Book Reviews

Nicholson Baker\'s Predjudices

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
librarians wearing
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
agaisnt bowties.

Mr. Epstein notes that Mr. Baker \"...seems to have his
villains neatly
turned out in bowties: A man named Verner Clapp is a
\"polymathic bowtie
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.\"

Topic: 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A review in The New Republic begins:

\"Some children dream of becoming astronauts when they grow up; others dream of becoming librarians. A.S. Byatt\'s characters fall into the second category...\"

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Uncle Frank on Baker

Uncle Frank has written a Review of Nicholson Baker\'s Book, Double Fold. He says we, as librarians, have to choose and get rid of some stuff.\" Saving everything, regardless of its merit, is not a choice, but an obsession\".
He also says he\'s going to get rid of those Nancy Drew books.Now that\'s a shame.

Topic: 

Drop and give me 20 pages, soldier!

US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki has put together reading lists for soldiers from raw recruits (Tom Brokaw\'s The Greatest Generation) all the way up to generals (Clausewitz, Kissinger and Thucydides).

Gen. Shinseki says, \"There is no better way to develop the sure knowledge and confidence required of our calling than a disciplined, focused commitment to a personal course of reading and study.\"

I don\'t often agree with warmongers, but -- right on, Brother!

Topic: 

Why Books Survive

The New Republic has a book review of Book Business: Publishing Past Present and Future by Jason Epstein that turns out to be much more than a review. The author of the review has more than a few things to say about books and the publishing industry.

\"The conviction that not only will people always want books, and will want them as they have always had them--on the shelves in bookstores--and will travel great distances to get to them, has led me to put upward of 300,000 books in four buildings in my hometown in West Texas.\"

Topic: 

I Spy

Competitive intelligence according to Janelle Brown is a growing but terribly dull profession.[more]

Although the plot may not be as action-packed as the reviewer would have liked, the new book from Adam Penenberg and Marc Barry\'s,\"Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America,\" may still prove interesting to the serious corporate librarian.

Topic: 

Book Reviews From Bookdragon

Fiction Reviews from The Bookdragon Review

The Bookdragon Review
delivers genre fiction reviews, news and forthcoming title information to
subscribers on a monthly basis. This month\'s reviews include:

Mercedes Lackey\'s Brightly Burning \"is tragic, depressing and yet
hauntingly beautiful as Lackey produces one of her strongest titles in
recent years\";

More....

Topic: 

Book Review : How To Read, and Why

NY Magazine has a Review of a book entitled \"How to Read and Why\". They didn\'t love the book, but the title caught my eye.

\"The title of Harold Bloom\'s new guide to literature and life may sound off-puttingly smug and condescending, but it\'s not until you get into How to Read and Why that you realize just how off-puttingly smug and condescending the book really is. \"

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At Amazon, any review is a good review

The Post Gazette has this funny article about the reviewers at Amazon.com.
\"Feeding our primal need to rate is just one of the benefits of technology. It
also makes it possible to create minor celebrities, since top reviewers also
get their own page on Amazon. And, perhaps best of all, at least if you
happen to be in the business of selling books: All the reviews are positive!\"

Topic: 

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