5 Questions about Books

“5 Questions about Books” checks in with Susan Santa, Readers’ Services librarian.

What’s on your nightstand now?

books I always tend to bite off more than I chew, so I’m usually in a situation where I have too many books that I desperately want to read but don’t have enough time for.  Right now I have:

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel

Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro

Home Repair by Liz Rosenberg

The list would have been longer but I had to re-reserve books that I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get to.

Book you would most want to read again for the first time:

I would like to read Wuthering Heights again.  I have read this through the years: once in high school, twice in college, and once as a twenty-something.  wutheringheightsI loved the dark romance, and fell for the brutal Heathcliff.  I haven’t read it in a while, but suspect that with maturity I may dislike Catherine and Heathcliff, and feel more akin with the Linton’s.

Earliest book you remember:

chimney sweep Funny you should ask!  I don’t know the title for the earliest book I remember.  I remember my dad reading a tale about a boy that was a chimney sweep (no, it’s not Dickens -I’ve looked).  The story was in an anthology that was given to my dad by his dad.  I have searched from time to time to try and find it to no avail, but I will keep trying.

charlotte's-webThe earliest book I remember having the experience of reading and not being able to wait to get back to, is Charlotte’s Web.  My third grade teacher began reading it to the class near the end of the school year.  She didn’t have time to finish it, so the next time the Scholastic book order came out, I had to have it.  I fell in love with Wilbur and Charlotte.  Thank you Sister Marie Noel.

Book assigned in school that turned out to be really good:

grapes of wrath The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.  I picked it up the first day it was assigned, and couldn’t put it down.  I read it before the class even began the assignment, and then re-read it with the class.  One of my all time favorite books!

Favorite book genre:

I love historical fiction, because it’s like reading history without all the boring details.  If you’ve taken history it’s a great deal about kings, queens and the rich and powerful.  I’ve heard enough about them, I want to get a sense of what times were like for the common man.

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Read a scary short story

halloween-pumpkinsHalloween is coming up this Saturday and if you need help to put yourself in the mood- why not try a short story to chill your spine.  The library has many books filled with them, here are just a few:

vampire archThe Vampire Archives : The Most Complete Volume of Vampire Tales Ever Published edited by Otto Penzler.

The Dunwich horror and others : the best supernatural stories of H.P. Lovecraft.

The Lottery ; and other stories by  Shirley Jackson

13 bestThe 13 Best Horror Stories of All Time edited by Leslie Pockell.

Everything’s eventual : 14 dark tales by Stephen King.

And when you come into the library to pick up your eerie tales why not stop at the “Things that go Bump! in the Night” display up on the third floor for more spooky materials.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services



Question of the Week #1

question-marksToday we introduce another feature that will be recurring on this blog, “Question of the Week” (a great idea that’s borrowed from another blog (Daily Lit– thanks!).  Hopefully we’ll spark some enlightening ” back and forth”  in the comments.  Since October is National Reading Group Month, thoughts turn to reading groups and the discussions they generate.

sun alsoAlthough I have been involved in book discussions with various reading groups over the years, one of the best discussions that I have ever participated in was  for “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway at one of the library’s monthly book club meetings this past summer.  This was because it was the first time I had been involved with a reading group discussion involving a book considered a classic.  It might be a cliché, but that’s why they are called classics.  They are books that usually seem, on the surface, to be either very simple or very complicated and sometimes quite boring to read. Yet, if you stop and think about the motivations for what the characters say or do, and the word choices the author is making, a “classic” book will yield insights that do not stop coming!  Although I had read “The Sun Also Rises” before, hearing it discussed by the group led me to  a variety of new and different thoughts about it.   Discussion of any book will do this but a “classic” will always allow for greater depth.

Since National Reading Group Month is almost over, a reading group question seems to be in order:

Which book, read for a reading group, has led to the most interesting and liveliest discussion?

Let us know by making a comment below.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

New in DVD

ice ageIce Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – When Sid’s attempt to adopt three dinosaur eggs gets him abducted by their real mother to an underground lost world, his friends attempt to rescue him.

il divoIl Divo – The story of Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who has been elected to Parliament seven times since is was established in 1946.

imagine-thatImagine That – A financial executive who can’t stop his career downspiral is invited into his daughter’s imaginary world, where solutions to his problems await.

nothing likeNothing Like the Holidays – A Puerto Rican family living in the area of Humboldt Park in west Chicago face what may be their last Christmas together.

rageRage – A young blogger at a New York fashion house shoots behind-the-scenes interviews on his cell-phone.

whatever worksWhatever Works – Attempting to impress his ideologies on religion, relationships, and the randomness (and worthlessness) of existence, lifelong New York resident Boris Yellnikoff rants to anyone who will listen.

New Books: Out tomorrow

Here are some of the books that will be released tomorrow, October 27, 2009.  Click one the links to reserve your copy!

last nightLast Night in Twisted River by John Irving A trio of tragic events … exiles widower and camp cook Dominic Baciagalupo and his son Danny from a mid-century logging outpost called Twisted River. They leave behind the Bunyan-esque lumberjack Ketchum–a gruff, eccentric, dyed-in-the-wool Yankee–who remains their sole connection to the past. What’s next neither father nor son knows…(Amazon)

true blueTrue Blue by David Baldacci Mason “Mace” Perry was a firebrand cop on the D.C. police force until she was kidnapped and framed for a crime. She lost everything-her badge, her career, her freedom-and spent two years in prison. Now she’s back on the outside and focused on one mission: to be a cop once more.  (from the publisher)

AngelTime-CvrAngel Time by Anne Rice Anne Rice returns (with) a metaphysical thriller about angels and assassins.  The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare—a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases… (from the publisher)

grave secretGrave Secret by Charlaine Harris Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver take a break from looking for the dead to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But, as always happens when they travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood resurface.  (from the publisher)

you better notYou Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present—as only he could. With gimleteyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.  (from the publisher)

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

5 Questions about books

We here at the Syosset Public Library are very involved with books.  We read them for personal enjoyment and for our professional responsibilities.  We talk about them with patrons and with each other.  Most of us just plain love books.  And we want to share the love.  One way to do that is to let you in on a little bit of the “book lives” of the people who work here at the library through short 5 question interviews that will appear in this blog from time to time.  Our first interviewee will be me- Sonia Grgas, librarian trainee.

What’s on your nightstand now? Well, I like to keep several books going at once this way I always have something  I’m in the mood for.  Right now I’m reading:

The-Fiery-Cross-M4R861LThe Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon.

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher.

Corn Flakes with John Lennon: and Other Tales from a Rock ‘n’ Roll Life by Robert Hilburn.

The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the People Who Raised Them by Amy Dickinson.

Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What it ‘s Becoming, and Why it Matters by Scott Rosenberg.

Book you would most want to read again for the first time: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. I can’t say why for those who have never read it.

spilt milkEarliest book you remember: It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw.  I was about 4 years old and I was at storytime at the local library in Queens.  The library was in a storefront and the late afternoon sun was pouring in through the window.  The fact that someone else realized that clouds could look like different things blew my mind!

jane eyreBook you feel you should have read but haven’t yet: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.   I love the movie (Joan Fontaine-Orson Welles version) and I’m afraid it might not be the same for me after I have read the book.

Beatles 17-57-43_3You like to read books about: I like to read about a lot of things but I always make a beeline for books about reading books and any book that is connected to the Beatles in any way.

-posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

October is National Reading Group Month

natl reading grNational Reading Group Month was launched in October of 2007 by the Women’s National Book Association in an effort to formally recognize the benefits of shared reading and to encourage more people to join or start reading groups.  We here at R & R would like to help the cause:

Book Club in a BagHave you always wanted to start a group of your own?  This could be the time to do it and the Syosset Public Library can help. We have books to help you start a group and books that suggest titles that make for good group discussion.  The literature databases to be found on our website, also provide a wealth of information about books your group can choose.  And of course, there’s our “Book Club in a Bag” program.  Each bag contains multiple copies of a selected title, discussion questions, and biographical /critical information- every thing you need to make your discussion a success!

Visit the Readers’ Advisory desk on the second floor to find out more and get tips for getting your club up and running from our experienced staff of librarians.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

A Syosset Public Library Blog

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