Sunday, December 13, 2009

Links & Reviews

- Perhaps the most underreported news of the last week-and-a-half or so: over at Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan comments on a change in Google's search protocols to "personalize" search: that is, I might get different results than you do for the same exact search, based on what I've searched for in the past. As Rory Litwin notes, "Read through this and then consider what an inconvenience it is for searchers like us librarians who are searching on many different things for many different reasons. The record of past searches interferes with the results of subsequent searches." (Kinda like when you buy a present on Amazon and then get recommendations for things like that for the rest of time - gah).

- In The Millions series "A Year in Reading," Reif Larsen weighs in with his top books of 2009. And The Independent has a list of the "best biographies" for 2009 (there are links within to the rest of their "best of" lists, too). The Washington Post has its Holiday Guide 2009, their "Book World" section has its own Top 10 list, and Jonathan Yardley offers his own picks.

- News this week that both Kirkus Reviews and Editor & Publisher will cease publication.

- Some librarians at Loyola Marymount University got creative with the NUC this week; I love this!

- Paul Laity interviews Jenny Uglow in the Guardian.

- The BBC and the British Library have agreed to jointly make available some 150 million items from the BL collections, and almost a million hours of BBC radio and t.v. content.

- In the Boston Globe, Katherine Powers writes on Charles Dickens, and they run an NYT piece by Motoko Rich about the delicate question of e-book rights.

- Chris has a selection of bookish gifts for the bibliophile on your list (if you run out of books for them, I guess). And in the NYTimes, David Pogue "unsuggests" B&N's new Nook e-reader.

- Albany's Capital Bookstore is profiled by Paul Grondahl in the Times Union.

- Imogen Russell Williams complains about the "reader guides," "Q&As" and other such fluff following the text in various books.

- Library Juice Press has released André Cossette's Humanism and Libraries: An Essay on the Philosophy of Librarianship (an English translation of this text, originally published in the 1970s).

- Columbia University Library has mounted PDF transcriptions of the Stationers' Company registers, 1554-1640. [h/t Wynkenhimself]

- Two "returns" this week: an Ohio library received a book (Emil Ludwig's Napoleon) this week, along with an anonymous note which read in part "I removed this book from your stacks in 1949 and did not check it out. I apologize. It’s an excellent book and in good condition. ... Carrying guilt for 60 years is a terrible thing." And a WWII vet is returning a photo album taken from Hitler's Berchtesgaden home at the end of the war.


Playing around with a new format for these; the hyperlink takes you to the review.

- Robert Darnton's The Case for Books: reviewed by Andreas Hess in Times Higher Education.

- Joel Richard Paul's Unlikely Allies: reviewed by Carolyn See in the Washington Post.

- Woody Holton's Abigail Adams: reviewed by Virginia DeJohn Anderson in the NYTimes.

- John Milton Cooper Jr.'s Woodrow Wilson: reviewed by Beverly Gage in the NYTimes.

- Leanne Shapton's Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry: reviewed by Phil Baker in the Sunday Times. (a little background about this book here).

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