Book Reviews

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:" <a href=",0,5755966.story">Los Angeles Times</a> <a href="">The Scotsman</a>

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 <a href="">an interview</a> and <a href="">review</a> 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.”

Seven Deadly Words of Book Reviewing

Over At The NY Times Bob Harris says Out of laziness, haste or a misguided effort to sound “literary,” reviewers use some words with startling predictability. Each of these seven entries is a perfectly good word (well, maybe not eschew), but they crop up in book reviews with wearying regularity. poignant; compelling; intriguing; eschew; craft; muse; lyrical;


The Book Reviewers Revered

Here's The first instalment of "Reviewers revered over at" Blake Morrison, Ian Jack and others name their favourite book critics. James Wood topped the list; John Updike was left out ... To build the list They asked 24 well-established writers and editors--people who consume a lot of criticism--which critics they turn to, in any medium, covering any field.


Michael Dirda on the the Past & Future of Bookselling, eBay etc.

"Once I could have sold my books to any number of local used bookshops for a reasonable sum--now nobody much wants anything, aside from rarities--because everything is available online. I myself understand the attractiveness of being able to buy everything you want, but I don't like the whole outlook. It's like a billionaire buying a beautiful woman any time he wants one to sleep with--where's the romance, where's the excitement, the heartache, the attendant glories and sorrows of romance? Once it was exciting to go out 'booking'--and there were scores of places to go. But now, now. To make everything freely available makes everything seem that much less interesting and desirable. But I begin to rant."--Michael Dirda in a discussion held Wednesday at the Washington Post.

Of Book Reviews And Blogs

Over at The London Review Of Books Thomas Jones Takes A Look At Books and blogs. He says if they’re doing their jobs properly, are as different as two kinds of published text can be. For one thing, creating a book takes many months, not to say years, and the process requires the participation of a whole chain of people besides the writer: commissioning editors, copy-editors, typesetters, proofreaders, printers, distributors, booksellers etc. A blogger can have an unedited post up on the web and available to readers within minutes of the idea popping into his head.


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