Tag Archives: recommendations

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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Your Next Book Club Pick…The Dog Days of Summer

Have you ever wondered what is meant by the expression: “The Dog Days of Summer”? Well, I have, so I did a little research. The Dog Days of Summer are traditionally the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, during which the morning rise of the Dog Star, Sirius, occurs. Sirius is the brightest star that we see (not counting the sun) and is part of the constellation Canis Major or Greater Dog, hence the expression. Here are some very discussible title suggestions for your summertime book club meetings, all having the words summer or dog in their titles:

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This article first appeared in the July 2018 issue of the Book Club Insider.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

Five Years on the Blog: July

Welcome back to our regular monthly feature: A walk through some of  SyossetRandR’s blog posts for the past five years:

2017: A MUSEUM OUTING WITH YOUR BOOK CLUB

2016: TO THE MOON AND BEYOND

2015: PRESIDENTIAL PARDON

2014: WHAT WE’RE READING NOW

2013:  ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S TOP 100

Watch out for our next look down blog memory lane again in August!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

We’re Podcasting!

Tune in to “Turn the Page” the official podcast of
Syosset Public Library!
New Episodes airing every other Thursday!

 

  • Episode 1: Give us our Gatsby!  An interview featuring Dr. Charles Riley II, Director of the Nassau County Museum of Art. Airing 6/21/2018
  • Episode 2: Syosset Success Story   Syosset High School alum, Jay Max, and his song writing partner,  Alicia Angel, discuss their journey to success in children’s media such as Nickelodeon and Sesame Street Workshop. Airing 7/05/2018

To listen or subscribe visit us at:

http://turnthepage.blubrry.net/

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

Five Years on the Blog: April

Time again to revisit some of our blog post from the last five years, all appearing in the month of April.

2017: What We’re Reading Now: Audiobook Edition

2016: Broadway Musicals and Plays – Based on, Inspired By or Adapted from Books

2015: Register Your Book Club

2014:  New in DVD

2013: New Music at the Libary

Thanks for reading and watch out for our next look down blog memory lane sometime in May.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

Happy birthday, Alexander Hamilton!

Born on January 11 on the British West Indies island of Nevis in either 1755 or 1757 Hamilton was left an orphan at a young age. He dreamed of military glory to help raise him from his impoverished state. He achieved his dream of success…even becoming the star of a major Broadway musical 200 years later!

Hamilton’s life was changed when he wrote a letter about a hurricane that stuck St. Croix in 1772. When the letter was published in a local newspaper, businessmen were so impressed they arranged for the young Hamilton to travel to the United States for education. And so his career began: aide to George Washington, Delegate to Continental Congress and to the Constitutional Convention, co-author of the Federalist Papers, Secretary of the Treasury and founder of the National Bank. He was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel in 1804.

Check out the books we own including  Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton (which is also available as an audiobook), Richard Morris’s Witnesses at the Creation: Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and the Constitution, and Thomas McCraw’s The Founder’s and Finance: How Hamilton, Gallatin, and Other Immigrants Forged a New Economy. And the classic, Miracle at Philadelphia: the Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September, 1787. by Catherine Drinker Bowen tells the amazing story of the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

If you find your interest aroused the Library of Congress has a digital collection of Hamilton’s papers.  Among the family letters and his speeches and other writings one document stood out for me: his “Outline for a Plan of Government” he proposed at the Constitutional Convention. There is something amazing about seeing his ideas in his own handwriting!

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

We’re Still Reading Holiday Books

Murder for Christmas

by Francis Duncan

“When Mordecai Tremaine arrives at the country retreat of one Benedict Grame on Christmas Eve, he discovers that the revelries are in full swing in the sleepy village of Sherbroome—but so too are tensions amongst the assortment of guests.

When midnight strikes, the party-goers discover that presents aren’t the only things nestled under the tree…there’s a dead body too. A dead body that bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas. With the snow falling and suspicions flying, it’s up to Mordecai to sniff out the culprit—and prevent anyone else from getting murder for Christmas.” -from the publisher

Sonia, Reference Librarian says, “This was an old fashioned Agatha Christie type mystery featuring a charming amateur sleuth, Mordecai Tremaine, written in the 1940’s and a first in series.  A little too much time was spent describing the oppressive cloud of suspicion hovering over the household but I basically liked it and will probably read the second installment.”

A Christmas Journey

by Anne Perry

“Readers of Anne Perry’s bestselling suspense novels revel in a world that is all their own, sharing the privileged existence of Britain’s wealthy and powerful elite in West End mansions and great country houses. It is also a world in which danger bides in unsuspected places and the line between good and evil can be razor thin. This new novel features Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould – one of the most memorable characters from the Thomas Pitt series – who appears here as a lively young woman, the ultimate aristocrat who can trace her blood to half the royal houses of Europe.” -from the publisher

Brenda, Reference Librarian says, “Normally, I really enjoy Anne Perry’s mysteries especially those featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt. So choosing this novella as a Christmas read seemed a good choice. As always, the author crafts a story enriched by detailed descriptions of Victorian life. At a country house during the Christmas season one guest, Isobel Alvie, made a comment that led to the suicide of another guest, the recently widowed Gwendolen Kilmuir. Isobel was tasked with making the trip to explain the circumstances of the death to the dead woman’s mother. The message was clear and poignant: seemingly simple remarks can have a profound effect. But the journey of Isobel Alvie accompanied by Lady Vespasia seemed to drag. And I was disappointed since it wasn’t really a mystery. I think I will try another in the series. I am loyal to the authors I like!”

Have you read any books set around the winter holidays? Tell us about them in the comments.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services