Tag Archives: favorites

Latest Additions to Book Club in a Bag

book club in a bag logoLet us provide you with everything you need for your book club: sets of books exclusively for local book clubs to check out for their discussions.  Discussion questions are included in the set, along with biographical and critical material.

The following are titles that have been added to the Book Club in a Bag collection recently. Information on borrowing any of our Book Clubs in a Bag as well as a complete list of all titles available can be found here on the library’s website. Please call 516-921-7161 ext. 239 or stop by Readers’ Services if you have any questions.

Two-Family House

by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Two women, sisters by marriage who share a two-family brownstone in Brooklyn in the 1950s, form a strong bond when they each give birth minutes apart on the same night, but as the years pass, a deeply buried family secret causes their friendship to unravel.

The Widow

by Fiona Barton

After Jean’s husband dies, the community wants to know the real truth about the crime he was suspected of—but Jean has secrets of her own.

When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi

A young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal diagnosis describes his examination into what truly makes a meaningful life.

All summaries from the publishers.

-posted by Evelyn, Readers’ Services


Title Swap with Librarians

Second floor fireplace and seating area.

Please join us on Tuesday, June 6 at 1:30 PM

Share tea, coffee and cookies, as well as your favorite titles with the Readers’ Services staff of the Syosset Public Library.  Join librarians Jackie Ranaldo, Stacey Levine, Jean Simpson, Lisa Jones, Ralph Guiteau and Evelyn Hershkowitz for a fun hour of sharing the titles of our favorite books.

Looking for something particular?  Suspense?  Biography? Adventure?  Your next Book Club pick?  Ask the group … we promise you’ll leave with a great Summer reading list.  Not able to make the program?  No worries.  A list of the discussed titles will be left at each public service desk.  They will also be made available on our website.  We will be meeting on the 2nd floor right in front of our fireplace.

We look forward to seeing you there!

This program is free and no registration is required.

Can’t wait until then for a recommendation? Check out our past titles here.

– posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

5 Years on the Blog: March

Today we’re to going reminisce a bit and take a look at some of Syosset RandR’s blog posts for March during the past five years:

2016: Celebrating the Emerald Isle

2015: Preservation Workshop

2014: 10 Classics Its Time to Reread This Spring!

2013: Agatha’s Own Favorites

2012: Scanning & Faxing @ Syosset Library

Hope you enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane.  We’ll do it again next month, keep an eye out!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Our Favorite Books of 2016 (Pt. 7, the last)

booksIn 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’s the seventh and last installment:

Meghan, Reference Librarian:

Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland

life-in-motioProfiles the life and career of the professional ballerina, covering from when she began dance classes at age thirteen in an after-school community center through becoming the only African American soloist dancing with the American Ballet Theatre.

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

voyagerContinues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber, sweeping us from the battlefields of eighteenth-century Scotland to the exotic West Indies.

The House at Riverton By Kate Morton

house-at-rivertonLiving out her final days in a nursing home, ninety-eight-year-old Grace remembers the secrets surrounding the 1924 suicide of a young poet during a glittering society party hosted by Grace’s English aristocrat employers, a family that is shattered by war.

Sue Ann, Head of Children’s Services:

man-called-oveA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship.

Audrey, Media Services Clerk:

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

news-of-the-worldIn the aftermath of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly widower and itinerant news reader, is offered fifty dollars to bring an orphan girl, who was kidnapped and raised by Kiowa raiders, from Wichita Falls back to her family in San Antonio.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

sweetbitterA year in the life of a beguiling young woman in the wild world of a famous downtown New York restaurant follows her burning effort to become someone of importance through a backwaiter job that enables her indulgences in culinary and intellectual interests.

moonglowMoonglow by Michael Chabon

A man bears witness to his grandfather’s deathbed confessions, which reveal his family’s long-buried history and his involvement in a mail-order novelty company, World War II, and the space program.

Sonia, Health Reference Librarian:

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

dragonfly-in-amberIn the sequel to Outlander,  Claire Randall and her daughter, Brianna, return to the majestic hills of Scotland, where Claire recalls the love of her life–gallant warrior James Fraser.

“I re-read this while watching the Outlander television series’ second season and it was better than the first time.”

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

career-of-evilWhen a woman’s severed leg is delivered to Robin Ellacott, her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, has to look into his past to determine who is responsible.

“This is the third installment of J. K. Rowling’s detective mystery series that she’s writing under a pseudonym, and I am finding them very enjoyable.”

Am I Alone Here? Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live by Peter Orner

am-i-alone-hereA collection of 41 short essays about reading and life reflects the acclaimed writer’s beliefs about the role of stories in shaping his identity.

” I’m a big fan of books about books and reading and read several this year.  I enjoyed this one the most. The problem with this type of book is that you always end up with a list of other books you’ll want to read.”

(All plot summaries from the publishers.)

Please tell us in the comments what your favorite 2016 reads were.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Our Favorite Books of 2016 (Pt. 6)

booksIn 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’s the sixth installment:

Lisa H., Reference Services Librarian:

nightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Reunited when the elder’s husband is sent to fight in World War II, French sisters Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways

“I felt every emotion while reading this book. A good historical fiction pick.”

famous-nathanFamous Nathan: A Family Saga of Coney Island, the American Dream, and the Search for the Perfect Hot Dog by Lloyd Handwerker

Traces the rise of Nathan’s Famous from a small Coney Island concession on an undeveloped boardwalk to an international brand, tracing founder Nathan Handwerker’s flight from World War I-stricken Europe and his menial jobs in 1912 New York before building an empire that has become the object of a heated legal dispute.

“Nathan really did live the American dream after arriving in New York City.”

girlsThe Girls by Emma Cline

Mesmerized by a band of girls in the park she perceives as enjoying a life of free and careless abandon, 1960s teen Evie Boyd becomes obsessed with gaining acceptance into their circle, only to find herself drawn into a cult and seduced by its charismatic leader.

“Could not put this one down. Based on the Manson murders, Evie is looking for love in all the wrong places.”

Bonnie, Circulation Clerk:

velvet-hoursThe Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman

In the face of the German Occupation, Solange leaves her late grandmother’s treasure-filled Paris apartment, unsure if she’ll ever return, but as she sets out on a new path, her grandmother’s legacy of cultivating a life of art and beauty guides her.

“I really enjoyed The Velvet Hours. It was very different for the usual Historical Fiction.”

twelve-days-of-christmasTwelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Follows the experiences of an aspiring journalist who starts a blog to seek revenge against a handsome but arrogant neighbor who she treats with exceeding kindness in the hopes of breaking through his cold exterior.

“Debbie Macomber’s holiday book was a very entertaining and enjoyable read.”

Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian:

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.

“This was my favorite book this year and would make for an excellent book discussion.”

nixThe 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.

 “An exceptional debut novel”

when-breath-becomes-airWhen Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi 

A Ivy League-trained, award-winning young neurosurgeon describes his how after receiving a terminal diagnosis with lung cancer he explored the dynamics of his roles as a patient and care provider, the philosophical conundrums about a meaningful life and how he wanted to spend his final days.

“This was my favorite non-fiction title of the year.”

(All plot summaries from the publishers.)

Tell us in the comments what your favorite 2016 reads were and check in with Syosset R and R for more of “Our Favorite Reads of 2016” next week when we wind up the series!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Our Favorite Books of 2016 (Pt. 5)

booksIn 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’s the fifth installment:

Pam. S., Reference Librarian:

Saving Sophie by Ronald Balson

saving-sophieOn the run after becoming the main suspect in an embezzlement case, Jack Sommers races to save his daughter Sophie from her grandfather, a suspected terrorist in Palestine, teaming up with Liam, Catherine, and a new CIA operative who hopes to thwart a terrorist attack in Hebron.

“A great legal thriller with lots of twists and turns.”

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman

what-she-left-behindTen years ago, Izzy Stone’s mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother’s apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy’s help in cataloging items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.

“A story about how someone could be identified as mentally ill when they were perfectly fine – very frustrating but a beautiful book using two characters at two different times to bring out the story.”

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

echoLost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica–and decades later three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caughtup in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the twentieth century, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.

 “This YA novel is a story of a harmonica and how three different lives intersected by way of this harmonica!  – beautiful stories.”

Ed, Head of Reference Services:

passengerThe Passenger by Lisa Lutz

Changing her name and appearance to flee town after leaving her husband dead, a fugitive woman forges an uneasy alliance off the grid at the side of a female bartender with whom she races from city to city to escape her past.

“Tanya Pitts Dubois comes home one day to find her husband, Frank, lying at the base of the stairs, quite dead, with a big gash on his head. She decides that if she notifies the police and remains at the house until they arrive, she will be the most likely suspect. For various reasons, she concludes, this would not be a brilliant idea. So, she packs her bags and leaves.”

freedoms-childFreedom’s Child by Jax Miller

Living in witness protection to hide from her late husband’s violent family, Freedom Oliver risks her life in order to save the kidnapped daughter she gave up for adoption.

“The prologue, which you should go back and read again after you finish the book, begins ‘My name is Freedom Oliver and I killed my daughter. It’s surreal, honestly, and I’m not sure what feels more like a dream, her death or her existence. I’m guilty of both.’ “

 when-the-musics-overWhen the Music’s Over by Peter Robinson

The case of a poet claiming she was assaulted decades earlier by a revered public figure and the murder of a girl found on a remote roadside leads to an exploration of a more innocent time and an unexpected suspect.

“Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks series never fails to please and When the Music’s Over is no exception. Like most (all?) books in the series, it tackles both a current case and a cold or older case. In this particular instance, Robinson also tackles the ethnic hatred that currently seems to be running rampant throughout our ‘civilized’ world.”

(All plot summaries from the publishers.)

Tell us in the comments what your favorite 2016 reads were and keep checking in with Syosset R and R for more of “Our Favorite Reads of 2016”!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Our Favorite Books of 2016 (Pt. 4)

booksIn 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’s the fourth installment:

Brenda, Reference Librarian:

Forty Autumns by Nina Willner

forty-autumnsA former American military intelligence officer traces the experiences of five women in her family who were separated by the Iron Curtain for more than forty years and who endured terrifying Communist rule before being reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“Forty Autumns is about a family split by the division of Germany. Personally interesting with my travels. But the story resonates for any of us who lived through the cold war and the eventual fall of the Wall.”

The Hour of the Land by Terry Tempest Williams

hour-of-the-landFrom the Grand Tetons in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas and more, Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making.

“The Hour of the Land is a loving tribute to the NPS. And the amazing, awesome, miraculous protection of the land in the US.”

Heir to the Empire City by Edward Kohn

heir-to-the-empire-cityA riveting account of a man and a city on the brink of greatness, Heir to the Empire City reveals that Roosevelt’s true education took place not in the West but on the mean streets of nineteenth-century New York.

The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, a Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History by Darrin Lunde

naturalistDemonstrates how a young Theodore Roosevelt actively modeled himself in the proud tradition of influential museum naturalists who had a significant influence on the 26th President’s personality and politics, exploring how his passion for the natural world set the stage for America’s wildlife conservation movement.

“These last two are about Theodore Roosevelt…the first has the premise that TR would never had done what he did with his experiences (personal and professional) in NY…the second delves into TR’s fascination with the natural world. A narrow topic for sure but well written.”

Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian:

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

this-is-where-it-endsMinutes after the principal of Opportunity High School in Alabama finishes her speech welcoming the student body to a new semester, they discover that the auditorium doors will not open and someone starts shooting as four teens, each with a personal reason to fear the shooter, tell the tale from separate perspectives

It is a book about a school shooting in a fictional small town. It is written in the perspective of four connected teens, their connection from the student who commits the act. It is a very quick read and heartbreaking, because every character has their own troubles and redeeming acts. I couldn’t put it down.

 Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak

her-darkest-nightmareWhile running a psychiatric prison in Alaska, Dr. Evelyn Talbot, who survived an attack by a psycopath when she was a teenager, wonders if her past has come back to haunt her when a serial killer targets the small Alaskan town.

This is a new romantic suspense author and series for me. I am a sucker for that genre. It is about a famous psychiatrist and her facility for psychopaths in Alaska. There are so many deranged people out there and this books seems to bring them all together. One thing I found interesting is at the beginning of every chapter the author puts a quote from real life psychopaths – something she came across in her research for this book.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard 

truthwitchPreparing for a difficult future as a truce between three warring empires ends, two magic-wielding witches team up with a royal privateer to outmaneuver a vengeful witch and preserve the balance of power in their world.

“This is a new YA fantasy book about two girls with powers and the trouble they run into. I tried reading the actual book but couldn’t get into it. I really enjoyed the audio because it pulls you into the adventure.”

(All plot summaries from the publishers.)

Tell us in the comments what your favorite 2016 reads were and keep checking in with Syosset R and R for more of “Our Favorite Reads of 2016”!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services