Book Reviews

Current state of book reviewing

The latest issue of Foreword Magazine focuses on the current state of book reviewing, including the views of a panel of publishers (hosted by the Small Press Center), the reasons that one independent publisher never sends her books out for review and an editorial on the \"mainstream opposition\" to paid reviews.


Student book offers twisted history \'coarse\'

Hermit ;-) writes \"Hilarious excerpts from a college professor\'s compilation of \"students\' most egregious mistakes.\" [ _Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students_ compiled by Anders Henriksson. Workman Publishing] \"

History, after all, is nothing more than \"the behind of the present,\" according to one student, who aptly added: \"This gives incites from the anals of the past.\"


For the Oversized shelves

Business Week\'s round-up of holiday gift suggestions includes a list of coffee-table books on topics ranging from financial markets and the end of the Soviet Union to Tiger Woods and teddy bears.


Recent books praised by Salon[.com]\'s critics

Hermit ;-) writes \" Salon\'s recommended book list is culled from the section from the last year.
A subsection, their special Sept. 11 book list is primarily brief reviews but includes some in depth reviews as well as interviews with authors.
For academics looking for an immediate textual fix, has 26 full text books on \"Terrorism and Security Collection about the science and policy issues surrounding terrorism and security\" that can be read online. \"


CSMonitor\'s Annual Book Guide 2001.

Hermit ;-) writes \"The CSMonitor\'s book editor, Ron Charles (and crew!-), has their annual \"retrospective list for discriminating readers\" up.

A quick scan and the review of the book _Republic.com_ by Cass Sunstein caught my eye.

The review, \"Create your own world on the Internet - and democracy crumbles,\" by Merle Rubin, Here, paints an eerie picture of a global net of polarized extremists. A disturbing potential consequence of self-filtering (?self-filtering?).

\"The MindGuard is down to 15% Captain! At any time the Enterprise may be broached by Unfiltered Ideas!\"

\"Raise the GroupThink to Maximum Scottie! Red alert, lasers on stun.\"

[Spock raises an eyebrow ;-] \"


Authors Warn that Male-Bashing Could have Disasterous Effects on Society

In the book \"Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture,\" the authors, Katherine Young and Paul Nathanson discuss the negative effects that could occur as a result of the level of male-bashing that is so widely accepted today. They refer to the negative stereotyping of men and boys, as found in books, art, greeting cards, comic strips, movies, television shows, and commercials. According to the authors, \"men are laughed at, denigrated or demonized, receiving treatment that would never be acceptable if directed at women.\" The problem could result in a hostile backlash toward women in general. More


Internet liberation theology

Salon has a Review of \"The Future of Ideas\" by Lawrence Lessig.
This book is on efforts to increase copyright protection, he says they are a threat to freedom and prosperity.

This is a sequel to the depressing, \"Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace\". He sees dominant players exercising control through the law, technical standards and political might to resist the change that might otherwise take place.
He recommends that there is a place for some regulation, if we want to preserve liberty.


A detective story without a detective

The Chicago Tribune has a cool Book Review of \"The Grand Complication\" By Allen Kurzweill. Check It Out, sounds like a book a librarian could really enjoy.

\"It takes us inside the mind of a librarian to see the world according to the Dewey Decimal System.
Alexander Short, the protagonist-narrator, lives to categorize. His impulse is to reduce experience to a series of lists.\"


The Grand Complication

For The New York Times, DT Max writes...

\"The use and abuse of order is the subject of Allen Kurzweil\'s engaging new novel, \"The Grand Complication.\" We try to keep life under control by cataloging it, only to find that what gives it its meaning is its refusal to be pinned down. To live well is to make room for confusion. This moral is given us through the story of Alexander Short, a New York librarian, who, overwhelmed by life; his parents deceased, a wife he can no longer talk to, an apartment in a neighborhood overrun by crack, has taken refuge in rules.\" more... Don\'t forget your free required subscription Here.


New Bibliomystery set at the New York Public Library

Matt writes \"The Christian Science Monitor\'s review of Allen Kurzweil\'s new bibliomystery.
The Grand Complication has enough librarian stereotypes to go around. However, the main character, a cataloger named Alexander Short, certainly reminds me of some of the characters I\'ve met in library school and beyond.

Full Story

My personal favorite of this sort of thing is Charles A. Goodrum\'s Dewey Decimated. \"



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