Caught Reading

Community Library member Antoinette L. was recently talking with librarian in the true crime section (362), and shared an enthusiastic recommendation for Cruel Death.  In this true story, a college-educated woman and her Navy SEAL husband rob, murder, and dismember two vacationers in Ocean City, Maryland.  Read all about the crime and its aftermath in Cruel Death by M. William Phelps.  If you like it, though, you may have to get in line behind Antoinette to check out other books by this true crime author...

Debut Novel: The Postmortal by Drew Magary

In this darkly funny dystopia by noted humorist and sports blogger Drew Magary, a scientist looking for the gene for red hair accidentally stumbles upon the gene that suspends aging, unleashing worldwide social upheaval.  Russia uses postmortal soldiers for conquest, while China, ever fearful of overpopulation, bans the treatment and starts branding its citizens with their birthdates.  Told mostly in the form of journal entries by the eternally 29-year-old main character (a Manhattan attorney who becomes postmortal through black market treatments), this first-time novelist also includes satirically imaginative newspaper clippings, religious pamphlets, and even medical bulletins to round out his debut novel.  The Postmortal comes out today, August 30th; be the first to check it out!  Click here to read a full review from the book newsletter Shelf Awareness.

Book to Movie: Red Dog

The new movie "Red Dog" tells the true story of a loyal canine's long search through the Australian Outback for his master.  According to this article from Variety, this heartwarming story is a currently a huge box office hit in Australia, where it beat out the debuts of both "Cowboys and Aliens" and "Conan the Barbarian."  If you're interested in reading the book that inspired this cinematic success, click here to request it.  Know any other loveable dog stories?

Earthquake-Inspired Reading

So where were you when the earthquake rocked the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley area on Tuesday, August 23rd?  If the unexpected shaking of your home or workplace got you wondering about what-if earthquake scenarios, here are some suggested reads for you, taken from The LA Times and Entertainment Weekly's Shelf Life blog.  What better way to amuse yourself during this weekend's hurricane than by reading about other natural disasters?  Click the book jackets to learn more about each title or to reserve your copy!

Explore the Orient

A few of you in the library's Summer Reading Club have taken this year's theme of "Novel Destinations" to heart!  Take a book suggestion from a fellow community member, and explore the Orient with Yip's Silk Road or Rowland's Perfumed Sleeve and Assassin's Touch.  A few other suggestions include How to be an American Housewife, about an American GI who brings home a Japanese bride, or the award-nominated Under Heaven, set in a fantastical world inspired by ancient China.

Top Ten Book Club Picks

Looking for some discussion-worthy titles?  Here are the top ten book club picks from the over 30,000 book discussion groups registered at, as reported here in the Shelf Awareness newsletter:

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (with the movie now out in theaters, this is no surprise)
2. Room by Emma Donoghue (the absolutely chilling book trailer sums it up best)
3. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (staff pick of the month for August 2011)
4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (a true story of medical ethics in stem cell research)
5. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (this has been one of the library's most popular books for years, and will probably become more in-demand as the release date of the planned movie draws nearer)
7. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
8. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
9. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
10. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (the moving story of a Chinese immigrant family who sacrifices a great deal to live the American dream) 

Final Summer Reading Club Update

Congratulations to Jackie Williams-Gerard, who won the "Making Memories" raffle basket, the eigth of eight weekly prizes offered through the 2011 Adult Department Summer Reading Club! This year's Summer Reading Club is now officially over, with 428 members logging reviews for a grand total of 970 books. Thanks everyone for helping make this program a success!

Presidential Reading

Ever wonder what the nation's Commander-in-Chief reads?  This info-graphic from The Daily Beast documents the books President Obama has read since starting his campaign in 2008.  How many of them have you read?

Happy Birthday, Winnie the Pooh!

One of literature's best-loved children's book characters turns 90 today: happy birthday, Winnie the Pooh! The New York Public Library (which holds Christopher Robin Milne's original Winnie the Pooh doll set) will be celebrating his birthday all month and is also accepting birthday cards on his behalf at:

Winnie the Pooh
c/o New York Public Library Children's Center
Stephen A. Schwartzman Building
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018-2788

But before you start writing, first be sure to rediscover & share Winnie the Pooh with a loved one right here at your own Community Library!

Yuppie Lit

With summer well upon us and BMWs literally driving through Mastic-Shirley area on their way to the Hamptons, why not read some yuppie-inspired lit?  Flavorwire has compiled this list of books about the (often sickeningly) well-to-do.  Have any additional suggestions?

Lincoln Lawyer: Book to TV

Fans of Michael Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer have already seen that beloved book on the big screen, but now they'll have a chance to see it come to life on screens again... as a television series.  According to this article from Variety, ABC has purchased the rights to a TV drama series adaptation of Connelly's novel.  Watch this blog for future updates...

Spoiler Alert!

Are you one of those people who actively avoids reading spoilers?  Well, according to a new study from UC San Diego, spoilers actually add to the enjoyment of the reading experience, rather than detracting from it.  This article in Wired reports in greater detail about the experiment, in which two groups of college students were asked to read the same 12 short stories, one group with spoilers and the other without.  Those who read the stories with spoilers generally reported enjoying them more.  So go ahead, savor the journey and not just the destination; read a few spoilers and enjoy the ride.  Here are some to get you started: Edgar Sawtelle's father was killed by his uncle (who is now romancing Edgar's mother); Harry Potter's teacher Dumbledore dies in book 6; Katniss's gets together with Peeta in book 3 (sorry, Gale); Edward and Bella marry while Jacob falls in love with their half-vampire daughter in book 4; and Moby Dick eats the revenge-obsessed Captain Ahab.

Week 7 Summer Reading Club Update

Summer Reading Club Raffle Week #7

Congratulations to Peg E., who won the "Shutter Bug" raffle basket, the seventh of eight weekly prizes offered through the 2011 Adult Department Summer Reading Club! It's not too late to join this all-online club for book lovers, which is free and open to all adult Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library cardholders: sign up here or call (631) 399-1511 x 240. You can read or listen to any book you want, and for each book review you contribute to our site, you're entered to win the raffle prize of the week. So far over 600 books have been reviewed! Next week's prize is "Making Memories;" good luck and happy reading from your Community Library!

Debut Released Today: The Submission

Those of us in the Mastic-Mastic Beach-Shirley area still vividly remember September 11th, 2001.  With the ten year anniversary fast approaching, former New York Times reporter Amy Waldman's debut novel The Submission is being heralded as a solid choice to stimulate reflection and debate.  According to the review in the August issue of Bookpage (free copies of which are available monthly at your Community Library), "Waldman's novel proves that thoughtful fiction can be more illuminating than fact."  Set two years after 9/11, a panel of judges selects an architectural design for a memorial at Ground Zero from several anonymous submissions.  Controversy begins when the winner turns out to be a Muslim-American and only gains momentum when his design is interpreted to have Islamic connotations.  In an eerie echo of the recent, real-life mosque-at-Ground Zero debate, Waldman uses multiple points of view to ask the reader what America has learned as a nation since the 9/11 attacks.

Famous Authors' Summer Reading Picks

Ever wonder what your favorite authors read? In this article from The Daily Beast, authors name their personal summer reading selections. Rising young literary star Tea Obreht (author of The Tiger's Wife) recommends The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova; Elizabeth Kostova in turn recommends the all-ages classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Kathryn Stockett (author of The Help, the bestselling book which has just been released in movie theaters) recommends A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Alexandra Fuller (author of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness) recommends Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey, while Chris Adrian (author of The Great Night) recommends Dune by Frank Herbert. Check one out from your Community Library today!