Tag Archives: holiday

What We’re Reading Now – Memorial Day Weekend Edition

reading in hammockMany people look forward to getting a chance to sit down and read during a long holiday weekend, members of our staff included. Here are some books that you might find them reading this weekend:

Sue Ann, Head of Children’s Services is reading: A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny 

Fatal GraceSent to tiny Three Pines, a village south of Montreal, to investigate the death of CC de Poitiers, an extremely unpopular woman apparently cooked alive in an apparent electrical accident during a local curling match, Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec finds that no one liked the victim and that nearly everyone in town had both a motive and opportunity to kill her.

Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services is reading: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent“I needed something light and quick before I delve into my book discussion books for the Summer.  Loving Divergent … a great Young Adult Crossover novel perfect for an adult audience as well.” 

In a dystopian future-era Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she uncovers powerful secrets and truths about her identity, her family and the order of her society.

Sonia, Reference Librarian is reading: An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

Unnecessary Woman“I picked this up while browsing in the new books, started reading and got drawn in right away – very good so far.”

An obsessive introvert in Beirut, eschewed by her family and neighbors for her divorced status and lack of religious reverence, quietly translates favorite books into Arabic while struggling with her aging body until an unthinkable disaster threatens what little life remains to her.

Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian is reading Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

destiny of the republic“I’ve been loving Destiny of the Republic! I’m halfway through. It’s filled with great historical facts about James Garfield and Alexander Graham Bell, and gives an interesting look into the mind of an insane man – Charles J. Guiteau, the man who shot Garfield.”

A dramatic narrative account of the 20th President’s political career offers insight into his distinguished background as an impoverished wunderkind scholar and Civil War hero, his battles against the corrupt establishment and Alexander Graham Bell’s failed attempt to save him from an assassin’s bullet.

Ed, Head of Reference Services is reading: Bone Dust White by Karin SalvalaggioBone Dust White

“Love the characters and the plot.”

When Grace Adams witnesses the murder of her mother, who abandoned her eleven years earlier, Detective Macy Greeley struggles for answers as she investigates the case and reopens old wounds while hunting down the killer.

Sharon, Teen Services Librarian is reading: This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

This Is Where I Leave You“I am heading out on a cruise and asked my co-workers to recommend some light, funny reads, This one was recommended by Jackie.”

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

Ralph, Head of Media Services is reading: Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin 

game-of-thrones“I wanted to not like it because it’s so popular and it’s everywhere but so far I am liking it.   Martin is a crisp writer and every chapter moves the story along.  Although I feel like I’m reading historical fiction not fantasy.”

The kingdom of the royal Stark family faces its ultimate challenge in the onset of a generation-long winter, the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, and the arrival of barbarian hordes.

All summaries from the publishers.

Everyone at the Syosset Public Library hopes you have

a happy and safe holiday weekend!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

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A Little Christmas in my Mystery, Please! #4

christmas mystery giftEvery year I promise myself to read some books that have a Christmas theme well before the holiday season so I can write about them in this blog.  And every year I manage to read one …maybe two.  This year I actually remembered to start reading early enough to write this series of  blog posts.  I chose to stick to my favorite genre which is mystery and read books by authors I had always wanted to try but never did. I’ve read four books so far, so there will be at least four posts, maybe more if there’s time.

The nice thing about holiday books is that they are usually short and always have happy, feel good endings. Some bad/sad things might happen along the way to the characters we grow to care about while reading (especially in the case of mysteries), but there are plenty of “warm fuzzies” to go around at the end.

Spirit of Steamboat by Craig Johnson

First lines: It was Tuesday, the day before Christmas, and I wasn’t expecting visitors. I stared at my archnemesis, the little red light on my phone that connected my via the intercom to my dispatcher Ruby, in the other room.

spirit of steamboatSummary: “Sheriff Walt Longmire is reading A Christmas Carol in his office on December 24th when he’s interrupted by the ghost of Christmas past: a young woman with a hairline scar across her forehead and more than a few questions about Walt’s predecessor, Lucian Connally. Walt doesn’t recognize the mystery woman, but she seems to know him and claims to have something she must return to Connally. With his daughter, Cady, and his undersheriff Vic Moretti in Philadelphia for the holidays, Walt is at loose ends, and despite the woman’s reticence to reveal her identity, he agrees to help her. At the Durant Home for Assisted Living Lucian Connally is several tumblers into his Pappy Van Winkle’s and swears he’s never clapped eyes on the woman before. Disappointed, she whispers “Steamboat” and begins a story that takes them all back to Christmas Eve 1988, when three people died in a terrible crash and a young girl had the slimmest chance of survival . . .” (from the publisher)

My take: I’d been hearing a lot about Johnson lately on the book blogs I read and because of the TV show Longmire that is based on the his series’ main character, so I was pleased when I found Spirit of Steamboat on the new mystery shelf.  I liked this book.  Some of the situations that Longmire confronts are a little far fetched and the reader will have to suspend belief at times. Yet the characters drew me in and the book tugged at my heartstrings just as a Christmas novel should do. I will definitely be going back to the first in the series mainly because I want to meet the Lucian Connally character again, as well as Longmire and the others.  Readers of J. A. Jance and C. J. Box might enjoy Craig Johnson’s Longmire series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars

-posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

A Little Christmas in my Mystery, Please! #3

christmas mystery giftEvery year I promise myself to read some books that have a Christmas theme well before the holiday season so I can write about them in this blog.  And every year I manage to read one …maybe two.  This year I actually remembered to start reading early enough to write this series of  blog posts.  I chose to stick to my favorite genre which is mystery and read books by authors I had always wanted to try but never did. I’ve read four books so far, so there will be at least four posts, maybe more if there’s time.

The nice thing about holiday books is that they are usually short and always have happy, feel good endings. Some bad/sad things might happen along the way to the characters we grow to care about while reading (especially in the case of mysteries), but there are plenty of “warm fuzzies” to go around at the end.

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson

First Lines: The rear door to St. Anthony’s Church had been left open. Exactly as I had been promised.

merry christmas alex crossSummary:  “It’s Christmas Eve and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who’s robbing his church’s poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and his children. The tree decorating is barely underway before his phone rings again–a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. Alex risks everything–and he may not make it back alive on this most sacred of family days.” (from the publisher)

My take: I have read three of Patterson’s books before. One in print and the others in audio form and enjoyed audiobooks much better, so I listened to Merry Christmas, Alex Cross and liked it. The story in this book involves Cross in two separate cases over Christmas Eve and Day which might have been overkill but overall the book was good.  I liked the characters, especially Cross’ grandmother, NanaMama. There were three different readers used which was also a plus and I will probably listen to more of Patterson’s books. Readers of James Patterson might not need any readalike recommendations because he’ s publishes enough books to keep them busy but they might try the books of Jeffery Deaver or Jonathan Kellerman.

Rating: 3 out of 4 stars.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

A Little Christmas in my Mystery, Please! #2

christmas mystery giftEvery year I promise myself to read some books that have a Christmas theme well before the holiday season so I can write about them in this blog.  And every year I manage to read one …maybe two.  This year I actually remembered to start reading early enough to write this series of  blog posts.  I chose to stick to my favorite genre which is mystery and read books by authors I had always wanted to try but never did. I’ve read four books so far, so there will be at least four posts, maybe more if there’s time.

The nice thing about holiday books is that they are usually short and always have happy, feel good endings. Some bad/sad things might happen along the way to the characters we grow to care about while reading (especially in the case of mysteries), but there are plenty of “warm fuzzies” to go around at the end.

Silent Night by Robert B. Parker with Nancy Brann

First lines: Susan and I walked from my place up to Newbury Street on a sunny Saturday morning.  The snow from the night before had stopped falling.

silent nightSummary: “It’s December in Boston, and Spenser is busy planning the menu for Christmas dinner when he’s confronted in his office by a young boy named Slide. Homeless and alone, Slide has found refuge with an organization named Street Business, which gives shelter and seeks job opportunities for the homeless and lost. Slide’s mentor, Jackie Alvarez, is being threatened, and Street Business is in danger of losing its tenuous foothold in the community, turning Slide and many others like him back on the street. But it’s not a simple case of intimidation – Spenser, aided by Hawk, finds a trail that leads to a dangerous drug kingpin, whose hold on the at-risk community Street Business serves threatens not just the boys’ safety and security, but their lives as well.” (from the publisher)

My take:  It’s not a good idea to choose as your first read of a series one of the last books the author wrote, but I snagged a copy on the first day that it came out and picked it for my second holiday book.  Silent Night was an unfinished manuscript left behind by the late Robert B. Parker and completed by his longtime agent Nancy Brann.  I had put off reading any of the Spenser novels for fear that they would not live up to their reputation and my fear was realized in this case.  The book was just OK.  The plot made sense and it was interesting and entertaining enough to finish but I was left wondering, “What’s the big deal?” I’ve since gone back to the first Spenser novel, The Godwulf Manuscript and now understand a bit better and will be reading more in the series eventually.  Silent Night will surely satisfy Spenser fans eager for more.  Those readers looking for more books like Parker’s would do well to seek out Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series or the books of Elmore Leonard.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

A Little Christmas in my Mystery, Please! #1

christmas mystery giftEvery year I promise myself to read some books that have a Christmas theme well before the holiday season so I can write about them in this blog.  And every year I manage to read one …maybe two.  This year I actually remembered to start reading early enough to write this series of  blog posts.  I chose to stick to my favorite genre which is mystery and read books by authors I had always wanted to try but never did. I’ve read four books so far, so there will be at least four posts, maybe more if there’s time.

The nice thing about holiday books is that they are usually short and always have happy, feel good endings. Some bad/sad things might happen along the way to the characters we grow to care about while reading (especially in the case of mysteries), but there are plenty of “warm fuzzies” to go around at the end.

Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier

First Lines: “Do you have any sharp knives?” asked the tremulous voice.  “Something that will cut through bone and gristle?” Lucy Stone stifled a yawn, adjusted her headset,and typed the code for “knives” on the computer keyboard in front of her.

mistletoe murderSummary: “As if baking holiday cookies, knitting a sweater for her husband’s gift, and making her daughter’s angel costume for the church pageant weren’t enough things for Lucy Stone’s busy Christmas schedule, she’s also working nights at the famous mail-order company Country Cousins. But when she discovers Sam Miller, its very wealthy founder, dead in his car from an apparent suicide, the sleuth in her knows something just doesn’t smell right.” (from the publisher)

My take: Since I usually try to read the first book in a mystery series, when I saw that Meier’s first Lucy Stone was a Christmas mystery, well, that made my first choice easy.  I read this book on long train ride and it was just the thing.  Lucy Stone is the typical character you will find in a cozy mystery who manages to take care of her family and job as well as get involved with solving a murder.  She and the rest of the characters were likeable and more importantly: believable.  The plot was intriguing enough and the solution made sense.  Fans of Diane Mott Davidson or Joanna Fluke might want to try this series.

Rating: 3 out of 4 stars.

Next: Silent Night by Robert B. Parker with Nancy Brann

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services


Unusual New Year’s Eve “Droppings”

Everyone knows you can get great books and cool DVDs from the library.  If you have a question, we can help you find an answer.

Sometimes we like to share some fun facts, some quirky information. Everyone knows that NYC has its famous ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.  In case you missed the recent  NPR’s All Things Considered broadcast, the commentators shared the exciting news that Eastover, NC would be inaugurating  their own New Year’s Eve celebration. They are going to be dropping a flea – yes, that’s not a typo! It is made from plywood and foam. Other cities drop unusual things that evening.  An M&M?  A wrench?  A bologna? Can you guess where?  (A hint: they are all dropped in Pennsylvania towns.)

And in Prairie Du Chien, WI, they drop a frozen carp!

 

 

A  Happy and Healthy New Year to all !

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Get Into The Spirit, 2010

As we did last year, the staff of the Syosset Public Library would like to suggest some books to get you into the holiday spirit:

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Imagine a year without Christmas.  No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents.  That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether.  Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty, they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash, they aren’t even going to have a tree.  They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences—and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.  (from the publisher)

Recommended by Marianne Malagon, Reference Librarian

Angel Unaware by Elizabeth Sinclair

This is the story of Dora, an angel who is clumsy and accident prone while performing her duties in the Dept. of Celestial Maintenance.  Dora’s fondest wish is to become a mortal, at least for little while.  Against the better judgment of her supervisor, the heavenly authorities grant Dora her wish and allow her to become mortal for a few weeks before Christmas.  Dora becomes the nanny for an orphaned 6 year old girl who lives with her loving but somewhat clueless bachelor uncle.  As Dora works to have the girl and her uncle understand each other she develops some emotional entanglements of her own…

Recommended by Sonia Grgas, Readers’ Services Librarian Trainee

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

“Holidays on Ice” is a collection of holiday-themed fictional stories and personal essays written by David Sedaris, the best-selling humorist. Holidays on Ice was one of Sedaris’ first works when originally published, and it’s been re-released with the addition of a few passages, most of which have been previously published elsewhere. Even if you’ve read it before, Holidays on Ice is laugh out loud funny, and die-hard Sedaris fans need to spend their holidays reading this collection.

Recommended by Jill Jacobson, Readers’ Services Librarian

Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Seth Webster’s heart never healed after he lost his adored wife. Now, with Christmas approaching, wild twin boys to raise alone, a home in chaos, and the latest in a long line of exasperated housekeepers quitting in disgust, Seth needs more than help to keep his family together…he needs a miracle. And then a miracle arrives on his doorstep. Her name is Mrs. Merkle, but the kids call her “Mrs. Miracle”—and from the moment the warm, knowing, and very patient nanny appears, everything is different. (from the publisher)

Recommended by Jackie Ranaldo, Readers’ Services Librarian

Have you read any Holiday Books that you would like to recommend?  Please do so by adding a comment!

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services