Tag Archives: recommendations

Our Favorite Books of 2019, Pt. II

The New Year is here and you might want to start it off with a good book. Here are some titles that our staff read and found to be particularly good in 2019.

Sonia, Reference Services:

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

“This compelling story of two ministers and their wives was basically a meditation on different ways people can live their faith or non-faith – a lot to think about.”

In a novel that spans decades, the lives of two young couples become intertwined when the husbands are appointed co-ministers of a venerable New York City church in the 1960s.*

Celine by Peter Heller

“I had to read a different book by this author for a book club earlier in the year and really did not like it. I was so surprised when I read this title for the same book club and loved it.”

A missing-persons tracker who specializes in reuniting families to make amends for a loss in her own past, Celine searches for a presumed-dead photographer in Yellowstone, only to be targeted by a shadowy figure who wants to keep the case unsolved.*

The last 7 Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny 

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“I caught up on on the series this year  and it averages into one continuous great reading experience. I’m currently re-reading the first!”

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets–and facing a few of his own ghosts.*

Ed, Head of Reference Services:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Discovering a mysterious book of prisoner tales, a Vermont graduate student recognizes a story from his own life before following clues to a magical underground library that is being targeted for destruction.*

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

A talented baker running a business out of her nursing home reconnects with her master brewer sister at the same time her pregnant granddaughter launches an IPA brewpub.*

 

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

When their middle brother Cameron, who went missing the week before Christmas, is found dead, Nathan and Bub are forced to confront devastating secrets.*

The Paragon Hotel by Lindsay Faye

Fleeing to 1921 Oregon, Alice takes refuge in the city’s only black hotel and helps new friends search for a missing child, hide from KKK violence and navigate painful secrets.*

 

Pam, Assistant Library Director:

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

A sequel to Olive Kitteridge finds Olive struggling to understand herself while bonding with a teen suffering from loss, a woman who gives birth unexpectedly, a nurse harboring a longtime crush and a lawyer who resists an unwanted inheritance.*

Becoming by Michelle Obama

An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House.*

Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services:

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

“An incredible memoir detailing the moment one woman’s entire identity is stripped by an at-home DNA kit and the inspiring aftermath of her journey.”

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her.*

Maid by Stephanie Land 

“A powerful and eye-opening account of a young, single mother living in poverty while working as a minimum wage earning housekeeper.”

A journalist describes the years she worked in low-paying domestic work under wealthy employers, contrasting the privileges of the upper-middle class to the realities of the overworked laborers supporting them.

Rosemarie, Children’s Services Librarian:

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

While working as divers with the all-female diving collective on a small Korean island, Mi-ja and Young-sook find their friendship challenged by their differences and forces outside their control.*

The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl

Manipulated by a stranger, an affluent Sandefjord woman is forced to prove just how far she is willing to go to protect her life and family.*

 

 

Megan, Systems Administrator:

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

“Part gothic fiction, part who-done-it, part space opera, Gideon the Ninth is a genre-bending story about a young woman ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a zombie, but must first act as a bodyguard to her lifelong frenemy in a thousand-year-old intergalactic struggle.”

1491:  New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

“In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.  I could not believe how much of what I was taught in school, even recently, was so very wrong!”

We wish all of our readers a very happy and healthy New Year!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

November is Aviation History Month…

According to the Government Printing Office “Aviation History” refers to the history of the “development of mechanical flight —from the earliest attempts in kites and gliders to the powered heavier-than-air, supersonic and space flights.”

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Many of us immediately think of Orville and Wilbur Wright as the originators of flight. These two Ohio bike shop owners did fly for 12 seconds at Kitty Hawk in 1903, marking the first time man had flown. But many had dreamed of flight and had experimented before them. Leonardo da Vinci suggested a vehicle with flapping wings imitating a bird’s flight. The French brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, flew in a hot-air balloon in 1783. Berlin aviator Otto Lilienthal flew more than 2000 flights in gliders he designed beginning in 1891. His work actually inspired the Wright Brothers. But that successful, if short, flight on the sand dunes of North Carolina started a whole new industry. It made the world seem smaller as people and goods could travel more quickly and easily. It changed the way war was fought. And it was a pathway to the exploration of space.

Come to the library’s third floor to choose a book! There are biographies of famous aviators, illustrated books about balloons, airships, planes and spaceships, and books chronicling the development of civil and military aviation.

Can’t come to the library? Use your library card at home to access the Syosset Library’s selection of databases. Try “Biography in Context” for information about the historic figures. “Facts on File Science Online” has articles as well as videos. And Britannica and World Book in our Encyclopedia databases detail the chronology and the impact of the aeronautical industry.

If you are traveling to D.C. be sure to include a visit to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum  on the Mall and the Udvar-Hazy Center  in nearby Chantilly. Headed out to the Seattle area? There is the impressive Museum of Flight .  If your life and work don’t allow for any travel beyond Long Island, be sure to visit Long Island’s own Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. Did you know that the library has passes for our cardholders for the museum? Great value, convenient location. You can reserve the pass online.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Five Years on the Blog

Time for a walk through some of  SyossetRandR’s blog posts in May in the past five years:

2018: LOCAL AUTHOR SHOWCASE

2017: STARTUP THAT BBQ!

2016: TOOLS TO FIND YOUR NEXT READ, PART 1

2015: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

2014: HOW I SPENT THE MONTH OF APRIL…

Watch out for when we take another nostalgic look at the past five years again in June.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

 

5 Years of the Blog – April

Let’s take a look at some of Syosset Public Library’s blog posts in April during the past five years:

2018: APRIL’S ART DISPLAY

2017: WHAT WE’RE READING NOW- AUDIOBOOK EDITION

2016: BROADWAY MUSICALS AND PLAYS—BASED ON, INSPIRED BY, OR ADAPTED FROM BOOKS

2015: APRIL: A BUSY TIME FOR HISTORY BUFFS

2014: PUT A POEM IN YOUR POCKET TODAY

See you next month when we take a look at the past 5 years in May.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

5 Years of the Blog – March

Let’s take a look at some of Syosset Public Library’s blog posts for March during the past five years:

2018: OSCAR WINNERS BASED ON BOOKS

2017: NEW IN DVD

2016: CELEBRATING THE EMERALD ISLE

2015: AFTERNOON BOOK CLUB

2014: LET’S REMINISCE, SYOSSET!

See you next month when we take a look at the past 5 years in April.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

5 Years of the Blog – February

Let’s get nostalgic and take a look at some of Syosset Public Library’s blog posts for February during the past five years:

2018: A MUSEUM OUTING WITH YOUR BOOK CLUB

2017: FEBRUARY’S BOOK DISPLAYS

2016: WHAT WE’RE READING NOW

2015: TRY OUT SOME LYNDA.COM COURSES

2014: RECENT RELEASES PERFECT FOR BOOK CLUBS!

See you next month when we take a look at the last 5 years of March.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

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