Book Reviews

Bill Gates: The Billionaire Book Critic

"For years, Mr. Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who now focuses on the philanthropic work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had been scribbling notes in the margins of books he was reading and then emailing recommendations to friends and colleagues. Then he began to post these recommendations and critiques on the blog. “A few years ago I started thinking it would be fun to share some of these notes with the public...” Mr.

Bill Gates: The Billionaire Book Critic

For years, Mr. Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who now focuses on the philanthropic work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had been scribbling notes in the margins of books he was reading and then emailing recommendations to friends and colleagues.

Then he began to post these recommendations and critiques on the blog. “A few years ago I started thinking it would be fun to share some of these notes with the public,” Mr. Gates wrote in a recent email interview. “I have always loved reading and learning, so it is great if people see a book review and feel encouraged to read and share what they think online or with their friends.”

From Bill Gates: The Billionaire Book Critic - The New York Times

Topic: 

A History of Punctuation for the Internet Age

Does knowing that history make seeing the outdated usage today less irritating? Maybe, maybe not—but it is interesting. “Language is for everybody,” Crystal said. “Human beings, homo loquens, the speaking animal. I’ve never met anybody who isn’t profoundly interested in language.”

From A History of Punctuation for the Internet Age - The New Yorker

Topic: 

The Best Books I Read in 2015 | Bill Gates

I just looked over the list of books I read this year, and I noticed a pattern. A lot of them touch on a theme that I would call “how things work.” Some explain something about the physical world, like how steel and glass are used, or what it takes to get rid of deadly diseases. Others offer deep insights into human beings: our strengths and flaws, our capacity for lifelong growth, or the things we value. I didn’t set out to explore these themes intentionally, though in retrospect it make a lot of sense since the main reason I read is to learn.

From The Best Books I Read in 2015 | Bill Gates

Topic: 

Is it too early for ‘best books’ lists? Nope

Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn scanned the best-books picks from Publishers Weekly, Amazon Books and Library Journal and mined a little data: out of 30 books, only three made more than one list. Reviewers are an eclectic bunch.

From Is it too early for ‘best books’ lists? Nope | The Seattle Times

Topic: 

The Hawaii Project Book Recommendations

Welcome to The Hawaii Project
The Hawaii Project brings you books and book news you'd never have found on your own. We track what the web's leading tastemakers and book reviewers are writing about, uncovering things that match your favorite authors, personal interests and current events, and bring them to you daily.

From The Hawaii Project Book Recommendations

The 10 best books of 2015 - Washington Post

In our annual roundup of best books, you’ll find 10 that we think are exceptionally rewarding and 100 more you shouldn’t miss. In addition to our usual recommendations for lovers of mysteries, graphic novels and audiobooks, we’ve added lists drawn from our new monthly columns in romance, poetry and science fiction and fantasy.

From The 10 best books of 2015 - Washington Post

Topic: 

Behind ‘King Lear’: The History Revealed by Fintan O'Toole

King Lear cannot end because authority cannot be restored. This impossibility results from Shakespeare’s greatest act of opportunism. James’s interests have given him the opportunity to write a play about the collapse of all political order and that in turn gives him the opportunity to show what authority really looks like when it is not propped up by power. In King Lear, it is the old king himself, speaking to the viciously blinded Gloucester, who utters the most savage attack on all authority:

From Behind ‘King Lear’: The History Revealed by Fintan O'Toole | The New York Review of Books

Topic: 

New Title: Biblio Tech by John Palfrey

Review of a new book entitled Biblio TECH on how to keep libraries relevant in the digital age. John Palfrey’s lucid, passionate account of the state of American libraries reminds us both how important public libraries are to a healthy democracy and how close they are to going the way of the dodo bird. The author is the Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover.

We are in the midst of a tectonic societal shift from print to digital and without a concerted effort to transform the library into its 21st century equivalent we just might lose these hubs of democracy for good.

The disconnect is huge; survey after survey remind us how important libraries are to their communities while in budget after budget funding for libraries continues to get slashed.

A Hearty Laugh for Work Weary Librarians

After a long day of answering questions and serving up information to the public (students, etc), a librarian could use a laugh. So pick up a copy of Roz Warren's OUR BODIES, OUR SHELVES: A COLLECTION OF LIBRARY HUMOR (HOPress, 2015) and see what might be between the covers that tickles your funnybone.

Here's an excerpt from one story: Freeze! It's the Library Police [a librarian's fantasy of recovering stolen books]

"Open up bitch! It's LIBRARY SQUAD!

Library Squad! A group of enraged middle-aged librarians. We're brainy, we're relentless. We'll hunt you down. We'll never give up. We know the Dewey Decimal Sysytem and we're not afraid to use it. And we always get our book.

And if you resist? We'll shush you. Permanently."

In addition to her library duties at the Bala Cynwyd Library right outside Philadelphia, Roz Warren writes forThe New York Times, The Funny Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Jewish Forward and The Huffington Post. And she‘s been featured on the Today Show. Our Bodies, Our Shelves is her thirteenth humor book. Years ago, Roz left the practice of law to take a job at her local public library “because I was tired of making so damn much money.” She doesn't regret it.

Our Bodies, Our Shelves, ISBN 9780692406465

Pages

Subscribe to Book Reviews