss of all flight controls and still had one hundred eighty-five survivors.

Sharon, Teen Services Librarian is reading

falconerThe Falconer by Elizabeth May

Determined to exact revenge against an evil faery who killed her mother, Aileana Kameron of mid-19th-century Edinburgh discovers her identity as the last in a line of female warriors who must stop increasingly powerful faeries from destroying humanity.

Ellen, Acquisitions Clerk is reading

fat vampireFat Vampire by Johnny B. Truant

When overweight treadmill salesman Reginald Baskin finally meets a co-worker who doesn’t make fun of him, it’s just his own bad luck that tech guy Maurice turns out to be a two thousand-year-old vampire. After having an imperfect eternity shoved into his grease-stained hands, Reginald must learn to turn the afterlife’s lemons into tasty lemon danishes.

All summaries from the publishers.

- posted by Sonia, Reference Services

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Today is Batman Day!!!

batman 75 years

DC Entertainment announced that July 23rd, 2014 is Batman day to celebrate the 75th anniversary of one of America’s favorite superheroes!

batman overlooking

DC Entertainment is the publisher of Batman comic books. The library has video games, movies, graphic novels, fiction and non-fiction books available on Batman! There will be a mini display of Batman related material in front of the computers by the media desk on the main level.

evolution of batmanYou can also browse collections of books, graphic novels, and video games in the Children’s Room on the main level  and batman display in Teen Space on the 3rd floor. Plus a mini display across from the circulation desk which has a special giveaway on it (as long as supplies last!).

– posted by Stacey, Readers’ Services

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New in DVD

single moms clubSingle Mom’s Club

Comedy PG-13
When five struggling single moms put aside their differences to form a support group, they find inspiration and laughter in their new sisterhood, and help each other overcome the obstacles that stand in their way.

cesar chavezCesar Chavez

Drama PG-13
The story of the famed civil rights leader and labor organizer torn between his duties as a husband and father and his commitment to securing a living wage for farm workers.

Heaven is for Real

Drama PG
heaven is for realThe true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. Colton claims to have visited Heaven during a near-death experience. He recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth.

– posted by Ralph, Media Services

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Our Favorite Book Discussions

Recently, while thinking of which book I should choose to schedule for my next book discussion at the Syosset Public Library, I began to reminisce about the books that I have done in the past.  While I would say that I have enjoyed most of those discussions, there have been some that stand out for me.  Here are some of the books that inspired some great discussion experiences for myself and some of my fellow librarians. You might consider trying one for a meeting of your own.

The Lost Legends of New JerseyMy favorite book discussion was for The Lost Legends of New Jersey by Frederick Reiken. The reason was because of the extremes of the reaction to it. One patron walked in and immediately said in an angry tone – “who picked this book and why would you pick it” – she just didn’t relate to it at all. On the other hand, during the discussion someone was reduced to tears because she said the book was “such a gift to her”. I will never forget that discussion.

   -Lisa Caputo, Assistant Library Director

 to kill a mockingbirdOf Mice and Men BookMy two favorite book discussions over the years (because I cannot choose just one) have been To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.  I was so impressed with the insight and enthusiasm demonstrated by the attendees.  I was grateful to see that our members felt as passionately about these two novels as I do.  Whether they enjoyed the novels or not, our most vocal members all agreed on the importance of these novels in American Literature.

- Jackie Ranaldo, Head of Readers’ Services

roomI would have to say that my most memorable book discussion was Room by Emma Donoghue. The compelling subject matter really struck patrons emotionally. When I outlined the dimensions of the fictional 11 x 11 ft. “room” in masking tape in the center of our book discussion circle, the entire room went silent.  We continued to stare at this small space as we tried to imagine a young woman and her son spending 7 years of their life confined to this “room” with no outside contact.

–Lisa Jones, Readers’ Services Librarian

Parable of the SowerI think my favorite discussion that I’ve led so far would be The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. I enjoyed leading the discussion with Jackie because it was a discussable book, it made you wonder if this could happen in the future and the research that I found for the book was quite interesting. There are actually some real life spiritual/religious groups based on the religion Octavia Butler created in the book.

-Stacey Levine, Readers’ Services Librarian

jane eyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was the book that generated my favorite and best discussion.  The fact that I had never read it before was in large part responsible for this.  I was expecting something worthwhile but dull.  To my amazement, I found it to be thoroughly compelling and was eager to talk about it.  We had a big turnout for the meeting as well as an interesting and lively discussion. I do not remember anyone having anything but good things to say about this classic novel.

-Sonia Grgas, Reference Librarian

This article first appeared in the April 2014 issue of Syosset Public Library’s newsletter, Book Club Insider.

– posted by Sonia, Reference Services



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20 & 30 Something Title Swap

person hidden by stack of books

Please join us as we discuss our favorite books! You tell us your favorites, we’ll tell you ours. Together we’ll compile a list and you’ll have great titles to read throughout the Summer!

Monday, July 14th at 7PM

Meeting Room A on the Lower Level

With 20 & 30-Something Librarians,

Jessikah Chautin and Stacey Levine

This program is open to any 20-something/30-something looking for a great book discussion group. No registration is required and the program is free. Non-Syosset residents are welcome. Please call 516-921-7161 x 239 for details. Hope to see you there!

teens readingCheck out our Facebook page for upcoming events and great suggestions for your next read.


– posted by Stacey, Readers’ Services


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Upcoming Books-to-Films

books to filmIf you like to read the book before you see the movie, here are four books whose film adaptations will be coming out later this year. All are available at the Syosset Public Library.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

the-giverFilm premieres August 15 and will star Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites.

At the age of twelve, Jonas, a young boy from a seemingly utopian, futuristic world, is singled out to receive special training from The Giver, who alone holds the memories of the true joys and pain of life.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gone girlFilm premieres October 3 and stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris.

When a beautiful woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage and a mysterious illness; while her husband, desperate to clear himself of suspicion, realizes that something more disturbing than murder may have occurred.

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

best of meFilm premieres October 17, starring Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden and Liana Liberato.

Two former high school sweethearts return to their hometown for the funeral of a mentor and confront the choices they have made since they last met.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I

by Suzanne Collins

MockingjayFilm premieres November 21, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. A revolution is unfolding, and it is up to Katniss to accept responsibility for countless lives and to change the course of the future of Panem.

– posted by Sonia, Reference Services

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World War I Centennial

“One day the great European War will come out

of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.”

– Otto von Bismarck

In 1914 the world looked much different than it does today. Austria-Hungary covered most of central Europe. In fact, it covered land that now makes up 13 countries. But all was not peaceful.

world war 1 europe mapIn fact, the Bosnian Serbs in particular were restive under the rule of the Hapsbugs, rulers of  Austria-Hungary.  Many of them wanted to form a greater Serbia by uniting with their brothers across the Drina River in Serbia proper.  On June 28 the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were visiting Sarajevo. A group called the Black Hand had determined to kill them. Several attempts failed but a young man named Gavrilo Princep rushed the car they were riding in and shot them both at close range. This event provided the spark that started the war but there were many factors at play: the desire for empire and wealth, a series of treaties and alliances that assured that when one power went to war its allies would follow, miscalculations by rulers and generals.

On July 28 Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia responded by mobilizing the following day. Germany declared war on Russia on August 3. When Germany marched through Belgium on its way to France, Great Britain declared war on Germany.

World War I consumed all the great powers of Europe and extended into Asia and Africa. The warring nations Austria and Germany (known as the Central Powers) were aligned against the Allies made up of Serbia, Russia, France, Belgium and Great Britain. Eventually, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and Italy, Romania, Greece and the United States (the U.S. declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917) joined the Allies.

ww I soldiersMore than 65 million men were mobilized. The war saw the use of new technology such as airplanes, tanks, fast firing artillery and submarines. But perhaps the lasting image is of trench warfare and the feared chlorine gas (first used by the Germans at the battle of Ypres on April 22, 1915).

wwI trenchIt is estimated that up to 10 million men lost their lives on the battlefield and another 20 million were wounded. It also was the death of the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires. The war was the catalyst for the Russian Revolution.

There are many interesting  books about the war and the peace that followed. Many of these can be found at the “World War I” display table on the first floor of the library during the month of July.

the great warOnline there are informative sources of information. Try the PBS site  featuring maps, commentary by historians and audio recordings by combatants and noncombatants. A companion book to this PBS special is available in our oversize collection, The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century,  written by Jay Winter and Blaine Baggett.

BBC-World-War-One-Centenary And the BBC  does a fine job of covering the background, history and results of the war. Their interactive map of the Western Front is especially interesting.  For a study of the American involvement see the Doughboy Center which is part of the Internet History of the Great War:  Trenches on the Web.

All Quiet on the Western FrontPlease join Syosset  librarians on July 8 for a discussion of the classic novel about the war, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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