Tag Archives: fiction

Looking ahead to December…Recap Your Book Club’s Year

Many book clubs skip having a December meeting as it is a very busy and hectic time of year. Instead of cancelling your meeting, your group might skip reading a new book in December and recap all the book discussions you have had during the year.  Make a holiday party of it while you discover new perspectives on the books you’ve enjoyed (or not!).  With this in mind, the following is a recap of the book discussions I had the pleasure of facilitating at Syosset Public Library during 2018. You might consider one of the following for one of your own book discussions.

January 2018: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

“This literary thriller-mystery is an entertaining and thought provoking read – extremely discussible”

Follows a Viet Cong agent as he spies on a South Vietnamese army general and his compatriots as they start a new life in 1975 Los Angeles.

April 2018: My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King

“This title was chosen to tie-in with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Not knowing much about his widow before, I was glad to have the opportunity to read this book. It is an interesting life story told well and other discussion participants thought so too.” 

The wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and singular 20th-century American civil rights activist presents her full life story, as told before her death to one of her closest confidants.

 June 2018: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles 

“My most well attended discussion of the year.  A wonderful book, one of the best I’ve read this year.” 

Deemed unrepentant by a Bolshevik tribunal in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a hotel across the street from the Kremlin, where he lives in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold.

September 2018: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

“This year’s Banned Book discussion choice was a surprise for me, not what I expected at all. 200 years old this year, the book is as timely now as it was then.”

Obsessed with creating life in a laboratory, a medical student haunts graveyards and dissecting rooms in search of the materials for his experiments. But when he achieves success, he rejects his ghastly creation. The creature — longing for love but shunned by all — turns evil and exacts revenge.

-all summaries from the publishers

 Let us know if you have any recommendations for book discussion choices in the comments.

*This article previously appeared in Syosset Public Library’s newsletter The Book Club Insider, November 2018 issue*

-Posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

 

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What We’re Reading Now

We’re checking in with our staff today to see what they’re reading:

Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services:

“I just finished rereading the 2011 National Book Award Fiction Winner, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward:  An incredible story of one poverty stricken family’s decision to ride out Hurricane Katrina in their coastal Mississippi home. Highly recommended!”

Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen “pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.*

Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – the best book I read this year.”

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say.*

Amy, Children’s Services Librarian:

“Currently reading: This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps.”

Presents a memoir by the beloved comedic actress known for her roles on Freaks and GeeksDawson’s Creek and Cougar Town, who has become a breakout star on Instagram.*

 

Rosemarie B., Children’s Services Librarian:

Just finished Vox by Christina Dalcher. Dr. Jean McClellan is haunted by her complacency during her college days in this dystopian novel in the not-so-far future.  The United States government has put women in “their rightful place” by systematically limiting the words they can use each day.  Is 100 words a day enough to make a change?  Dr. McClellan truly hopes so.”

Pam M., Assistant Library Director:

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa”

Stripped of her family’s privileges by the Nazi party in 1939 Berlin, Hannah Rosenthal forges a pact that she will remain true to her best friend, Leo, before embarking on a refugee ship bound for Havana, where rumors of a deadly plot force her to make an impossible choice.*

Sonia, Health Reference Librarian:

Genius Foods by Max Lugavere  This is a fascinating book about how what we eat affects our brains, and in turn, the rest of our bodies.”

Draws on the author’s in-depth research into dementia in the wake of his own mother’s mysterious diagnosis to outline practical recommendations for optimizing mental performance and balance through a high-nutrition diet tailored specifically for brain health.*

*Summary from the publisher.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening Book Discussion

2011 National Book Award Winner, Fiction

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 7:30 PM

with Jackie Ranaldo, Head of Readers’ Services

“Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.” -from the publisher.

This program is free.

No registration required.

Books available at the Circulation Desk. 

Photographs and videos taken during library programs may be used for library publicity.

-posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

 

 

Books for your Halloween reading pleasure…

Like the series … read the book…

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Dr. Montague, an occult scholar, and his team–Theodora, his assistant; Eleanor, a fragile young woman with a close acquaintance with the paranormal; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House–conduct an unusual research project in a reputedly haunted house.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of…

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Obsessed with creating life in a laboratory, a medical student haunts graveyards and dissecting rooms in search of the materials for his experiments. But when he achieves success, he rejects his ghastly creation. The creature — longing for love but shunned by all — turns evil and exacts revenge.

By a master of horror fiction…

It by Stephen King

It began–and ended–in 1958 when seven desperate children searched in the drains beneath Derry for an evil creature, but in 1985, Mike Hanlon, once one of those children, makes six phone calls and disinters an unremembered promise that sets off the ultimate terror

By the Queen of Mysteries…

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

At a Halloween party, Joyce—a hostile thirteen-year-old—boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the `evil presence’. But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer…

If like you like it cozy (with recipes)…

A Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford

Hired to cater a charity haunted house at the old Peabody School, sisters Bernadette and Libby Simmons find murder on the menu when the death of wealthy socialite Amethyst Applegate could hold the key to solving the decades-old “accidental” death of a young girl.

A scary read that’s true…

Ghostland : an American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Explores some of the United States’ most infamously haunted places, including old mansions and hotels, abandoned prisons, empty hospitals, and other locations, and reveals the repressed history they represent.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

 

 

Afternoon Book Discussion

 

“The bond between a responsible, self-contained older sister and her mentally ill, impulsive younger sister is shaped and tested over years marked by the loss of their mother, an impetuous first marriage, a fling that results in the birth of a baby and painful sacrifices.” -from the publisher

Tuesday

October 23, 2018

1:30 PM

with Jean Simpson, Readers’ Services Librarian

This program is free.

No registration required.

Books are available at the Circulation Desk.

  Photographs and videos taken during library programs may be used for library publicity.

-posted by Jean S.. Readers’ Services

5 Years on the Blog

Time for a walk through some of  SyossetRandR’s blog posts in during August in the past five years:

2017: WHAT WE’RE READING NOW

2016:  NEW IN DVD

2015: BOOK TO FILM DISCUSSION

2014: SUMMER HISTORY LESSON

2013:  READ THE BOOK…SEE THE MOVIE

Watch out for another nostalgic look at the past five years next month.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Afternoon Book Discussion

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

at1:30 PM

with Evelyn Hershkowitz, Readers’ Services Librarian

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: LibraryReads • BookBrowse • Goodreads

“You’ll love this engrossing novel.” —People

          The bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true. 

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.

The program is free.  

No registration required.

Books are available at the Circulation Desk.

Photographs and videos taken during library programs may be used for library publicity.

-posted by Evelyn, Readers’ Services