Book Reviews

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.

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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.

Reviews of "Quiet, Please"

Anonymous patron points out two reviews of "Quiet Please:"

Los Angeles Times

The Scotsman

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Fine lines: why book prizes are worth it

Louise Adler says "Serving on numerous judging panels, I have found good will, rigour and integrity among my colleagues. Yes, the loudest voices in the room occasionally prevail. But extensive reading, passionate debate, honest prejudice and considerable anguish accompanies the decision-making process."

Book Review: How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation

Many of you have probably spent some time in higher education. Enrollment in U.S. higher education institutions has steadily increased over the past few decades, and is projected to reach new highs each year for the next decade or so. What you may not know, however, are the working conditions of educators in colleges and universities. In his new book, How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation, Marc Bousquet lays it all out, and the picture is not pretty.

Full book review here.

PopMatters Interviews Librarian/Author, Scott Douglas

PopMatters has an interview and review of Scott Douglas and his memoir "Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian."

Posthumous Collection of Styron's Essays Has Roots in the Library

William Styron died at the end of 2006, but left behind a wonderful collection of essays, "Havanas in Camelot", reviewed here by The New York Times Michiko Kakutani.

Having enlisted at 17, but considered too much of a tenderfoot to send overseas, the United States Marine Corps introduced him “to the glories of the library.” He was sent first, instead, to a military-sponsored college program at Duke University, “which then, as now, possessed one of the great college libraries of America.” Possessed of “a prevision of himself as being among the fallen martyrs” in the Pacific theater, he began to read voraciously, regarding the books in the Duke library as “the rocks and boulders” he could cling to against his “onrushing sense of doom and mortality.”

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