November 2007

Publisher’s Weekly: Amazon’s Kindle: Very Cool, Really Easy

There’s a lot to like about Amazon’s new digital reading device, the Kindle. It’s a lightweight, slickly designed handheld device with a crystal clear black and white electronic ink screen that is very easy to use right out the box. And the Kindle has three surefire selling points—title selection, pricing and Amazon’s nifty Whispernet wireless network—that give it an advantage over devices like the Sony Reader and the iLiad.


The network signal (Kindle uses a cellphone network) was strong and every title in the Kindle bookstore offers a free sample chapter; just the ticket for an intrepid wireless device reviewer. Very quickly I downloaded sample chapters of Mark Harris’s The Southpaw; Denis Johnson’s Tree of Smoke and Buster Olney’s The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty, just to check out the technology before buying…

Article continued here.

‘The Future of the Internet–and How to Stop It’

Restrictive tools and rash approaches to security challenges are endangering the health of the online ecosystem, an Oxford University researcher warned Wednesday. You can call Zittrain’s theme the AOL-ization of technology. Instead of personal computers being able to run any program from any source without approval from a third party–which many of us were used to in the 1980s and 1990s–Zittrain fears we’re entering a world where centralized approval becomes necessary.

On the Clock to Get Her MLS

The Winding Rivers Library System Board on Wednesday gave Tomah, WI librarian Irma Keller a second chance to get her state-required credentials. When hired in April, Keller was required by state law to obtain her master’s degree in library science. She has not done that, although she is to start classes in January.

Her lack of certification means WRLS resource grants totaling $8,300 annually could be withheld from the Tomah Public Library. Keller said she offered to step down as library director but the Tomah library board encouraged her to stay.

How Much Do Book Blurbs Matter?

Over at the Freakonomics Blog, Stephen J. Dubner comments on whether or not book blurbs have any real value in helping potential customers decide whether or not to buy it. He writes about a letter he received from the editor of a book asking for a blurb:

“If you find [redacted] and [redacted]’s ideas as compelling and inspiring as we do, a quote from you that we could print on the jacket would make a world of difference. I would be happy to help craft a quote if you prefer. My contact info is below.”

Dan Brown to unveil Washington’s Masonic past

A sequel to the blockbuster thriller “The Da Vinci Code” is set to lift the veil on mysterious Freemason symbols carved into the very fabric of the historic streets and buildings of the US capital. Novelist Dan Brown has set the new adventures of his hero, scholar-adventurer Robert Langdon, right in the heart of Washington, which could reveal some astonishing facts for history buffs.

Where the Wild Things Came From By the end of the 19th century, the art in kids’ books had become madcap and zany and irreverent. From the postwar period, one can trace the imagery and style that are familiar from the classics of one’s own childhood. Jump on over to to see a slide show on the history of children’s book illustration in the United States, based on Timothy G. Young’s new book, Drawn To Enchant.

Geek girls do it with foxy librarian frames

Geek girls do it with foxy librarian frames: Good news, those glasses you’re wearing? They’re “FOXY!”

I am a geek girl to the core, despite bubble gum pop and glitter eye shadow overshadowing witty sarcasm and chunky-framed eyeglasses during my most formative years. I blame my dad, who without fail brings a book to family gatherings and high school plays. My mom, who has always advocated finding a nerd to call my own. My motley crew of literary snobs and political elitists, who often detest what I stand for but proudly stand next to me all the same as we spend our evenings shunning the Kam’s crowd, preferring philosophical debate