Book Reviews

The Times (UK) Reviews "Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian"

Caroline White Likes It: "These are not the shiny, happy Californians who people our cinema screens and magazines, but they are funny, illuminating and give Douglas's recollections a rawness with which the airbrushed memories of society's winners cannot compete."

The Future of History

Anne Applebaum's review of Nichoson Baker's book about World War II offers some good food for thought about the state of historical "research" in today's world and where we seem to be headed. Here is just one snippet.


Completely Wrong

The following book review was posted by mdoneil is his blog. Because of all the controversy of the original post that got him to buy this book I figured I would move this over to a story.

mddoneil said in his blog:
I remarked earlier that I thought Prioleau Alexander's book, You Want Fries With That? would suck. I could not have been more wrong.

I got it from my local independent bookshop a couple of weeks ago, but I had not had time to read it. I took it with me to read on the plane last week. It was a scream. I called a friend from the airport to read part of the prologue -the dialogue between a RWM (me) and a South American father of 3. It was hilarious and yet absolutely correct.

Read complete blog post here.



Book Review in the NYT of:

When Bill Clinton was in the twilight months of his presidency, he made a compelling case that by integrating China into the world economy we would gradually undercut the viability of its authoritarian government. It was only a matter of time, he told an audience of American and Chinese students in March 2000, before a Net-savvy, rising middle class would begin to demand its rights, because “when individuals have the power not just to dream, but to realize their dreams, they will demand a greater say.”

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

COMMON WEALTH: Economics for a Crowded Planet.

Book Review in the New York Times:

COMMON WEALTH: Economics for a Crowded Planet.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The Bush's "Read All About It" Panned by the New York Times

"The belief that books aren’t “real” is exactly what keeps many kids from preferring to read, but while the first lady, Laura Bush, and daughter Jenna Bush are on target with their diagnosis in “Read All About It!” their course of recommended treatment is hard to follow, let alone swallow" says NYT reviewer Roger Sutton about this new title.

On the subject of "Read All About It" (oops, watch out, when you click this link you hear the authors speaking about their book)... Sutton asks "Whom is this book supposed to convince, and of what?" The main character, Tyrone Brown, (“professional student and class clown”) would say, (according to Sutton) "it’s not real. The point is laboriously made, the teachers’ names are dorky, the plot is hectic and the suspense and dialogue are artificial. What child today says “pesky”? (And anyone who has ever shelved books for minimum wage is likely to feel insulted by Tyrone’s aggrieved dismissal of the library: “All I will meet there are stinky pages.”)

Jenna's away on her honeymoon; maybe she won't get a chance to read the review.

It's Children's Book Week!

It's Children's Book Week, and happily, the library in Salinas (CA) and many others are open to celebrate the event and encourage kids to read.

One way of celebrating Children's Book Week (today through Sunday) with your child is by adding an extra book or two to the family library. Here are a few suggestions you might wish to consider: "Eco Babies Wear Green", "Doctor Ted", "The House That Max Built", "Human Body" and "MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES A Classical Bestiary".

And from another part of the great state of California, suggestions from Mercury News, which include: ""Little Night/Nochecita", "In a Blue Room" and "The Day We Danced in Underpants."

Is your library doing special to celebrate? Clue us in...

Hubert's Freaks: The Rare-Book Dealer, the Times Square Talker, and the Lost Photos of Diane Arbus

Some reviews of the book "Hubert's Freaks: The Rare-Book Dealer, the Times Square Talker, and the Lost Photos of Diane Arbus"
Boing Boing review.
L.A. Times review.
Time Out New York review.
Review in Galleycat that discusses what happened at the Strand bookstore when the author was doing a reading.


The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America

Censorship is nothing new, and the quest to quash it continues. American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, ABFFE, chose an interesting book on the subject for the months of March and April.

Author David Hajdu's book, "The Ten Cent Plague" tells a chapter of American history when comic books were feared, hated and even burned during the 1950s. The book is reviewed in Entertainment Weekly where author Hajdu had been an editor.


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