Tag Archives: Books

Da Vinci: Code for “Meh”

I had another post slated for today, but, I figured I’d be a bit more timely, considering the video above came out this past Sunday.

John Oliver can lambaste and rant with the best of them, and his snark regarding the pop culture phenomenon of The Da Vinci Code speaks to me. Why? Because I was convinced by a number of very energetic people to go forth and read now –right now– The Da Vinci Code and in the history of things people have urged me to watch or read or listen to “right now,” this is possibly the most mismatched. Tain’t my thing. Watch and perhaps you can guess why…

Supporting your friendly local bookstores…

So many industries are being shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, the retail section overall is suffering, but specifically, small retail businesses are hurting.

What with coming from a family of librarians and book-lovers, I’m especially keen to see independent book shops weather this latest storm, so I was happy to see an article earlier this month about how one online outfit, Bookshop.org is helping brick-and-mortar operations have an online footprint too.

My “unread” bookshelf is now too crowded for me to ignore, so I won’t be availing myself of them just yet, but soon! So very soon…

Classics per Checkout: the New York Public Library’s List

The New York Public Library (NYPL) released a list of its most checked out books in its 125 year history (it was founded in 1895). Coming from a family that includes librarians, archivists, and avid history readers, this was delightful news. I learned about it as the NPR story covering it was shared widely among my social media channels.

One curious note in the NYPL release: an honorable mention for Goodnight Moon, which I suppose they suppose people would wonder why it was absent. It turns out the NYPL’s chief children’s librarian didn’t care for it and, seeing that this was back in the age of traditional gatekeeping, made sure it was kept out. Dan Kois over at Slate has some additional details.

Strange attitudes about Margaret Wise Brown’s evergreen book with the green bedroom aside, the whole list is interesting, considering it does represent over a century of readers. I hope other library systems add their lists in time.

A Well-Used Used Bookstore Gets a Second Chapter

With a family full of librarians, archivists, and history buffs, it comes as no surprise we’re all fans of used book stores.

Close to home, the long-standing Idle Times Books in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC is set to change owners (and also change names) as Paul Schwarztman explains in this piece from the Washington Post.

Daniel Boorstin and The Image

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being a “talking head” on television talking about Hollywood, celebrity culture, and the 2016 Presidential Race.

One of the things I referenced was Daniel Boortsin’s 1962 book The Image, which when I first read it 20-some years ago, seemed very prescient. Nowadays, it seems only more so.

What I was referring to on the program was Boorstin’s observation of the new class of celebrity who was “a person who is known for his well-knownness.” Now, with the technological tools of the 21st century, people can cultivate their “well-knownness” even better. In fact, aren’t we all encouraged to build our personal “brand?”

It doesn’t escape me that this website serves some of that purpose, to say nothing of being a talking head.

In any case, you needn’t order the book anew. I know Vintage books came out with an edition in 2012, so that edition or others may be found in your local public library.

Then you can right a blog post about it — and you too can revel in being meta.