5 Questions about Books

This week “5 Questions” were answered by Jackie Ranaldo, Readers’ Services librarian.

On your nightstand now:

I am always reading and listening to more than one book at a time.  That seems to be the trend with many of us at the library.  Maybe it’s a “Librarian” thing …

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (Contemporary Fiction/Ghost Story)

Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill (Historical Fiction)

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain (Mystery/Suspense)

I Love You Like a Tomato by Marie Giordano (Italian-American Fiction)

Favorite Childhood book:

Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina – A fantastic little children’s book about a peddler who carried large stacks of men’s caps to sell.  One day a monkey in a tree started stealing all his caps.  I used to love reading this book with my mother.  Most kids would point to the tree and try and tell the peddler about the monkey … not me … like a child watching Blues Clues, I used to think characters in books could hear me … I would never tell the peddler about the clever, little monkey …it was like our own little secret.

Favorite Author of All Time –

Would have to be a toss up between John Steinbeck and John  Cheever.

However, in terms of contemporary fiction, I am a huge Adriana Trigiani fan.

Book you feel you should read but haven’t yet  —

There are two that I know I should read but haven’t quite gotten to yet—

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Favorite line from a book –

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” ~ Atticus Finch character from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Interestingly enough, I strongly believe that is what reading is all about.  Books give the reader a unique opportunity to “climb inside someone else’s skin” and see the world from another point of view.  I believe great literature has an amazing opportunity to teach tolerance and compassion, simply by experiencing another’s story through words.

 

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How was that last book you read?

Did it have your fingers earning tiny little paper cuts as you anxiously turned to the next page, desperate to know what was going to happen next?  Did it give you a headache from banging your head against a desk in frustration (Why am I reading this book, why)?

Spread the word!

Submit a review for a book you’ve read and let the whole library know how fantastic or awful it was.  How do I do this, you ask?  It’s easy.

  1. Find the book in the library catalog.
  2. Under the title/author/publication information is a line for User Reviews.
  3. Click where it says, “add a review.”
  4. Click “Review this yourself.”
  5. Create a review account by entering a user name, password, and if you’d like, an email address.  Prefer to post an anonymous review?  No problem – just create a wacky user name; no real identity required.
  6. Click “Submit.”
  7. Type your review!

You can review any of the library materials that appear in the catalog, not just  books – the more reviews, the merrier – so add yours now!

– posted by Megan, Reference Services

Recently Added Staff Picks

Against Medical Advice by James Patterson

“The heart-rending drama of one family’s courage, heartbreak, sacrifice, and triumph in confronting an agonizing medical condition, written by two master storytellers”. (From the Publisher)

Recommended By: Jill Jacobson, Readers’ Services Librarian

American Shaolin by Matthew Polly

“The raucously funny story of one young American’s quest to become the baddest dude on the planet and possibly find inner peace along the way”. (From the Publisher)

Recommended By: Megan Kass, Reference Librarian Trainee

Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh

“An elegant, elegiac multigenerational saga about a small coal-mining community in western Pennsylvania (Kirkus Reviews).”

Recommended By: Jackie Ranaldo, Readers’ Services Librarian

In My Brother’s Image by Eugene Pogany

“The extraordinary story of identical twin brothers born in Hungary of Jewish parents but raised as devout Catholic converts until the Second World War unraveled their family.” (From the Publisher)

Recommended By:  Audrey Honigman, Library Clerk

Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman

“In knitting the minutiae of individual lives into the fabric of community, she produces a vibrant story of good people accommodating their spiritual and temporal needs to the realities of contemporary life”.  (Publishers Weekly)

Recommended by: Sonia Grgas, Librarian Trainee

– posted by Jackie,  Readers’ Services

New in DVD this week

Lemon Tree (Etz Limon) – The story of a Palestinian widow who must defend her lemontree field when a new Israeli Defense Minister moves next to her and threatens to have her lemon grove torn down.

 

 

 

My Sister’s Keeper – Anna Fitzgerald looks to earn medical emancipation from her parents who until now have relied on their youngest child to help their leukemia-stricken daughter Kate remain alive. (also available in Blu-Ray)

 

 

Star Trek – A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members. (also available in Blu-Ray)

 

 

 

 

Thirst (Bakjwi) – A failed medical experiment turns a man of faith into a vampire.

Mysteries from Across the Pond and Beyond

distant echoThe Distant Echo by Val McDermid
1978 four friends leave a college party-heading back to the dorms via the quickest route possible and stumble onto the body of a dying girl.  The friends quickly become the prime suspects in the crime, but protest their innocence.  How do you prove that you haven’t done something for which you are accused?  The police believe they did the deed, the family of the dead girl agrees, and the townspeople and college classmates concur.  No solid evidence is found to prove the presumption, so they are never charged with the crime.  Everyone thinks they’ve gotten away with murder.  Flash forward to 2003 and with the advent of DNA the cold case is re-opened, but someone isn’t waiting for the police to botch the investigation again he/she has decided to punish the guilty.

Never read Val McDermid, but now I’m hooked.  This is a well written page turner.

in the woodsone good turnthe-callingbroken shoreBorderlands

I also highly recommend:
In the Woods and The Likeness by Tana French (Ireland)
One Good Turn and When Will There be Good News by Kate Atkinson (Scotland)
The Calling by Inger Ash Wolf (Canada)
The Broken Shore by Peter Temple (Australia)
And the Inspector Devlin Series (Borderlands and Gallows Lane) by Brian McGilloway (Ireland)

What ties them together (other than my fondness for them)?  Intelligent writing, great characters, a page turning storyline, and yes, of course, they are all set across the pond and beyond.

– posted by Susan, Readers’ Services

5 Questions about books

Jill Jacobson, Readers’ Services librarian tells a little about her reading life:

What’s on your nightstand right now?

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

What book would you most want to read again, for the first time?

Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

Earliest book you remember? Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Book you fell you should have read but haven’t? Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

You like to read books about? Family relationships, “Women’s” fiction.

Gardening in the Fall

It is that sad time of year for me.  The mums are colorful, the Autumn Joy sedem creates a graceful background  and the red, yellow, and bronze leaves are beautiful.  But the annuals in the garden should all be pulled out and put into the compost pile.

The autumn garden just does not have the variety of color and textures of spring and summer!

But rather than bemoan the deficiencies of my garden, I will focus on the future.  First, I will rake those leaves! Besides getting good exercise, I will be able to enrich my garden soil by adding the raked leaves to the compost pile. The library has some useful books on composting, Easy Composting by Jeff Ball and The Rodale Book of Composting edited by Martin and Gershuny.  If you need a primer on beginning your own compost pile, try the EPA website.

And I will plan the garden of 2010.  There were areas of my garden that lacked color and variety; I will get out my notes and plant what I can now…and then plan for spring plantings.

Spring blooming bulbs can be planted as long as the soil is not frozen.  I will put in some more crocus, daffodil and tulip bulbs.  Did you know there was a tulip craze when they were first introduced from Turkey?  In the  17th century the demand  for  new tulip varieties drove up prices and even common people wanted to participate in the ever rising profits; eventually, the price crashed – shades of our economic turmoil!

I love the all the tulip colors and the various shapes.  I do not love the squirrels who feast on the bulbs in the winter, so I’ve been placing squares of window screen over the bulbs to keep the squirrels from digging up the tulips.  The squirrels do not like daffodils so those are a good choice.  I know my garden will never look quite like the wonderful gardens at Keukenhof which inspire me:

keukenhof5

Increase your knowledge and love of tulips with Anna Pavord’s The Tulip.  New York Botanical Garden has some timely tips for protecting your bulbs  and Cornell’s Department of Horticulture provides reference information for planting bulbs in our area.

Right outside my kitchen window there is a gap in planting.  I thought I’d planned so there would always be something in bloom.  I mixed annuals and perennials in a variety of colors.  But now there’s nothing!  The yellow lantana I planted in the front is still growing and blooming, I will need more of that next year. In the coming cold and dreary days I can dream as I look through books about gardening.  I enjoy Irene Virag’s Gardening on Long Island and Better Homes and Gardens’ Choosing Plant Combinations.  Cornell’s site has a comprehensive guide to flowers that can be searched by either scientific or common names.

HelleboresI read and I look and I learn something new all the time! I had never grown Hellebores before I saw them in London in full bloom in February – now they are one of my early season favorites and now is the time to plant  them.  I think I can find a spot for just one more……

– posted by Brenda, Reference librarian

A Syosset Public Library Blog

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