Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
\"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.\"
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.
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.
My personal favorite of this sort of thing is Charles A. Goodrum\'s Dewey Decimated. \"
The International Herald Tribune today has this review of the book \"Libraries in the Ancient World\" by Lionel Casson. It includes a look at the history of the original library of Alexandria as well as descriptions of \"curses invoked by different cultures to protect their libraries from thieves\". Now, that might be quite useful!
If you\'re like me, and you feel like you should read \"Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper\" by Nicholson Baker, but you just don\'t feel like it, you may want to read Alexander Star\'s The Paper Pusher review in The New Republic.
I know you\'re probably sick to death of reading about Nicholson Baker, but this is the best review I\'ve seen, I almost felt like I read the book when I was done.
Just received this one via e-mail from J. Wyatt Ehrenfels:
\"Fireflies in the Shadow of the Sun exposes the moral/methodological inadequacy of academic psychology to address authentic psychological phenomena. It is a novel based largely on factual accounts and would be a suitable acquisition for librarians.\" The mission -- public service to the human spirit...\" To visit the web site, Click Here.
Casey writes \"I don\'t know if you\'ve \"caught wind\" of this new scheme to charge publishers for book reviews, but I think it is absolutely the most horrible idea I\'ve seen in the book world. Makes me grind my teeth just to think about it. And to think they actually believe librarians will read these \"reviews\"!
Anyhow, a new Uncle Frank tackles the issue here at
Lionel Gasson has written a book about the history of libraries dating all the way back to ancient times. Who would have ever thought libraries to have such a colorful history dating all the way back to dinosaurs...well okay that may be an exaggeration since we all know the only readable text for that time was the Thesaurus...(ahem, sorry) ... Anyway, check out this review by Peter Jones at Books Online.
Lee Hadden writes \"While many librarians and
library supporters have criticized Nicholson
Baker\'s attack on library stewardship in his book
\"Double Fold,\" few have
picked up on his sartorial prejudices against male
bowties. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal on
May 4, 2001, on page
W17 by Joseph Epstein, \"Fit to be Tied: The Enemies of
Civilization Find a
New Target, Just Below the Chin.\" describes and
illustrates this prejudice
Mr. Epstein notes that Mr. Baker \"...seems to have his
turned out in bowties: A man named Verner Clapp is a
wearer,\" and the historian and former Librarian of
Congress Daniel Boorstein
is described as a \"chronic bowtie wearer.\"
If Mr. Baker is mistrustful of male librarians simply
because they wear
bowties, then he is seeing a trend to maybe match the
old stereotype of the
female librarian in hairbun, breastwatch, and reading
glasses on a string of
fake pearls, finger poised to go \"Shush!\" I am thus
tempted to join the ranks
and change my work uniform to something more in
keeping with guild
guidelines. I might trade in my four-in-ones for the
Daniel Moyniham look.
But then, I might not.\"