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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

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

 

 

 

Our Favorite Books – 2017 (Part I)

In today’s post we are looking back at our reading during 2017 and sharing the books that were some of our favorites for the year.

Pam M., Assistant Library Director:

The Nix by Nathan Hill

Astonished to see the mother who abandoned him in childhood throwing rocks at a presidential candidate, a bored college professor struggles to reconcile the media depictions of his mother with his memories and decides to draw her out by penning a tell-all biography.

 

Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian:

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

When electric light innovator Thomas Edison sues his only remaining rival for patent infringement, George Westinghouse hires untested Columbia Law School graduate Paul Ravath for a case fraught with lies, betrayals, and deception.

 

Jessikah, Children’s Services Librarian:

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Having heard tales of the beautiful but dangerous Goblin King all her life, Liesl infuses her musical compositions with her romantic dreams before the abduction of her sister forces her to journey to the Underground, where she faces an impossible choice.

 

Amy, Children’s Services Librarian:

Fever by Mary Beth Keane 

A story inspired by the life of the woman known as “Typhoid Mary” traces the efforts of a headstrong Irish immigrant whose tenacity and talent for cooking gains her entry into upper-class kitchens until the discovery of her status as a disease carrier forces her into an isolation that she eventually defies with horrific results.

 

Sue Ann, Head of Children’s Services:

Will’s Red Coat by Tom Ryan

The best-selling author of Following Atticus traces the author’s adoption of a traumatized, hearing-impaired elderly dog who throughout his remaining years transformed from a hostile and violent canine to a happy, puppy-like companion

 

Rosemarie B., Children’s Services Librarian:

Beartown by Fredrik Backman 

In the tiny forest community of Beartown, the possibility that the amateur hockey team might win a junior championship, bringing the hope of revitalization to the fading town, is shattered by the aftermath of a violent act that leaves a young girl traumatized.

(All summaries from the publishers.)

We will be sharing another batch of favorites in a day or two, so stay tuned.  If you would like to see some of our favorites of 2016, you can look here and here.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

Our Favorite Books of 2016

books3In what has become a tradition here at Syosset R and R, we will be running a series of blog posts throughout the month of December telling you about our staff’s favorite reads for this year.  The books mentioned were read during 2016 but not necessarily published in 2016. Here goes:

Karen, Library Director:

orphan 8Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade 

When hospice nurse Rachel realizes that her new patient is the doctor that spent years subjecting her to tortuous medical experiments at a Jewish orphanage, she is forced to confront her memories of the time and their lasting effect.

Pam. M., Assistant Library Director:

behold-the-dreamersBehold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

An immigrant working class couple from Cameroon and the upper class American family for whom they work find their lives and marriages shaped by financial circumstances, infidelities, secrets, and the 2008 recession.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

my-name-is-lucy-bartonLucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s lif

state_of_wonderState of Wonder by Ann Patchett

A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh must step out of her comfort zone when she is sent into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years–a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.

Sharon, Head of Teen Services:

burn-baby-burnBurn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

During the summer of 1977 when New York City is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam, seventeen-year-old Nora must also face her family’s financial woes, her father’s absence, and her brother’s growing violence.

“This YA book is set in NYC during the summer of 1977, and reading about the terror of Son of Sam, the blackout and all the crime was really eye-opening for me.  I tend to forget how dangerous it was in the city back then because for as long as I can remember, it’s been cleaned up and Disney-fied, but 1977 was a crazy time to be a teenager!”

and-i-darkenAnd I Darken by Kiersten White

In this first book in a trilogy a girl child is born to Vlad Dracula, in Transylvania, in 1435–at first rejected by her father and always ignored by her mother, she will grow up to be Lada Dragwlya, a vicious and brutal princess, destined to rule and destroy her enemies.

“This was the Dracula story reimagined as a dark and brooding teenage girl. The settings and the story were magical.  Loved it!”

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

red-queenWhen her supernatural powers manifest in front of a noble court, Mare, a thief in a world divided between commoners and superhumans, is forced to assume the role of lost princess before risking everything to help a growing rebellion.

“This is a dystopian trilogy where the color of your blood (red or silver) determines your fate. Some similarities to the Hunger Games, but very well-written and has a fabulous female protagonist.”

(All summaries from the publishers.)

Keep checking in with Syosset R and R for more of our favorite reads of 2016!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

If It’s February…

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…then it’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH.  Come in and see our main floor display which covers the African- American experience on the road to freedom and their contributions to American art and culture.

We also have a display for AWARD WINNERS which includes Adult Fiction books awarded the Pulitzer, National Book Award or Man Booker Prize.  Authors awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature are included as well. Of course our paperback collection has many romance novels to read on VALENTINE’S DAY and for the rest of the month.

If it’s February…then it’s AMERICAN HEART MONTH. Our health reference librarian has gathered lots of books and handouts with the latest information on maintaining a healthy heart.   Also at this time of year we are getting ready for the OSCARS.  Want to know the history of the Oscar and its winners? We’ve got a book display for that. Both of these displays can be found on the third floor.

Remember: Syosset Public Library honors our patrons’ purchase requests for items.  If we don’t purchase an  item for you, we will make every effort to interloan it from another library.

-posted by Betty, Reference Services

Our Favorite Books of 2014

Nearing the end of every year we are inundated by Best of the Year lists. Of course at a library we pay the most attention to the lists of best books.  We here at Syosset R and R would like to add to the mix and tell you what our reading favorites were for 2014.  Our staff was asked to tell us what books they enjoyed most during the year and the books did not have to be published 2014.

Today’s post will be our last for this series, featuring the picks of –

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Karen, Library Director:

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

SueAnn, Head of Children’s Services:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian

My Gentle Barn by Ellie Laks

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy

Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Lisa J., Readers’ Services Librarian:

The Invention of Wings  by Sue Monk Kidd

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

Jessikah, Children’s Services Librarian:

 My Real Children by Jo Walton was something I really enjoyed.

Susan, Reference Librarian:

 Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

City of Thieves by David Benioff

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani

Tell us about some of your favorite reads of 2014 by making a comment below. To see all other “Our Favorite Books of 2014” please click here.

– posted by Sonia, Reference Services