Tag Archives: awards

Pulitzer Prize 2020 Winners and Finalists

Fiction:

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

A spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption. On Overdrive.*

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Harper)

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. On Overdrive.*

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

A tender and expansive family drama set in the American Midwest at the turn of the century: a tale of adolescence, transgression, and the conditions that have given rise to the trolls and tyrants of the New Right. , a tender and expansive family drama set in the American Midwest at the turn of the century: a tale of adolescence, transgression, and the conditions that have given rise to the trolls and tyrants of the New Right. On Overdrive.*

Biography:

Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser (Ecco)

An authoritatively constructed work told with pathos and grace, that captures the writer’s genius and humanity alongside her addictions, sexual ambiguities and volatile enthusiasms.  On Overdrive.*

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer (Alfred A. Knopf)

Draws on firsthand writings in a narrative portrait of the influential American diplomat that explores how his achievements over half a century of history were complicated by his political ambitions.

Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, And Me by the late Deirdre Bair (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)

A memoir of the author’s experience writing biographies of Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir.

History:

Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America by W. Caleb McDaniel (Oxford University Press)

A masterfully researched meditation on reparations based on the remarkable story of a 19th century woman who survived kidnapping and re-enslavement to sue her captor. On Overdrive; hoopla has audio book.*

Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (University of North Carolina Press)

Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. Hoopla has ebook and audio book.*

The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)

A sweeping and beautifully written book that probes the American myth of boundless expansion and provides a compelling context for thinking about the current political moment. (Moved by the Board from the History category.) On Overdrive.*

General Nonfiction (2 winners):

The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)

A sweeping and beautifully written book that probes the American myth of boundless expansion and provides a compelling context for thinking about the current political moment. (Moved by the Board from the History category.) On Overdrive.*

The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care by Anne Boyer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

An elegant and unforgettable narrative about the brutality of illness and the capitalism of cancer care in America. On Overdrive.*

Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson (Bloomsbury)

A geriatrician, writer and professor of medicine challenges the way people think and feel about aging and medicine through stories from her twenty-five years of patient care as well as from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life. On Overdrive.*

Solitary by Albert Woodfox with Leslie George (Grove Atlantic)

The life story of a man who served more than four decades in solitary confinement—in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in Louisiana—for a crime he did not commit. On Overdrive.*

-posted by Donna, Readers’ Services

*Syosset Public Library patrons can use their library cards to access Overdrive and Hoopla.

 

2020 Edgar Award Winners

The winners of the 2020 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America and honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction and television published or produced in 2019, are:

Best Novel: The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder; a high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favorite literature. To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn’t hers, left on the page of an old diary : Hallo Clare. You don’t know me. Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. ON OVERDRIVE (ebook only).

Best First Novel by an American Author: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG)

A dramatic murder trial in the aftermath of an experimental medical treatment and a fatal explosion upends a rural Virginia community where personal secrets and private ambitions complicate efforts to uncover what happened. ON OVERDRIVE (audio and ebook), AUDIO IS CURRENTLY ON HOOPLA.

 

 

Best Paperback Original: The Hotel Neversink by Adam O’Fallon Price (Tin House Books)

Thirty-one years after workers first broke ground, the magnificent Hotel Neversink in the Catskills finally opens to the public. Then a young boy disappears. This mysterious vanishing—and the ones that follow—will brand the lives of three generations over the course of this novel. At the root of it all is Asher Sikorky, the ambitious and ruthless patriarch whose purchase of the hotel in 1931 set a haunting legacy into motion. His daughter Jeanie sees the Hotel Neversink into its most lucrative era, but also its darkest. Decades later, Asher’s grandchildren grapple with the family’s heritage in their own ways: Len fights to keep the failing, dilapidated hotel alive, and Alice sets out to finally uncover themurderer’s identity. Told by an unforgettable chorus of Sikorsky family members—a matriarch, a hotel maid, a traveling comedian, the hotel detective, and many others—The Hotel Neversink is the gripping portrait of a Jewish family in the Catskills over the course of a century. With an unerring eye and with prose both comic and tragic, Adam O’Fallon Price details one man’s struggle for greatness, no matter the cost, and a long-held family secret that threatens to undo it all. ON OVERDRIVE ebook only

Best Fact Crime: The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity by Axton Betz-Hamilton (Grand Central Publishing)

Axton Betz-Hamilton grew up in small-town Indiana in the early ’90s. When she was 11 years old, her parents both had their identities stolen. Their credit ratings were ruined, and they were constantly fighting over money. This was before the age of the Internet, when identity theft became more commonplace, so authorities and banks were clueless and reluctant to help Axton’s parents. Axton’s family changed all of their personal information and moved to different addresses, but the identity thief followed them wherever they went. Convinced that the thief had to be someone they knew, Axton and her parents completely cut off the outside world, isolating themselves from friends and family. Axton learned not to let anyone into the house without explicit permission, and once went as far as chasing a plumber off their property with a knife. As a result, Axton spent her formative years crippled by anxiety, quarantined behind the closed curtains in her childhood home. She began starving herself at a young age in an effort to blend in—her appearance could be nothing short of perfect or she would be scolded by her mother, who had become paranoid and consumed by how others perceived the family. Years later, her parents’ marriage still shaken from the theft, Axton discovered that she, too, had fallen prey to the identity thief, but by the time she realized, she was already thousands of dollars in debt and her credit was ruined. This is Axton’s attempt to untangle an intricate web of lies, and to understand why and how a loved one could have inflicted such pain, bby breaking the unwritten rules of love, protection, and family. ON OVERDRIVE (audio and ebook)

Best Critical/Biographical: Hitchcock and the Censors by John Billheimer (University Press of Kentucky)

In Hitchcock and the Censors, author John Billheimer traces the forces that led to the Production Code and describes Hitchcock’s interactions with code officials on a film-by-film basis as he fought to protect his creations, bargaining with code reviewers and sidestepping censorship to produce a lifetime of memorable films.

 

 

Best Short Story: “One of These Nights,” from Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers by Livia Llewellyn (Akashic Books)

“One of These Nights”, has more shocking twists than most full-length mystery novels and they spring, like goblins, when you least expect it. But the protagonists are not goblins, they are adolescent best girlfriends with a dangerous, sly agenda. (from GoErie.com)”

 

 

Best Juvenile: Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught (Paula Wiseman Books)

Alternates between the detective work of middle-schooler Jesse and her new friend, Springer, after her father is accused of stealing, and post-tornado rescue efforts of Jesse and her Pomeranian, Sam-Sam. ON OVERDRIVE (only ebook)

 

 

 

Best Young Adult: Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)

Because her mom is always on the move, Steph hasn’t lived anyplace longer than six months. Her only constant is an online community called CatNet—a social media site where users upload cat pictures—a place she knows she is welcome. What Steph doesn’t know is that the admin of the site, CheshireCat, is a sentient A.I. ON OVERDRIVE (only ebook).

-posted by Donna, Readers’ Services

5 for the Oscars

Here are the five books that inspired the films that are nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award this year.  The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony honoring the best films of 2019 will take place on Sunday, February 9 at 8 pm ET.

I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt

A longtime mob associate relates his descent into a life of crime, his position as both a hit man and head of the Teamsters union in Wilmington, Delaware, and his inside knowledge of payoffs, mob hits, and the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

An avid member of the Hitler Youth in 1940s Vienna, Johannes Betzler discovers his parents are hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa behind a false wall in their home. His initial horror turns to interest — then love and obsession. After his parents disappear, Johannes is the only one aware of Elsa’s existence in the house and the only one responsible for her survival. By turns disturbing and blackly comic, haunting and cleverly satirical.

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore

One bad day. According to the grinning engine of madness and mayhem known as The Joker, that’s all that separates the sane from the psychotic. Freed once again from the confines of Arkham Asylum, he’s out to prove his deranged point.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young women.  Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.

The Pope: Francis, Benedict, and the Decision That Shook the World by Anthony McCarten

Why did Pope Benedict walk away at the height of power, knowing his successor might be someone whose views might undo his legacy? How did Pope Francis — who used to ride the bus to work back in his native Buenos Aires — adjust to life as leader to a billion followers? If, as the Church teaches, the pope is infallible, how can two living popes who disagree on almost everything both be right?

-all summaries from the publishers

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

Our March Displays

Award Winners is the subject of our first display on the main floor. It showcases winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the Man Booker Prize. You may have already read some of these books, but there are some great ones you might have missed.

 

March is Women’s History Month and the theme of our second main floor display. Read about the women’s movement and their struggle for their place in society, the right to vote and equal employment opportunities. The display includes biographies of famous women, such as Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Malala Yousafzai, Indira Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Condoleezza Rice, Sandra Day O’Connor, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Roosevelt and others.

 

 

 

The subjects of our 2 mini displays* are:

The Art of the Novella- A selection of classic novellas from Melville House publishing.

Robert Goddard-  Books from the 2019 CWA Diamond Dagger Award winner, the highest honor in British crime writing.

*mini-displays are subject to change during the month

On the third floor, our health librarian’s display is National Nutrition Month. The display has books covering healthy eating topics, such as how to stay healthy, what foods to avoid for various illnesses, and nutritional guides for children. The display also includes lots of handouts on eating and snacking for wellness.

Dreams of Far Away Places, also a display on the third floor, is for those who suffer from wanderlust. Learn about some exotic travel destinations and get some ideas for a trip or a travel adventure, or you may just want to read and be entertained by other people’s tales of travel.

-posted by Betty, Reference Services

November Book Displays

Don’t know what to read with so many great books in the library?  Try this month’s “Staff Picks” display. The display is a selection of favorites of the SPL staff. Our staff is made of avid readers so their picks will insure an enjoyable read. As usual, there is a lot to choose from.

The second display on the main floor is  “November – Memoir Month.” Truth can be stranger and more entertaining than fiction. Read someone’s life story. You can also listen to their stories on audio books. Some memoirs which have been made into movies are available on DVD for your viewing pleasure.

The two mini displays this month are:

* “The Great American Reads, The Top Fifteen Finalists”

* “Goodreads Awards, The Choice Awards for the Best Books of 2018”

*MIni-displays are subject to change during the month.

The third floor health librarian’s display is “November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month”. The books here help explain the disease and how to cope with it for both the patient and caregivers. Also on the display are Fact Sheet handouts which include information on legal and financial planning for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

One more theme for November is “Native American Heritage Month”. Learn the history of the first people to inhabit the Americas, it is a story of diverse groups of people. Books include information on their culture, art, music, jewelry, and languages.

Hope our displays help you to make your reading choices easier and more varied. Enjoy!

-posted by Betty, Reference Services

Evening Book Discussion

2011 National Book Award Winner, Fiction

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 7:30 PM

with Jackie Ranaldo, Head of Readers’ Services

“Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.” -from the publisher.

This program is free.

No registration required.

Books available at the Circulation Desk. 

Photographs and videos taken during library programs may be used for library publicity.

-posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

 

 

The 2018 Edgar Award Nominations

The Mystery Writers of America revealed the nominees for the 2018 Edgar Allan Poe Awards on January 19th.  These awards honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television.  On April 26, 2018, the Edgar Awards will be presented to the winners in New York City.  If you are interested in the full list of nominees, in all categories, you can visit their website.  Here are  the titles for the category of Best Novel:

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

Forced by duty to return to his racially divided East Texas hometown, an African-American Texas Ranger risks his job and reputation to investigate a highly charged double-murder case involving a black Chicago lawyer and a local white woman.

 

The Dime by Kathleen Kent

A woman from a family of take-no-prisoners police detectives relocates from Brooklyn to Dallas, where she tackles adversaries ranging from drug cartels and cult leaders to difficult vagrants and society wives before a first major investigation is challenged by unruly subordinates, a stalker, a criminal organization and an unsupportive girlfriend.

 

 

Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr

Hiding on the French Riviera when his cover is blown, Bernie Gunther finds himself in a cat-and-mouse game with an old and dangerous enemy before fleeing to Berlin, where he places his survival in the hands of dubious former allies.

 

 

A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee

In the days of the British Raj in 1919, Captain Sam Wyndham, a former Scotland Yard detective newly arrived in Calcutta, is confronted with the murder of a British official who was found with a note in his mouth warning the British to leave India.

 

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti 

A once-professional killer protects his daughter from the legacy of his criminal past, an effort that is challenged by his daughter’s struggles with the death of her mother and the reckoning of old enemies.

 

All summaries are from the publishers.   

 

*This article first appeared in the February 2018 issue of Syosset Public Library’s newsletter, The Book Club Insider.*                       

-posted by Jean S., Readers’ Services 

 

Oscar Winners Based on Books

The 90 th Academy Awards ceremonies are set for this Sunday, March 4 at 8 pm Eastern time.  Many of the past winners for Best Picture were based on books.  Here are some of them from recent years:

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12 Years a Slave (2013) based on the book of the same title,

Argo (2012) based on the book, The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA by Antonio J. Mendez with Malcolm McConnell.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) based on the book, Q & A by Vikas Swarup.

No Country for Old Men (2007) based on the book of the same title by Cormac McCarthy.

Million Dollar Baby (2004) based on Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner by F. X. Toole.

How many awards do you think will be given to films based on books this Sunday??

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services