Tag Archives: recommendations

LGBTQIA Staff Picks

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne Adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple who remind him that he is not a real member of their family, Cyril embarks on a journey to find himself and where he came from, discovering his identity, a home, a country, and much more throughout a long lifetime.

My Real Children by JoWalton Remembering two different pasts that reflect contrasting historical events and relationships with different people, an elderly Patricia Cowan wonders about her identity while gazing at a moon that might house benign or malicious technologies.

This Is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel A family reshapes their ideas about family, love, and loyalty when youngest son Claude reveals increasingly determined preferences for girls’ clothing and accessories and refuses to stay silent.


When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri Twenty-eight-year-old New York lawyer Katie Daniels finds her life upended when she is dumped by her fiancé, but a new friendship with Cassidy Price, a self-assured and sexually promiscuous woman, changes everything Katie thought she knew about sex and love.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai 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.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt Her world upended by the death of a beloved artist uncle who was the only person who understood her, fourteen-year-old June is mailed a teapot by her uncle’s grieving friend, with whom June forges a poignant relationship.

Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu A married man and woman in India who hide their gay orientations from their conservative families find their arrangement compromised when one of them returns home to care for a family member, only to reconnect with a beloved ex whose marriage to a heterosexual stranger has been arranged.

Boy Erased by Gerrard Conley A poignant account by a survivor of a church-supported sexual orientation conversion therapy facility that claimed to “cure” homosexuality describes its intense Bible study program and the daily threats of his abandonment by family, friends and God, an experienced that transformed the author’s relationships and self-understandings.

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith Trapped in a boring, dead-end day job in a department store, stage designer Therese Belivet finds her life forever changed when she encounters–and falls in love with–Carol Aird, an alluring suburban housewife in the midst of a divorce.

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka Hired by the sister of a man on death row who swears he is innocent of the murders of his missing girlfriend and her parents, private investigator Roxane Weary links sightings of the missing girl to one of her late father’s cold cases.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters Forced to take in lodgers in economically challenged 1922 South London, widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter find their lives profoundly and disturbingly changed by the arrival of a modern young couple

Fun Home by Allison Bechdel A memoir done in the form of a graphic novel by a cult favorite comic artist offers a darkly funny family portrait that details her relationship with her father–a funeral home director, high school English teacher, and closeted homosexual.

-posted by Donna, Readers” Services

Book Review: The Good Neighbor

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Times of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

This was a very interesting book about a very interesting man who, if you are like me, knew him as a TV personality with a show for children. However, after reading the book, I learned that he was much more than I ever knew.

He was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1928 to his parents, James and Nancy. His father was a successful businessman and Fred led a very privileged life. He was an only child until his parents adopted a sister, Elaine, when he was 11. As a child he was bullied because he was overweight and as a result wound up spending a lot of time by himself. He would often entertain himself by playing with puppets and stuffed animals in imaginary worlds.

His parents appreciated music and as a result, Fred started piano lessons when he was 5 years old. As he matured, he grew out of his shyness and was a leader in high school being the student council president and yearbook editor. Upon graduation he went to Dartmouth College for a year before eventually getting his degree in music composition from Rollins College in Florida. He eventually went on to become an ordained minister in The United Presbyterian Church in 1963.

After graduating college, Fred became interested in television. He was disappointed in the types of shows that were on the air at the time but also saw how powerful a medium it was.

He began working in local TV in Latrobe and eventually ended up in NYC working for NBC for a short time. It was at this time he attended University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Child Development and met noted child psychologist Margaret McFarland. She would become his advisor who would help him in many of his future ventures.

Fred began to develop short programs geared to children using puppets. These eventually led to Mister Rogers Neighborhood which started in 1968 and ran for 895 episodes. It aired out of Pittsburgh on NET which eventually became PBS.

The unique aspect of Mr. Rogers was that his show wasn’t like many of the educational kid programming of the time. There was not an emphasis on learning skills as such. There was more of an emphasis on feelings: recognizing them, accepting them and dealing with them. He allowed children to venture into the imaginary and helped them deal with the realities of life such as death, divorce and even birth. He encouraged children to be inquisitive in how things worked.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it revealed an individual who was much more complex than I ever thought. Fred Rogers was an extraordinary man filled with kindness, compassion and love.

-posted by Dona, Acquisitions Services

What I’m Reading…

I just finished the book Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner which is a new release. Jennifer is one of my favorite authors and loves to connect to her fans on all forms of social media. When her publisher decided to move UP the date of publication, it was not expected as many other books were pushed back. It does not disappoint.

Instagram influencer Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh comes back into her life six years after huge fight.  Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is speechless but agrees to do it.

About halfway through the book there is an interesting twist and I don’t want to ruin it but I was shocked because I did not see it coming. Along the way Weiner touches on topics like Instagram filters, weight and the complexities of both female friendships and family.  I highly recommend it for a good summer escape.

Big Summer is available in ebook and audiobook formats in Overdrive.

-posted by Lisa H., Readers’ Services

Anyone for a Crossword Puzzle?

My family and I have always been crossword puzzle fans. When time allowed , we would try to work on them as often as we could. Not only they help to sharpen the brain but also increase your knowledge of the meaning of many words and also learn new words.

Newsday has two puzzles in the paper each day (except on Sunday – only one) so my daughter and I each have one to work on now that we have a little extra spare time. We try to do as much as we can on our own puzzle . We then switch and work on each other’s puzzle trying to fill in the missing words. After all , two brains are better then one. If puzzles are not completely solved, when my son in law comes home, he is the closer and finishes them if he can. After all, three brains are better than two !!!

There is a good feeling when puzzle is solved and we’ve all had a hand in this project and have accomplished something and enjoyed ourselves.  Try it!

-posted by Dona, Acquisitions Services


Books to Films

credit: S.Grgas

Who doesn’t love a good story? Whether it’s a book or film. Books such as Gone With The Wind** or Game Of Thrones* were not only literary successes but were blockbuster films. During this time of staying at home I’ve been binge watching some TV series.

Some of my recommendations are:

· My Brilliant Friend** is an HBO series based on the novel of the same name by the author Elena Ferrante. Set in the 1950’s in a small town on the outskirts of Naples. It’s a tale of friendship between 2 young girls, Lila and Elena, that spans a lifetime. We watch how the girls grow and change as they confront life and a changing culture.

· The Last Kingdom, a Netflix series based the book The Last Kingdom** by Bernard Cornwell. It’s an epic tale of courage, treachery, duty, politics, religion and love. Set in the late 9th century as Saxons, Britons and Danes fight for control of the land. The story revolves around King Alfred’s dream of uniting kingdoms to form England.

· I Know This Much Is True,* an HBO series released in May. Also based on the novel of the same name by Wally Lamb. The main character is Dominick Birdsey, a man full of anger and hate. He has an identical twin, Thomas who is a paranoid schizophrenic. Dominick both loves his brother deeply and resents him. The story tells a tale of how Dominick finds his roots and eventually learns to accept his fate in life.

Stay safe. Looking forward to the day we’ll see each other at SPL.

-posted by Betty P., Reference Services

Books available on **Overdrive and Hoopla or *Overdrive only.  Overdrive and Hoopla can be accessed through the Syosset Public Library website – all you need is a library card!

Anyone For Some Binge-Watching?

credit: Cleveland Clinic

Lately, I’ve been bingeing a variety of movies, documentaries and TV shows of various genres.

For action comedy, I watched the Bad Boys trilogy starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, who play two Miami detectives who encounter various crime situations.

For comedy series, I stream The Office starring Steve Carell, which is a humorous documentary-style look into the everyday lives of office workers. For a romantic comedy, I watched Always Be My Maybe and Disney’s Enchanted, a fantasy romantic comedy about true love.

For sports drama, I watched the movie Ford vs. Ferrari staring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, which is based on a true story about two men working on a race car for the Ford Motor Co. I’m also continuing to watch the sports documentary, Last Dance, about the career of Michael Jordan.

For historical drama, I continued my love for the series, Downton Abbey, by watching the film.

And yes, I did watch Tiger King, which falls into many genres!

-posted by Rosalia, Acquisitions Services

Let us help you find your own binge watches by browsing through Hoopla, Kanopy, AcornTV or Qello available through our website – all you need is a library card!


Cooking While in Quarantine

I find cooking shows interesting and distracting from what’s going on in the news, And since we are all staying in and cooking more these shows have been useful adding interest to my menus.
  •  Lidia Bastianich –  her many shows are excellent for Italian cooking skills and recipes.
  • America’s Test Kitchen with hosts Julia Collins Davidson and Bridget Lancaster  Is basically a how to cooking skills and testing of recipe, foods and kitchen equipment.
  • Good Eats with Alton Brown – tell the science of foods and their history, fun and interesting show
  • Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman on the travel channel. Travels the world and tries exotic foods and gives the back story of their origin.

While the library is closed you can still find cookbooks and cooking videos on our our website using the Overdrive, Hoopla, Creativebug or RBDigital platforms.  All you need is a library card!

Bon Appetit!

-posted by Marie V.,  Circulation Services and Sonia, Reference Services

What I’m reading during Quarantine

I just finished the book Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots – a 2012 memoir by Deborah Feldman. There is a new Netflix mini series based on this book so I thought I’d read it before watching it.

Deborah grows up in the Hasidic community of Satmar in Brooklyn and feels like an outsider her entire life. Her mother is no longer with the community and her father is described as having a Intellectual disability so the author is raised by her grandparents. Her aunt Chaya also helps to raise her but doesn’t seem to enjoy it at all. When Deborah is 17, a match is made to marry Eli, a man who seems too attached to his family and is not a great fit for the rebellious young lady who dreams of leaving him. The author has a son with Eli at age 19 and secretly goes on birth control after that.

I read an updated 2​020 version with a few notes at the end – the last one explains her life now and how living in Berlin reminds of her youth In Brooklyn.

I recommend reading this book before or after watching it on Netflix!

This book is available on Overdrive in both ebook and audiobook formats.

-posted by Lisa H., Readers’ Services