Tag Archives: nonfiction

2014 Long Island Reads @ Evening Book Club



Join us on Tuesday, May 13 at 7:30 PM

as we discuss

The Manor: Three Centuries

at a Slave Plantation on Long Island

written by East End native, Mac Griswold

and chosen as the 2014 Long Island Reads Selection.

“Based on years of research and voyages that took the author as far as West Africa, this compelling history of a Long Island plantation, spanning three centuries and 11 generations, reveals the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery.” (From the Publisher)

  To learn more about Long Island Reads, visit their website.

For more information regarding author Mac Griswold, visit her website.

Copies of the book are currently available at the Circulation Desk on the Main Floor.

This program is free and no registration is required.

The discussion will be led by Jackie Ranaldo, Head of Readers’ Services

& Brenda Cherry, Reference Librarian.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 – posted by Jackie, Readers’ Services

Afternoon Book Club

destiny of the republic

with Sonia Grgas, Readers’ Services Librarian

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

at 1:30 PM

Winner of the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime

and a Booklist Notable Book of 2012

The extraordinary New York Times bestselling account of James Garfield’s rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy, from bestselling author of The River of Doubt, Candice Millard.

This program is free – all are welcome.

Books are available at the circulation desk.

Hope to see you there!

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

“He Said, She Said” Book Discussion Recap

book discussion Syosset Public Library’s annual “He Said, She Said” Book Discussion was held this past December.  Adult Services Librarians Sonia Grgas, Ralph Guiteau, Ed Goldberg and Lisa Jones discussed the National Book Award winning novel The Round House by Louise Erdrich.

round houseMost of the group enjoyed The Round House and a lively discussion of the book ensued. The group most identified and felt a connection to the character Joe. Some of the characters that appeared in Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves reappear in this novel.  A third novel to complete the trilogy is in the works.  For more information regarding Louise Erdrich and her novels, please visit www.Birchbarkbooks.com.  If your book group would like to use The Round House for a book discussion, Readers’ Services will arrange for enough copies and assist with all information you might need.

After discussing the book we went through the list of all the SPL book discussions, both afternoon and evening, that were held during 2013.  Some of the group’s favorite book discussions were In The Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar. It was truly a year of great books and great book discussions.

 Syosset Public Library’s Book Discussions in 2013

 The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass

Next to Love by Ellen Feldman

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar

The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

– posted by Lisa J., Readers’ Services

About Our Reading – 2013 #7 Looking ahead for 2014

about our reading 2013 3In December I asked our staff if they wouldn’t mind answering some questions about the books they read in 2013.  The answers have been posted in this blog during the last few weeks.  Today’s post is the last in the series, in which we look ahead to our reading for 2014.

If you have enjoyed the series and have any other questions you would like me to pose to the staff about their reading, please let us know in the comments section below.

2014Is there a book you have been putting off reading and are hoping to read in 2014?

Not putting off exactly but reading at an extremely slow pace: Middlemarch by George Eliot.  I like to read it when I know I will have a long uninterrupted block of time which does not happen too often. I hope to finish it in 2014! – Sonia, Readers’ Services Librarian

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson – Neela, Head of Acquisitions

Winter of the World by Ken Follett – Audrey, Media Clerk

Perhaps about a 100 books – but who’s counting! – Brenda, Reference Librarian

The Stand by Stephen King – Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian

11/22/63 by Stephen King: I need to finish it. – Amy, Children’s Librarian

Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce – set between two of her earlier books, it fills in a gap in the timeline and explains the emotional change several of the characters went through after being caught up in a war in a foreign country. – Erica, Reference Librarian

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian

Is there a book(s) coming out in 2014 that you are looking forward to reading?

Woman Reading in a GardenThe Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, Red Rising by Pierce Brown, Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah and Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts. – Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – seriously, this one can’t come out soon enough! – Erica, Reference Librarian

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness – Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian

Edge of Eternity by  Ken Follett, third book in the 2oth Century Trilogy – Betty P., Reference Librarian

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services

The Last Dead Girl by Harry Dolan, The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson and Hangman by Stephan Talty – Ed, Head of Reference Services

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman and the sequel to The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/J. K. Rowling which is rumored to be coming out in 2014. – Sonia, Readers’ Services Librarian

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

Fall Releases From Favorite Authors

One Summer: America, 1927  by Bill Bryson

one summerPopular non-fiction writer Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods) takes a close look at historical events and characters that shaped this notable time   period starting with Charles Lindbergh’s successful solo fight across the Atlantic on May 21, 1927.  Also included is Babe Ruth and his home-run record, Al Capone, Al Jolson’s filming of the Jazz Singer and the approach of the Great Depression.  Booklist starred review.

The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert  

Signature of all ThingsN.Y. Times bestselling author of the highly popular Eat, Pray, Love turns to historical fiction in her new book. Set in the late 19th century, The Signature of all Things introduces us to Henry Whittaker, a dirt poor immigrant and botany expert from England who later becomes one of the richest men in Philadelphia and his daughter Alma who has inherited her father’s love of botany which takes her across the globe from the U.S. to the Amazon and Tahiti.

David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits & the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

David & GoliathThe author of such popular books as Outliers and The Tipping Point is back with a new book which observes the often deceptive differences between giants and     underdogs.   This thought provoking book explores how we think about obstacles and disadvantages.  Gladwell’s findings are telling and often surprising.

We are Water by Wally Lamb

We are WaterLamb’s (I Know This Much is True, She’s Come Undone) new book set in New England and New York during the first years of Obama’s presidency centers on the multilayered portrait of marriage, family and our need for connection. Present day issues such as the legalization of gay marriage and racial  violence are heavily discussed. Highly recommended by Library Journal.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

The Valley of AmazementTan’s (The Joy Luck Club) new book is set in Shanghai in 1912 and spans 40 years and 2 continents.  The Valley of Amazement blends the setting locations of Shanghai and San Francisco as three generations of women are pulled apart by outside forces. Booklist starred review.

– posted by Lisa J., Readers’ Services

What We’re Reading Now

It’s been awhile since Syosset R and R has shared titles of books we’re currently reading but wait no more.  Here are some books that of our staff are presently enjoying:

The Hard Way by Lee Child being read by Barney, Reference Librarian

hard wayJack Reacher comes to the aid of Edward Lane, the head of an illegal soldiers-for-hire operation, who enlists Reacher’s assistance to find and stop a vicious kidnapper who has abducted Lane’s wife and child, but Reacher soon discovers that his new employer’s dirty secrets could get him killed.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris being read by Rosemarie B., Librarian Trainee

MeTalkPrettyOneDay(The author’s) move to Paris has inspired hilarious pieces, including Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his attempts to learn French. His family is another inspiration. You Cant Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers and cashiers with 6-inch fingernails.

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink being read by Amy, Children’s Librarian

five days at memorialA Pulitzer Prize-winning doctor, reporter and author of War Hospital reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina destroyed its generators to reveal how caregivers were forced to make life-and-death decisions without essential resources, an experience that raised key issues about practitioner responsibilities and end-of-life care.

The Returned by Jason Mott being read by Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian

returnedWhen their son Jacob, who died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966, arrives on their doorstep, still eight years old, Harold and Lucille Hargrave must navigate a strange new reality as chaos erupts around the world as people’s loved ones are returned from beyond.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi being read by Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian

persepolisThe great-granddaughter of Iran’s last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists describes growing up in Tehran in a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions between public and private life. (Persepolis is also the book chosen for the next 20-Something Book Club meeting  on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 7 PM.)

The Roofer by Erica Orloff being read by Sonia, Readers’ Services Librarian

rooferAva O’Neil grew up within the embrace of New York City’s most infamous Irish gang, The Westies. Her father was the Roofer, named for his penchant for throwing enemies from the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen tenements. Raised by her father and two members of his crew, Ava and her brother witnessed events of violence and torment, as well as moments of loyalty and dignity.

All summaries from the publishers.

We’d love to know what you are currently reading:

please tell us in the comments.

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

Henrietta Lacks Story Updated

This is an amazing scientific story. Perhaps this latest news and the upcoming film by Oprah Winfrey’s production company will spark a renewed interest in the book:

immortal life of henrietta lacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was/is an incredible story as told by Rebecca Skloot. If you haven’t read the book,  it details the life of an African Amercian woman. In 1951 while she was being treated at Johns Hopkins for cervical cancer, doctors took (without her permission or knowledge) a specimen. This tissue sample became the first human cancer-cell line that grew endlessly in culture.  These HeLa cells are used by scientists around the world for research on many diseases.

In March this year the HeLa genome was published in an open access database. This move was disturbing to the Lacks family. So a new method for access to the sequence data was needed.

lacks familyIf you missed the New York Times story, it’s here.  And here is the announcement from the NIH as published in Nature about the discussion and decision about accessing the information.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services