Book Reviews

A Review Of "Law Of The Blog"

Here's my very brief review of "Law Of The Blog" A Blogger's Guide to Copyright, Defamation, Trademark and other Legal Issues", a 72 page eBook written by Nicholas Carroll. He begins with a great Intro. that covers what he says may be "the most important part of this book." Though I'm not sure I'd call it the most important part, it's certainly some of the most interesting, and one of the two sections I'd love to see expanded in Version 2, should he ever release a second version. The meat of the book answers questions like "Can I Be Sued?", "What is Plagiarism?" and covers issues like Fair Use, The DMCA and Defamation. A good deal of space is devoted to defense, and different laws that cover you if you manage to get yourself into trouble. He includes some interesting "Special Situations" like "food slander" that I found very interesting. He also covers the people we need to worry about coming after us for what we write. He covers threats from governments, corporations, cults and individuals. He finishes things up with a nice appendix, and a resources section that points the way to plenty of good places to find more information on topics he covered. I especially liked the "Where it's All Going" and would love to see that section expanded in the future, it's a great finish to a really interesting and informative quick read. I'd highly recommend this as a required read for all bloggers.
You can Order A PDF Copy at the website,


Bush Profiled: Big Ideas, Tiny Details

Want to know what goes on inside the mind of our President?

Through a series of interviews with President Bush, author Robert Draper tries to paint "a portrait of the commander in chief as a willful optimist, proud of his self-confidence and convinced that any expressions of doubt would make him less of a leader: a man addicted to "Big Ideas and small comforts" (like riding his bike), a stubborn, even obstinate politician loath to change course or second-guess himself, and given to valuing loyalty above almost everything else." Michiko Kakutani review in the NYT.

Librarian in charge

In turn-of-the-century New York, no one was more powerful than the wealthy financier J. Pierpont Morgan. A major fixture in the cultural world, late in life he began developing a library to house his growing collection of books. Few had ever been inside the marble building with its lapis lazuli columns, located around the corner from Madison Avenue on East 36th Street. By 1905, Morgan was looking for a librarian to manage his priceless collection. Enter Belle da Costa Greene


Book: A Librarian Who Made A Difference

Helen Wheeler writes in the Berkeley Daily Planet a review of the book "Dear Miss Breed".

Miss Breed was the San Diego Public Library's first Children's Librarian. She worked in the branch used by the city's Japanese American children. Within four months of Dec. 7, 1941, San Diego Nikkei were forced to leave their homes, schools, jobs, and public libraries.

At the train station Miss Breed distributed self-addressed post cards to her children and sent them packages of books and other necessities that she purchased as she came to know their locations. She wrote about their condition and struggled to get published in library literature. And more.

I learned of Miss Breed because recently I happened to tune into Book-TV when Joanne Oppenheim related her experiences writing the book-- Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference to an audience that included many of Miss Breed's children and their children at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. All of the above describes this wonderfully illustrated and written book in the barest terms.

Writers Recommend Some Good Reads

The New York Times asked several writers, Nora Ephron, Dave Eggers, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jonathan Safran Foer, Edwidge Danticat, Gary Shteyngart, Kathryn Harrison and Jeffrey Eugenides among them, if they've read any good books are their responses.

Stop the Cliches!

Tom Payne from the UK's Telegraph writes about cliches in book reviewing. His article is an "searingly honest" "tour de force" with "penetrating insights"....

Do you accept the redundancy of today's book reviews "warts and all" or do you find them "woefully inadequate"?

(Thanks to Read Roger for pointing out this article.)


(Not) Everything is Miscellaneous

Peter Morville has a Review Of the new book, Everything is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger's "mesmerizing" new book about organization, authority, and knowledge. "David has done a masterful job of weaving the histories of library science and information architecture into a hot and sexy page-turner of a story."
The book's dedication, "To The Librarians" leads Peter to wonder what could've come next... Thanks for nothing? May they rest in peace? After reading the book, he's still not sure.


Trend: Newspapers Eliminating Book Review Sections

As evidenced in our most recent poll, lots of newspapers (for example The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) have begun to drop or diminish their book review sections. Here's what the book review industry has to say about it, and offers suggestions for what you can do to reverse or slow the trend. Wednesday's New York Times also examines the issue of declining book reviews .


Readers of books dying off?

Kathleen Parker Says People who read books are different from other people. They’re smarter for one thing. They’re more sensual for another. They like to hold, touch and smell what they read. They like to carry the words with them – tote them on vacation, on train rides and, most heavenly of all, to bed.

They’re also a dying breed. And newspapers, apparent signatories to a suicide pact, are playing “Taps.â€

The news that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has eliminated its book editor position – causing much Sturm und Drang throughout the Southern literary community – highlights the continuing demotion of books and literature in American culture. While an Internet petition circulates to reinstate Teresa Weaver as book editor, writers are expressing concern they’re losing their best vehicle for recognition.

New Children's Book by a Librarian About, Well, a Kid at the Library

Inspired by a poem from a young patron written in honor of her birthday, Carla Morris, a librarian at the Provo (UT) Library has written a children's picture book "The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians." The book, published by Peachtree Press took six years to put together; mostly waiting for illustrator Brad Sneed to supply the pictures. Deseret News reports, and here's the publishers catalog copy.


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