Tag Archives: fiction

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.

The books just keep on coming…

This week’s new releases include…

humblingThe Humbling by Philip Roth At 65, Simon Axler, a formerly celebrated stage actor, is undergoing a crisis: he can no longer act, his wife leaves him and, suicidal, he checks himself into a psych ward. Then he retires to his upstate New York farm to wait for… something, which arrives in the form of Pegeen… (Amazon.com)

lacunaThe Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities.

knit the seasonKnit the Season by Kate Jacobs  a loving, moving, laugh-out-loud celebration of special times with friends and family. The story begins a year after the end of Knit Two, with Dakota Walker’s trip to spend the Christmas holidays with her Gran in Scotland… (from the publisher)

emerilEmeril 20-40-60: Fresh Food Fast by Emeril Lagasse   Long day at the office? In a hurry to get the kids to soccer practice? Hungry for more than just a sandwich? With Emeril 20-40-60, even if you’re short on time, you don’t have to sacrifice getting a freshly prepared, satisfying meal on the table.

Place a reserve today!

-posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

Attention Book Clubs


 book-club-bag Are you running out of suggestions for your next discussion?  The Syosset Public Library owns sets of books exclusively for local book clubs to check out for their discussions.  Discussion questions are included in the set, along with biographictime traveler's wifeal and critical material.  We currently have over 60 titles to choose from, including “hot” titles such as The Time Traveler’s Wife. Call the Readers’ Services department at 921-7161 ext. 239 for further information.

– posted by Susan, Reader Services

Monthly Book Club Meeting Today

america-america picAmerica, America by Ethan Canin

With Lisa Jones, Readers’ Services Librarian.

Ethan Canin’s stunning novel is about America as it was and is, a remarkable exploration of how vanity, greatness, and tragedy combine to change history and fate.

If you are interested in attending, you can go to the discussion at 1 PM or 7:30 PM.  Refreshments will be served.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

My Summer Reading Project (cont’d)

road dogs picFinished reading Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard (#18 on the 6/21/09 NYT Bestseller List), the sequel to his earlier book Out of Sight, and it is just as good.

I don’t know by what magic he conjures up the words that come out of his characters, but there isn’t much need for exposition in one of his novels, somehow the dialogue does it all.   Meeting his characters in print is almost like getting to know them in person, the words conveying all the nuances obtained from seeing a person in the flesh.  If you like crime fiction and have never read any of Elmore Leonard books, please do so real soon. I give Road Dogs a 3.5 out of 4.

I tried to read Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk (#16 on the 6/21/09 NYT Bestseller List), but did not like it at all.  Sorry, Chuck!

Next book in the queue is The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, #9 on the 6/21/09 NYT Bestseller List.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

Book Trailers

inherent-vice-picIt had to happen sooner or later.  Book publishers have hit on the idea of creating “book trailers” to publicize their upcoming releases.  If you haven’t seen one yet, here’s the one for Thomas Pynchon‘s latest: Inherent Vice.  What is extra newsworthy about this book trailer is that the ultra reclusive author has provided the trailer’s voiceover himself.  Take a look and a listen.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

Pat Conroy is Back!

south of broad

It’s been 14 years since he published his last fiction title (Beach Music.)  With today’s release of South of Broad I can gladly welcome him back to the fiction shelves.  South of Broad is a sweeping saga that follows Leopold Bloom King, his friends and family, but most of all Pat Conroy’s beloved Charleston.

-posted by Susan- Readers’ Services