New in DVD this week


Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian ~ Security guard Larry Daley infiltrates the Smithsonian Institute in order to rescue Jedediah and Octavius, who have been shipped to the museum by mistake. 

Terminator Salvation ~ In the aftermath of Judgment Day and the machine takeover, resistance leader John Connor must counter Skynet’s plan to terminate mankind.  Also available in Blu-ray. 

– posted by Sonia,  Readers’ Services


Get into the spirit…

As each year draws to an end and the holidays get closer, new books with Christmas themes start to appear at Syosset Public Library.  And every year I promise myself to read a few, but things become so hectic that, somehow, I’ve never gotten around to reading any.  But this year is different!   I’ve already managed to read some of the new titles and so have some of my colleagues.  Here are a few that we liked:

Merry, Merry Ghost by Carolyn Hart ~ A heart-warming, cozy, “who-dun-it” mystery, featuring enjoyable characters, a lovable ghost, a deserted orphan and several possible murder suspects.  Author Carolyn Hart had me quickly turning the next page to discover the identity of the true murderer.  A great holiday read! ~ Jackie

A Rumpole Christmas by John Mortimer ~  Just the thing for fans of that wonderful curmudgeon, Horace Rumpole, London barrister.  Although Sir John Mortimer, the author of the Rumpole mysteries passed away earlier this year, we have this book of Christmas themed stories that have never appeared in book form before.  I laughed out loud many times while reading these delightful stories, so pour yourself a glass of “Chateau Thames Embankment”, settle yourself in an easy chair and enjoy! ~ Sonia

Wishin’ and Hopin’ : A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb ~ I really enjoyed this little gem of a book.  Having read Wally Lamb’s other novels, this was a refreshing change from the serious tone and subject matter of his other books.  Funny and full of 1960’s nostalgia.  Having attended parochial school in my youth, this book bought back lots of memories.  I would definitely recommend this book. ~ Lisa J.

A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck ~  This book  marks the return of the redoubtable Mrs. Dowdel, from Mr. Peck’s earlier juvenile fiction titles:  “A Year Down Yonder” (Newbery Medal winner) and “A Long Way From Chicago”.  It’s over twenty years later and Mrs. D is still as irascible and independent as ever.  A preacher and his young family have moved in next door and this book follows them as they get to know their older neighbor through some quite interesting developments that occur during their first year of residence, including Christmastime.  This book is very entertaining and I recommend it to readers of all ages. ~ Sonia

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern ~ Lou is a selfish, power-hungry executive fighting to climb the corporate ladder while cheating on his wife and ignoring his family. And Gabe is a homeless young man sitting outside Gabe’s Dublin office day after day. In an uncharacteristic burst of generosity, Lou buys Gabe a cup of coffee and Lou’s life begins to change. Gabe magically is able to be two places at once and Lou realizes how useful this would be in his career and personal life. The more powerful gift Gabe (is it a coincidence that his name is similar to a certain powerful angel) brings, is an appreciation of the truly important things in life and a realization that time is precious. ~ Brenda

Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke ~ Readers looking to pick up some new cookie recipes for Christmas along with a cozy mystery, Minnesota style, need search no further.  The characters in this book are so darn nice, and this, coupled with the fact that they all seem to be able to eat sweets all the time without gaining weight made me wish I could live in Lake Eden myself. ~ Sonia

The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber ~ A cute, fun, spirited, light-hearted Christmas romance.  An enjoyable read involving best-friends and the search for their perfect husbands with the assistance of Simon, the $30,000 match-maker.  Likeable characters inspire a great Christmas read, with a warm-hearted, although too predictable plot ~ Jackie

If you would like to read any of these books, just one click of the mouse on the bookcover will bring you to its listing in Syosset library’s catalog, where you can place a hold on it.  Enjoy!!

– posted by Sonia, along with Jackie, Lisa J.(all Readers’ Services) and Brenda (Reference Services)

5 Questions about books

Our Library Director, Judy Lockman tells about her booklife in this week’s installment of “5 Questions”:

Last book read:  Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story by C. David Heymann

Wow, this was a real eye-opener. Even though Mr. Heymann reveals foibles and less than heroic behavior, both Bobby and Jackie remain intoxicating twentieth century icons, perhaps even more so now that we know them as real people.

A favorite childhood book: Heidi by Johanna Spyri –  I wanted to leave my childhood home in Massapequa and move in with Heidi and her grandfather.

Your favorite book of all time: Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger –  I read it for the first time when I was in eighth grade and fell in love with Holden Caulfield.   I’ve read the book several times again over my lifetime and  am deeply moved by Salinger’s ability to convey love, loss,  anxiety, ambivalence and longing- all the truths of human experience.

Book that changed your life: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

Book you most want to read again for the first time:  Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy

I first discovered Pat Conroy this past May when I stood on line at Book Expo with his legions of fans to get an advanced copy of South of Broad.  I loved the book and went on to read Prince of Tides, which was also wonderful.

I stumbled on The Water is Wide and decided to give his non-fiction a try.  Although the prose are not as wonderful and descriptive as the two fiction books I read, they are still good and the story is gripping.

In 1969, a young, idealistic Conroy decides to teach on Yamacraw Island, a forgotten island off the coast of South Carolina. The school is a two room schoolhouse.  Conroy teaches 4th-8th grade, while Ms. Brown, a disciplinarian (vs. a teacher) teaches the lower grades.   An island inhabited primarily by Black families, the children are neglected by school administration.

The Water is Wide describes Conroy’s efforts to teach the children (many of whom do not know the alphabet, let alone what country they live in), expose them to the outside world and give them a feeling of self-worth.  His battles with the old ways of the inhabitants, the indifferent administrators and the childrens’ ignorance and fears makes for compelling reading.

I highly recommend Pat Conroy in any form.

-posted by Ed G., Reference Librarian

New on DVD

Angels and Demons – Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican. ( Also available in Blu-ray.

Four Christmases – A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day. (

Funny People – When seasoned comedian George Simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship causes him to take a relatively green performer under his wing as his opening act. (

Gomorrah – …a stark, shocking vision of contemporary gangsterdom, [linking] five disparate tales in which men and children are caught up in a corrupt system that extends from the housing projects to the world of haute couture.  (

New museum pass available

The Syosset Public Library is pleased to announced that we have added the Morgan Library & Museum to its Museum Pass Program.  The Morgan Library & Museum is located at 225 Madison Avenue in New York City.  Founded by financier Pierpont Morgan, the Morgan houses one of the worlds greatest collections of artistic, literary & musical works from Ancient Times to the Medieval & Renaissance periods to the present day.

For more information regarding the Morgan please visit their website. The Museum pass for the Morgan admits 2 adults and 2 children age 18 and under.  To reserve your pass to this museum or any other museums available through our Museum Pass Program, please contact the Readers Services Dept. at (516) 921-7161 ext. 239 or stop by the Readers Services desk on the 2nd floor.”

– posted by Lisa J.,  Readers Services

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.


A blog written by the librarians at Syosset Public Library, Syosset, New York.

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