Tag Archives: favorites

Our Favorite Books of 2019, Pt. II

The New Year is here and you might want to start it off with a good book. Here are some titles that our staff read and found to be particularly good in 2019.

Sonia, Reference Services:

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

“This compelling story of two ministers and their wives was basically a meditation on different ways people can live their faith or non-faith – a lot to think about.”

In a novel that spans decades, the lives of two young couples become intertwined when the husbands are appointed co-ministers of a venerable New York City church in the 1960s.*

Celine by Peter Heller

“I had to read a different book by this author for a book club earlier in the year and really did not like it. I was so surprised when I read this title for the same book club and loved it.”

A missing-persons tracker who specializes in reuniting families to make amends for a loss in her own past, Celine searches for a presumed-dead photographer in Yellowstone, only to be targeted by a shadowy figure who wants to keep the case unsolved.*

The last 7 Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny 

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“I caught up on on the series this year  and it averages into one continuous great reading experience. I’m currently re-reading the first!”

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets–and facing a few of his own ghosts.*

Ed, Head of Reference Services:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Discovering a mysterious book of prisoner tales, a Vermont graduate student recognizes a story from his own life before following clues to a magical underground library that is being targeted for destruction.*

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

A talented baker running a business out of her nursing home reconnects with her master brewer sister at the same time her pregnant granddaughter launches an IPA brewpub.*

 

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

When their middle brother Cameron, who went missing the week before Christmas, is found dead, Nathan and Bub are forced to confront devastating secrets.*

The Paragon Hotel by Lindsay Faye

Fleeing to 1921 Oregon, Alice takes refuge in the city’s only black hotel and helps new friends search for a missing child, hide from KKK violence and navigate painful secrets.*

 

Pam, Assistant Library Director:

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

A sequel to Olive Kitteridge finds Olive struggling to understand herself while bonding with a teen suffering from loss, a woman who gives birth unexpectedly, a nurse harboring a longtime crush and a lawyer who resists an unwanted inheritance.*

Becoming by Michelle Obama

An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House.*

Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services:

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

“An incredible memoir detailing the moment one woman’s entire identity is stripped by an at-home DNA kit and the inspiring aftermath of her journey.”

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her.*

Maid by Stephanie Land 

“A powerful and eye-opening account of a young, single mother living in poverty while working as a minimum wage earning housekeeper.”

A journalist describes the years she worked in low-paying domestic work under wealthy employers, contrasting the privileges of the upper-middle class to the realities of the overworked laborers supporting them.

Rosemarie, Children’s Services Librarian:

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

While working as divers with the all-female diving collective on a small Korean island, Mi-ja and Young-sook find their friendship challenged by their differences and forces outside their control.*

The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl

Manipulated by a stranger, an affluent Sandefjord woman is forced to prove just how far she is willing to go to protect her life and family.*

 

 

Megan, Systems Administrator:

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

“Part gothic fiction, part who-done-it, part space opera, Gideon the Ninth is a genre-bending story about a young woman ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a zombie, but must first act as a bodyguard to her lifelong frenemy in a thousand-year-old intergalactic struggle.”

1491:  New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

“In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.  I could not believe how much of what I was taught in school, even recently, was so very wrong!”

We wish all of our readers a very happy and healthy New Year!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

Our Favorite Books of 2019, Pt. I

The New Year is here and you might want to start it off with a good book. Here are some titles that our staff read and found to be particularly good in 2019.

Jessikah, Head of Community Engagement:

Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz

A geologist desperate to change the past and a teen rebel who has witnessed a history-changing murder are swept up in a secret historical war in a parallel-world America where time travel is possible.*

 

The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Surviving a horrific multiple homicide, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks is unexpectedly offered a full scholarship to Yale, where her mysterious benefactors task her with monitoring the university’s secret societies.*

Janice, Teen Services Librarian

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

“What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?”

After an international incident affects U.S. and British relations, the president’s son Alex and Prince Henry must pretend to be best friends, but as they spend time together, the two begin a secret romance that could derail a presidential campaign.*

Meghan, Children’s Services Librarian:

From Scratch: a Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke

An actress and TEDx speaker describes how her professional chef husband’s Sicilian family didn’t initially approve of him marrying a black American woman and the three summers she spent with them after he succumbed to cancer.*

 

Sharon, Head of Teen Services:

Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong

“Written as a series of ridiculous letters to her baby daughters, this is a collection of essays about dating in NYC, her travels abroad in Vietnam, being a female comedian, and how she “trapped” her husband.”

Collects the standup comedian’s humorous and heartfelt letters to her daughters, covering everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession and how she trapped their dad.*

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay.

“A provocative and very honest and open look at feminism, popular culture and how we as a society can do better.”

A cultural examination of the ways in which the media influences self-perception, and discusses how society still needs to do better.*

Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian:

This Tender Land by WIlliam Kent Krueger

Fleeing the Depression-era school for Native American children who have been taken from their parents, four orphans share a life-changing journey marked by struggling farmers, faith healers, and lost souls.*

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

A tale set over the course of five decades traces a young man’s rise from poverty to wealth and back again as his prospects center around his family’s lavish Philadelphia estate.*

*all summaries from the publishers

We’ll be back tomorrow with more staff favorites.

We wish all our readers a very happy and healthy New Year!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Title Swap Tuesdays

Title Swap* Tuesdays

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

at 1:30 pm

Share tea, cookies and your favorite titles with Readers’ Services staff.  We promise you’ll leave with a list of good reads.

See you there!

*What is a Title Swap?
Title Swap is a time for patrons and Readers’ Services librarians to gather in front of the fireplace to share titles they’ve enjoyed. The discussion is always lively and refreshments are served. After the title swap, a list of the titles mentioned is compiled and made available at the library.

-posted by Sonia, 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

September’s Book Displays

 

We all remember September as the official end of summer and back to school, which is the theme for the third floor book display. Welcome Back to School displays books with advice and guidance for both students and parents on how to get the most from the school experience. Some topics covered are suggestions for term papers and projects, help for the poor reader, and different styles of learning.

The health book display, also on the third floor, is September isProstate Health-Pain Awareness-Cholesterol Education.  There are lots of books for each of the three topics and handouts with plenty of information. So if you or someone you care about needs help for one of these disorders, come check out the display.

 

 

On the main floor the first display is The Great American Read, an inclusive collection of the great American classics. Many of these books you might already have read, but would enjoy rereading. Many of these books were made into films, such as Gone With the Wind, Game of Thrones, The Help, The Da Vinci Code, The Great Gatsby and many more.

 

 

 From Blog to Book-(every blogger’s dream). In this digital age many people are posting their ideas, knowledge, and experience on blogs. A blogger’s success is measured in part by the number of his or her followers. This display is of popular bloggers who have written books on their area of expertise.

 

 

 

The themes for the two mini displays are:

In Remembrance of Burt Reynolds, an American actor, director and producer. (February 11, 1936 to September 6, 2018). There is a display of his movies on DVD.

Bel Canto by Anne Patchett is now on film to be released in theaters on September 14, 2018.

-posted by Betty, Reference Services

5 Years on the Blog – December

Time for a walk through some of  SyossetRandR’s blog posts in December in the past five years, which are all about our staff’s reading during those years:

2016: Our Favorite Books of 2016 (Part 6)

2015: Our Favorite Books of 2015

2014: Our Favorite Books of 2014

2013: About Our Reading -2013 #1

2012: Questions about Books: 2012, Part 1

We’ll take another nostalgic look at the past five years again in January.  Happy New Year to all!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Our Favorite Reads – 2017 (Part II)

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

Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Evelyn

After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

 

Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services:

In the Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda 

In a fictional retelling of a true story, ten-year-old Enaiat leaves his small Afghanistan village after the Taliban takes over in 2000, and when his mother is forced to leave him in Pakistan, he endures a five-year ordeal to make his way to Italy.

 

Brenda, Reference Services Librarian:

Dead Wake by Eric Larson 

A chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as Woodrow Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat, and architect Theodate Pope Riddle.

 

Lisa H., Reference Services Librarian:

Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan

After moving to America, a shy and responsible older sister and a gregarious young sister who thrives in their new Boston home endure the long-term repercussions of a fateful decision when the younger sister becomes pregnant.

 

Megan, Systems Manager:

Generation V by M. L. Brennan

Fortitude Scott?s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn?t paid rent in four months, and he?s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He?s still mostly human. But when a new vampire comes into his family?s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can?t ignore his heritage anymore.

Sonia, Health Reference Librarian:

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Young Reuben Land has little doubt that miracles happen all around us, suspecting that his own father is touched by God. When his older brother flees a controversial murder charge, Reuben, along with his older sister and father, set off on a journey that will take them to the Badlands and through a landscape more extraordinary than they could have anticipated.

Meghan, Reference Services Librarian:

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

When the anonymous teen creator of a wildly popular webcomic is tempted by a school newcomer to pursue real-world relationships, everything she has worked so hard to build crumbles in the wake of their highly publicized romance.

Jean S.. Readers’ Services Librarian:

Sing, Unburied, Sing ​by Jesmyn Ward 

Living with his grandparents and toddler sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo navigates the challenges of his tormented mother’s addictions and his grandmother’s terminal cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip of danger and hope.

If you would like to see some of our favorites of 2016, you can look here and here.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services