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71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY
T: 631-581-5933
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Mon-Thu: 9am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: Closed

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY
T: 631-581-5933
F: 631-581-8429

Mon-Thu: 9am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: Closed
71 Monell Avenue, Islip, NY
T: 631-581-5933
F: 631-581-8429

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Category Archives for Books

Summertime is Reading Time | Adult Summer Reading Club

Summer is right around the corner and that means beaches, barbecues, hiking, kayaking, sailing, and of course summer reading! Did you know that we have a summer reading club for adults?! Registration for the adult summer reading club begins on Friday, June 16th. It’s easy to participate: Come into the library to register and receive a summer reading club folder. Read any book you want and give us a review of the book(s) you read.

You can either report on your book using a paper book review form (you will receive when you register) or by filling out your book review on our Adult Summer Reading club blog found here:

Remember: you need to register first before reporting on your books. After reading and reporting on two books, you will receive a sweet treat! The first 75 patrons who read and report on three books, will receive an invitation to attend our summer reading club party on Friday, August 18 at 5:00 pm with dinner catered by Fratelli’s Restaurant and a fully staged musical production of My Fair Lady performed by Plaza Theatrical Productions.

Need some ideas for what to read this summer? Try these lists or stop into the library for some more great summer reading suggestions!

The Power of the Illustrated Book

It is said that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the case of books, illustrations enhance a story by pulling the reader into the world of the characters in an immediate and visceral fashion. Traditional picture books rely on the artwork to tell a good portion of their stories and children often love to spend time looking at or, depending on the complexity of the pictures (think Jan Brett), finding tiny details that reveal hidden jokes or clues, as well as correlations to or discrepancies between, the illustrations and the text.

Even popular books that are categorized as Juvenile Fiction can contain illustrations, most notably the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and its ilk. Graphic novels have enticed kids into reading history (The Nathan Hale series, for example) and realistic fiction that confronts difficult issues in a manageable way (El Deafo, Smile). Regular comic books with their broad range of topics will always have an audience, whether it’s made up of adults or children.

In recent years, many teachers and parents are discovering the merits of “Picture Books for Older Readers,” as many libraries call them, and what we refer to here at Islip Public Library as “Illustrated Books.” These are books which usually have, more or less, a full-page color illustration on each page, but also have either a large amount of text or complex subject matter that would not appeal to younger children. The visual aspect of an illustrated work can be a powerful medium for both storytelling and teaching, belying any suggestion that picture books are just for small children.

For instance, Patricia Polacco writes books that are highly autobiographical and appeal to younger readers, but she also draws upon memories of older relatives and friends to create works that illuminate parts of history (Pink and Say, The Butterfly, Tucky Jo and Little Heart). Using a personal point of view with pictures depicting those times creates an intimacy with that subject that can be far more illuminating than a history lesson from a textbook.

Unique works that are in unusual formats or handmade works of art from other countries depicting that region’s culture are also included within our collection (Drawing from the City by Tejubehan; Migrant by Jose Manuel Mateo). Teachers who are interested in reinforcing the Common Core standards that concern visual literacy – evaluating and integrating content with written text and assessing how a point of view shapes a work - would do well to consider books such as these. Many standardized tests have “DBQs” or document-based questions that very often include political cartoons of different eras that students are asked to interpret and write about. Reading and discussing an illustrated book is a step toward mastering this skill.

Also, English language learners can employ picture books. Reading illustrated works increases comprehension and vocabulary, and in the case of families, the opportunities to connect parents to children in a rich and rewarding way.

Some children’s authors have said that they have observed their books being utilized by middle and high school readers and see no reason to limit their audience to children of a certain age. “You can get different things from picture books depending on your age. An adult can read a whole other meaning into the book and readers of all ages can appreciate the poetry, the rhyme breaks, hidden rhyme schemes. The possibilities are infinite. ” says Jacqueline Woodson. She urges parents, or the adults who are the “gatekeepers” to what books a child has access to, to eliminate the stigma of reading picture books and consider the range of social issues and relevance of the story, as well as the complexity of the text and artwork.

Naturally, the book works best if the language and artwork blend well. Illustrator Chris Soentpiet says that reading deeply the text of a book he is working on is how he develops the ideas for his pictures. “One word, just one word, might inspire an entire painting. It’s about studying the word.”

The potential of these types of books is still evolving and will continue to do so in our current multimedia culture. They are poetry and portable art galleries. They contain insights and object lessons. And they are relevant for readers of any age.

The following “Illustrated Books” are some of my personal favorites:

A Boy and His Jaguar: By Alan Rabinowitz; pictures by Catia Chen

The renowned cat conservationist reflects on his early childhood struggles with a speech disorder, describing how he only spoke fluently when he was communicating with animals and how he resolved at a young age to find his voice to be their advocate.

Advice to the Little Girls: By Mark Twain; pictures by Vladimir Radunsky

The nineteenth-century American humorist, Mark Twain, offers alternatives to little girls who sass their teachers, hurl mud at their brothers, or covet their friends' expensive china dolls.

Cowboy and Octopus: By Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Cowboy and Octopus maintain their friendship despite different opinions about things like beans and knock-knock jokes.

Amelia and Eleanor go for a Ride: By Pam Munoz Ryan; pictures by Brian Selznick

A fictionalized account of the night Amelia Earhart flew Eleanor Roosevelt over Washington, D.C. in an airplane.

Testing the Ice: By Sharon Robinson; pictures by Kadir Nelson

As a testament to his courage, Jackie Robinson's daughter shares memories of him, from his baseball career to the day he tests the ice for her, her brothers, and their friends.

Sparrow Girl: By Sara Pennypacker; pictures by Yoko Tanaka

When China's leader Mao Zedong declares a war on sparrows, Ming-Li cannot think of the sky without birds in it, and while her countrymen are killing the birds, she and her brother try to save as many as they can.

The Wall: Growing up Behind the Iron Curtain: By Peter Sis

In this powerful memoir, annotated Illustrations, maps and dreamscapes explore how the artist-author’s life was shaped while growing up in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War.

My Uncle Emily: By Jane Yolen; pictures by Nancy Carpenter

In 1881 Amherst, Massachusetts, six-year-old Gilbert finds it both challenging and wonderful to spend time with his aunt, the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson, who lives next door.

Christmas in the Trenches: By John McCutcheon; pictures by Henri Sorensen

A World War I veteran tells his grandson of his experiences in 1914, when British and German soldiers declared a truce from fighting to celebrate Christmas together. A music CD is included.

For further picture book suggestions suitable for older readers try the Cooperative Children’s Book Center: https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu

Banned Books Week

September 24 – October 1, 2016

Do you know what these 10 books have in common? You guessed it - they were the most frequently challenged books during 2015.

  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
  • I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
  • Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • The Holy Bible
  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
  •  Habibi by Craig Thompson
  • Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter
  • Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

“Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

A challenge [to a book] is an attempt to remove or restrict it, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.”

Source: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/

Why are books challenged?

The reasons cited for the challenge to the above books include:

Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, anti-family, political viewpoint, violence and other (“graphic images”), nudity, and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

In the words of Mark Twain, “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”

So celebrate your freedom to read and check out a challenged book today! There’s something for everyone at the Islip Public Library!

HIT Collection

Have It Today Collection

Have you heard about the new HIT (Have It Today) Collection at the Library?! It’s a collection of some of the hottest new books, in multiple copies, that are available to check out for 1 week (there is no fee).

It’s a quick turn-around collection much like our ‘Quick Flix’ DVDs. The loan periods are shorter so that the copies keep moving quickly from one patron to the next. There are no holds lists for these materials – it’s strictly a ‘first come/first served’ service! This means that it’s easier to get the book or DVD you want, when you want it!

As always, if you’re ok with waiting, all of the books in the HIT Collection (and all of the DVDs in our Quick Flix DVD Collection) are also available from our general collections. If the item you want isn’t in, simply place a hold on it to receive a phone call and/or email when it’s available. Those items get checked out for the standard loan periods.

Your comments are always welcome as we strive to provide you with excellent patron service. If you would like to share your thoughts, please call the Library to speak with the Library’s Director, Mary Schubart, or the Library’s Assistant Director, Lauraine Farr. Thanks!

best selling science books

These 20 Best Selling Science Books Are Truly Fascinating

When you think of best selling books, you probably think of novels, but many bestsellers are nonfiction. The NY Times compiles a Fiction list as well as a Nonfiction list each week for the NY Times Book Review.

If you’re looking for something interesting, factual, and informative to read try one of these fascinating books about science. All are available at the Islip Public Library and all are (or recently were) on the NY Times bestselling books list.

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi

The Gene

Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Wright Brothers

David McCullough

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

Mary Roach

The Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari

Being Mortal : Medicine and What Matters in the End

Atul Gawande

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Carlo Rovelli

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Susan Cain

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot

Thinking Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and Art of Battling Giants

Malcolm Gladwell

How Not to Be Wrong

Jordan Ellenberg

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People

Mahzarin R. Banaji

What If ? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

Randall Munroe

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself

Sean Carroll

Lab Girl

Hope Jahren

Inside of a Dog

Alexandra Horowitz

The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports

Jeff Passan

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Elizabeth Kolbert

Summertime Is Reading Time at Islip Public Library!

Summer is right around the corner and that means beaches, barbecues, hiking, kayaking, sailing, and of course summer reading! Did you know that we have a summer reading club for adults?!

Registration for the adult summer reading club is underway. It’s really easy to participate: Come into the library to register and receive a summer reading club folder. Read any book you want and give us a review of the book you read.

You can either report on your book using a paper book review form (found in the folder you will receive when you register) or by filling out your book review on our Adult Summer Reading club blog found here:


Remember, you need to register before reporting on your books. After reading and reporting on two books, you will receive a special prize -- an Islip Library ceramic mug with spoon. After reading and reporting on three books, you will receive an invitation to attend our summer reading club party on Friday, August 19 at 6:00 pm.


Need some ideas for what to read this summer? A booklet of ‘staff picks’ is included in your reading club folder!

If you are looking for additional suggestions, check out these websites:

What Are You Reading?

There are all different kinds of readers.

There are readers who read for adventure, fantasy, thrills and chills, a plot that keeps them on the edge of their seats - to escape from the challenges of daily life. There are readers who read science fiction perhaps to imagine what the future world, or some other world, might look like.

Some readers enjoy solving mysteries and studying the methods of clever detectives. Some readers read only non-fiction because they believe that reading anything that cannot be substantiated by facts is not a productive use of their time. Some readers like graphic novels best, some read cookbooks, self-help, art, or home decorating books for inspiration. Some people love to read biographies and autobiographies.

There are readers who prefer history or historical fiction. Some readers enjoy romance or contemporary stories that take place in a setting similar to their own.

There truly are all kinds of books to suit all kinds of reading preferences!

Reading tastes are as varied as are people and their assorted moods!

I read a variety of books and am usually simultaneously under the spell of at least two. Often one is a novel while the other will be nonfiction. Because I love stories, I love novels, and though they are fiction and so are not true exactly, the feelings they depict and evoke are most definitely true because they are, after all, written by real people with true feelings and experiences.

I gravitate to novels that are well-reviewed in the numerous reviewing sources that I read. I also love discovering new authors. My novel choices are often a bit ‘under the radar’ which contributes to my thrill of finding them!

Books that I especially enjoy are ones that I have come to think of as ‘quietly powerful’ novels. These are books in which very little actually happens. I know I’ve lost some of you already by saying that! Plot is definitely not their strong suit, but oh, the character development and the prose are exquisite!

Some writers have the gift of being able to craft sentences that truly transport a reader – thankfully, that kind of writing can be found in books of many different genres. Once you’ve had a taste of expertise like that, it is difficult to settle for anything that is less sumptuous.

Reading great writing envelops you in a warm, restorative, and soothing cocoon, one from which you will be reluctant to take your leave. One trait that these quietly powerful novels all share is this kind of prose - oftentimes downright ethereal.

Another trait these books share is their humanity. The characters are flawed - none of their choices are right or wrong, good or bad, but rather they are complicated, with untidy outcomes – just like in real life. We see the flaws of the characters while we learn to accept and forgive our own and those of the real characters in our own lives.

My Top​ 'Quietly Powerful' Book Recommendations

Two recent quietly powerful novels that I loved are My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout and Someone by Alice McDermott. Both stories are about one woman’s inner life. Events are shared in both novels, but it isn’t the events that matter – it’s the woman’s thoughts and feelings about the events - how she grows, what she observes, what she perceives. We are invited to share her experience in a very personal way.

Annalisa Quinn, a book reviewer for NPR wrote this in her review of My Name is Lucy Barton:

“…a novel of gorgeous simplicity and restraint…some novels, regardless of their

relationship to actual events feel true. It’s like something gentle has taken you to one side, where things you already half-knew but couldn’t articulate are finally explained to you.”

“Our inner lives are unaccountable in so many ways…the heart is moved by a tiny kindness, a smell, a breeze, an impulse.”

Reviewer Susan Jane Gilman, a book reviewer for NPR wrote this of Someone:

“McDermott writes with spare poetry and deep compassion. Her prose is unhurried, sometimes elliptical — she trusts us to grasp the story as it unfolds. She mesmerizes with very little, taking readers in unexpected directions through familiar territory.”

“In Someone, nothing extraordinary happens to an ordinary woman. But McDermott's novel manages to be gripping and resonant.”

A selection of other books I place in the category of quietly powerful are: Brooklyn by Colm Toíbin; A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler; Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf; The Last First Day by Carrie Brown, The Maytrees by Annie Dillard, Clever Girl by Tessa Hadley, Florence Gordon by Brian Moore, The Odds by Stewart O’Nan, and the many delicious short stories of both Jhumpa Lahiri and Alice Munro.

Want To Discover New Books That YOU Will Love? Let Us Help!

What is your favorite kind of book? Stop by the Library and ask one of the librarians at the Reference Desk for some recommendations - we will help you find something you’ll love!

Young woman holding stack of books

Not All Teen Books Are The Same: Sometimes They Are Overlooked

There are so many Teen books to choose from, books are sometimes overlooked for various reasons because they are labeled as being the same old teen literature. Teen Angst, Quick, Dystopian, Fantasy series etc…

They sometimes stay on the shelves, just ready to be discovered. Some books that are really good that you may never have heard of are titles that you will make you laugh, cry, become open minded, imagine, learn something new, be empathetic, or just go on a journey to another place and time.

Some titles I recommend that are different than the typical genre are titles that have a lot of flare and touch on so many subjects.

We should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly a True Story, by Josh Sunquist. Twenty-five years old and still single why? Never having had a girlfriend, Josh was actually under his impression that he had been in relationships. Why was [Paralympic ski racer and cancer survivor] Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girls he had tried to date since middle school and asked them straight up: what went wrong?

The results of Josh's semi scientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured from a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided 'grand gesture' at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love--or at least a girlfriend--in all the wrong places.

Another often overlooked book is The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin.

It’s written like a piece of journalism. After Addison Stone, a talented street artist, mysteriously drowns, her former teacher investigates her death. The book itself is a compilation of the teacher’s findings, relaying what happened to Addison through interviews with Addison’s friends, which are interwoven with pictures of both Addison and her art.

It gives the impression that something bad is going to happen because all of the characters are fictional, it is a rare glimpse into New York art scene, fame and mental illness. This book is just not about what happened to Addison Stone it is also about who Addison Stone really was.

It's not just a Historical Novel , but Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, is about Missouri in 1849 and life on the Oregon Trail. This is Part Adventure, about friendship and overcoming odds and forging friendships in the least expected places. Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician -- not an easy thing if you're a girl, and harder still if you're Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hope of fulfilling her dream and, instead, leaves her fearing for her life.

With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. Life is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the lighthearted crew turns out to be unexpected allies.

Some other titles you may never heard of that are great reads:

Our Brand Is Books

Our Brand Is Books

In the February 15, 2016 issue of Publishers Weekly, I read a short piece entitled, “Librarians: Stop the Book Shaming.” The author, Brian Kenney, maintains that librarians have increasingly become “like shame filled smokers standing outside of office buildings – apart, a little embarrassed and slightly defensive.” In a time when the media tells us more technology is better, and that traditional print books will be replaced by downloads in the form of ebooks and audiobooks, some librarians may feel it’s become old fashioned to sing the praises of traditional paper books. Yet, I find that most of our patrons still prefer the traditional book. This is not to say that ebooks and audiobooks are not popular – they are, especially for those who are frequent travelers. No one can dismiss the convenience of having multiple books, magazines, and newspapers loaded onto one small device. Still, most of our patrons seem happy to leave with several books in their book bags. Maybe they’ve got a fully loaded Kindle as well, but they still love traditional books.

Recent statistics show that there is a growing trend back to printed materials - even independent bookstores are making a comeback! According to the American Booksellers Association, the number of member independent bookstores has increased more than 20 percent since the depths of the recession, from 1,651 in 2009, to 2,094 in 2014. A report in February 2015 showed that the number of ABA member independent bookstores had increased 27% since 2009. E-book sales are actually now on the decline, while the sale of physical books is on the rise. To what do we attribute this trend? While many readers love the feel, convenience, and dare I say, the scent, of printed books, another reason for the uptick in the popularity of independent bookstores, appears to be the need for human connection. In an age when so many interactions have become automated, people crave more face to face interaction with other people. Many of our patrons enjoy the library as a destination place – a place to go and be with other people - have a chat, sit in our café area with a cup of coffee, and check out a book (or few) that’s been recommended by a live person! Independent bookstores and public libraries have much in common, the big difference being that at the library, the only reason to open your wallet is to take out your library card!

Which do you prefer? Books, ebooks, audio books? Do you like downloads or do you prefer the physical object? Do you like coming to the library just to be among other humans? All of these choices are yours at the library. Come in and check out some materials, or go online from our website and download materials onto your device. Whatever you choose – keep reading! An educated and informed populace engaged in civil discourse (even when we disagree) is the backbone of our democratic society. The public library, with its free access to both, is still the best place to continue your lifelong learning!

Our brand is books!

Recently Announced National Book Award Finalists and Winners

Fiction Winner:

Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson – six new stories by the author of The Orphan Master’s Son

Fiction Finalists:

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – novel about four men, later in life, who had been college roommates

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – the story of a marriage told from the wife’s point of view, and from the husband’s point of view

Refund: Stories by Karen E. Bender – a collection of fourteen stories exploring the impact that money has on people’s lives

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy – novel depicting a half-century of family life on Detroit’s East Side

Nonfiction Winner:

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – the author shares personal experiences and history of racial discrimination in the United States

Nonfiction Finalists:

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann – memoir of family life by a renowned photographer

If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla Power – an award-winning foreign correspondent and a madrasa-trained sheikh embark on a yearlong journey through the text of The Quran

Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet explores coming of age and the meaning of home against a backdrop of race, faith, and a bond between a mother and a daughter

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery – a naturalist examines the surprising intelligence, emotions, and various personalities of octopuses

Poetry Winner:

Voyage of the Sable Venus: And Other Poems by Robin Coste Lewis – a poetic meditation on the black female figure through time

Poetry Finalists:

Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón – poems examining the chaos that is life and the dangerous thrill of living in the world

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay – fast-paced poems of gratitude for all that makes life worth living

Elegy for a Broken Machine by Patrick Phillips – sad and powerful poems that bear witness to the beauty and inevitable losses of life

How to Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes – stunning poems of home, history, race, music, drawing, family and love

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