Spring Break Reads

Whether you're headed for a much needed vacation in the sun —or taking a mental vacation at home— sit yourself down and read something entertaining and ' unputdownable'. A few of our current favorites include: The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead and Bread and Butter by Michelle Wildgen.

Don't forget that your dedicated reference staff is always willing to recommend your next great read so be sure to stop by the desk and check in with us. We love hearing what wonderful books you have read as well. Please share some of your favorites with us.

Wishing everyone a Happy Passover and a Blessed Easter.

 

 

Children's Books You Need to Read Again as an Adult

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The Youth Materials Specialist (how is THAT for a title) from the New York Public Library has compiled this list of the 23 Children's Books that you need to read again as an Adult. Excellent recommendations to be sure but what about two of my favorites, Tuck Everlasting and The Cricket in Times Square? Are any of YOUR childhood favorites missing? 

New Books for Spring

After our brief  taste of Spring fever this weekend, it's time to start thinking about the books being published over the next few months. Publisher's Weekly has put together their editors list of  Most Anticipated Books for Spring 2014. So many books, so little time ...

 

If you've read Gillian Flynn's blockbuster novel Gone Girl, you're already up on the latest publishing phenomena -- Marriage Thrillers! These books are portraits of  relationships gone terribly-- and terrifyingly -- wrong. I've been calling them pyschological thrillers but love this new name. Some of our favorites, also delightfully called "Chick Noir" are A.S.A. Harrison's The Silent Wife, S.J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep and Liane Moriarity's The Husband's Secret. For more suggested titles, check out this article in the U.K.'s Guardian or our newest booklist, Marriage Thrillers ~ a.k.a. Chick Lit.

NPR Best Books of 2013

NPR Best Books of 2013

National Public Radio (NPR) is trying something different this year. They know people get tired of the yearly "Best of" Lists so they developed a Book Conceirge to help you decide what you would like to read. A very creative concept, check it out.

Books Set on Long Island

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If you're in the mood for a book set here on (not in) Long Island, Newsday has compiled a list of 35 suggested reads. I would add to the list, The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer, a poignant memoir of growing up in Mahhasset.

In Memoriam 2013

The news of the passing today of Nobel Prize winning author Doris Lessing got us thinking about the other authors who have died this year. The literary world lost some big names; Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn and Elmore Leonard, to name but a few. Click herefor the complete list (year to date) of all the writers and authors who have departed in 2013. We have a book display of Ms. Lessing's works here at the library so check them out, literally AND figuratively, the next time you are in.

"Best of" Lists are Starting

Best of the Year

Now that the end of 2013 is clearly in sight, with only two months to go till we ring in the New Year, those ubiquitous Best of Book lists are starting to pop up. We'd like to bring you the first one of this year, from Publisher's Weekly, known to us in the trade as PW :-) See how many you've read or get some suggestions for books to put on your Must Read list.

Most Famous Book Set in Every State

When I first saw this  I thought it was such an interesting idea but had no idea the controversy it sparked. One debate is about the wording "famous" rather than "best". Also, a lot of people are questioning the choice of author representing their state. I saw a resident of New Jersey question a relative newcomer like Junot Diaz beating out native son Philip Roth. Guess we New Yorkers are lucky to have such a slam dunk as The Great Gatsby as our pick. So, read the list and see how many of these books YOU have read and what you think of the choices.

National Book Award Finalists

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The 2013 finalists for the National Book Award were announced this morning. Winners will be announced on November 20th. In the Fiction category, I'm rooting for The Lowland by Lahiri. Which book is YOUR favorite?

 

 

Sounds Better Than the Book

Audiophiles know that the narrator of an audio book can either make or break their read. And, listening to a book helps pass the time during long drives, workouts and house cleaning sessions. Oprah magazine has 7 books that are better to listen to than read. Why not try one or two to see if you agree. All I can say is Colin Firth can read me his grocery list and I would be happy.

 

Banned Books 2013

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What do The Glass Castle, The Kite Runner, Beloved and The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian have in common? They were among the top 10 most challenged books in libraries last year. To see the full list of challenged books, check out this article from The Washington Post and read a banned book during Banned Books Week - 9/22 to 9/28.

Put Your Reserves in Now

 

Here is a list of  21 must reads for Fall 2013 from The Daily Beast. Put on a reserve now so you can be one of the first to read these hot new titles.

Man Booker Prize Short List Announced

The short list for the Man Book Prize was announced yesterday. I'm looking forward to reading The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri and two librarians here enjoyed Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being. The winner will be announced on October 15.

Library Reads

altWanted to share with you this great website, Library Reads, that polls librarians across the country recommending their top 10 books published this month. Can't wait to read Fangirl, what about you?

Summer Reading-Top 10 Novels

altThese past few days of cool weather are a sure sign the days of summer dwindling down. It's not too late to catch up with 10 of the best bets for summer reading, recommended by Kirkus, a professional journal for librarians.

Best Bets for Book Clubs - Fall '13

altLibrarians here are constantly being asked to recommend a great book discussion book. A given is that the book has a lot to discuss and we also recommend it not be too new or 'hot' (a lot of holds on it) and should be available in paperback in case some people chose to buy it rather than borrow from our library. These books on the Huffington Post blog meet those requirements and are excellent choices for your reading group.

National Book Lover's Day

Did you know August 9th is National Book Lover's Day! To honor this very special day, we suggest all bibliophiles check out Oprah's magazines list of books for book-lovers.

Read the Book then See the Film

 

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99% of the time, a book is much better than the movie (The Cider House Rules and The Silence of the Lambs the rare exception in my opinion) and there are some great books being made into films this Fall and into 2014. Can't wait to see Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper teamed up again next month in Ron Rash's Serena.

Fact Behind the Fiction


If you're interested in books that fill in the gaps where history left off, historical novels are for you. National Public Radio has a listing of 5 Great Historical Novels for Summer including a fictionalized account of the notorious Typhoid Mary, one of Degas' models, a train carrying orphans to the West Coast for possible adoption or worse, a mystery of early Scotland Yard and a story of the American frontier in the early 1800's. And remember, your library staff can also recommend a wonderful book for you too. Just ask us, we are here to help.

The ups and downs of a plot

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Thought our avid readers would enjoy this funny, and accurate, portrayal of the emotional "ride" books take us on, especially mysteries. The title says it all - The Story Coaster.

Anticipation ...

Although we're currently in the throes of a week-long heatwave, the cool, crisp days of autumn will soon be here and with them, more great books to read! Here is a list of highly anticipated books for the 2nd half of the year from The Millions website.  I already haveVisitation Street on reserve. Check out the list and put the reserve on for your favorite now to ensure you get it as soon as it's released.

Books the Critics Adore this Summer

Have you ever found yourself in the library, about to leave for vacation with no idea what books to bring? Well, we highly recommend you check out our pre-loaded Nooks and, of course, ask your friendly librarian for some good suggestions. Another option is to check out these six books recommended by National Public Radio critics.

 

Happy Canada Day!

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Our national holiday is this Thursday, July 4th but did you know that today, 7/1, is Canada Day? To celebrate our friendly neighbors to the north, why not check out a book set in Canada. May we suggest The Sisters of Hardscrabble Bay by Beverly Jensen, Still Life by Louise Penny, Touch by Alexi Zentner and Requiem by Frances Itani. And, you can use one of these books for the Read Around the World summer reading program.

Hot Beach Reads 2013

altAlthough it was cool and rainy over the Memorial Day holiday, it's supposed to be hazy, hot and humid this weekend-perfect weather for beach reading!

Marie Claire magazine has a great list of the hottest beach reads for this summer. I already have The Other Typist and And the Mountains Echoed on reserve.

Classic Novels Terrible First Titles

Ever heard of the American classic novel, Mules in Horses' Harness? Sure you have, you just know it now as Gone With the Wind! If you want to know what F. Scott Fitzgerald was originally going to call The Great Gatsby and other bad first titles, check out Five Books with Awful Original Titles from BookRiot.com.

Great Gatsby Read-Alikes

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Have you seen the new Gatsby movie yet? Are you planning to? If so, you may want to be like a lot of RVC library cardholders and read F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic, The Great Gatsby first. All our copies are currently out but you can check out a Gatsby read-alike, or come in to the library where we have a table devoted to them.

Foodie Fiction (and Non-Fic too)

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Memorial Day is right around the corner and that means the dreaded bathing suit season is almost upon us. How about reading about food rather than eating it as a dieting tip? If that works for you, check out NPR's What's Cooking article with 3 suggestions. We came up with some additions to the list:

Fiction

Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer

Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran

Cinnamon Roll Murder by Johanna Fluke

Heft by Liz Moore

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Non-Fiction

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss

 

We are sure there are plenty more 'delicious' reads for you to enjoy. Mangia!

 

Recommended Reads for Spring 2013

Publisher's Weekly, a professional journal for libraries, has listed some of their picks of highly anticipated books for Spring 2013. Based on their reviews, I have a copy of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena on my desk now. Happy Spring, Happy Reading!

Women's Prize for Fiction 2013

If you're looking for a good read and prefer a well-written, and reviewed, book, we suggest you check out the 2013 longlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize for Fiction). Many of our favorites are on this list including Flight Behavior, Where'd You Go Bernadette, The Light Between Oceans, Bring Up the Bodies and Gone Girl, among others. They recently announced the shortlist and the winner will be announced on June 5th in London.

Win a Private Book Discussion!

Host a book discussion, with a professional facilitator, in your own home. Want to know how?

Simply attend the Love Your Library Day (LYLD) event on Sunday, April 14th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. here at the library and enter a chance to win a book discussion led by Dr. Anna Katsavos, Professor of Literature at SUNY Nassau. Anna facilitates a wildly successful book discussion at the RVCPL called Book Chats on the first Monday of every month at 1:00 p.m. 

Drop by the Adult Reference Desk for more details. See you Sunday ...

P.S. There will be oodles of free prizes given away as well.

 

 

Hometown Poet-Arthur Schwartz

April is Poetry month and RVC has it's own local published poet. Arthur Schwartz, Archie to his pals, is a former Yankees minor league player/playwright/stand-up comic and commercial printer with a poetic heart and soul. The following poem, Skinny Old Man with a Shopping Cart, is one of our favorites:

 

Skinny old man, you concave sliver

pushing your shopping cart down the street,

where's the old woman, short time ago

whose hand you held and halved your woe,

 

One hand on the upright empty cart,

the other tight with her hand in it,

leaning against the rain or snow,

you and the woman who halved your woe.

 

With scarves tied neatly around your heads,

and slowly wheeling the wobbly cart;

but now you're alone and I want to know,

where is the woman who halved your woe?

 

I'd ask, as I knew you well enough,

all about your marvelous gift, and

pester you until you'd show

how you double yourself and halve your woe,

 

And tell me about the old woman, I'd say,

and tell me what you are thinking now,

wheeling the cart with two hands as though

an empty cart can halve your woe.

 

According to Art, he watched this couple for a year or so walking down Merrick Road. For more of Archie's poetry, check out his book From Where I Sat here in the library.

 

 

 

March (Book) Madness 2013

altThe basketball version of NCAA March madness has begun but were you aware of a Sci-Fi/Fantasy version of Book Madness where you can vote for your favorite book in those genres? Simply log on to the website and vote for a book in each bracket. This is the 3rd year of the contest. The previous winners were To Kill a Mockingbird and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Help decide who wins this year, maybe a Cinderella story? 

Happy 80th Philip Roth!

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Pulitizer Prize winning author, Philip Roth, celebrated his 80th birthday this week with a reception in his hometown of Newark, NJ. Did you know that four of his books have been made into movies? We have plenty of Roth's works here at the library so, since he has officially retired from writing, if you missed any of his books, come on in and catch up with this talented author. We have a display dedicated to Mr. Roth's works in the main reading room for your convenience.

 BTW, the movies were: Goodbye, Columbus, Portnoy's Complaint, The Human Stain and Elegy (adapted from The Dying Animal)

A Literary Oscar Quiz

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The 2013 Academy Awards ceremony was held last night with Argo voted as Best Picture of the Year (deservedly so in our estimation). 

Here is a fun quiz, first appearing in the LA Times book blog (naturally) to test your knowledge on the literary side of the Oscars. 

P.S. I got a 70%, see how well YOU do.

 

The Real Housewives of Historical Fiction

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Looks like the new trend in historical fiction is the oft cited 'behind every great man is a strong woman' quotation. Books such as Loving Frank and The Paris Wife were big hits a few years ago and there are quite a few more coming out in 2013. Two novels, based on the lives of Anne Morrow Lindbergh (The Aviator's Wife) and Ruth Mallory (Above All Things), wife of British mountain climber, George, are slated to become best sellers. Check out this USA Today story, Novel Ideas-The Women Behind the Famous Men for more reading suggestions. These books make great book club choices too!

 

 

 

Mardi Gras Mayhem

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Happy Fat Tuesday and the end of Mardi Gras ~ an excellent place and time for a fictional murder perhaps? To celebrate the end of carnivale, criminalelement.com has some suggested crime fiction novels for you to enjoy.

Reading Bingo!

If your idea of Bingo is a game played by white-haired old ladies in church basements, have we got a twist for you! Check out Reading Bingo, a game with 24 'challenges' to get you to read more in the coming year or to just read more widely. Download the printable card and get going! It's fun.

Approach it however you like, if you are just getting back to reading after a long hiatus, start slowly by getting one line, if you are an avid reader, challenge yourself to fill in the whole card. 

Of course, we'd like you to fill in the whole card with the 'a book from the library' space!!

 

Complete List of Monday Mysteries Book Titles

 

At the request of a Monday Mysteries Book Club participant, I have put together the complete list of titles that our group has read since I have been facilitating the discussion. If you have a favorite mystery author that you don't see listed and want to recommend a book to our group, please stop by the Adult Reference Desk and let us know. We are always happy to hear what you are reading.

Read the Book Before the Oscars

You don't have much time (Oscars will be awarded on February 24) if you want to read the books the 2013 Academy Award nominated movies are based on. We don't want to be play favorites (but we are), here at the library, we're hoping the film Lincoln, based on RVC native Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, Team of Rivals, wins Best Picture. 

 

Best of 2012 Book Club Picks

Let's give 'em something to talk about. Trends and fads may come and go but here at the RVC Public Library, book discussion groups are still going strong. One of my favorite commentators on all things 'book', NPR's Lynn Neary has put together her list of the Year's Best Book Club Picks. Hope you find a book or two to suggest the next time your turn comes to recommend the group's next read.