Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm Excited About This Book


In recent months I've cut the number of books I accept for review dramatically. When Greyson gets here, I'll be lucky to read ANYTHING, and I certainly won't want to be obligated, so I'm only accepting review books that I can read quickly and have reviews posted in a timely manner (ha!). When Harper offered their latest list of goodies, I snapped up This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, by Marilyn Johnson. How could I resist 1) the cover 2) the premise?

Blurb from Publisher's Weekly: In an information age full of Google-powered searches, free-by-Bittorrent media downloads and Wiki-powered knowledge databases, the librarian may seem like an antiquated concept. Author and editor Johnson (The Dead Beat) is here to reverse that notion with a topical, witty study of the vital ways modern librarians uphold their traditional roles as educators, archivists, and curators of a community legacy. Illuminating the state of the modern librarian with humor and authority, Johnson showcases librarians working on the cutting edge of virtual reality simulations, guarding the Constitution and redefining information services-as well as working hard to serve and satisfy readers, making this volume a bit guilty of long-form reader flattery. Johnson also makes the important case for libraries-the brick-and-mortar kind-as an irreplaceable bridge crossing economic community divides. Johnson's wry report is a must-read for anyone who's used a library in the past quarter century.

I don't usually "sneak peek" books before I actually review them (unless I bought them myself), but I just can't wait to dive into this selection! Marilyn Johnson's previous work, The Dead Beat, sounds fascinating, too. The subtitle is "Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries." What's not to like about that?? Right off the bat, with odd subjects and catchy titles like these, I'm having flashbacks to my enjoyment of Mary Roach's work (Stiff, Bonk). While she was somewhat hit and miss in books like Spook, I still perk up whenever I see that she has something new up for publication.

In short, I don't know if this book will delight me just yet, but it's one of the titles I'm craving and anticipating the most right now. As a library school dropout (yeah, I never went back), this one certainly appeals to that side of my character and career. To this very day, when I'm teaching my English courses, I tell my students, "Librarians are ninjas. Respect their skills because they will inevitably help you find information you never dreamed could be found."

Stay tuned! I'll be gobbling this one up post haste! Anyone read one or both already?

14 comments:

  1. I can't wait to hear about it. It's sounds great. At least once a week, I regret choosing law school over librarian school.

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  2. Oh, yes, I'm most excited about this one as well :)

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  3. Very cool. I so should have gone to school to be a librarian!!

    This week I picked up my new glasses. My hubby said I went for the "naughty librarian" look. Not sure what he means by that!!

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  4. KnittingReader, I'll keep y'all posted. And I don't miss library school really, but I do like reading about the librarian life!

    Thanks, Kathy!

    Bookshelf Monstrosity, looking forward to your thoughts on it when you get around to it!

    Stephanie, library school is pretty cool--a little dull in spots compared to English for me, though. Just a personal preference. And I love the "naughty librarian" look! I don't have glasses yet, but I'm sure I will one day, and I will be a total naughty librarian.

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  5. I can't wait for this book either. I pre-ordered it on my Kindle, and I will read it on my wedding/honeymoon next week. I am now also referring to myself as a ninja. Thanks!

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  6. Wow, the virtual librarian sounds like it is right out of Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk novel Snow Crash. I hope it is as cool as it was in the book.

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  7. Yayy! I'm really looking forward to hearing how this book is! Also, it may not be the case at first, but once the baby is here you WILL still be able to read, believe me! Sometimes you have to get creative - book like attached to book while you are feeding baby and putting him to bed - but it can and will be done, don't you worry!

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  8. Nomadreader, I'm so glad someone else in my ring of bloggy reading is tackling this book. I can't wait to read what you think of it. Enjoy that wedding/honeymoon extravaganza! Congrats to you.

    Fem, during my brief stint in grad school I was most interested in the cyber librarian thing. I even interned for West Texas College in their "virtual reference" experiment. There's lots of this type of thing going on: reference service through text message, instant message, etc. Really cool stuff.

    Funky, thank you for the bookish support!!! I can see me with baby on one side and Nook on the other. Gotta get the boy started off right, ya know!

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  9. This sounds like a great read! I can't wait for you to review it for us.

    By the way, did you ever read Free For All? That was pretty fun.

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  10. Haha, I got the same email and chose the same book! I couldn't resist, either but sounds like you'll be getting to it way before me - can't wait to hear what you think!

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  11. Oooh, sounds interesting, and very relevant! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts :)

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  12. Iliana, I haven't read Free for All. Will have to try it, though.

    Can't wait to read your review, too, Lesley!

    Thanks, Dana! It's taking me back to my abbreviated stint in Library school...that's for sure!

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  13. This totally sounds like fun!

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