Books

Author Nicco Mele on "The End of Big"

The World's Strongest Librarian

Review of Josh Hanagarne's book in today's issue of Shelf Awareness.

Josh Hanagarne, blogger at The World's Strongest Librarian, "might be the only person whose first three-hundred-pound bench press was accompanied by the Recorded Books production of Don Quixote." This is just one of his remarkable singularities. A gentle giant who tears phone books for fun, at 6'7" he tends to catch the eye at the Salt Lake City Public Library, even when his Tourette Syndrome is not acting up. His memoir explores these contradictions and oddities, and his remarkable journey from idyllic childhood to painfully jerky young adulthood to a contented family and work life.

The authors own site explains why he isn't reading reviews of his book.

Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle

Theft claims more victims and causes greater economic injury than any other criminal offense. Yet theft law is enigmatic, and fundamental questions about what should count as stealing remain unresolved—especially misappropriations of intellectual property, information, ideas, identities, and virtual property.

More about book here.

Don’t Hate Google for Reader — Award It the Nobel Prize for Books

In a Wired opinion piece, Jonathon Keats argues that this year's Nobel Prize for literature should be awarded to Google.

"Given that literary fame is so fickle, it might make more sense to anoint a work that’s mutable—an all-encompassing text that changes at the pace of society itself. Today there is such a work. And that is why, in 2013, the Swedish Academy should award the Nobel Prize in Literature to Google.

Is Google literature? As a search engine, of course, it lacks a conventional narrative. But a traditional bildungsroman would hardly suit our era. Not even James Joyce could capture the fractured nature of 21st-century life, let alone the nearly unlimited interconnectedness among people and events these days."

Hats Off to You, Bookish: Goodreads Acquisition Validates the Bookish Strategy

For the last few years, Bookish.com — the joint venture between S&S, Hachette, and Penguin — has seen a number of iterations and had its share of setbacks. Most articles — including this one — tend to lead with a description of all the difficulties Bookish has had, from CEO change-overs to more than a year in delays. Even fresh off its launch several weeks ago there’s a lot of discussion about what role Bookish.com fills in the ecosystem and whether or not it’s addressing a consumer need. When it was announced yesterday that Goodreads.com was being acquired by Amazon, one of Forbes’ headlines covering the announcement was Amazon Buys Goodreads. Take That, Bookish! As if it’s another string of bad luck in the Bookish saga.

Full article

Mining Books To Map Emotions Through A Century

Were people happier in the 1950s than they are today? Or were they more frustrated, repressed and sad?

To find out, you'd have to compare the emotions of one generation to another. British anthropologists think they may have found the answer — embedded in literature.

Full piece: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/01/175584297/mining-books-to-map-emotions-through-a-century

On Etsy, a Book Isn’t Always a Book

Teleread has a piece on hollowed out books that people are making and selling on Etsy

Excerpt: I fell in love with this idea and purchased one of the books on offer: a blue Reader’s Digest Condensed Books in which I planned to store my passport, checks and some cash we are squirrelling away for vacations.

I was impressed with the look and feel of the ‘book’ when it arrived. I liked that it was ‘authentic’ and can, of course, pass for a ‘real’ book on the shelf, since it was one.

Full piece

LibraryThing Offers Free Accounts through this Sunday, March 31

In reaction to the recent purchase of Goodreads by Amazon.com, LibraryThing announced the following:

In the wake of Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads, we’ve had some blow-back on the fact that LibraryThing charges for a membership to add more than 200 books. In fact, when you go to pay, it’s pay-what-you-want. The money helps pay for the site, and keeps us advertisement-free for members. Also, we believe customers should be customers, with the loyalty and rights of customers, not the thing we sell to our real customers.

However, some people don’t like it. And we want everyone. So, as a test and a welcome, we’re giving out free year’s accounts to everyone who signs up through the end of Sunday. We’ve also upgraded everyone who signed up since 4pm yesterday.

More on their site.

They neglected to mention however that they too are part-owned by Amazon.com (40% due to previous small business purchases by Amazon). This was referenced in the NYTimes article about Amazon's purchase of Goodreads.

"The deal is made more significant because Amazon already owned part or all of Goodreads’ competitors, Shelfari and LibraryThing. It bought Shelfari in 2008. It also owns a portion of LibraryThing as a result of buying companies that already owned a stake in the site. Both are much smaller and have grown much more slowly than Goodreads."

Murder, Murderers and the Death Penalty at the Supreme Court

A new book documents the murders, murderers and capital punishment overseen by the highest court in the U.S. Jeffrey Brown talks with veteran journalists Martin Clancy and Tim O'Brien about their new work, "Murder at the Supreme Court," about some of the most notorious crimes and subsequent penalties.

Interview with authors here.

Google reportedly halts print editions of Frommer's guidebooks

Were we really expecting a different outcome? Several months after Google bought Frommer's to bolster its location efforts, Skift hears that the iconic travel guide maker has completely stopped publication of print editions as its focus swings to the online realm.

Full article

Will this have any impact on your library? What do you think of this move by Google?

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