Tag Archives: favorites

Recently added Staff Picks

Booked to Die by John Dunning

“Dunning, twice nominated for the Edgar, deserves to win one for this Denver cop-turned-bookman tale- a lively, seductive primer on how to open a bookstore, spot a first edition, warehouse it, price it, and enjoy it for its own sake.”   (Kirkus Reviews)

Recommended By:  Ed Goldberg, Reference Librarian

The Divorce Party by Laura Dave

“A multigenerational novel about love, family, and what it means to build a life with someone, The Divorce Party brings us two immensely appealing women: Gwyn, at the end of her marriage, and her future daughter-in-law, Maggie, at the beginning.”   (From the Publisher)

Recommended By:  Jackie Ranaldo, Readers’ Services Librarian

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

“A stirring tale of lost civilizations, avarice, madness and everything else that makes exploration so much fun… A colorful tale of true adventure, marked by satisfyingly unexpected twists, turns and plenty of dark portents (Kirkus Reviews).”

Recommended By:  Ralph Guiteau, Readers’ Services Librarian

Revolutionary Characters by Gordon Wood

Offers a series of brilliantly illuminating studies of the men who came to be known as the founding fathers… Gordon Wood’s wondrous accomplishment here is to bring these men and their times down to earth and within our reach, revealing to us just who they were and what drove them.”   (From the Publisher)

Recommended By:  Brenda Cherry, Reference Librarian

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin

“Godwin creates an indelible picture of life in that besieged and battered land. In telling the story of his parents — who after World War II moved from England to Rhodesia — he gives us a searing account of what has happened to Zimbabwe in the last 30-odd years, as bright post-revolution dreams of a multiracial society gave way to bloody racial hatred and strife … ” (New York Times)

Recommended By: Audrey Honigman, Library Clerk

– posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

Favorite book covers: 2009

Who said “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?

The end of a year is usually the time for lists of one sort of another.  Well, as this is a library blog, it’s no surprise that I’m offering a list of books but this list has nothing to do with their content .  It has only to do with their looks:  a beauty contest for books. The following books have covers whose design and appearance were arresting and attractive to me, the moment I saw them.  There was no thought to it – no judgment about the authors or the sound of the titles.  Does that mean I read them all?  Some I did, some I didn’t.  But I’m not saying which:  Shanghai Girls, Very Valentine, Practicing Catholic, The Forgotten Garden & Death Wore White.

Click on the covers to see larger versions of the pictures and click on the titles to reserve any of them.

Did any book covers stop you dead in your tracks during 2009?

Let us know by making a comment, and a very Happy New Year to all!

~ posted by Sonia

5 Questions about books

Today “R and R” asks Lisa Caputo, Head of Adult Services, “5 Questions about books” – (actually, she answered 6!)

The books you are currently reading: Mathilda Savitch by Vincent Lodato.  I’m listening to The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk.

Book you’re an evangelist for: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout… everyone in Readers’ Services has heard me on my soapbox!

Book you most want to read again for the first time: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  This book is quite an experience.  You will never forget Ignatius Reilly, dubbed by one of the other characters in the book as “slob extraordinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quicote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one.”

A favorite line from a book: “You feel blue?  Get up and do!” from Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos.

You tend to gravitate towards books about: Interpersonal relationships, dealing with life’s hardships and growing through the experience.

Your top three authors: Anne Tyler, John Updike and John Steinbeck.


5 Questions about books

Megan Kass, reference services, answers five questions about books and reading ~

Book you most want to read again for the first time: The first time I read BattleAxe by Sara Douglass was in England when I was travelling as part of a tour group.  I read it in a hurry and wasn’t really focusing on the content, so I feel I missed something.  When I came back to the US, I discovered that the book was not yet available here, as often Australian novels are published in Europe before America (who knew?).  When BattleAxe finally was printed in the US, it was published under the series name The Wayfarer Redemption, rather than the singular title BattleAxe.  This marketing ploy left me wary of what else the publishers may have changed, so I have yet to reread it.

A favorite childhood book: My favorite childhood book was Colors in the Dreamweaver’s Loom by Beth Hilgartner.  This is a book that has been overlooked for far too long.  I found it in this library when I was browsing the shelves, and I admit, I was attracted by the colorful cover.  Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down.  Beth Hilgartner created a unique alternate universe that bumped into ours in the sequel, The Feast of the Trickster.

Book assigned in school that turned out to be really good: I was forced to read Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko as part of a general humanities class.  Most of the books the teacher assigned were the gut wrenching, wrist slitting, depressing kind, so when I picked up Ceremony I was incredibly nervous.  It started off slow and like a typical school read, but as the main character, a Native American Vietnam War veteran, developed it became increasingly obvious that his world view was totally alien to my own.  What was so great about a different perspective?  I couldn’t predict the characters actions or how the plot would unfold.  In a world where everything is a remake of something else, it’s always a pleasant surprise when you find a book that can really shock you and change the way you think.  It can definitely make you a better person.

Guilty pleasure: I feel guilty admitting I’ve become an addict of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  I watched the TV series and enjoyed it, so I figured I’d give the books a shot.  Lo and behold, these books were nothing like what I’ve ever read before.  I am a fan of the long winded epic fantasy novels – the more pages and the longer it takes me to read it, the better.  Each Dresden File took about a day to read and it was non-stop action from start to finish.  My initial review of the series was “fast food”: a book you read quickly, tastes good and you walk away from feeling satisfied.  Several of the books were even New York Times Bestsellers – something I normally consider way too mainstream

Book you feel you should read but haven’t yet: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I liked the many movie versions, whether they were accurate reenactments, like the Colin Firth version, or remixes, like Bridget Jones’s Diary, so I really feel I should read the book.  I should especially read it if I ever want to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.

5 Questions about books

black lizardEd Goldberg, Reference librarian, shares some thoughts on books today:

On my nightstand now is: The book that’s been on my nightstand the longest (since 2007) is The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps: The Best Crime Stories from the Pulps During Their Golden Age–the ’20s, ’30s & ’40s edited by Otto Penzler. It is 1,024 pages of small print, 2 columns and narrow margins.  Finishing the book is my lifetime goal, but it will be well worth it.  The stories are great.  I typically take it on vacation with me.  I have the DVD of the old movie Laura and the book by Vera Caspary, on which it is based.  The differences between the book and movie are interesting.  Additionally I have In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff, The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy, Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife by Francine Prose, The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by Yoko Tanaka, Runaway Black by Ed McBain, So Like Sleep by Jeremiah Healey and Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow by John Mortimer.

nine dragonsLast book read: The last book I read was 9 Dragons by Michael Connelly.  I’ve liked Connelly for a long time and his Harry Bosch series is always good reading.  It’s police procedural with a touch of family and camaraderie.  Connelly has created several other great characters, such as Jack McEvoy, a reporter, Michael Haller, an attorney who works out of the back of his Lincoln town car, Terry McCaleb, a former FBI agent and Rachel Walling, a current agent.  He’s beginning to introduce these characters into multiple series.

thesourceFavorite book of all time: The Source by James Michener.   I’ve read The Source two or three times, but not for a while now.  Michener’s premise that as you dig through archeological layers you can determine how civilizations viewed God and religion is just fascinating to me.

Top three authors: Thomas H. Cook, John Dunning and Pat Conroy.

Thomas_H_Cook_2-2Thomas Cook, a Cape Cod resident, writes mysteries that have a very ethereal, cloudy aura around them.  The Chatham School Affair, purchased in Chatham on Cape Cod started me as a fan and I’ve read all of his books since.

john dunningJohn Dunning writes mysteries with an antiquarian bookseller (former policeman), Cliff Janeway, as a protagonist.  There’s a lot of action in his books and there’s always a literary subplot somewhere in the book.  Dunning is also an expert on old time radio and his Two O’clock Eastern Wartime, a departure from his Janeway series, builds on this expertise.

pat conroy

Finally, I’ve recently been introduced to Pat Conroy’s books and became an immediate fan.  His descriptive writing and storyline just draw you in.

Perfect beach reads: Two series that are great beach reads are Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files series about a dysfunctional family of private detectives and Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series, A is for Alibi, etc. about Kinsey Millhone, a private detective in California.

20-Something Title Swap!

Tuesday October 20th, 7:30 PM

with 20-Something Librarians Jackie Ranaldo and Jessikah Chautin

teens-and-books Finally, an event for our age group!  Come meet some great new people and share the titles you love with your 20-Something peers.  Together we’ll compile a list and you’ll have great reads through the fall and winter!  No registration required: it’s a free event.  Refreshments will be served.

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

Syosset Public Library 20-Something Book Club

– posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

Fall into a Great Book …

fallpicture…with one of our Fall 2009 Staff Pick Selections!

Looking for a great book to occupy your time as the days get a bit cooler? Our Fall 2009 Staff Picks Selections are now on display on the 2nd floor. These enjoyable titles are read and nominated by Syosset Public Library Staff members. Included in this season’s collection are Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout, Little Bee by Chris Cleave, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga and many more. For a complete listing and descriptions of each title, please visit the Reader’s Corner Webpage. Here, you can also find listings of previous Staff Pick Selections. Happy Reading!
Fall into a great book at the Syosset Public Library!

~ Posted by Jackie Ranaldo, Readers’ Services