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Summer Reading 2011

» As you know, the last few years I've maintained an ongoing collection of Summer Reading Lists through the season. This year my schedule simply won't accommodate that expediture of time. Rejoice, however! The Reader's Advisor Online keeps a list of recommended reading throughout the year (scroll through the entry until you get to the section "Lists"). Check in every Monday to see the latest hotness in the literary world. To get you started, here's their Memorial Day entry(0) Comments  / [ 06/01/11 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 09/14/09

» Our final Summer 2009 reading update includes some last minute suggestions for those who want to extend their summer, and a bonus preview of an unprecedented fall reading season.
For Adults:
USA Today: President's reading list a hefty one
The Witchita Eagle: Corporate America's summer reading
NPR: Cold Cases: Icy Books Offer Relief From The Heat
Guardian: 2009 First Book Award Longlist North Carolina fiction provides good summer reading
Massachusetts Historical Society: John Quincy Adams' Shipboard Reading List: August. Who knew JQA has a Twitter account?
World Tea News: Tea Books
Culture Industry: Reading List for creative writers
Talking Union: Summer reading suggestions
Extremely Graphic: Back to Work/End of Summer Reading
Pastor Brett: Professor Grant Horner's Bible Reading System
Think Laugh Weep Worship: Fall 2009 Reading List

Children and Young Adults:
Lemondrop: Your Back-to-School Reading List
GreenBeanTeenQueen: My Children's Lit Reading List Lots of suggestions from a Tween and Teen librarian

NPR: Fall Books Readers Will Be Buzzing About
NY Observer: Hey, Look at All These Novels to Read!

I have never seen another year like this. I can hardly bear to think about fall's books, it's like looking bare-eyed into the sun. -- Sarah McNally, owner of the popular Soho bookstore McNally Jackson.

(thanks, Molly!)   [ 09/14/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 08/27/09

» This week's update includes Nancy Pearl's recommended mysteries, books on food and computer code, and late summer reading for kids.
For Adults:
NPR: Mysteries You Might Have Missed Along the Way recommended by Nancy Pearl
The Malta Independent Online: Summer reading
Spectator: Summer Reading List
Culinate: August food books Delicious reading
Techdirt: Book Reading List 2009
Code Climber: 11 books for a .NET Summer reading list
Shelf Talk: School Days: These adult novels take you back

Children and Young Adults:
Oprah: What is First Lady Michelle Obama reading with her daughters?
School Library Journal: Swim Team
Reader's Advisor: Under the Radar: Not Your Traditional Back-To-School Late-summer suggestions for kids' reading

  [ 08/27/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 08/17/09

» This week's update includes the Hugo awards and Thurber nominees, President Clinton's and Obama's recent reading, footnoted novels, and holiday-themed novels slated for the upcoming holiday season.
For Adults:
2009 Hugo Award winners
2009 Thurber Prize nominees including Ian Frazier's Lamentations of the Father, which still makes me laugh until I cry
WSJ: Private Equity Beat: A Summer Reading List
Daily Beast: President Obama's reading list since taking office
Los Angeles Times Books: What President Clinton has been reading lately
The Daily Beast: A Mad Men reading list read like Don Draper
Seattle Public Library: Staff Favorites
Nightstand Reading: Seattle novelist Heather Barbieri's late summer reading
The Reader's Advisor: Footnoted Novels
Socialist Worker: Summer reading for activists
Bibliophile By the Sea: New seasonally-themed books for the 2009 winter! holiday season
A Reading Recruiter: A Reading List to Build your Work Life Skills

Children and Young Adults:
NPR: A Classic List Of Must-Read Children's Books
NYT: Summer Reading Chronicle For kids who are ahead of the game and have finished their Harry Potters, Hobbits and other classics of summer reading lists, here are three recent novels they could polish off for fun before school begins
Seattle Public Library: Going to School for the First Time

Bonus: How the Amazon bestseller list works (and which marketing has the strongest effect)
  [ 08/17/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 08/10/09

» This week's update includes time travel, military history, the Man Asian Literary Longlist, crime, fantasy, and books for dudes.
For Adults:
U.S. Army Center of Military History: Recommended Professional Reading List
BBC: The Big Read Top 100 (this is the source for the list that's been going around Facebook; I've read 43 of them)
The Economist: Summer reading (Eastern Europe)
The Guardian: Linda Buckley-Archer's top 10 time-travelling stories
The Daily Beast: Dog Day Reading List
Seattle Public Library: Icy Cold Reads
2009 Man Asian Literary Prize: Longlist
ABA: The September Indie Next Great Reads
Library Journal: Books for Dudes: Dog Day Bildungsromans
The Reader's Advisor: Best Reviewed Crime Fiction of the Past Ten Years
Politico: Expert suggestions for summer reading Recommendations for reading on The Middle East, Energy, Economic History, and American political History
Central Crime Zone: The 2009 Crimespree Awards
World Fantasy Convention: 2009 World Fantasy Awards
Awakening Grace: An Online Puritan Reading List Summer Reading - Top 10 books that you should drop everything to read now...
Comic Book Resources: Friday's Beach Reading
New Age Comics with Andrenn: Summer Reading
Roll Away the Dew: Summer Reading list for Non-traditional MBAs

Children and Young Adults:
Seattle Public Library: Even More Summer Staff Favorites for Children

Bonus: Newsweek: Death Becomes Them "Literary" authors are writing noir - but they're often not that good. So who should you read instead?

Writers such as James Ellroy, Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, Donald Westlake, Walter Mosley, Laura Lippman, James Sallis, Megan Abbott, and George Pelecanos have managed to infuse crime novels with a quality of writing not seen since the days of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and James M. Cain.

I really dislike the "serious" artist's snobbishness toward genre. I've seen this from authors and actors both, and all it tells me is that they aren't familiar with the form - or are too concerned with their imagined status to learn.  [ 08/10/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 08/03/09

» This week's update includes the 100 best beach books ever, essential reading for armed services members, nautical pioneers, and the 2009 Booker Longlist.
For Adults:
NPR: Audience Picks: 100 Best Beach Books Ever
Nature: A break from the bench Summer reading recommendations
Navy Times: House Armed Services Committee chairman Ike Skelton's 2009 List of 50 Essential Books [Word doc] (a supplement to his 2003 Reading List [Word doc]). Recommended for military officers, noncommissioned and petty officers, and all Congressional members
TimesOnline: MP's picks for summer holiday reading
The Man Booker Prize 2009 Longlist
Seattle Public Library: Explore your Inner Captain: Great Reads about Nautical Pioneers
AIGA: Designed for Summer Reading
GOOP: Summer Reading Suggestions
The Daily Beast: Last-chance summer books
JTA: Summer reading and the Holocaust
Cheeky Fresh: Summer Reading List For Millennials
Male Rights Network: A Masculinist Reading List
Kenneth C. Davis: A Historian's Revolting July 4 Reading List

Children and Young Adults:
Seattle Public Library: More Summer Staff Favorites for Children: Historical Fiction

Bonus: Reliable resources for choosing book club books

  [ 08/03/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 07/27/09

» This week's update includes recommendations for outdooorsmen, science buffs, romance readers, lots of lists for children, the best genre writer you've never heard of, and Issac Newton's real-life stint as a private investigator.
For Adults:
NPR: Stranger Than Fiction: Summer Science Books including Newton and the Counterfeiter
Warwick Beacon: GreenSource: Summer Reading recommendations for gardeners
Rome News Tribune: Hot Summer Reads Summer reading for the outdoorsman
City University: Investigative Journalism Reading List
Israel Policy Forum: Summer Reading on the Peace Process
The RITA awards Annual romance awards
Library Journal: Summer Reading - Historic Romances - Five summer sizzlers
2009 Mythopoeic Award Winners outstanding works in the fields of myth, fantasy, and the scholarly study of these areas
American Bookseller's Association: The Indie Travel Literature Bestseller List
Reader's Advisor: Perspective Flip - Classics from Another Point of View
Kenneth C. Davis: Slavery, Abolition, Rebellion: A Reading List
JP Morgan: The 10th Annual Summer Reading List
PETA: The Essential Vegetarian Reading List

Children and Young Adults:
Seattle Public Library: More Summer Staff Favorites for Children: Fantasy Chapter Books
Dragonfly Book Reviews: Reading Challenge and Reading List
Texas Library Association: 2X2 Reading Lists Age 2 to Grade 2
Texas Library Association: Texas Bluebonnet Award (Grades 3 - 6) 2009-2010 Master List and previous master lists
Texas Library Association: Tayshas High School Reading Lists
Massachusetts Children's Book Award: 2009-2010 list

Bonus: NY Times Magazine: The Genre Artist "Jack Vance is the most painful case of all the writers I love who I feel don't get the credit they deserve. If 'The Last Castle' or 'The Dragon Masters' had the name Italo Calvino on it, or just a foreign name, it would be received as a profound meditation, but because he's Jack Vance and published in Amazing Whatever, there's this insurmountable barrier." - Michael Chabon   [ 07/27/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 07/20/09

» This week's update includes recommendations for thoughtful Mormons and atheists, job hunting, cool hunting, and award winners from science to fantasy.
For Adults:
Christian Science Monitor: Summer reading list Jeffery Deaver's top 10 computer novels EM Forster to William Gibson
Mail Online: The ultimate holiday reading list
NPR: Three Books: Radio Reads: Books Capture The Essence Of The Dial
Businessweek: Innovation Summer Reading List
LA Times: 61 essential postmodern reads: an annotated list
Library 35 Going on 13: Fantasy Land recommendations for lovers of fantastic or speculative fiction
Toronto Sun: Savoury summer reading Summer 2009 cookbooks
60 Years of the National Book Awards: 77 Fiction Winners
Great Lakes Book Awards: 2009 finalists honoring books with a Great Lakes theme or setting or written by an author living in the region
Royal Society Prize: Science Books shortlist
2009 Locus Award Winners science fiction and fantasy
2008 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners (announced July 12, 2009) for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic
Amazon: Best Books of far
Beach reading for Tory bookworms Conservative MP Keith Simpson's holiday reading list for his Tory colleagues
Seattle Library Readers share their suggestions for Summer Reading
GoodReads: 2009 Summer Reading List as voted by members Books for Your Job Search Summer Reading List
Kevin Stilley: Eight Summer Reading "Mini" Book Reviews
Cool Hunting Summer 2009 Reading List
Sitz im Leben: Historical Jesus Reading List
Mormon Times: A summer reading list for the thoughtful Mormon reader
77 Favourite Atheist Reads

Children and Young Adults:
Seattle Public Library: More Summer Staff Favorites for Children: Picture Books
Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: Book series, classics top youngsters' summer reading lists
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Summer reading for young adults
Celsias: Summer Reading List for Eco-Kids

Bonus Link: NPR's 100 Best Beach Books Ever - Top 200 Finalists
  [ 07/20/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 07/13/09

» This week's update includes Richard and Judy's Summer picks, the best books about music, comics for kids, 50 best summer reads of all time, and a Robert McNamara & Vietnam reading list
For Adults:
Richard and Judy's 2009 Summer Reading Recommendations
LA Times: 60 New Books to Read This Summer Text on the beach - the 50 best summer reads ever
Education Week: An educator's reading list
U. Maryland Smith School of Business's Top 10 Summer Reading List for 2009
Gaper's Block: A Reading List Between Sets: A Guide to the Best Books About Music to Read This Summer Building a Theological Library: Simplicity - A Reading List business titles
HuffPo: Robert McNamara and Vietnam: A Basic Reading List
NRO: Beach-Bag Books
Greg Mankiw's Blog: Summer Reading List suggestions from an economics professor
The InsideCatholic Summer Reading List 2009
America the National Catholic Weekly Summer Reading

Children and Young Adults:
School Library Journal: Comics That Celebrate America's Cultural Diversity
  [ 07/13/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 07/06/09

» This week's update includes the Newsweek top 50/100, an MBA reading list, video game fiction, disabled sleuths, 125 great Southern books, the Ultimate Teen Bookshelf, Best Beachbag Books, and great American biographies
For Adults:
Newsweek: What to Read Now
Newsweek: Top 100 Books: The Meta-List
NPR 3 Books: Red, White And True: The Great American Biography
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Five new baseball books capture the rhythms of the game, Ron Antonucci
Times Online: Val McDermid reviews the latest thrillers
Business Week: Getting In Summer 2009 Books: MBA Reading List
Wired to Care: A Dozen Books to Help You Reinvent Your Business This Summer
Santa Barbara Independent: S.B. Writers Share Their Top Summer Reading Picks
Examiner: A genealogist's reading list
Agee Film: 125 Great Southern Books
Crime Fiction Book List: Disabled isn't Unable: This crime fiction book list includes books and series featuring a character whose physical, emotional or mental limitations figure in the plot or character development of the stories or series
The Catholic Summer Reading Program
The Modesto Bee: Summer Reading: Mystery, action, romance await Your summer reading list
The Greenwood Commonwealth: Three books for summer reading list
The Buffalo News Opinion: Natural history books make great summer reading
Kotaku's 2009 Summer Reading List great work of video game fiction: titles that excel at adding depth to the games they are inspired by, as well as a few that have inspired games on their own
The Capitol Fashionista: The 13 Fashion Books That You Should Have In Your Fashionista Library
An und für sich: Liberation theology reading list a list intended to gives students whole books instead of scattered essays; and not be suicide-inducing in the context of one quarter
The Satellite Sisters: The Best Beachbag Books
Going Green - A Resource for Today's Green Business: Summer's Here; Time to Get Started on Your Summer Reading List and General Reading List
Trent Hamm: My Summer Reading List for 2009
Roy Christopher: Summer Reading List book recommendations from RC, Richard Metzger, Cynthia Connolly, Steven Shaviro, Gareth Branwyn, Peter Lunenfeld, Gary Baddeley, Dave Allen, Patrick Barber, David Silver and Josh Gunn
Outside my Kitchen Window: Summer Reading List Christian Reading For Moms, Christian Reading For Women, General Christian Reading, and Just for Fun

Children and Young Adults:
Young Adults Library Services Association: Ultimate Teen Bookshelf
Tween Whisperer: Summer Reading for Tweens
Junior Fiction/YA Books
University of Maryland: Summer Reading List for Kids - Time to "Go Green!"
NYT: The Best Kids' Books Ever, Nicholas D. Kristof, plus his kids' and readers' suggestions

Bonus: 2009 Southern Reading Challenge

  [ 07/06/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 06/29/09

» This week's summer reading lists include Manga for Grownups, the best in Zombie Lit, the 2009 ALA Youth Media Awards, and the 1st Annual Summer Islamic Reading Challenge
For Adults:
NPR: Summer Nonfiction: True Tales Enlighten, Delight Local authors offer a peek at their summer reading lists
Comment Magazine: A summer feast of books "Accessible starters for those who haven't quite learned to swim in the deeper waters of academia and the formation of the Christian mindset"
Poets and Writers magazine: Summer Reading List Poetry, Novels and Novellas, Classics, Short Stories, Nonfiction, and Memoir
Sacramento Bee: Summer reading list points the way to mystery, action and romance Summer reading: Melissa Katsoulis revisits the books that have most impressed our critics this year and compiles a list - from thrillers to biographies - to see readers through the summer
The News Star: Include these titles on summer reading list business titles 12 Great Manga for Grownups
Angels On Your Shoulder: Ah, it's the weekend and summer reading books about angels, miracles and grace
Grimoire of the Hour: Zombie Lit Hit List
GreetQ: Summer Reading

Children and Young Adults:
2009 ALA Youth Media Awards Everything from the Newbery to the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
NPR: Great review of Peter Abrahams' Reality Check, with excerpt
Tacoma Public Library: 100 Books Your Child Should Hear before Kindergarten
Smithsonian: Our Story recommended books on American history

Bonus link: 1st Annual Summer Islamic Reading Challenge To encourage Muslim children (and interested non-Muslims) to read and review Islamic children and adult books
  [ 06/29/09 ]

Summer Reading 2009 - 06/22/09

» This week's compilation of Summer Reading Lists includes more from Nancy Pearl, two lists for Christians and Theologians, all-ages Manga, and recommendations for brides-to-be.
For Adults:
NPR: Librarian Nancy Pearl Picks Summer's Best Books
The Boston Globe: The books of summer
Asheville Citizen Times: Summer, and the reading is easy: From worldly to local, new books are bountiful
Seattle Public Library: Staff Favorites: Three more novels for your summer reading
UC Davis: Smart Summer Reading
TheoSource: Summer Reading: What's in Your Stack booklists by Christians and theologians
Unashamed Workman: 100 Recommended Reads divided into parts: For Unbelievers, For New Christians, Defending Your Faith, Bible Studies, The Church, Evangelism, Theology, The Cross of Christ, Baptism, Prayer, For Singles and those Dating, On Marriage, Pastoral Issues, Eldership, The Pastor's Role, For Women, For Men, and Biographies
Examiner: Top 10 + 1 intriguing science books to take on vacation
Read Street: Summer reading: more dirty books
Buzz Sugar: Summer Reading: 12 New Books to Check Out
Women's Enews: Women's Writing Fires Up Summer Reading Lists
Chicago Boyz: Summer Book Recommendations for a Friend
Weddings in Vieques: Excellent Summer Reading Recommendations for Brides-to-Be

Children and Young Adults:
Kansas City Star: Summer reading for tweens Great All-Ages Manga for Young Readers: Kid-Friendly Graphic Novels Full of Fun, Fantasy and Pocket Monsters
Publisher's Weekly: ShelfTalker's Summer Reading List for young adults (annotated shortlist)
School Library Journal: Searching for the Perfect Summer Reading List? The Coretta Scott King Committee offers some terrific choices

  [ 06/22/09 ]

Halloween Reading List: Werewolves

» Librarygirl's Halloween-Themed Reading List #3: Werewolves [ 10/31/07 ]

Halloween Themed Reading List: Witches

» Librarygirl posts her Halloween-Themed Reading List #1: Witches. For several years, I tried to read a scary(ish) book during October, but I was disappointed every time. Perhaps Librarygirl can point me in a good direction.  [ 10/05/07 ]

Mainstream publisher Chronicle now 'referring' discards to Blurb

» Publisher Chronicle Books has signed a "mutual-referral" deal with self-publisher Blurb. Chronicle will refer rejected manuscripts to Blurb (where authors would pay to have their own work published), in exchange for which Blurb will pay Chronicle a commission on those books' sales. "We'd love to be the Sundance Film Festival of the book world." Blurb CEO Eileen Gittin.

I don't know, this sounds like a fine deal for both publishers but no deal at all for the authors. A 100 page 6x9 inch, black and white book, perfect bound paperback costs $6.53 at Lulu. At Blurb, you'll pay $21.95 for a 100 page paperback. However, Kevin Kelly does recommend Blurb for photobooks (and Lulu for everything else).  [ 09/24/07 ]

Summer Reading 08-31-07

» (Scheduled for the week I was gone, but my site exploded while I was gone. Here it is two weeks late.) This weekend is officially the end of summer. If you're planning a long, lazy weekend, pop over to your local bookseller for one of the recommendations here and notch another title into your summer reading list.

Young people:

  [ 09/07/07 ]

Summer Reading: 08-09-07

» Can you believe the Summer Reading Lists are still coming?

College Students:

Young people:

  [ 08/09/07 ]

National Book Critics Circle Blog

» Booklovers, here's a blog you might be interested in adding to your regular reads: Critical Mass, written by the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors  [ 07/27/07 ]

Summer Reading 07-27-07

» This week's roundup of 2007 summer reading.

Young people:

 (3) Comments  / [ 07/27/07 ]

Summer Reading: 07-23-07

» Summer Reading lists for this week:

Young people:

  [ 07/23/07 ]

All our tortured heroes

» All our tortured heroes [ 07/20/07 ]

Summer Reading: 07-20-07

» Another installment of recommended summer reading:

  [ 07/20/07 ]

Interview with John T. Edge, author of Southern Belly

» Here's a man after my own heart: John T. Edge, author of Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover's Companion to the South, (and four-time James Beard award nominee and finalist for the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award). "Except for sex, eating is the most intimate activity we regularly engage in with others. [...] When we share food we share much of the same experience of the South. A lot divides us, but one of the reasons I'm so interested in food is that a shared love of okra can unite us too."

That's exactly why I love cooking so much. When I cook a meal with a history, I feel that I'm entering into the time and culture of the people who first created that food. After reading this interview, all I want to do is take a roadtrip through the South with this book in hand. (2) Comments  / [ 07/17/07 ]

How to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit

» 14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit [ 07/17/07 ]

Summer Reading: 07-17-07

» I've got a 2-week backlog. So as not to overwhelm you with the whole thing at once, here's a modest installment of the latest summer reading lists:

  [ 07/17/07 ]

Harry Potter Editor Profile with bonus 1998 JK Rowling interview

» NPR has an interesting little article about the Scholastic editor who discovered Harry Potter. Don't miss the sidebar, which includes a 1998 interview with JK Rowling, in which she discusses, among other things, the last chapter of the final book, her favorite characters, picking out names and writing the last book.  [ 07/16/07 ]

His Majesty's Dragon

» Well, doesn't this sound fun: His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik. And according to the fine folks at the Williamsburg Regional Library, film director Peter Jackson has bought the rights to it.

I thought about ordering it from the library, but then it occurred to me that I have yet to read the book the upcoming Harry Potter film is based on—I try to stay just one ahead. Upon looking at the cover, though, now I think I did read it. So, now that I'm caught up, I need to decide whether to keep on as I have been, or to quickly read The Half-Blood Prince so that I can read the final book of the series when it comes out. That moment won't happen ever again.

By the way, if you're looking for a steady source of book recommendations, the Williamsburg Regional Library blog Blogging for a Good Book offers about one a day. (1) Comments  / [ 06/27/07 ]

Summer Reading 06-25-07

» This week's roundup of 2007 summer reading.

College Students:

Young people:

 (1) Comments  / [ 06/25/07 ]

Summer Reading 06-19-07

» Summer reading for this week:

  [ 06/19/07 ]

British Women's Novels, 1775-1818

» British Women's Novels: A Reading List, 1775-1818  [ 06/18/07 ]

History of Western Science Reading List

» The History of Science Society Reading the History of Western Science  [ 06/13/07 ]

Book reviews on baking, by bakers

» Here's a find: Reviews of books on baking by amateur bakers. That's terrific summer reading for some of us.  [ 06/13/07 ]

Summer Reading 06-12-07

» This week's summer reading roundup:

For kids and young adults

  [ 06/12/07 ]

Rutgers Reading List

» "The reading list below was composed several years ago by a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey for the use of his own students. It was then passed along by Rutgers undergraduates to friends at other schools, and has subsequently been circulated among students at a number of colleges and universities as 'the Rutgers reading list."  [ 06/07/07 ]

2007 Summer Reading: 06/05

» The summer reading lists are coming fast and furious now. Here's a roundup of the most recent lists I could find:

  [ 06/05/07 ]

The Shyness Reading List

» The Shyness Reading List [ 06/04/07 ]

More Summer Reading

» More Summer Reading:

  [ 05/31/07 ]

Talk of the Nation 2007 Summer Reading List

» NPR: What to Read This Summer. Suggestions from Salon book critic Laura Miller, blogger Maud Newton, and author ZZ Packer [ 05/30/07 ]

Summer Book List Additions

» Two book lists from NPR: Summer Books from Utah's Remote Librarian and Under the Radar: Books Not to Miss.   [ 05/29/07 ]

Greenopia Guide to the Best Sustainability Books

» Not technically a summer reading list, but I'm categorizing it as such anyway. The Greenopia guide to the best green reads is a full summer's reading for those of you with an interest in this subject.  [ 05/25/07 ]

Lloyd Alexander, Rest in Peace

» One of my favorite children's authors, Lloyd Alexander, died yesterday(5) Comments  / [ 05/18/07 ]

More Summer Reading 2007

» It's not yet Memorial Day, but the summer reading lists are starting to appear.

For adults:

For children:

For everyone:

If you don't already have one, now is a great time to get a library card. If you have one, now is a great time to put it in your wallet.  [ 05/16/07 ]

Just One More Book: Podcasts on children's books

» Just One More Book is a blog that publishes 3 podcasts a week on selected children's books. If you have children or just love children't books, it looks like an intriguing program:

Episodes range in length from 5 to 35 minutes and can be played directly from our web page or downloaded to an iPod for listening on the go. Each episode is an informal discussion of one of our family’s favourite children’s books, an interview with an author, illustrator or other kidlit enthusiast, a literacy related discussion or an audio review submitted by a JOMB listener.

 (1) Comments  / [ 05/03/07 ]

Writer's Rooms

» Oh, wow. Writer's Rooms, including the studies of Antoina Frasier, JG Ballard, Sarah Waters, and Michael Frayn. "Something that has always surprised me about other people's work habits is how often they chose to have their desks by a window looking onto an agreeable view. For me that would be fatal. I can shut out some distractions when working, but not the temptation to watch what's going on out of doors." Diana Athill (via dm [ 04/13/07 ]

Summer Reading 2007

» It's only April, but Publisher's Weekly has already posted their list of hot books for summer. And from it, I'm excited to learn that William Gibson has a book coming out this year! (via wl(1) Comments  / [ 04/11/07 ]

I am a slave to my RSS reader

» I have a predictable cycle with my blog reading. Every so often, I severely cull my list of reads in an attempt to regain some control of my time and brainspace. Then my list starts to slowly enlarge as I find and add terrific new blogs, or forgotten old favorites. After a while it's unmanageable again, and I remove half or a third and the cycle begins again.

So, I'm very dismayed to have re-discovered futurist (and WorldChanging co-founder) Jamais Cascio's blog Open the Future this weekend. So interesting—see if you don't become instantly addicted.

And, thanks to Waterboro Public Library Blog, I discovered a new one: Blogging for a Good Book, a blog by the Williamsburg Regional Library that features a book review a day. You can browse past entries by the categories listed in the sidebar and—how smart is this?—at the end of each book review, there is a link to the WRL catalog entry for that book. I've already added Edna Lewis's The Taste of Country Cooking to my Amazon wishlist.

Dear Everyone: Please stop creating compelling content. Much appreciated, thanks!  (3) Comments  / [ 04/09/07 ]

Another reader's manifesto

» Guy Dammann: Don't feel bad about abandoned books. His 3-step process for deciding on whether or not to read a book is similar to the "inspectional reading" outlined in the classic How to Read a Book.

From the reader comments, here is one of my favorites:

Squatting on my top shelf, 3 paperback volumes of the unabridged 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire', about 1500 pages each, the first volume creased on its spine about a fifth of the way in, the rest of volume and the other two spines immaculate. A message screamed out to the perceptive observer, 'Here is a man who likes to be seen buying impressive books but whose pygmy intellect cannot cope with any book that hasn't had a murder and a rooftop chase by page 100'.

I've been making an effort in the last few years to read more of the "murder and a rooftop chase" type of book. For a while I got mired in a swamp of non-fiction, much of which only held my interest for the first few chapters. I finished all of those books, but it sure would take a long time. Initially, I thought it was because my interest in the subject was actually at the "long-article" level, but now I've developed a new theory.

Much of the highly-touted non-fiction of the last few years simply starts stronger than it finishes. Writers submit a book proposal and then just don't have enough ideas to fill their word count with interesting and relevant material. They end up padding. These books (sometimes based on a wildly-popular magazine article) become less and less substantial as they progress. The author has enough interesting material for a much shorter book, or a series of long articles, but not enough for the amount of material he has been paid to produce.

It's not that I don't like non-fiction. You can look at my book lists from the last few years and find non-fiction that I rave about. These are books that delivered from start to finish. Anything that has a notation to the effect that "there are some good ideas here" or "a little thin" probably suffers from the padding problem.

It dawned on me one day that reading had become drudgery—but in my childhood, I was an incredibly voracious reader. Was the problem me, or the books?

I decided it was time to apply a different filter to at least half of the books I read. Not, "Does this sound like an interesting and/or important topic?" but "Does this sound fun to read?" Using the library has helped me in this, allowing me to explore without spending money, and (theoretically) making it easier to just chuck a book if it's not living up to the "fun" standard (though I still have trouble putting down a book without finishing it).

In that spirit, here are two of my favorite reading links: The Reader's Bill of Rights and Marylaine's Books Too Good to Put Down. (via wl(6) Comments  / [ 04/04/07 ]

Educators Survey for Children's Author Reading Group

» Are you an elementary school teacher? My sister (whose first book will be out this summer!) writes:

For next year, I am considering putting together an monthly online book club, which would involve multiple authors discussing a previously selected book. Students could participate in the chat, could send questions and comments ahead of time, or could simply use the chat transcripts as a conversation starter in their classrooms. If you would have an interest in this, please email me.

Librarians, you might want to weigh in, too, if this would be interesting to you. (While you're on her site, check out her latest "Piggy-gram" discussing Poem in your Pocket Day [ 03/14/07 ]

On the new 'How to Read a Book' books

» Salon: Think you know how to read, do you? A new throng of authors wants to save literature from our nefarious English departments and teach us how to read their way. Now, class, pay attention.

The author misses the essential point that many readers love the idea of reading as much as they love reading itself (and I am one such). Witness the stacks of books most readers have of books waiting to be read. This article, like the books it deconstructs, will appeal to any one of those people. Enjoy! (1) Comments  / [ 03/12/07 ]

Best of 2006 reading lists for adults and children

» Best of 2006: Reading lists for adults and children. This should get us through to summer.  [ 03/12/07 ]

The Rise of Graphic Novels

» The image-soaked future: Graphic novels are the new literary superheroes, but what’s their secret?

So, why is this rebirth of the serious graphic novel different? Because this new wave arrives when the ascendancy of the image — presciently described by George Steiner, in 1971, in his book In Bluebeard's Castle — has begun to dwarf the power of the word. [...] Thanks to computers, even when we are obliged to read words, we expect them to be arranged in helpful modules, with plenty of graphics. The computer normalises the graphic novel as a form. The graphical user interface may one day be seen as the most important invention of our time.

(via wl [ 03/06/07 ]

Kenya Camel Bookmobile

» The Camel Bookmobile travels through Kenya to bring semi-nomadic people in Northeastern part of the country books, many of them in English. You can donate a few of your favorite books (remember to sign it!), for only $23 postage (for a 5-pound package).  [ 02/21/07 ]

The Battle of Helm's Deep, in Candy

» A candy re-enactment of the Battle of Helm's Deep. 7 feet long, 3 feet deep, and 2 feet tall. Awesome. (via c&d [ 01/17/07 ]

The Literary Traditions of Gypsies

» Destination: Gypsy Europe. Despite their historical distrust of the written word, Europe's Gypsies have a growing -- and captivating -- literary tradition.  [ 01/10/07 ]

Things Girls Like to Do

» Oh, fabulous. Things Girls Like to Do, by Elizabeth Hale Gilman, published 1917. Why, housekeeping and needlecraft, of course! I think I could learn to hand-sew from this book. (via maki's fabulous feed(1) Comments  / [ 01/09/07 ]

Great Books for Girls

» Ask Metafilter: Please suggest great books for girls. A lot of great suggestions here, though I used to (and still do) read books starring boys/men, and I thoroughly enjoyed them (and identified with the male protagonist).  (1) Comments  / [ 01/08/07 ]

Seldovia Public Library: Best reading of 2006

» The Seldovia Public Library has compiled a list of list of the best reading from 2006. (via wl)   [ 01/01/07 ]

Best Books of 2006

» Have a little Christmas money to spend? Library Journal offers 3 lists for your perusal: the Best Books of 2006, the Best Genre Fiction of 2006 (Mystery, SF&Fantasy, Romance, Christian Fiction, and Thrillers), and the Best How-To Books of 2006. (via wl [ 12/31/06 ]

Charles Dickens' eccentrics were often just sick

» Diagnosing with Dickens. Charles Dickens' keen eye documents several medical conditions that have been only recently understood. (via dm [ 12/19/06 ]

The Economist Best of 2006 Booklist

» The Economist has published their list of the best books of 2006 in categories ranging from Politics to Science to Fiction. This one sounds particularly intriguing:

A young woman weds the Prince of Wales and finds that there are three in the marriage. She seeks solace in the arms of a foreigner, attracts intense media attention, becomes the darling of the people, and after proceedings for divorce, dies suddenly. For sheer entertainment and political theatre, the story of Caroline of Brunswick far outstrips the tale of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Trial of Queen Caroline: The Scandalous Affair that Nearly Ended a Monarchy by Jane Robins. (2) Comments  / [ 12/10/06 ]

2006 Cookbook Recommendations

» The Food Section has compiled a list of lists of cookbooks, gadgets, and food to give for the holiday. The King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book? (via) Hand me the smelling salts. (via wl(2) Comments  / [ 12/07/06 ]

NYTimes 10 Best Books of 2006

» NYTimes: The 10 Best Books of 2006(2) Comments  / [ 12/01/06 ]

2006 Holiday Book Recommendations

» It's time to start thinking about holiday gift-giving. For the readers on your list, here are some book recommendations.

NYTimes: 100 Notable Books of the Year.

And these are the best books I read this year:

  1. 1491, Charles C. Mann. This is the best book I've read in years.... [ my full review]
  2. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark. Delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed both the style of the book and the humor. An impressive piece of writing.
  3. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Jared Diamond. Clear, readable, and unbelievably interesting.... [ my full review ]
  4. Plainsong, Kent Haruf. Earnest, beautiful, stylized, gorgeous, life-affirming, unforgettable.
  5. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, Michael Pollan. This is a great book: thoughtful, thought provoking, and well written.... [ my full review ]
  6. Radio: An Illustrated Guide, Jessica Abel, Ira Glass. This book does exactly what it says: tell you how to plan, execute and broadcast a radio show. The technology is out of date, but I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in radio documentary or podcasting.
  7. Don't Think of an Elephant, George Lakoff. This book really does make sense of the current political climate. I now better understand the right and the left.
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. Somehow, I never got around to reading this book before now. It is perfect. I'll read it again. I can't imagine a more compassionate depiction of childhood, small town life, the South, race in the United States, or humanity in general. Oh, and it's beautifully written. My nomination for the Great American Novel.
  9. Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins. Smart, interesting, and right on the money. A little academic for most people's taste, but I agree with almost everything Dr. Jenkins has to say. A compelling and non-hyped vision of the future of our culture.
  10. Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Media Consumers in a Digital Age, Henry Jenkins. Just fantastic. Although it's much more academic, I enjoyed this book even more than Convergence Culture because it took me inside the world of fan communities, a world I've only barely glimpsed before now.... [ my full review]
  11. And a tentative recommendation for Personal Finance for Dummies, Eric Tyson, which I am reading right now and finding surprisingly deep for a Dummies book. I read numerous personal finance books last year, and this one, so far, seems to at least equal the best of that bunch.

Update: Jordon Cooper posts his list of the 11 Best Books he read in 2006. If you post your own list, please ping me via trackback or add the link in comments. Non-blogging readers, please post your lists in comments, too. What were the best books you read this year? (2) Comments  / [ 11/28/06 ]

The 2006 Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary Awards

» Nominations are open for The 2006 Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary Awards. Anyone may make a nomination, the only criteria are that the books were published in 2006, and in English. Categories range from picture books to novels, poetry to graphic novels. Nominations close November 20, and the winners will be decided by a committee of bloggers. (via sp [ 11/09/06 ]

Old gardening books now online

» A collection of old gardening books are now available online for free, courtesy of Google.  [ 10/02/06 ]

International Crime Fiction Resources

» Waterboro Public Library: International crime fiction resources [ 09/28/06 ]

Fall Book previews

» From Waterboro Library, a roundup of recommended new book releases for the Fall [ 09/15/06 ]

Three List-Obsessed Books

» Three List-obsessed books [ 09/12/06 ]

Reservoir Noir

» Waterboro Public Library has added new list to their excellent list of books by genre: Reservoir Noir—Mysteries and other fiction with a featured element of intentional submerging, inundating, and flooding of towns, villages, cities, and other places. (1) Comments  / [ 09/08/06 ]

How to Read to Children

» How to Read to Children: From Infants to Kindergarteners.  [ 09/04/06 ]

The Third Policeman: funniest and scariest novel ever

» You may recall reading how sales for The Third Policeman shot through the roof after it was featured last season on Lost. Now, in NPR's series "You must read this", author Charles Baxter describes it as "the funniest and scariest book ever written".

It's not nihilism. [...] We're plunged into a comic nightmare, where language...keeps going out of control or manages to flop out of the boat back into its native element. [The narrator] learns that in the world of eternity, you can see treasures but can't enrich yourself with them. This is nihilism? It's the opposite -- a world supersaturated with meanings and consequences.

  [ 08/30/06 ]

A list of NYTimes Bestsellers

» A list of all NYT Adult Bestsellers Lists from 1994 to the present, and a list of all NYT Number 1 bestsellers from 1945 to the present. (via wl [ 08/28/06 ]

R. Crumb on PKD

» In response to yesterday's link to the two upcoming films about Philip K. Dick, jjg points me to Robert Crumb's version of PKD's life [ 08/25/06 ]

Two PKD film biopics in the works

» The Guardian reports on two upcoming films about science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, one an indie film starring Bill Pullman, and the other produced by and starring Paul Giamatti. (via wl [ 08/24/06 ]

How to Read

» Nick Hornby: How to Read.

I am not particularly interested in language. Or rather, I am interested in what language can do for me, and I spend many hours each day trying to ensure that my prose is as simple as it can possibly be. But I do not wish to produce prose that draws attention to itself, rather than the world it describes, and I certainly don't have the patience to read it.

cf The Reader's Bill of Rights by Daniel Pennac. (via dm(3) Comments  / [ 08/22/06 ]

The 2006 RITAs

» The best romance novels of the year have been chosen: the 2006 RITAs. (via wlb [ 08/21/06 ]

Lists of Cool Boys, Girls, and Teachers in Children's Books

» Children's books fans, here are a few lists for you to mull:


Go add your suggestions! (via wl(2) Comments  / [ 08/18/06 ]

Fiction with math plots

» Fiction with mathematical plots or subplots. (via rw [ 08/07/06 ]

Was the Odyssey written by a woman?

» Was the Odyssey written by a woman [ 08/01/06 ]

Synonyms for Critics

» Do click over to Any Amount of Books' News page and scroll down to Synonyms Employed by Amanda Ros to Designate Critics. A few favorites: "Evil-minded snapshots of spleen", "Maggoty numskulls", and "Mushroom class of idiotics". Oh, she would have made a magnificent blogger.  [ 07/20/06 ]

The Incredible Bookman Bookshelf

» And now the Incredible Bookman, or as NeedCoffee puts it: Cool Bookshelf or My Nightmare Come to Life? You be the judge. Whichever, it's a bookshelf in the shape of a man, and you have to see it to believe it.   [ 07/19/06 ]

BN July Online Reading Groups

» Barnes and Noble's July and August Online reading Groups [ 07/10/06 ]

More children's book reviews by Andrew Oglesby

» Last week I linked to some charming reviews of childrens book by 6-year-old Andrew Oglesby. Here is an earlier set of reviews by my new favorite book critic. On Earth Magic

To me, it's not a book for 6-year-olds. Other 6-year-olds might like it, but I really think it's a book for older people because it's like something that would have to do with history, and older kids like things like history. This book is very imaginary -- like the Tuesday [poem]. It has playing hopscotch with the sun and that's not something that would really happen. It's very creative. Whoever wrote this book was really using their creative juices.

(By the way, when you click through that Amazon link, notice that all the books offered in conjunction with this book are the other ones in this review. A mention on CNN really works.)  [ 07/04/06 ]

Profile of Angelo Garro

» A short profile of San Francisco blacksmith and master forager Angelo Garro, the man who taught Michael Pollan to hunt for The Omnivore's Dilemma [ 06/30/06 ]

Children's book reviews by a 6-year-old

» Outstanding reviews of children's books by 6-year-old Andrew Oglesby. From his review of Once Upon a Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids (and Dragons):

When they got to Chapter Two, I could tell that was the Hansel and Gretel story because the witch lived in some kind of gingerbread house and she says, "Come in, eat my candy. It's delicious." Since dragons love candy, he went to get the candy. But the girl pulled his tail and she said, "We can't go in there. She's going to eat you." In the real Hansel and Gretel story the boy and girl just go in the house, but this is stranger safety.

I would read this young man's review of any book, any time. (1) Comments  / [ 06/30/06 ]

Words that are their own antonym

» A list of words that are their own antonyms. (via rw [ 06/30/06 ]

Wine 101 and recommended books on wine

» Wine 101: A Sensory User's Manual ... using chemistry, physiology, physics and psychology to develop a wine palate, and this list of recommended books on wine. Also see this recommended article, Intro to Wine Tasting by Lauriann Greene-Sollin, Sommelier-Conseil.  [ 06/29/06 ]

CBS pulls Book Club reality show

» Why does this crack me up? CBS has pulled a new reality show after only two episodes. The premise? Following the lives of members of a book club in Scottsdale, Arizona [ 06/26/06 ]

Mennonite Housewife creates cookbook empire

» Phyllis Pellman Good is a Mennonite housewife who has sold seven million copies of her cookbooks—more than the combined US sales of Ina Garten, Giada De Laurentiis and Jamie Oliver. "I think the food media has been responsible for creating this whole world of faux food, and this is a media largely consumed by people who eat out six times a week. We are not all served by thinking of food as a special-occasion product." Christopher Kimball, founding editor of Cooks Illustrated.  [ 06/20/06 ]

Geoffrey Chaucer's Ocks-men, and interview

» Geoffrey Chaucer is planning his new work, a title that will be set around a new group of superheroes, The Ocks-menne.

Noble heroes from al estates of the kyngdom aren broughte togedir by Professir William of Ockham, yclepede PROFESSIR OCKS, who beth confynede to a wheelchayre syn that daye longe agoon when he dide soore wounde hym selfe wyth a deadlie razor of hys owene makynge. He doth seeke oute folke wyth speciale poweres of magicke, who shal kepe reson and justice in the reaume. Thei do fighte ayeinst the evil JOHANNES GOWERE (who hath no powere othere than to produce boredom, the whiche ys dedely enogh).

You'll also enjoy reading this recent piece: Geoffrey Chaucer hath been interviewed.

What has been your worst blogging experience? Johannes Gowere tryinge to messe up my game.

(via jch(1) Comments  / [ 06/19/06 ]

Whole Food Responds to Omnivore's Dilemma

» An open letter from Whole Foods in response to The Omnivore's Dilemma. I highly recommend the book, and I found this letter to be exceptionally interesting. I'm still going to do the bulk of my shopping at my local co-op, but after reading this letter I will feel better about shopping at Whole Foods, if I ever need to. (via rc3oi [ 06/16/06 ]

A Mother-Daughter Book Club

» The University Place Branch of the Pierce County Library System has a monthly Mother-Daughter Book Club. They have a monthly breakfast meeting, and their website lists the books they have read with their reviews. It's a terrific idea, but what about one for the boys?   [ 06/08/06 ]

The Good Good Pig has not yet found its niche

» The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood is the story of author Sy Montgomery's pet pig [review]. It's a brand-new book, and I guess it hasn't quite found its audience yet. Today, when I clicked the link, Amazon was pairing it with Autobiography of Malcolm X as their "Best Value".  [ 06/07/06 ]

Amazon wishlists for library acquisitions

» On using Amazon wishlists for library acquisitions. (via sp [ 06/01/06 ]

Library keeps list of the books you have read

» Oh, here's an idea I like: a library website that keeps a list of all the books you have read. What we want, of course, is a way to integrate that with our Amazon wishlists and then to import the data seamlessly onto our blogs.  [ 06/01/06 ]

Prison Group wins Penguin/Orange Reading Group Award

» The Penguin/Orange Reading Group prize is given to the reading group with the most diverse and imaginative reading list. Last year's prize was awarded to the High Down Prison Reading Group, who received a visit from author Nick Hornby, who led a reading group session on his novel, A Long Way Down. "Winning is not really one of our strong points so we are pleased that the judges saw something appealing in our reading group. The chance to meet Nick Hornby is incredible, especially for the Arsenal fans amongst us." A member of the High Down Prison Reading Group.  [ 05/29/06 ]

Snarky book review of Mommy Wars

» Don't miss this hilarious review of Mommy Wars: Stay-At-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families: Rhymes with Rich.

OK, let's slow down for a minute and unpack this description of Everymother before, with iced mochaccino latte in hand, we hurriedly whisk on. There are, in fact, great varieties of American mothers left out of Steiner's anthology. They're women for whom work is not a "lifestyle choice" but a necessity—a financial one, gauchely enough, and not an emotional one. Why do they work? To keep the electricity on.

  [ 05/26/06 ]

ALA Alex Awards

» The ALA Alex Awards. "The ALA Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18."   [ 05/24/06 ]

Are bookstores necessary?

» Professor of Economics Tyler Cowen argues that, with the rise of the Internet, independent bookstores are no longer necessary. (via rc3oi [ 05/17/06 ]

NYT Best book of the last 25 years

» NYTimes Books: "Early this year, the Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify 'the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years.' Following are the results." Those polled chose Beloved, by Toni Morrison. Interestingly, Amazon's "Wisdom of the Crowds" rates it only at 4 stars.  [ 05/15/06 ]

A Theatre Season reading list

» Washington University's Edison Theatre is doing something different this year: creating a suggested book list for their 2006-07 season.  [ 05/05/06 ]

Mother's Day Book Recommendations

» It's just around the corner. Here are a few book recommendations for Mother's Day:

  [ 05/04/06 ]

DaVinci Code 'historical background' is wrong

» Part of the appeal of the DaVinci Code is that it purports to offer a glimpse into secret societies and hidden history. Instead, a group of Christian scholars say that author Dan Brown got key historical background events wrong(2) Comments  / [ 05/03/06 ]

The Smithy Code Revealed

» The Smithy Code revealed [ 04/28/06 ]

'DaVinci Code' Justice embeds 'Smithy Code' in ruling

» When Justice Peter Smith's handed down his ruling on the "Da Vinci Code" copyright case, he embedded a secret message in the text, decipherable only by figuring out his own "Smithy Code". (thanks, jjg!) (1) Comments  / [ 04/27/06 ]

Pass the Book is 'Bookcrossing' for friends

» Pass the Book. "We found the idea of releasing books into the wild via appealing, but were annoyed when the released books remained wild, perhaps -- who knew? -- packed away in some Great Lost and Found where they would never be looked upon again by the eyes of man. We thought we'd do something less formal, passing books among friends to form a chain of readers that would delight six-degrees-of-separation-obsessed folk."  [ 04/27/06 ]

The Bookman of San Diego

» Irwin Herman rounds them up and gives them away — 8 million and counting. "To jails alone we give 100,000 paperbacks yearly. Juvie Hall is separate. They find me, God bless 'em. I never say no to anybody. Mental health services. St. Vincent. East Mesa Detention Center. AA group for teenagers. Anybody who calls me and says, 'I need books for such-and-such group,' I say, 'Come on over. And bring empty boxes.'" Irwin Herman, the Bookman of San Diego. (via dm [ 04/25/06 ]

Children's Choices 2005 Reading List

» The Children's Choices for 2005 list is the 31st in a series of reading lists compiled up by children. The list is divided into Beginning Readers, ages 5–7, Young Readers, ages 8–10 (half way down the page), and Advanced Readers, ages 11–13 (2/3 of the way down the page).  [ 04/19/06 ]

Eat, Pray, Love book review

» Book review: Elizabeth Gilbert's Year of Prayer, a review of Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. "As I read along in Eat Pray Love, I came to understand Elizabeth Gilbert’s year of travel as a year of prayer. And I mean every single moment of that year, not just the part spent in meditation at the ashram in India, or the time soaking up ancient knowledge from a medicine man in Bali, but also the months in Italy when she gained 30 pounds in pursuit of pleasure via pasta and gelato."  [ 04/18/06 ]

Updated 'How to Save the World' book list

» Dave Pollard has updated his How to Change the World list of 80 books and articles that "forever changed my worldview, and my purpose for living." I'm fascinated with the descriptions of some of these books, the tenets of which seem entirely at odds with my own worldview. I must pick a few of them up. (thanks, Amy!)  [ 04/17/06 ]

The Imaginary City of Urville

» Urville is an imaginary city designed over the last 16 years by a 28-year-old autistic Frenchman who has detailed its history, geography, culture and economy, and created over 200 drawings of the city. A Guidebook to Urville is due to be released this year.

The Kirscher Society blog points to a video portrait of the artist. Sort of makes you wonder if Tolkien had a bit of Asperger's, doesn't it? (via cp(1) Comments  / [ 04/14/06 ]

2006 British Book Awards

» 2006 British Book Awards. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling is "Book of the Year", and Labyrinth by Kate Mosse is the "Best Read of the Year". I guess I'd go with the read, wouldn't you? (via book-glutton [ 04/13/06 ]

Personal MBA Reading List

» If you want to think like a CEO, but you don't have the time for school, Josh Kaufman recommends a list of 42 books and periodicals he calls The Personal MBA. If you're very motivated (or need motivation) you can join the PMBA Forum and work through the series with others. (1) Comments  / [ 04/12/06 ]

Which Alan Moore to read next?

» Approaching Mount Moore. "So you've seen V for Vendetta, and maybe read the fine graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, and you want to read something else in a similar vein. Then again, you could just be looking for something completely different, something that's a bit unusual, but won't be a waste of your time. And you figure that you'd like to try out this comics thing for yourself, and thought you'd start with one of the best." (1) Comments  / [ 04/11/06 ]

Library Elf loan manager

» Library Elf will send you notifications via email or rss of upcoming due dates and holds that have come available. (via sp [ 04/10/06 ]

Julia Child Memoir

» It's April, and already here's another book for my Christmas list: Julia Child's Memoir [ 04/10/06 ]

Superpatron: Library patron blog

» As you know, thanks to the library bookmarklet, I've fallen in love with libraries in the last year (and saved a ton of money on books!). So I was interested to find Superpatron, which calls itself "a weblog for library patrons who love their libraries, who take advantage of everything they have to offer, and are always on the lookout for great ideas from libraries around the world. It's like Friends of the Library for the net."  [ 04/06/06 ]

James Beard Award 2006 Nominees

» Oh dear. The 2006 James Beard Awards Nominees have been announced. I'm committed to acquiring only 1 new cookbook a year — it takes about a year of consistent effort to put a well-made cookbook through its paces. I think it's going to come down to a choice between Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen and Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen. (I've wanted to learn Japanese cooking since I visited there last year.) Thankfully, the third book I really want isn't really a cookbook at all: Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, the new project from the folks who put together the wonderful Material World: A Global Family Portrait(3) Comments  / [ 04/06/06 ]

Best American Science and Nature Writing 2006

» The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2006. (Or, buy the book.)  [ 04/03/06 ]

The Grand Dame of Children's Literature

» Beloved children's author Beverley Cleary is about to turn 90. To honor the occasion, her publisher, HarpersCollins, has designated April 12 Drop Everything and Read! Day, complete with a list of suggested books compiled by experts from Reach Out and Read, NEA, and Reading Rockets. (via rw(2) Comments  / [ 03/28/06 ]

Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2005

» SF Site's Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2005: Editors' Choice [ 03/24/06 ]

It's all so Meta-tastic

» Scott Rosenberg responds to Monday's post The Real Threat of Blogging. I was not clear in that post about what I thought Rosenberg got wrong (his characterization of the evening's tenor). In fact, I agree with most of his thinking in that post and in today's. I've tried to clarify my own position in comments to his post today.  [ 03/22/06 ]

The real threat of blogging

» Salon's Scott Rosenberg recently attended a Berkeley CyberSalon on the topic of elitism in media and blogging and came away with the feeling that it was a rehash of the tired blogging vs. journalism argument that has been going on since 2003. But I think he has it wrong.

The dichotomy in the argument he describes isn't "blogs vs journalism". The unspoken premise underlying this argument is that books and articles are published commercially because they represent the best writing that is available. But that's not the way the publishing business works.

Publishers are interested in printing books and articles they can sell, nothing more, nothing less. When publishers evaluate a book proposal, they don't ask if the work is true or original or insightful or well-written. First and foremost, they ask themselves if they can sell it. If they don't think they can, they pass. If they believe there is a market and that they can effectively market the work, they buy it.

Magazine editors pass on well-written articles that don't fit with the focus of their publication. Editorial boards pass on well-written book manuscripts in genres they believe they cannot sell. Conversely, there are a lot of marginally-to-poorly written books on the shelves (The DaVinci Code, The Left Behind series, some genre fiction all come to mind). The Weekly World News is not noted for its superb journalism, but it apparently sells well enough to maintain a stable of advertisers.

So that's the false dichotomy. Blogs are threatening to a certain type of writer not because they allow mediocre writing to flourish — the commercial market already does that. They are threatening because they unequivocally demonstrate that commercial publishing does not necessarily represent the best writing that is available. (12) Comments  / [ 03/20/06 ]

20 Superb Novels for Teenage Girls

» NYT Book Review: 20 Superb Novels for Teenage Girls. Compiled by Justine Henning of Reading Penpals, a site that will hook children up with a good book and an adult penpal to write to about it.  [ 03/17/06 ]

How To Save the World Reading List

» The How To Save The World Reading List (July 2004) is Dave Pollard's list of 56 books and articles that "forever changed my worldview, and my purpose for living." Update: April 14, 2006. Here's an updated list containing 80 books and articles. (1) Comments  / [ 03/15/06 ]

Best-selling children's books of all times

» The 150 best-selling paperback children's books of all time and 150 best-selling hardback books of all time (through the end of 2000), with author and year of initial publication, compiled by Publishers Weekly. Judy Blume dominates in paperback. Any surprising titles — or omissions — here? [slithy, slithy popups!] (thanks, mab!) (2) Comments  / [ 03/13/06 ]

A New Golden Age of British Women's Literature

» On the Orange Prize long-list. Why is women's literature finally thriving in Great Britain? Superior writers who deliver strong sales, more women editors willing to give them a go, and the the market for literary fiction — which is overwhelmingly female. "The health of fiction is when you get variety and I don't think I've ever seen a more various field for fiction, whether gender neutral or gender specific. The pasture is blooming." John Sutherland, last year's Man Booker Prize chairman. (via rw [ 03/08/06 ]

OCLC Fiction Finder

» OCLC Fiction Finder (click on Alice to enter) seems to be better for browsing than for searching.  [ 03/07/06 ]

Science Fiction Reading List

» The NYTimes Book Review is offering up a new column on science fiction, and its author has compiled his personal list of the 10 Best Science Fiction novels. I consider myself a casual science fiction reader, which means I've read more than most people, I guess. Clearly I'm not a very serious reader, though, because I've only read one of these — and my husband had to explain it to me. (And doggone it, I would call it Alternate History or speculative fiction, not science fiction.) What do you think of this list? What extraordinary work of science fiction did the writer fail to mention? Post your suggestions in comments. (thanks, jjg!) (10) Comments  / [ 03/06/06 ]

Alternate History Travel Guides

» Alternate History Travel Guides. What to expect when you travel the world in alternate timelines. "Visitors to Tenochtitlan may enjoy the city's striking architecture, and the shopping the various marketplaces is unparallelled. Travellers are warned, however, *not* to accept any invitations to participate in Aztec religious ceremonies."  [ 03/06/06 ]

Schneier in DaVinci Code

» In reading the DaVinci Code, I was pleased to see cryptology expert and fellow blogger Bruce Schneier name-checked on page 199 (though some think in an entirely superficial way.)  [ 03/03/06 ]

Online automated book swap

» Bookins is a free, automated swap-by-mail book exchange. "Q: Does Bookins profit from this service? A: The goal of our service is first to provide a worry-free way for booklovers to swap books, and second to eventually make a profit. We make money on the shipping fee ($3.99 to receive a book using prepaid postage provided as noted on the homepage). About $1 per book is profit, after we pay for the postage itself, delivery confirmation, credit card fees, and fee for printing prepaid postage." (via swiss miss [ 02/28/06 ]

I guess any publicity isn't always good

» In the wake of revelations that his Oprah-endorsed "memoir" was fictional, James Frey has now lost his book deal [ 02/27/06 ]

US Statistics Ahoy!

» The Historical Statistics of the United States, Millenial Edition is 5 volumes, weighs 29 pounds, costs $825, and took 11 years to compile. "The critical skill that's more required than formal statistics is more like literary criticism. You look at a number and don't say that's a fact. You want to say where did it come from, who generated it, why, is it consistent with what we would get from looking at other sources, does it make sense? What sort of insight can the quantitative record give to the qualitative one?" Professor Susan Carter, editor in chief of Historical Statistics of the United States [ 02/23/06 ]

Shakespeare Death Mask?

» New tests reveal that a death mask found in a ragpicker's shop in 1842 may — or may not — be a likeness of Shakespeare. (The article features a picture of the mask.)  [ 02/23/06 ]

10 books every child should read

» Aiming to put together "a children's canon on which people might like to draw", The Royal Society of Literature asked top children's authors for a list of 10 books every child should read before they leave school. Here are the 7 resulting lists, including ones from Philip Pullman and JK Rowling. These lists are erudite enough that they would make a good year's reading for any adult, and it would be fun to read them one list at a time to try to extract the message each author was trying to get to the children. Of course, everyone likes Ben Okri's list of "10 1/2 Inclinations" the best. ("1. There is a secret trail of books meant to inspire and enlighten you. Find that trail.")

I don't know. 10 books isn't very many. What have they left off? (via mc(5) Comments  / [ 02/21/06 ]

Netflix for books

» Zoomba is using the Netflix model to automatically ship member boks they have requested, one a month, for $9.95 each. Thanks to the library bookmarklet, I now use the library this way, requesting any book that seems interesting to me, and then picking them up from my branch as they come available. (via elv [ 02/21/06 ]

Waterboro Library Reading Lists

» May I just point you to the Waterloo Waterboro Public Library booklists? Actually, it is a list of lists with wonderful descriptions of both the genres and the lists themselves. To wit:

Cozies and Domestic Mysteries
Cozies contain generally a minimum of violence and graphic unpleasantness (blunt instruments and poisons are popular weapons), and they often take place in a house, village, small town, academic setting, or other benign, familiar and conventional social setting, with characters who are usually civilised and mannerly. The mystery is usually solved by an amateur detective who understands human nature and is gifted in observation and deduction. "Cozy" is pretty much the opposite of "hard-boiled."
The Game's Afoot (Johnson County Library, KS)
Novels featuring puzzles and games. Author, title, summary, webcat link for more than 40 novels, from David Baldacci's The Winner to D.B. Weiss's Lucky Wander Boy. Some games include gambling and casinos, the lottery, video games, dominoes, bridge, charades, go, chess, mah-jongg, cribbage, word games, Scrabble.

There are lists of Financial, Business and Math Fiction, Fiction Featuring Modes of Transportation, and of course a metalist of lists of thrillers to read if you like the DaVinci Code. And they have a blog [ 02/13/06 ]

Book recommender

» is a collaborative website that recommends which authors' books to start with, and which to avoid.

Long before the Internet was commonly available, Debbie had the idea that it would be useful to have a reference work suggesting which book of an unfamiliar author would be best to read first. Start reading an author with a poor or atypical example of his work, she observed, and you would likely never read that writer again—perhaps losing in the process a world of pleasure and knowledge. On the other hand, since there would seldom be one right book to read first, the resource would have to be a compendium of opinions.

  [ 01/31/06 ]

Book and Film Logs Open for Comments

» I'm starting an experiment today: I've opened up comments on my book log and film log. (The most recent entries are listed in the sidebar on this page.) I know from my email that Pocket readers are far above average, so I encourage those among you who are film and book lovers to get to know one another.  [ 01/30/06 ]

Mr Bravado Tough Guy?

» Sounds like Oprah's trying to save her reputation. Why would these people agree to appear on her show?

On a segment that also featured the book's publisher, Nan A. Talese of Doubleday, Frey was questioned about various parts of his book, from the three-month jail sentence he now says he never served to undergoing dental surgery without Novocain, a story he no longer clearly recalls.
Winfrey, whose apparent indifference to the memoir's accuracy led to intense criticism, including angry e-mails on her Web site, subjected Frey to a virtual page-by-page interrogation. No longer, as she did last week, was she saying that emotional truth mattered more than the facts. "Mr. Bravado Tough Guy," she mockingly called the author whose book she had enshrined last fall and whose reputation she had saved last week.

  [ 01/26/06 ]

Elie, he's my man.

» Oprah has chosen Elie Wiesel's Night as her next book club selection. "But it is not a novel at all. I know the difference. I make a distinction between what I lived through and what I imagined others to have lived through. [As a memoir] my experiences in the book — A to Z — must be true. All the people I describe were with me there. I object angrily if someone mentions it as a novel." Elie Wiesel.  [ 01/17/06 ]

Drugs + Sex + Oprah = $$$$

» James Frey's 2005 memoir A Million Little Pieces purports to document his drug-fueled, rage-driven youth. Oprah was so impressed that she chucked her recent policy of featuring only classics and made it her Book of the Month, propelling the author into the literary stratosphere. In the US, his book sold more copies in 2005 than any other book but Harry Potter. As it turns out, Mr. Frey's memoir may be fictional. However, Oprah still backs him — and Mr. Frey appears to have a promising future as a politician. "You know, the book is 432 pages long. The total page count of disputed events is 18, which is less than 5 percent of the total book." (via rc3 [ 01/12/06 ]



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