Tag Archives: book clubs

Review:Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

The only thing one can be sure of as the story of the McAllan and Jackson families unfolds in Mudbound by Hillary Jordan is that someone has died and a grave must be dug.  Henry and Jamie McAllan, brothers separated by a generation, a war and so much more, are desperately trying to dig a grave in between torrential rainstorms in rural Mississippi in the years following World War II.  As the hole goes from three feet to four feet deep they unearth the remnants of a crime that, while having occurred perhaps decades before,  foreshadows the events that transpire within the narrative.  The crime?  The murder of a runaway slave in a part of the country that even after World War II hadn’t changed its perception of the African Americans who helped to farm their land and fight their war.  African Americans still entered and exited from the back door, sat on the back of the bus, and replied “yes suh” and “no suh” with downturned eyes.

But while race relations play a central part in Mudbound, love (familial, carnal, and romantic) is ever present.  Laura McAllan, wife of Henry, believes “Death may be inevitable, but love is not.  Love you have to choose.”  Laura , a college educated spinster of 31, meets and marries Henry.  Was it love or fear of “petrification” on Laura’s part?  Henry tears Laura away from her gentle existence to settle on a farm in rural Mississippi in a home that’s more shack than house.  Farming was a dream that he had had all his life, a dream he never shared with her, a dream that was his alone.  Not only does Henry impose this harsh existance on Laura, he also thrusts the care and keeping of his nasty, abusive, racist father upon her.  From the first moment that Pappy meets Laura, her dislike for him blooms.  Life on the farm is hard on everyone: the family, the share croppers, and the tenant farmers.

The Jackson family lives on Henry’s land as tenant farmers trying to eke out a living by paying a portion of what they produce to Henry for the use of his land.  Hap and his wife, Florence, eagerly await the return of their son Ronsel.  The war is over, but he’s found life over in Europe so freeing that he dreads coming home. From the moment Ronsel hits town the characters’ lives spiral out of control until the inevitable conclusion.

Mudbound is a beautifully constructed story about racism, and the extent to which a family can be melded together or broken apart by secrets, betrayals, and misplaced love.  A must read.

Please join the Monthly Book Club on Tuesday, October 26 at 1:00 PM or 7 :30 PM as we discuss this marvelous novel.

– posted by Susan, Readers Services’

You can’t make this stuff up . . . . . .

This week several book discussion groups reported that a lively discussion ensued after reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  The book is a non-fiction account of the Chicago World’s Fair and the impact that fair had on American culture (i.e. Mr. Ferris’s wheel!).  If you’d like to try something other than fiction, this book makes a fasinating read and a terrific book discussion selection.

– posted by Jill, Readers’ Services

20-Something Book Club

On Monday, August 9th at 7 PM, Syosset Public Library’s 20-Something Book Club will be discussing the science fiction classic:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams

“Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of the The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out of work actor. Together this dynamic pair begin their journey through space aided by quotes from The HitchHiker’s Guide and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers.”  (From the Publisher)

This program is open to any 20-something looking for a great book discussion.  No registration is required and the program is free.  Non-Syosset residents are welcome.  Copies of the book are now available at the Readers’ Services Desk on the 2nd floor.  Please call 516-921-7161 x 239 for details.  The discussion will be led by 20-Something Librarians Jackie Ranaldo and Jessikah Chautin.  Look forward to seeing you there.

…and don’t forget:  friend us on Facebook: Syosset Public Library 20-Something Book Club

– posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

20-Something Book Club – A Thousand Splendid Suns

The Syosset Public Library 20-Something Book Club has made plans for their next event.  On Monday, June 28 at 7 PM, we will be discussing the novel “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini.  The discussion will be led by 20-Something Librarians Jackie Ranaldo and Jessikah Chautin. This program is open to any 20-something looking for a great book discussion:  no registration is required,  the program is free and non-Syosset residents are welcome.  Copies of the book are available at the Readers’ Services Desk on the 2nd floor.  Please call 516-921-7161 x 239 for details.    Looking forward to seeing you there!

“A breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years — from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding — that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives — the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness — are inextricable from the history playing out around them… A remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love — a stunning accomplishment.”  (from the publisher)

Don’t forget – friend us on Facebook: Syosset Public Library 20-Something Book Club!

– posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

20-Something Title Swap!

Monday, May 10th at 7PM  (Meeting Room A on the Lower Level)

With 20-Something Librarians Jackie Ranaldo and Jessikah Chautin

Please join us as we discuss our favorite books!  You tell us your favorites, we’ll tell you ours.  Together we’ll compile a list and you’ll have great titles to read through the Spring and Summer!

This program is open to any 20-something looking for a great book discussion group. No registration is required and the program is free.  Non-Syosset residents are welcome.  Please call 516-921-7161 x 239 for details.  Look forward to seeing you there!

Check out our Facebook page for upcoming events and great suggestions for your next read:

Syosset Public Library 20-Something Book Club

– posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services


20-Something Book Club Upcoming Event

The Syosset Public Library 20-Something Book Club has made plans for their next event.  On Monday, March 22 at 7 PM, we will be discussing the graphic novel Sandman: Volume 1—Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman.  This program is open to any 20-something looking for a great book discussion.  No registration is required and the program is free.  Non-Syosset residents are welcome.  Copies of the book will be available starting February 24th at the Readers’ Services Desk on the 2nd floor.  Please call 516-921-7161 x 239 for details.  The discussion will be led by 20-Something Librarians Jackie Ranaldo and Jessikah Chautin.  Look forward to seeing you there! 

“A wizard attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. Fearful for his safety, the wizard kept him imprisoned in a glass bottle for decades. After his escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On the way, Morpheus encounters Lucifer and demons from Hell, the Justice League, and John Constantine, the Hellblazer. This book also includes the story “The Sound of Her Wings” which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl, Death.”  (From the Publisher)

Don’t forget – Friend us on Facebook: Syosset Public Library 20-Something Book Club

 – posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

Monthly Book Club

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler with Lisa Caputo, Head of Adult Services

Tuesday,  February 23, 2010 at 1 PM and 7:30 PM

Meet Macon Leary–a travel writer who hates both travel and strangeness. Grounded by loneliness, comfort, and a somewhat odd domestic life, Macon is about to embark on a surprising new adventure, arriving in the form of a fuzzy-haired dog obedience trainer who promises to turn his life around.

This program is free.  Book will be available at the circulation desk.