Book Reviews

Theater review: Book mystery sends librarian on quest

Barrington Stage Company’s Stage 2 is doing what it does best: It is presenting “Underneath the Lintel,” a creative, quirky, clever play written by Glen Berger.


Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians

Lunch Lady and the League of LibrariransLunch Lady arrived this week and our young Jarrett fans were on these books "like cheese on macaroni". Today Lucy (10) and Bayla (8) share their thoughts on the first two books in this zany graphic novel series.


New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Sory

New Year at the Pier (A Rosh Hashanah Story)
Crisp salt air and sunshine breeze from airy, upbeat illustrations in this chattily shared and poignant reminder of the power of forgiveness.

You can listen in on our chat about this book on our Just One More Book! Children's Book Podcast.


Bits of Destruction...Part Two

More on the current wave of Bernard Lunn.

"Readers will be able to order any book in the universe and have it sent to them in print wherever they want or sent digitally to whatever device they have. Readers have grown accustomed to getting their online content for free, so they will expect to get at least a degraded experience via the regular browser (the "free" in freemium). This will take a while to play out. We live in a world today of bilateral negotiations, so different titles are available for different devices and in different bookstores. But play out it will.

Here is my free review of my free copy of "Free."

Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, recently came out with the book "Free: The Future of a Radical Price." So the question of whether books will be free in the future is a natural one to ask. The short answer is, No. If books became free, authors would stop writing, printers would stop printing, and electronics factories would stop churning out e-book readers. In other words, there would be nothing to read... excerpts and promotional stuff.

The kicker: How much does Chris Anderson's "Free" book cost on Amazon? List price: $26.99, discounted to $16.19. Not free.

But Free on Scribd.

This Is Your Country on Drugs

Interesting sounding book just out: This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim (Wiley, $24.95, 0470167394/9780470167397, June 29, 2009).

Book review by Debra Ginsberg from Shelf-Awareness who calls it "a truly compelling and enlightening read."

The "Verdict" on Reviews

Library Journal article:

For decades, Library Journal reviews have concluded by recommending titles for particular types of libraries or collections, with an occasional nod to a type of reader—the generalist, the student, the fan. Phrases like "highly recommended for larger libraries," "recommended for medium-sized and large fiction collections," and "for academic libraries only" have been standard fare at the end of reviews. Librarians know the drill so well that many just skip to that final sentence to get the recommendation and move on. They're looking for the quick yea or nay cum evaluation.

Now, responding to librarians' requests that we frame reviews for their readers rather than for their colleagues only, we're abandoning the wording we've become known for—and sometimes teased about (see below)—along with the guidance for the librarian once considered core to LJ reviews.

Full story here.


BOOK REVIEW: 'Raised by Librarians' will warm your heart

Sheila Dembowski: "The children's picture book "The Boy Who was Raised by Librarians" is a wonderful story that makes that very point. Author Carla Morris is a librarian herself and has woven her experiences into an inspirational story about the power of libraries and the positive influence they can have on people."


Together : A Shared Vision

Book Review: Together: a Novel of Shared Vision by Tom Sullivan with Betty White; published in large print by Center Point Publishing, 2008.

I saw the book Together on a large print book list. I was looking for some "gentle" fiction for some of my older large print users, who have forsaken much of general literature because they view it as being too vile for their enjoyment.

I was pleasantly surprised by the book. It is a story about Brendan McCarthy, who a pre-Med student who likes to live on the edge. With a hot girlfriend, Brendan thinks that he is on top of the world the fateful day he begins his descent from a mountain peak that will change his life forever. In a convergent story, Nelson is the third name given to a highly intelligent black lab that is going through service dog training for the third time.

Tom Sullivan and Betty White take a plot line that could have been completely formulaic and add sufficient plot twists to make you excited about turning the pages.

This book is a wonderful addition to any large print collection because it touches so many areas of interest for large print readers. The book proves to be a fairly gentle read, with only a small amount of bad language. As a dog story, it has a strong appeal to people like this writer who has black labs of my own. Third it offers contemporary gentle fiction that is not religious in nature. This will be welcome to patrons who do not want materials with vulgar language, graphic violence, or sexually explicit descriptions.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Study Bible wins top honors in Christian Book Awards

A study Bible won top honors in the Christian Book Awards that were announced Thursday night in Dallas by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

The association gave ESV Study Bible, published by Crossway, the “book of the year” award. It’s the first time a study Bible has won the overall prize in the 30-year-history of the Christian Book Awards.

What is the purpose of a book review? And are book reviewers writing anything useful?

Michelle Kerns has been experiencing something of a book review epiphany (or, as fellow Simpson fans will appreciate, an epipha-tree). After compiling my list of the top 20 most annoying book reviewer clichés she indulged her self by surfing about the Internet in search of fellow book reviewers in thrall to reviewerspeak. The shocker came when she realized at least 95% of the reviews don't say anything useful at all.



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