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225 South Oyster Bay Road Syosset, NY 11791-5897
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We cannot have good libraries until we first have good librarians-properly educated, professionally recognized, and fairly rewarded.
- Herbert S. White
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Books are available at the Circulation Desk one month before each program. Free. No registration required.
Let us provide you with everything you need for your book club. The library owns sets of books exclusively for local book clubs to check out for their discussions. Discussion questions are included in the set, along with biographical and critical material.
Call 516-921-7161 ext. 239 or stop by Readers’ Services if you have any questions.
The changing needs of aging parents impact a family gathering during which Abby Whitshank relates how her husband and she fell in love during the summer of 1959 and shares decades of marriage impacted by children and long-held secrets.
By Karen Thompson Walker A painstakingly researched debut imagines the coming-of-age story of young Julia, whose world is thrown into upheaval when it is discovered that the Earth's rotation has suddenly begun to slow, posing a catastrophic threat to all life.
By Anthony Doerr
A blind French girl on the run from the German occupation and a German orphan-turned-Resistance tracker struggle with respective beliefs after meeting on the Brittany coast.
By Mark Mills Conrad Labarde, a reclusive fisherman, finds his life transformed when he pulls up the body of a beautiful young woman in his fishing nets, in a story set against the backdrop of a small Long Island fishing community in 1947.
By Khaled Hosseini
Presents a story inspired by human love, how people take care of one another, and how choices resonate through subsequent generations.
By Frank McCourt
“The McCourts began their family in poverty in Brooklyn, yet when Angela slipped into depression after the death of her only daughter, the family reversed the tide of emigration and returned to Ireland, living on public assistance in Limerick. McCourts’ story is laced with the pain of extreme poverty, aggravated by an alcoholic father who abandoned the family during World War II. Given the burdens of grief and starvation, it's a tribute to his skill that he can serve the reader a tale of love, some sadness, but at least as much laughter as the McCourts' "Yankee" children knew growing up in the streets of Limerick (Library Journal).”
By Chad Harbach A baseball star at a small college near Lake Michigan launches a routine throw that goes disastrously off course and inadvertently changes the lives of five people, including the college president, a gay teammate and the president's daughter.
By Jan-Philipp Sendker
When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter has any idea where he might be—until they find a love letter he wrote many years before, to a Burmese woman who is unknown to them.
By Elizabeth Berg Returning home for a family reunion, Laura Bartone and her brother, Steve, are stunned by their sister's allegations of shocking behavior on the part of their mother, and must come to terms with the truth and lies within their family.
By Ian McEwan In 1935 England, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses an event involving her sister Cecilia and her childhood friend Robbie Turner, and she becomes the victim of her own imagination, which leads her on a lifelong search for truth and absolution.
By Melanie Benjamin
A story inspired by the marriage between Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh traces the romance between a handsome young aviator and a shy ambassador's daughter whose relationship is marked by wild international acclaim, history-making flights and the world-shocking abduction of their child.
By Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
Accepting the post of private librarian in the village of San Ireneo de Arnois, Prudencia Prim finds her outlook on life and love challenged in every way, especially when she falls for her employer, a book-loving intellectual.
By Jess Walter
A novel that spans fifty years. The Italian housekeeper and his long-lost American starlet; the producer who once brought them together, and his assistant. A glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.
By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Three generations of Indian women discover their greatest source of strength in one another--from a baker's daughter who dreams of an impossible education, to the daughter who confronts her independence in America, to the granddaughter who learns lessonsabout freedom and heartbreak
By Katherine Boo
“Profiles everyday life in the settlement of Annawadi as experienced by a Muslim teen, an ambitious rural mother, and a young scrap metal thief, illuminating how their efforts to build better lives are challenged by religious, caste, and economic tensions (From the Publisher).”
By Imbolo Mbue
An immigrant working class couple from Cameroon and the upper class American family for whom they work find their lives and marriages shaped by financial circumstances, infidelities, secrets, and the 2008 recession.
By Atul Gawande
A prominent surgeon argues against modern medical practices that extend life at the expense of quality of life.
By Ann Patchett
Opera and terrorism make strange bedfellows, yet in this novel they complement each other nicely. At a birthday party for Japanese industrialist Mr. Hosokawa somewhere in South America, famous American soprano Roxanne Coss is just finishing her recital in the Vice President's home when armed terrorists appear, intending to take the President hostage. However, he is not there, so instead they hold the international businesspeople and diplomats at the party, releasing all the women except Roxanne. Captors and their prisoners settle into a strange domesticity, with the opera diva captivating them all as she does her daily practicing. Soon romantic liaisons develop with the hopeless intensity found in many opera plots. -Book Jacket
By Sarah Dunant
Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family's Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter's abilities." But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra's parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola's reactionary followers. Played out against this turbulent backdrop, Alessandra's married life is a misery, except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art.–Book Jacket
By Dani Shapiro After years of estrangement from her famous photographer mother, Ruth Dunne, Clara Brodeur returns to New York City when her mother falls ill and is forced to reconcile the challenges of the past and the new life in Maine she has built for herself.
By Malcolm Gladwell Explores the process by which people make decisions, explaining how the difference between good and bad decision making is directly related to the details on which people focus, and offers advice on how to improve decision making skills.
By Alice Hoffman The revelation of a long-hidden dark secret about Ethan Ford's true identity and his past threatens to turn a small Massachusetts town upside down as the devastating truth shatters Monroe's small-town peace and tests the bonds between family and friends.
By Cristina Henriquez
Moving from Mexico to the United States when their daughter suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras confront cultural barriers, their daughter’s difficult recovery, and her developing relationship with a Panamanian boy.
By Asne Seierstad
With The Bookseller of Kabul, award-winning journalist Asne Seierstad has given readers a first-hand look at Afghani life as few outsiders have seen it. Invited to live with Sultan Khan, a bookseller in Kabul, and his family for months, this account of her experience allows the Khans to speak for themselves, giving us a genuinely gripping and moving portrait of a family, and of a country of great cultural riches and extreme contradictions. For more than 20 years, Sultan Khan has defied the authorities - whether Communist or Taliban - to supply books to the people of Kabul. He has been arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned, and has watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. Yet he had persisted in his passion for books, shedding light in one of the world's darkest places. This is the intimate portrait of a man of principle and of his family - two wives, five children, and many relatives sharing a small four-room house in this war ravaged city. But more than that, it is a rare look at contemporary life under Islam, where even after the Taliban's collapse, the women must submit to arranged marriages, polygamous husbands, and crippling limitations on their ability to travel, learn and communicate with others. -Book Jacket
By Anita Diamant
Recounting the story of her life to her granddaughter, octogenarian Addie describes how she was raised in early-twentieth-century America by Jewish immigrant parents in a teeming multicultural neighborhood.
By Daniel James Brown
Traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder, and a homeless teen rower.
By Junot Díaz Living with an old-world mother and rebellious sister, an urban New Jersey misfit dreams of becoming the next J.R.R. Tolkien and believes that a long-standing family curse is thwarting his efforts to find love and happiness.
By Geraldine Brooks
Forging a deep friendship with a Wampanoag chieftain's son on the Great Harbor settlement where her minister father is working to convert the tribe, Bethia follows his subsequent ivy league education and efforts to bridge cultures among the colonial elite.
By Michael Ondaatje
Boarding a 1950s ship and sequestered to an out-of-sight dining table with other marginalized children, an 11-year-old boy shares rollicking adventures while traveling to various world regions, learning about jazz, women, and a shackled prisoner along the way.
By Jodi Picoult
“The acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a spellbinding tale of a mother's tragic loss and one man's last chance at gaining salvation (From the Publisher).”
By Laura Moriarty Accompanying a future famous actress from her Wichita home to New York, chaperone Cora Carlisle shares a life-changing five-week period with her ambitious teenage charge during which she discovers the promise of the twentieth century and her own purpose in life.
By Ian McEwan
A highly respected London judge hides her decision to separate from a husband who wants an open marriage, a loss that challenges her beliefs throughout a case involving parents whose faith forbids a life-saving transfusion for their son.
By Sahar Delijani A tale set in post-revolutionary Iran follows the experiences of Neda, Omid, Sheida and other individuals from three generations of families whose political activists loved ones were murdered during the violent purges inside Tehran’s prisons.
By James McBride
Around the narrative of Ruth McBride Jordan, a.k.a. Rachel Deborah Shilsky, the daughter of an angry, failed Orthodox Jewish rabbi in the South, her son James writes of the inner confusions he felt as a black child of a white mother and of the love and faith with which his mother surrounded their large family. The result is a powerful portrait of growing up, a meditation on race and identity, and a poignant, beautifully crafted hymn from a son to his mother.–Book Jacket
A five–decade saga tracing the impact of an act of infidelity on the parents and children of two Southern California families traces their shared summers in Virginia and the disillusionment that shapes their lasting bond.
By Camille Aubray
Pablo Picasso is at a momentous crossroads in his personal and professional life—and for him, art and women are always entwined. The spirited Ondine, chafing under her family’s authority and nursing a broken heart, is just beginning to discover her own talents and appetites. Her encounter with Picasso will continue to affect her life for many decades onward, as the great artist and the talented young chef each pursue their own passions and destiny.
By Wallace Stegner
Two young couples, Sid and Charity and Larry and Sally, from different backgrounds – East and West, rich and poor – befriend each other in 1937 Madison, Wisconsin.
By Abraham Verghese Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in an Ethiopia on the brink of revolution, where their love for the same woman drives them apart.
By William Andrews
"Daughters of the Dragon" tells the life story of Ja-hee, a 14-year-old Korean girl taken by the Japanese to be a sex slave, or 'comfort woman' for the Imperial Army. Ja-hee suffers terribly at the hands of the Japanese. Now with Japanese gone, she must carry on an important family legacy.Her terrible ordeal shapes the rest of her life as she finds and loses true love in the surreal communism of North Korea. After escaping to the south, she's forced to run a kijichon (brothel) for the American military in South Korea. Finally, she finds success in the cold capitalism of South Korea's economic boom until her coworkers discover that she was a comfort woman. But through courage and strength, she's able to fulfill her duty to her family.Set within the tumultuous backdrop of 20th century Korea, this book will make you cry and cheer for Ja-hee. In the end, you'll have a better understanding of the Land of the Morning Calm.
By Erik Larson
A chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as Woodrow Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat, and architect Theodate Pope Riddle.
By William Landay
His happy life and long-time respectability as a suburban Massachusetts assistant district attorney shattered when his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student, Andy Barber faces a wrenching decision about family loyalty when the facts increasingly suggest that the boy is guilty.
Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson’s spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men-the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World’s Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.
By Bill Clegg
Surviving a disaster that kills everyone else in her family, June relocates West and settles into a directionless existence while other people impacted by the tragedy struggle with new circumstances.
By Herman Koch
Meeting at an Amsterdam restaurant for dinner, two couples move from small talk to the wrenching shared challenge of their teenage sons' act of violence that has triggered a police investigation and revealed the extent to which each family will go to protect those they love.
By Anne Tyler Eighty-five-year-old Pearl Tull recalls the desertion of her husband and her attempts to raise three children, who must come to terms with themselves and their father after their mother's death.
By Kate Morton Nearly twenty years after her family nurses a wounded enemy pilot back to health, London playwright Queenie attends the deathbed of her father and is haunted by memories of an unspeakable death and a heartbreaking disappearance.
By Chris Bohjalian Working at a homeless shelter, Laurel Estabrook encounters Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of secret photos, but when Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel embarks on an obsessive search for the truth behind the photos.
By Alice Hoffman
A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents the stories of a hated daughter, a baker's wife, a girl disguised as a warrior, and a medicine woman who keep doves and secrets while Roman soldiers draw near.
By Gail Honeyman
A socially awkward, routine–oriented loner teams up with a bumbling IT guy from her office to assist an elderly accident victim, forging a friendship that saves all three from lives of isolation and secret unhappiness.
By Muriel Barbery The lives of fifty-four-year-old concierge Rene Michel and extremely bright, suicidal twelve-year-old Paloma Josse are transformed by the arrival of a new tenant, Kakuro Ozu.