Book Reviews

The Economist Weighs in with their books of the year

djfiander writes "And the good news is that it's free online! I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, since my print copy just arrived, but I expect it to be full of all sorts of creamy goodness."

Wireless Hacks by Rob Flickenger

From WiFi Networking News:

"Rob Flickenger's latest book, Wireless Hacks, has been out for a few weeks and I wanted to share my delight with the title. I have the privilege of having been asked to write the foreword, and so read the book completely a few weeks ago. Here's what I wrote:

s my wife likes to remind me, I'm an early adopter. I've bought piles of equipment that litter various shelves in the basement, home office, and work server closet that never quite met the promise that caused me to shell out the bucks in the first place.

Rob Flickenger is an early adopter's early adopter: before the technology has reached the fancy stage in which it's stuck in a box, wrapped in nice plastic clothing, and displayed to the masses, Rob has torn it open, decompiled its innards, and turned every part of it into something rich and strange.

Reading Wireless Hacks gives me a warm feeling inside, like holding my hands over the vacuum tube in a pre-transistor radio. The glow of this book illuminates Rob's intense interest in spreading knowledge about cool stuff in order to spread more knowledge about the world in general."

The rest of the Review

Library - an Unquiet History tells part of the Berman Story

Steve Fesenmaier writes "LIBRARY – An Unquiet History part about Sandy Berman
BY Matthew Battles

Lost in the stacks

And not everyone is happy with them. In seeking a lofty common denominator, useful for libraries of all shapes, sizes, and specialties, the Library of Congress subject classes often strike a tone of bureaucratic high-handedness. Sanford Berman, a librarian in Minnesota’s Hennepin County Library since 1973, has waged a battle against subject headings he considers racist, reactionary, insulting to human dignity, and plain confusing. In the process, he and a merry band of fellow catalogers turned the HCL catalog into an exemplary tool for readers. -- Read More

The Cover Critic

There's a new feature in this month's issue of the online journal Mastication: book reviews that focus primarily on what really matters — the cover. Reviewed jackets include Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton ("a little too reserved") and
Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism by Ann Coulter ("nothing short of perfect"). Cover design was mentioned earlier.

Summer Reading

I spent a good part of this afternoon wandering through the jungle that my garden has become since spring’s bloom gave way to the summer heat. Southern California may seem like a gardener’s paradise, but the flip side is that there is very little downtime. The good news is, things grow all year. This is also the bad news, especially since some of those things are weeds. With no winter to kill them off, the perennial varieties go to town on whatever schedule suits them, and the annuals come up as they please. -- Read More

Evergreen Review, V.1, No. 2

I admit with no reluctance to a certain weakness for old books. An old book contains two stories: its contents and whatever tales its users have attached to it over the years. Sometimes I like a book because of the way it has worn: like an old shoe or a favorite hat, books break in and become comfortable; their spines relax and their pages lie flat without effort; they smell of someone’s home—they carry the memory of the owner’s hair, his cigar, her perfume, the particular dust of the place, the residue of curtains or carpets or hardwood shelves or sometimes the faint aroma of a musty attic trunk. I look for books like that, sniff and feel for them like a hog searches for a hidden acorn, and for the same reason. -- Read More

Revolting Librarians Redux A review by Steve Fesenmaier

Steve Fesenmaier writes \"A great book came out recently – one I have to put up there with Michael
Moore’s STUPID WHITE MEN – I have to tell you about. It’s called
“Revolting Librarians Redux” edited by Katia Roberto and Jessamyn West.
It is called “redux” because 30 years ago “Revolting Librarians” was
published. That tome was one of the reasons why I stayed in my
lowest-paid, demeaning profession since 1978. I discovered that there
were many other victims of American anti-intellectualism, and they
somehow found their way to library school, and somehow fought back
against The Matrix of the 1970s. -- Read More

The story behind 'the greatest' English Bible

Toots writes "Interesting Book Review, by Leo Sandon, Distinguished Teaching Professor of religion and American studies at Florida State:

If you want a serious volume among your summer reading selections, I suggest Adam Nicholson's well-received "God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible" (Harper Collins, 2003). It is informative yet engaging; erudite yet accessible; well-researched yet not scholarly thick. One gathers Nicholson intentionally omitted footnotes or endnotes in the interest of readability (a mistake, I think), but he provides 25 felicitous illustrations, six helpful appendices and a rather extensive bibliography. It is a fine telling of the creation of the King James Bible.

"

Revolting Librarians Needed, More Now than Ever

Steve Fesenmaier writes "
Reviewer: steve fesenmaier from charleston, wv USA
I am one of thousands of librarians who read the original book that was
published in 1972 - I read it in 1978 when I first came
to work in a library. I had a difficult time getting through library
school, and Don Roberts, one of the original authors, kept me
going. After I began my first job ever in a library, I instantly had
doubts about continuing given the conformism, lack of pay,
etc. - until I found a copy of Revolting Librarians and discovered that
many other librarians and library staff had exactly the
same feelings I did. Now, 30 years latter, a second version has come
out. I think that it is vastly superior to the first for several
reasons. -- Read More

Book Review: Casino Royale

Bob Cox spotted This Book Review of Casino Royale, the birthplace of Bond, written 50 years ago.
They say he does introduce himself as "Bond - James, Bond"; the car is not an Aston Martin or a BMW - it's a Bentley; and the drink is not a vodka martini (shaken, not stirred) - it is: three measures of Gordon's Gin, one of vodka, and half a measure of Kina Lillet (vermouth).

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