If only American lawmakers and government officials would take the time to read articles like this one, and to explore education systems that work, perhaps things would turn around. Until then, well, we American educators do our best.
an article this week about new bibliophile website Booklamp.org, which professes to be the "Pandora for books." The basic idea is that you type in a book you enjoyed; it pops out a list of books with similar "DNA" (their term). The difference between Booklamp and other sites that offer suggestions (Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc.) is that the suggestions are computer-generated rather than user-generated.
I was impressed with their recommendations, but had two issues. First, they didn't have a lot of the books I attempted to enter. Even recent bestsellers like Ann Patchett's State of Wonder failed to be in their library. (Actually, they had no titles by Patchett listed.) Second, the site often recommended other books by the same author. Um... yes. If I like one book by an author, chances are good I'll like another; and I don't even need a website to tell me that! However, if you are a reader, it's a fun site to play around with. And in the future, it may add more titles and become "smarter" in its recommendations.
|Nigella Lawson's library|
|Image of D.C. earthquake damage, via famousdc.com|
Speaking of literary connections to natural disasters, book bloggers, publishers, and readers up and down the East Coast posted books related to hurricanes on Twitter, as Hurricane Irene threatened to come ashore in the Carolinas. Check out the Twitter hashtag #stormreads for suggestions.
|Edgartown Books on Martha's Vineyard|
Titans' football game Saturday night, and then to more fun on Sunday. A trip to Trader Joe's will probably be thrown in there somewhere. As for reading, I'm currently getting wrapped up in Dorothea Benton Frank's Folly Beach, still listening to Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad, and will be soon starting several titles for review: Jeffrey Archer's latest Only Time Will Tell, a newly-hyped novel by Ernest Cline called Ready Player One, and Dancing With Mrs. Dalloway by Celia Blue Johnson.