Welcome to the Freeport Memorial Library blog. We hope to use this blog to offer in-depth information about library services that we do not have room to explore in our bi-monthly newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Readers' Advisory

by Matt Ruff (2012)

A thriller unusual in its concept, combining politics with an alternate reality. No attacks occur on Sept. 11. The real tragedy happens on Nov. 9, 2001, when terrorists from the Christian States of America (CSA) attack the twin towers in Baghdad. The world is turned upside down and inside out, with the United Arab States (UAS) being the world's dominant power and America a fragmented collection of countries that include the Republic of Texas. The UAS invades and conquers the CSA, but captured prisoners bring rumors that everything the Arabs see is a mirage, that the true superpower is America. Some even claim that "God loves America, not Arabia." Real-life characters show up aplenty but are cast in unexpected lights. Timothy McVeigh and Osama bin Laden, for example, are warriors for the good guys, but at least Saddam Hussein is still a thug. Readers have someone to root for in conventional thrillers, but that is lacking here. Much detail mirrors the West we know, an approach that starts out looking clever but quickly becomes too cute—Gaddafi claiming to have invented the Internet; a Six Flags Hanging Gardens theme park; and a series of self-help books including Christianity for the Ignorant. Germany is a Jewish state, while Palestine belongs to the Arabs. The UAS is a largely tolerant place, where one character even says, "Hey, it's a free country." Another shrugs off the revelation that someone is gay, as if no one cares in the UAS. A few characters, including the heroine named Amal, risk their lives to determine the truth—is their whole world an illusion? (Kirkus)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Readers' Advisory

Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow (2014)

Alexander Hamilton was arguably the most important figure in American history who never attained the presidency, but he had a far more lasting impact than many who did. An illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, Hamilton rose with stunning speed to become George Washington's aide-de-camp, a battlefield hero, a member of the Constitutional Convention, the leading author of The Federalist Papers, and head of the Federalist party. As the first treasury secretary, he forged America's tax and budget systems, customs service, coast guard, and central bank. Chernow offers the whole sweep of Hamilton's turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his shocking illicit romances; his enlightened abolitionism; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Readers' Advisory

Listen, Liberal: What Ever Happened to the Party of the People
By Thomas Frank (2016)

A critical assessment of what the author believes to be the shortcomings of the Democratic party draws on years of research and firsthand reporting to argue that the party has failed to advance traditional liberal goals and has victimized the middle class. By the best-selling author of What's the Matter with Kansas?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Readers' Advisory

American Walks Into A Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns, Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops
by Christine Sismondo (2011)

In America Walks into a Bar, Christine Sismondo recounts the rich and fascinating history of an institution often reviled, yet always central to American life. She traces the tavern from England to New England, showing how even the Puritans valued "a good Beere." With fast-paced narration and lively characters, she carries the story through the twentieth century and beyond, from repeated struggles over licensing and Sunday liquor sales, from the Whiskey Rebellion to the temperance movement, from attempts to ban "treating" to Prohibition and repeal. As the cockpit of organized crime, politics, and everyday social life, the bar has remained vital--and controversial--down to the present. In 2006, when the Hurricane Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act was passed, a rider excluded bars from applying for aid or tax breaks on the grounds that they contributed nothing to the community. Sismondo proves otherwise: the bar has contributed everything to the American story.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Readers' Advisory

Farewell Harper Lee
American Novelist

Harper Lee was considered by many to be a literary icon. Her controversial novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961. For decades, the book was her first and only publication and was later turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Gregory Peck. Harper stopped making public appearances and giving interviews shortly after the novel's release. She was presented with a number of honorary degrees and awards in her later years, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2007. Lee's second novel, Go Set a Watchman, was  published in July 2015. Lee completed the novel--written from the perspective of an adult Scout Finch looking back at events in her childhood--in the 1950s. Lee set the manuscript aside at the advice of an agent to instead write To Kill A Mockingbird.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Readers' Advisory

Invisible Ink: My Mother's Secret Love Affair With a Famous Cartoonish (A Graphic Memoir)
Bill Griffith (2015)

This is the renowned cartoonist's first long-form graphic work — a 200-page memoir that poignantly recounts his mother’s secret life, which included an affair with a cartoonist and crime novelist, Lawrence Lariar, in the 1950s and 1960s. Lariar lived at 57 West Lena Avenue. Freeport, NY.  Invisible Ink unfolds like a detective story, alternating between past and present, as Griffith recreates the quotidian habits of suburban Levittown and the professional and cultural life of mid-century Manhattan in the 1950s and ’60s as seen through his mother’s and his own then-teenage eyes. Griffith puts the pieces together and reveals a mother he never knew.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Readers' Advisory

Start A Revolution: Stop Acting Like A Library
by Ben Bizzle with Maria Flora (2015)

Bizzle and Flora present students, academics, and librarians working in a variety of contexts with a comprehensive guide to reinventing and radically marketing library services based on the author’s experience in reinvigorating the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library in Arkansas. The authors have organized the bulk of their text into eight chapters, including a prelude telling the Jonesboro story, and an interlude telling the story of the Crooked Valley Regional Library. The eight chapters cover a variety of related topics, including digital library services, mobile library services, Facebook advertising and marketing, and many others. (Summary by: protoview.com).