Featured New Book: The Four-Hour Body

Many New Year's resolutions focus on losing weight, and publishers are not slow to take advantage of this trend. With mountains of weight-loss books competing for reader attention, what makes The Four-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman worth reading? In Book Page, Timothy Ferris, author of the bestselling Four-Hour Workweek, explains: "Big changes seldom work. The Four-Hour Body is intended to answer one question: What are the smallest changes that produce the biggest physical results?" Sounds promising, but we'll let readers be the judge. For the full interview, see the January 2011 issue of Book Page, free copies of which are available at your community library.

New Arrival on the NYT Bestseller List

In its very first week on the New York Times bestseller list, Patricia Cornwell's newly released Port Mortuary has taken first place. The book is the 18th in the popular Kay Scarpetta series and features the mysterious death of a young man and the trouble it causes for Kay and her new forensic center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Newcomers to the series should start with book 1, Postmortem, which also holds the honor of being the first novel ever to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, Macavity, and French Prix du Roman d'Adventure awards in one year.

2011: A New You

Looking to make a personal change in this coming year? Here is a list of 5 potentially useful new books recommended by the January 2011 issue Book Page and available through your community library.

Share your New Year's resolutions with your community library; comment on this post!

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: Reader Review

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Rating: 4/5 (very good)

In 1979, a brief but meaningful friendship forms between Larry Ott, a white boy from a middle class family, and Silas, a poor black boy living in a cabin on the Otts' property. Things change forever when Larry takes a girl on a date and she never returns. The girl's body is never found and while there is no evidence linking Larry to a crime, a cloud of suspicion hangs over his head, making him an outcast. Fast forward to present day. Silas is now the town constable, a girl has gone missing, and everyone assumes Larry is involved. The question of the missing girls is central to the book but the real mystery is the secrets and painful past shared by Larry and Silas. The language of the book and the depth of the characters is wonderful, making you want to turn the pages faster in an already suspenseful novel.

Reviewed by: Jessica O.
Interested in other reviews for this book? Check out this one from the Washington Post.

Best Books of 2010 - Publisher's Weekly

As 2010 wraps up, just about everyone has an opinion on the best books of this past year. Earlier this week, this blog shared the 10 best books according to the New York Times; here are the ten best books according to an article in Publisher's Weekly, along with links to these books in the Community Library's catalog and to the authors' personal websites (if available). Books that appear on both the NYT and PW lists are in bold.

Cozy reads for the darkest day of the year

With only about 8 hours of daylight in the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley area, today marks the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. What a perfect day for getting cozy indoors with a good book! Here are two suggestions for books inspired by the solstice:

Winter Solstice (2000) by Rosamund Pilcher

This book came out a decade ago, so even if you've already read it once, you've probably forgotten enough of it that it's worth rereading.

Publisher Summary: A moving tale of loss and transcendence follows the lives of five people, buffeted by life's difficulties, who come together on a rundown estate house in Northern Scotland during a revelatory Winter Solstice.

Solstice Wood (2007) by Patricia McKillip

Set in our home state of New York, this contemporary fairy story is perfect for anyone who's ever felt a mysterious thrill when surrounded by trees.

Publisher Summary: The death of her beloved grandfather forces bookstore owner Sylvia Lynn to return to her childhood home in upstate New York to confront the grandmother who had raised her, and the nearby woods that had both enticed and terrified her.

Just in time for the holidays: ipad now compatible with library e-books!

E-book readers and tablet computers are proving to be among this season's hottest Christmas gifts. If you're one of the many people planning to buy one of these devices, you're in luck! Overdrive, the Suffolk County libraries' provider of e-book content, has just negotiated an agreement with ipad, making the e-books available through the library also compatible with this device.

Below is a summary of compatible devices for the library's e-book loan service (click here for the full list). Please note, as of this writing, the Amazon Kindle is NOT compatible with the library's e-books.

  • PCs (desktop, laptop, or netbook) running Windows 2000 or higher
  • Macs (desktop, laptop, or netbook) running OSX 10.4.10 or higher
  • Nook by Barnes & Noble (wifi, 3G & Nook Color)
  • Kobo by Borders
  • Pandigital
  • Literati
  • Sony (reader, pocket, daily, touch)
  • Apple devices (ipad, ipod, iphone)
  • Android
  • Other devices (Archos tablet, Cruz tablet, HTC, LG Ally, Motorola, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Intercept, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini)
Please be aware that in order to comply with copyright law, the library has finite copies of e-books (just like regular print books). Therefore, a title that you want to download may be "checked out." Take a look at these short help videos or speak to a librarian for more information about the process of borrowing e-books.

Patron recommends Charlaine Harris on Playaway

Earlier today, Lorraine of Mastic Beach shared a recommendation for one of her favorite series: Sookie Stackhouse (aka Southern Vampire) by Charlaine Harris. Judging from the sparsity of these books on the shelf, she's not the only fan! Lorraine, who is on the 8th book in the series, said she loves how the books pull you in but keep things funny with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. A longtime audiobook listener, Lorraine has come to enjoy the Playaway format over books on CD, in part because the Playaways always pick up exactly where you leave off, even if you have to change the batteries. Her husband jokes that Lorraine looks like a teenager with those earbuds in, but she doesn't mind the good-natured teasing as long as the audiobooks keep coming! And remember, all of the Playaways available at the Community Library are easy to use, come preloaded with batteries, and have free earbuds available upon request at the circulation desk.

For those new to the Sookie Stackhouse series, start with book 1, Dead Until Dark. For those who have finished the series, the Readers' Advisory Librarian recommends Mary Janice Davidson's Queen Betsy the Undead series, starting with book 1, Undead and Unwed, in which the down-on-her luck human Betsy becomes the prophesied queen on the vampires through a humorous series of events. Both series feature tough, funny female protagonists with a little paranormal romance on the side.

Rescue by Anita Shreve: Reader Review

Title: Rescue
Genre: Adult Fiction
Author: Anita Shreve
Rating: 5/5 (excellent)

Publisher Summary: After his wife, Sheila, abandons him, paramedic Peter Webster is left to raise their daughter alone, until Sheila contacts him 19 years later, dredging up years of buried questions and making him wonder why their marriage unraveled.
Review: I am a big fan of Anita Shreve and enjoy the stories she tells. Although it isn't an uplifting kind of tale, sometimes reading something besides mysteries and romance can be a good thing. I think she is a great descriptive writer that can keep your interest in all of the novels she writes.

Reviewed by: Chris N.

Top 5 Nonfiction of 2010 - New York Times

For all you nonfiction readers, here is a list compiled by the New York Times Book Review with their selections for the top 5 nonfiction books published in 2010.

What do you think? Did the New York Times miss one of your favorites from this year? Share your thoughts; comment!

Top 5 Fiction of 2010 - New York Times

At the end of any year, people love to look back and reflect. In keeping with this tradition, the December 12th edition of the New York Times Book Review released a list of the top 10 books published in 2010. Here are their top 5 fiction books, all of which are available in multiple formats (including audio, largeprint, and e-book) to Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Library cardholders.
Franzen, Jonathan. Freedom.
Beattie, Ann. The New Yorker Stories.
Donoghue, Emma. Room.
Trevor, William. Selected Stories.

Do you have any books you feel should have been on this list of top 2010 fiction? Please leave a comment!

Looking to 2011 & beyond

At the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library's annual staff meeting today, library workers discussed their vision for the future of our library. Join the conversation! Many of you participated in the library use survey this October, but if you missed it or if there's anything else you'd like to add, here's your chance. Besides the great fiction discussed on this blog, what else would you like to see at your community library? Leave your suggestions as comments!

Romance Ebook Sales Up

Have you ever been embarassed to be seen reading a romance novel? If so, you're in good company. Many romance fans don't appreciate how the genre's standard cover art (scantly clad people locked in passionate embraces) draws questioning glances and even snickers from those around them, driving sales of discreetly cover-free romance e-books to new heights. According to an article published in the New York Times today ("Lusty Tales and Hot Sales: Romance E-Books Thrive"), sales of romance books are now split evenly between print and ebook formats. With e-books exploding in popularity, it probably won't be long before they outpace print.

Do you have an embarassing reading-related story to share? Leave a comment! The Readers' Advisory librarians would love to hear from you.

In Her Shoes: Reader Review

Genre: Adult Fiction
Author: Weiner, Jennifer
Rating: 4/5 (very good)

Review: Sisters Rose and Maggie have only one thing in common - their shoe size. One is smart, serious with an excellent career, the other looks to men for everything she needs and seems to have no plans for her future. All of Weiner's characters are well drawn; this is NOT chick lit. It is a book about families and how we survive and thrive in them.

Reviewed by: Kathy C.

Books to TV

We can all name a few books that have inspired movies, but what about books that inspired TV series? Here are a few suggestions from librarian Genive P.

The Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay

Jeff Lindsay's books inspired the Dexter crime drama about a morally-ambiguous Miami forensics expert who kills criminals who he believes have escaped justice. Check out his latest title, Dexter is Delicious, located at the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley library's new books section.

The Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs

These books by Kathy Reichs are the inspiration for the TV show Bones, featuring a forensic anthropologist and an FBI agent who team up to solve murders using little more than bones as clues. The newest installment in the series is Spider Bones, also available in large print.

And rememember, your community library also has all available seasons of Dexter and Bones in the DVD section, alphabetized by title.

Camilla by Madeleine L'Engle: Reader Review

Title: Camilla
Genre: Adult Fiction
Rating: 4/5 (very good)

Review: Camilla, a 15 year old school girl, deals with some very adult issues despite the fact that she doesn't want to grow up. As she confronts life, love, infidelity and disappointment she learns some very important life lessons. The writing flows and the author carries us along so we feel Camilla's triumphs and heartbreaks. Be aware though that Ms. L'Engel uses her characters to relay her religious beliefs.

Reviewed by: Mary M.

Sarah's Key: Reader Review

Genre: Adult Fiction
Rating: 5/5 (excellent)

Review: This was such a haunting tale, with a multi-layered story and some history told as well. It really held my interest. She has a new book out, Secret Kept, that I am looking forward to reading.

Reviewed by: Christine N.

Caught Reading: Candy Cane Murder

Tis the season for cozying up with a good book, and Joanne Fluke's culinary mysteries are a great way to do exactly that. A patron just snapped up Candy Cane Murder for his niece, and both copies of Gingerbread Cookie Murder are checked out, but as of this writing the audiobook versions of Plum Pudding Murder are still available, as are regular print, large print, and ebook versions of Sugar Cookie Murder. Non-Christmas titles are also on the shelf; Fluke's popular Hannah Swenson culinary mystery series starts with Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

Urban Lit: What is it and where can I get it?

Are you curious about the genre that Novelist describes as "extraordinarily popular, thanks to page-turning storylines, contemporary urban settings, and realistic characters (usually African-Americans)"? If so, urban lit (aka hip-hop lit) might be for you. The three main types of urban lit are street lit, which explores themes of survival in a world filled with drugs and violence (try Hoodlum by K'Wan), drama lit, which emphasizes interpersonal relationships (try Big Girls Do Cry by Carl Weber), and urban erotica, which features explicit descriptions of sexual encounters (try The Hot Box by Zane). Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library has a display of urban lit books near the readers' advisory desk; feel free explore this growing genre by checking out these titles or by visiting sites like StreetFiction.org. Also, did you know that you can search our catalog not just by title or author, but also by publisher? Try Triple Crown, Strebor Books, Urban Books, or Augustus. And don't forget to look for the "UF" sticker on the spines of books in the fiction section.

December Book Display: Legal Thrillers

On the hunt for some exciting legal thrillers? Go beyond John Grisham with the books featured in the library's December Readers' Advisory display, at the foot of the stairs in the fiction section. Selections include works by established favorites like Steve Martini and William Bernhardt to relative newcomers like Joshua Ferris and David Hosp (click here for a complete list). And if you've read all these already, try searching the subject term "legal stories" to browse 800+ similar books in the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library's catalog. What are your recommendations?