Tag Archives: nonfiction

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





October Book Displays

The theme for the first main floor display is It’s A Spooky Time of Year, containing books to get you in the Halloween spirit. Ideas for party planning, crafts, decorating, costumes, and trick-or-treating. The display also includes some good old fashioned ghost stories and tales of haunted houses.

Games People Play is the topic for the second display. Learn about the history, rules and people involved with various sports and games, such as baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, soccer, poker, and bowling.  The display includes both DVDs and books- a great collection for the sport enthusiast!

The themes for the two current* mini displays are:

The Great American Read (voted on by the American public) includes both lots of great reads and a bibliography of the great reads.

October 5th is James Bond Day – 007 is a collection of both books and movies about the fictional British spy.

*Mini displays are subject to change during the month.


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Currently on the third floor, the first display is Mental Health Awareness Week which is October 7-13.   You will  find books and handouts on all types of mental illness. The website for more information is http://www.MHAWEEK.org. For the rest of the month, this display will focus on October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The next third floor display is October is Family History Month.  If you want to learn more about your genealogy, this display is for you. Besides the books to help locate resources and guides to using the resources, the reference librarians have created a useful handout, Resources for the Amateur Genealogist, a must-see for any budding genealogist!

-posted by Betty, Reference 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:


2016:  NEW IN DVD




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

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

August Book Displays

It’s still the season of beach weather so it’s Time to Grab a Great Book and Head to the Beach. This display continues through Labor Day so you can choose from some light reads perfect for the beach, pool,or backyard. It’s a great way to enjoy your leisure time in the summer.

Another great way to relax is with your pets, the theme of our second display on the first floor. Love Your Pets displays dozens of books about pets and their care, including dogs, cats, birds, gerbils, horses, fish, and more. Maybe one of these books will give you some insights into your pets’ needs or behaviors.

The current themes for the two mini displays** are:

Happy 200th Birthday to Emily Bronte (July 30, 1818 to December 19, 1848), where you will find books by Emily as well her sisters, Charlotte and Anne.

Start a New Series has books that are the first of a series.  So if you like to read series, you just might find a new favorite here.

**Mini-displays are subject to change during the month.

On the third floor, the first display is Keep Fit This Summer. The Health Librarian has collected books with ideas for staying fit during the summer and also handouts about keeping fit.

In August we celebrate International Left-Hander’s Day (August 13), so the second third floor display is Happiness is Being Left-Handed. This display is a collection of books about famous left-handers such as Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Sir Isaac Newton, Babe Ruth, Clarence Darrow, Whoopi Goldberg, Ronald Reagan, and Paul McCartney.

Remember rain or sunshine, it is always a good time to read!

-posted by Betty, Reference Services

We’re Still Reading…

I recently asked  the  staff at the Syosset Public Library to share titles they are reading or have recently finished. You can read about those previously posted last week,  here and here. But we are still reading…

Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian:

“I just finished The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai.  This is a very well written book about the AIDS epidemic in the 1980’s in Chicago.  The character development was wonderful.  You really feel for the men and their families.”

A novel set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris follows the director of a Chicago art gallery and a woman looking for her estranged daughter in Paris who both struggle to come to terms with the ways AIDS has affected their lives


Brenda, Reference Libarian:

“I just finished There, There by Tommy Orange. Written by a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes and set in his hometown of Oakland, CA the book is an compelling story of urban Indigenous life.”

A novel—which grapples with the complex history of Native Americans; with an inheritance of profound spirituality; and with a plague of addiction, abuse and suicide—follows 12 characters, each of whom has private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow.

Alisa, Head of Programming:

“I read The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton  Interesting perspective on the death penalty in the United States. It also gives an interesting perspective into criminal justice system for those poor and minority individuals that have to depend on the public defenders.”

A revelatory memoir by a man who spent 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit describes how he became a victim of a dangerously flawed legal system, recounting the years he shared with dozens of fellow inmates who were eventually executed before his exoneration and his post-release decision to commit his life to prison reform.

Ed, Head of Reference:

A Hunt in Winter by Conor Brady – a mystery that takes place in Dublin in 1888. It is the third book in the Joe Swallow series, but can be read as a stand alone.”

Joe Swallow’s peaceful life in Dublin is uprooted when a series of violent attacks on women lead to an outbreak of panic and fear, and he must navigate the United Kingdom’s volatile political scene to find the person responsible.


Noureen, Librarian Trainee

“I just finished listening to a very insightful book on CD, The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E. Jensen with Amy Ellis Nutt.”

Demystifies the teen brain by presenting new findings, dispelling widespread myths, and providing practical advice for negotiating this difficult and dynamic life stage for both adults and teens.


Sonia, Health Reference Librarian:

“I just finished listening to A Duke in Shining Armor by one of my favorite romance authors, Loretta Chase.  It did not disappoint (and the heroine is a librarian).”

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, the Duke of Ripley, takes off on the trail of Olympia Hightower, the bookish and very reluctant intended bride of his best friend, when she attempts to escape her impending marriage.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services




What We’re Reading Now

Here is what some of us here at the Syosset Public Library are reading at the moment:

Jean S., Readers’ Services Librarian:

“I’m reading Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival by Kelly Sundberg, The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar and Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris.”

The author describes her abusive marriage to a man who was funny, warm and supportive but also vengeful and violent and how she finally rejected the abuse, accepted responsibility for herself and decided that she deserved better.

After being fired from her job as a servant, Bhima forms a partnership with Parvati to sell produce at the local market and makes her first true friend.


Ten years after his wife Layla’s disappearance, Finn gets a phone call that she’s been seen, receives messages from strangers who seem to know too much, and long-lost items from the past begin showing up around the house.


Amy, Children’s Librarian:

“I’m reading Family and Other Catastophes by Alexandra Borowitz.”

Struggling with hypochondria and OCD stemming from her neurotic and drama-prone family, Emily reconnects with her parents and siblings throughout the week before her wedding, an event shaped by relationship dynamics, shared confidences and long-buried secrets.

Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian:

“I am currently reading  Death Masks by Jim Butcher (#5 in the Dresden Files series). I enjoy learning more about this urban fantastical world. I am also reading Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman. It’s an interesting psychological thriller that pulls you in from the first page.”

With the mighty Steel Wolf clan behind her, Anastasia Kerensky plans to seize the planet Northwind, but Ezekial Crow and Tara Campbell are prepared to repel her invasion-and decide the fate of a world.

A successful banker and a rising filmmaker embark on a blissful paradise honeymoon in Bora Bora, where the discovery of a mysterious bag of riches triggers a sequence of events that indelibly marks their marriage and lives.


Meghan, Reference Librarian:

“I am currently reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It is an insightful read that challenges the ‘extrovert ideal’ and asserts that introverts hold equal power in business and life.”

Demonstrates how introverted people are misunderstood and undervalued in modern culture, charting the rise of extrovert ideology while sharing anecdotal examples of how to use introvert talents to adapt to various situations.

All summaries from the publishers.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services



What We’re Reading Now

Here’s what some of us here at the Syosset Public Library are reading at the moment:

Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services:

“I’m reading The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer.”

A shy college freshman finds her perspectives transformed by a mentor activist at the center of the women’s movement who challenges her to discover herself in ways that take her far from the traditional life she envisioned at the side of her boyfriend.

Pamela M., Assistant Library Director:

“I’m reading The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.  I started listening to the audio CD in my car, and am driving out of my way so I could listen to it!”

A psychologically charged tale of suspense follows the unexpected twists that shape a divorce and second marriage that are anything but what they seem.


Sue Ann, Head of Children’s Services:

“I’m currently reading an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) titled Good-bye, Paris by Anstey Harris.”

Grace once had the beginnings of a promising musical career, but she hasn’t been able to play her cello publicly since a traumatic event at music college years ago. Since then, she’s built a quiet life for herself in her small English village, repairing instruments and nurturing her long- distance affair with David, the man who has helped her rebuild her life even as she puts her dreams of a family on hold until his children are old enough for him to leave his loveless marriage. But when David saves the life of a woman in the Paris Metro, his resulting fame shines a light onto the real state of the relationship(s) in his life.

Rosemarie B., Children’s Librarian:

“I just finished The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea. A multi-generational family drama.  Big Angel invites his entire family to attend his last birthday party where grievances, jealousy and ultimately, love are revealed.”

Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of family patriarch Miguel “Big Angel” De La Cruz and his mother, and recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore.

Jessikah, Children’s Librarian:

“I am currently reading The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley, which is a modern retelling of Beowulf set in suburbia. I am really enjoying the playfulness of setting with the classic story. The question of what defines a “monster” is well drawn.”

A modern retelling of “Beowulf” recasts classic themes from the perspectives of the attackers and finds a suburban housewife and a battle-hardened veteran navigating dark realities to protect the sons they love.

All summaries from the publishers.

Stay tuned, we’ll be back with more “What We’re Reading” selections soon!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services