Book Reviews

The Lonely Book

Review of "The Lonely Book" by Kate Bernheimer, illus. by Chris Sheban; Schwartz & Wade (Random House).

This particular book has spent a lot of time at the library, but it still has a lot to look forward to. Fresh off the presses, a beautiful green book is sent to a busy library, quickly devoured by adoring young readers. The book is happy to be checked out often and loved by so many children. Time goes by, and newer books take its place. Gradually, it gathers dust and is taken out less and less often. Then, one day, when it thought it has been abandoned, a little girl named Alice discovers it where it has been left carelessly on the floor. It’s love at first sight for the little girl, and she takes the book everywhere. Once again, the book is happy and content.

But when Alice, in a moment of forgetfulness, neglects to renew the lonely book, it is again relegated to a dusty shelf. Stay tuned for more...

Author faces six figure legal bill after unfavourable Amazon reviews case is struck out

Author faces six figure legal bill after unfavourable Amazon reviews case is struck out
An author who tried to sue a father of three from the West Midlands over comments made in a series of unfavourable reviews on Amazon is facing a six figure legal bill after a judge struck out his case.

The judge ruled that although a small portion of Mr Jones’ words might be deemed libellous by a jury if it went to a full trial, there was little point pursuing that avenue because the potential damages would be slight compared to court costs and time.

Why Won’t They Listen?

Article in the NYT Sunday Book Review: Why Won’t They Listen? Book discussed in the article: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Bird books US/UK

Birdbooker Report 214Compiled by an ardent bibliophile, this weekly report includes books about human evolution, wildflowers, polar bears and much more that have been newly published in North America and the UK


‘Riveting!’: The Quandary of the Book Blurb

NYT "Room for Debate" piece -- ‘Riveting!’: The Quandary of the Book Blurb

“A Faulkner for our time!” “Can’t put it down!” “An up-all-night thriller!” At some point, you have to wonder: if so many books are being commended, are they all commendable? It’s the perennial question of whether the blurbs on book covers are still meaningful or have become just background noise. After all, Kindle Singles are doing just fine without covers — and cover blurbs.

Do book blurbs serve readers? Do they help writers?

Stephen King and others weigh in on this topic.

Daily Dispatches from the Internet's Worst Book Reviewers

Daily Dispatches from the Internet's Worst Reviewers collects the worst book reviews the internet has to offer!
[Via Mefi]

Review of "Free Ride"

Book by author Robert Levine - FREE RIDE: How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back

Review by Jeffrey Rosen in the NYT

Excerpt: “The real conflict online,” Levine writes, “is between the media companies that fund much of the entertainment we read, see and hear and the technology firms that want to distribute their content — legally or otherwise.” By delivering content they don’t pay for, or selling content far below the price it cost to create, Levine says, information and entertainment distributors like YouTube and The Huffington Post become “parasites” on the media companies that invest substantially in journalists, musicians and actors; the distributors drive down prices in a way that sucks the economic lifeblood out of those who create and finance the best achievements of our culture. The result is a “digital version of Wal-Mart capitalism,” in which free-riding distributors reap all the economic benefits of the Internet by cutting prices, and culture suppliers are forced to cut costs in response. This dynamic, Levine argues, destroys the economic incentive to create the kinds of movies, television, music and journalism consumers demand, and for which they are, in fact, quite willing to pay.


Dewey Decimal: a science fiction mystery

Nathan Larson’s The Dewey Decimal System is a sublime, dark, near-future mystery is set in Manhattan, when The Occurrence (a series of Valentine’s Day disasters, including a market crash, a super flu, and city-wide bombings) has reduced all five boroughs to a combined population of less than 800 thousand.


BookExpo America Loves Librarians

...and here's the 'official' BEA Librarians blog. Why does BEA love librarians? Hmmm, probably because there are fewer and fewer bookstores around :(. [birdie's request: please support your local bookstores and partner with them whenever possible].

This month's entry includes YA, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction and Fiction favorites and asks librarians...what do YOU like? Check it out.

Writers Write About Censorship

Excerpt from "Places I Never Meant To Be" Original Stories By Censored Writers; Edited and Introduction by Judy Blume. Blume tells the story of how she circumnavigated the naysayers to read her first book by John O'Hara. Not a new title (2001), but definitely one worth reading.

From the Introduction: When I was growing up I’d heard that if a movie or book was “Banned in Boston” everybody wanted to see it or read it right away. My older brother, for example, went to see such a movie -- The Outlaw, starring Jane Russell -- and I wasn’t supposed to tell my mother. I begged him to share what he saw, but he wouldn’t. I was intensely curious about the adult world and hated the secrets my parents, and now my brother, kept from me.

A few years later, when I was in fifth grade, my mother was reading a novel called A Rage to Live, by John O’Hara, and for the first time (and, as it turned out, the only time) in my life, she told me I was never to look at that book, at least not until I was much older. Once I knew my mother didn’t want me to read it, I figured it must be really interesting!


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