Recently Added Staff Picks

Blue Heaven by C.J. Box

“A twelve-year-old girl and her younger brother are on the run in the Idaho woods, pursued by four men they have just watched commit murder—four men who know exactly who William and Annie are. And where their mother lives (From the Publisher).”

Recommended By:  Evelyn Hershkowitz, Readers’ Services Librarian Trainee

Bookman’s Wake by John Dunning

“Unexpected danger and chilling intrigue attend a Denver bookstore owner’s trip to Seattle for the purpose of escorting a purported book thief to jail. Ex-cop Cliff Janeway, agrees to act as bounty hunter only because of his interest in rare books; he soon realizes, however, that his employer has a hidden agenda involving the years-ago murder of two brothers who were owners of a publishing company known for its limited editions (Library Journal).”

Recommended By:  Ed Goldberg, Reference Librarian

Marley and Me by John Grogan

“The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life.  John and Jenny were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy—and their life would never be the same (From the Publisher).”

Recommended By:  Jennifer Rottkamp, Library Clerk

Shogun by James Clavell

“A bold English adventurer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love. All brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power… (From the Publisher).”

Recommended By:  Megan Kass, Reference Librarian

– posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

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New display: A Celebration of Poetry and Springtime

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
–   Percy Bysshe Shelley

The snow has melted and the pansies turn their faces toward the sun. It’s time to put on the gardening gloves and cope with a blister or two. Visit the new first floor display for tips on how to achieve the garden of your dreams.  If you’re not a gardener, there are novels available that evoke the beauty of gardens without the mess.  While you’re there help celebrate National Poetry Month-chose a novel with poet protagonist, a novel set in prose, or one of the many wonderful poetry books from the collection.

May I suggest one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver?

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Thank you to Beth Kephart, author of Undercover, for introducing Mary Oliver to me.  If you have a young adult looking for a beautiful book I highly recommend Undercover-a beautiful poetic book.

-posted by Susan, Readers’ Services

New in DVD

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – Lt. Terence McDonagh is a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is to scoring drugs while playing fast and loose with the law. He wields his badge as often as he wields his gun in order to get his way. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he becomes a high-functioning addict who is a deeply intuitive, fearless detective reigning over the beautiful ruins of New Orleans with authority and abandon.

Beeswax – Revolves around the personal and professional entanglements of twin sisters Jeannie and Lauren. Jeannie co-owns a vintage clothing store with Amanda, a semi-estranged friend who she fears is trying to end their partnership. Lauren leads a looser, less tethered existence and is considering getting out of the country altogether. A story about families, friends and lovers, and those awkward moments that bring all of them together.

Broken Embraces – Fourteen years ago, he had two names: Harry Caine, the pseudonym he used for his literary works, and Mateo Blanco, his real name which he used to direct films. But that was before the accident when he lost his sight and his beloved Lena. Now he goes by Harry Caine. If he can’t direct films, he can only survive with the idea that Mateo Blanco died on Lanzarote with his Lena. When he is given the chance to tell his story, he can’t refuse.

New Display: Spring Cleaning and Renovation

The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming … Time for some Spring Cleaning and Maybe a Little Renovation!

Check out our new main floor display for a great selection of books and DVD’s on how to make your home the best it can be.  Thinking of going green?  We’ve got books on green cleaning, green building materials and energy efficiency guides!  Try- Squeaky Green: the Method Guide to Detoxing Your Home” by Eric Ryan orEasy Green Living by Renee Loux. Just trying to clear out the clutter?  TryThe Complete Guide to a Clutter-Free Homeby Philip Schmidt or Organize Your Whole House by Readers’ Digest.  We’ll help you get your house in tip-top shape for spring.

So once the cleaning is done, then what?  How about building that deck you’ve always wanted or the tree house for the kids?  We’ve got you covered with great Black and Decker guides: The Complete Guide to Decks and Build Your Kids a Treehouse.”

Stop by the main floor displays and see what Spring Cleaning and Home Renovation guides we have to offer.

– posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

Book Review: Long For This World

There are those of us whose place on this Earth is tenuous either because of physical or mental ailments. Modern science can help extend a life, or make life more bearable, but can it stave off the inevitable?  What happens to the loved ones left behind?  Long for this World, Sonya Chung‘s beautifully written debut novel introduces us to the Han family, a cast of characters so alive they breathe with each turning ot the page.  Han Hyun-kyu (part of the Korean-American Hans), the second of three Han brothers, has spent most of his adult life in the United States, but has suddenly and without telling his wife packed a suitcase, left his home and headed back to Korea to spend time with his younger brother, Han Jae-kyu.  The reasons for him leaving are illusive and inexplicable to his wife and daughter Ah-jin.  Ah-jin is a successful photojournalist just back from Beirut where she lost hearing in one of her ears due to a horrific car bombing.  Ah-jin’s life is lived in suitcases going from one assignment to another.  Never really laying down roots she’s untethered by relationships and belongings.  her only responsibility has been to care for her brother Han-soo whom she has alternately cared for and intenionally forgotten because Ah-jin has always been the stronger sibling, and he the weaker.  Ah-jin travels to the small Korean town to try to figure out why her father left.  There we meet the Korean Han’s- the hard working town physician, his dutiful yet distant wife and the pregnant daugther.  Both sides of the family struggle to find what it means to be Korean/Korean American in the modern world.  Both sides must also come to terms with being “long for this world” when those they love are not.

Sonya Chung has written a novel that is at once a page turner yet at the same time one can’t help but slow down the pace in order to revel in the perfectly placed words and phrases.

Save the Date:

We are honored to welcome Sonya Chung for a  Reading, Discussion and Book Signing on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 1:30 PM-all are welcome.

-posted by Susan, Readers’ Services

New in DVD

Afghan Star – Follows the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s first televised talent competition since restrictions on music and dancing, which were considered sacrilegious by the Taliban, were lifted in 2004.

The Baader Meinhof Complex – Germany in the 1970s: Murderous bomb attacks, the threat of terrorism and the fear of the enemy inside are rocking the very foundations of the still fragile German democracy. The radicalised children of the Nazi generation led by Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin are fighting a violent war against what they perceive as the new face of fascism.  Their aim is to create a more human society but by employing inhuman means they not only spread terror and bloodshed, they also lose their own humanity. The man who understands them is also their hunter: the head of the German police force Horst Herold.

Brothers – Captain Sam Cahill is embarking on his fourth tour of duty, leaving behind his beloved wife and two daughters. When Sam’s Blackhawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains of Afghanistan, the worst is presumed, leaving an enormous void in the family. Despite a dark history, Sam’s charismatic younger brother steps in to fill the family void.

An Education – In the early 1960’s, 16-year-old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in a London suburb. She is smart, pretty, and working toward her goal of being accepted into Oxford. Her life will take a big turn when she meets David, a man twice her age. Now she must decide if she will pursue an education at Oxford, or if she will choose to learn all that a charismatic, older man can teach her.

Sherlock Holmes – After finally catching serial killer and occult ‘sorcerer’ Lord Blackwood, legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson can close yet another successful case. After his execution, Blackwood mysteriously returns from the grave and resumes his killing spree, Holmes must take up the hunt once again. Contending with Watson’s new fiancée and the dimwitted head of Scotland Yard, the determined detective must unravel the clues that will lead him into a twisted web of murder, deceit, and black magic, not to mention the deadly embrace of temptress Irene Adler.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

Mysteries To Die For

I had occasion to be in Southern California in January and stopped into a small mystery bookstore in Thousand Oaks, Mysteries to Die For.  When I asked the owner for his suggestions for ‘must read’ mysteries, without hesitation he recommended two very different mysteries:  Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker and Peter Robinson’s In A Dry Season. While I knew of T. Jefferson Parker, I hadn’t read any of his books.  I had not heard of Peter Robinson.  I’m now a fan of both authors.

In Edgar Award winner Silent Joe, 24-year-old Joe Trona, adopted son of Will Trona, influential Orange County politician, witnesses the murder of his father.  Although trained to protect his father, Joe was unable to prevent the murder and vows to find the murderer and exact justice.  Parker’s writing is tight and reminiscent of the noir-mystery genre.   The action moves along quickly as Joe investigates the murder and continually deals with emotional issues regarding his failure to protect his father.  I cannot put this book down.

In a Dry Season takes place in England.  In the 1950s, Hobbs End was flooded to create a reservoir.  In the early 90s, a drought causes the village to re-emerge.  A 13-year-old boy, playing in the dry village stumbles across a body that must have been there prior to the reservoir.  Inspector Banks, black sheep of the police force, is called to investigate what is probably a dead end crime.  He is paired with Annie Cabbot who is also on the outs with her local precinct.  The book swings back and forth between the 1940s and the 1990s as events unfold in both decades. It’s a great plot and a great story.

I’m now catching up on both authors.  Via our Novelist Plus database, you can get a complete list of both authors’ books.  We have many of them in our collection so start reading them today.  You’ll be hooked.

-posted by Ed G., Reference Services

A Syosset Public Library Blog

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