The 2015 LONG ISLAND READS pick is…
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
The Long Island Reads Committee is pleased to announce that we have selected The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman!
Mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the 20th century. With its colorful crowds of bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists, New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her trademark magic and masterful storytelling to unite her characters in a sizzling, tender, and moving story of self-discovery in tumultuous times.
Why The Museum of Extraordinary Things?
The book incorporates numerous real-life events, including the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the Dreamland fire at Coney Island, and will appeal to those with an interest in NYC history. It features compelling descriptions of immigrant life on the Lower East Side, upper Manhattan in its wilderness days, and the development of “freak shows” and amusements at Coney Island.
The author was raised on Long Island and is available to speak at our author event on Sunday, April 19.
Combining mystery, romance, history, and magical realism, the novel will attract a broad range of readers.
The subject matter lends itself to many related historical programs, lectures, and trips.
The book is available in multiple formats.
Long Island Reads takes place annually throughout the month of April and celebrates National Library Week, April 12-18, 2015.
Over 200 people spent a beautiful Saturday on Shelter Island attending this year’s author event!
What was your favorite part of the day?
This weekend’s event was featured in Sylvester Manor’s Upcoming Events newsletter.
The Manor will now be open for self guided tours from 1 to 4. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, May 17
1 to 4 pm
Manor House and Rose Garden
Long Island Reads and Sylvester Manor are proud to co-sponsor an author reading and book signing event with Mac Griswold, author of The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island, selected best book 2014 by Long Island Reads, a joint committee comprised of library professionals from both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
A sign language interpreter will be on hand for the hearing impaired.
Long Island Reads is an island-wide reading initiative sponsored by the Nassau and Suffolk library systems. Each April since 2002 during National Library Week the committee selects a Best Book, judged on readability and excellence. A celebration and reading with the author usually takes place on a rotating basis at one of the two counties libraries, but is held this year on the historic grounds of Sylvester Manor, where the 367-year Sylvester history described by Ms. Griswold began, and continues as an organic educational farm and inspiring historic cultural resource.
Ms. Griswold will read from her book at 2pm in the Rose Garden, while the manor house will be open for self-guided tours from 1-4pm. Docents will be on hand to answer questions.
This is a free event. We will have copies of Ms. Griswold’s book available for purchase and signing.
Here’s a listing of events scheduled at Long Island libraries relating to The Manor.
These programs are open to all, but some require registration.
Please contact the individual library with any questions.
Mac Griswold, the author of this year’s Long Island Reads selection, The Manor, will speak at Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island on Saturday, May 17th at 2 pm. The author talk will be outdoors, and will last about one hour, including time for questions.
The 2014 Reader’s Guide is ready.
We hope this gives you some food for thought as you read and/or discuss this year’s selection.
The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island
by Mac Griswold
“Long Islanders curious about the history of the land we now occupy will be moved by Griswold’s layered account, which continues to the present day.” – Newsday
“The book is strong in its vivid and compassionate description of the horrors of the slave trade… history buffs will love The Manor, and it tells a story that needs to be told.” – Washington Post
“A deeply researched painstakingly detailed story of a forgotten chapter of our nation’s history. Highly recommended.” – Kirkus
In 1984, landscape historian Mac Griswold came across Sylvester Manor, the 1650s former plantation on Shelter Island that has been home to 11 generations of the Sylvester family. After years of painstaking research, she tells the story of one of the earliest plantations in the North, dependent for nearly two centuries upon the labor of African-American slaves, Native Americans, and indentured servants. The book ranges from 16th century Europe to 21st century Shelter Island, where the property, still owned by descendants of the original family, continues to operate as a nonprofit educational foundation and organic farm.
Why The Manor?
The book covers over 300 years of Long Island history and explores the little-known phenomenon of Northern slavery.
The author resides on Long Island and is available to talk at our author events.
The Manor is now the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm and the house and gardens are available for tours.
The subject matter is of interest to a broad range of readers.
The book is available in hardcover and e-book; the paperback will be available to libraries in March, 2014.