Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Books read in June 2018

New:

1. Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery
2. Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany by Frederick Taylor

Reread:

1. Thankless in Death
2. Taken in Death

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Books read in May 2018

New:

1. Dark in Death by J.D. Robb
2. A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne

Monday, April 30, 2018

Books read in April 2018

New:

1. Rogues edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
2. An Honest Woman by Jónína Kirton 
3. From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars anthology)
4. The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson

Reread:

1. Celebrity in Death
2. Delusion in Death

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Things They Should Invent: use fruitless library catalogue searches to feed the library's acquisitions list

I heard about an upcoming book that sounds interesting, so I searched for it in the library catalogue. Unfortunately, it wasn't there yet.  But, instead of going to the trouble of putting in a request for them to acquire the book, I just figured I'd search again closer to the publication date, then wandered off to do something else.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this. Asking the library to acquire a specific book is A Whole Big Thing, and it may well already be ordered but not in the catalogue, or get ordered through whatever their normal channels are by the time the release date arrives.

But what if simply searching for a book and finding it isn't present in the catalogue could automatically inform the library that someone wants the book?

The library already knows what people are searching for.

The technology already exists to determine when a user arrives at a webpage and doesn't click on any of the outlinks (which, in this case, would be the books listed in the search results) and to generate a list of pages where this occurs - the free stat counter I use on my blog even has this functionality! This list could then be sorted in by frequency, to identify what multiple people are searching for but not finding.

Then the frequently-fruitless search terms would need to be compared with a list of current and forthcoming books. Does such a thing exist? I know Books In Print is a thing, I don't know if there's also a "Books Soon To Be In Print".  (Although even if there isn't, comparing frequently-fruitless searches with Books In Print could be useful in and of itself.)  I also don't know if it has some method to allow you to write your own program to search its database.  Google Books has an API, which might be a starting point (although I certainly can't rule out the possibility of there being better starting points that I haven't thought of.)

But comparing terms on List A with terms on List B is totally something a computer can do.  And once it's done, you've got a list of frequent fruitless searches that are also titles of books.  Which is most likely a list of book titles that people are searching the catalogue for but not finding.

Which seems like useful information to have when deciding which books to buy.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Books read in March 2018

New:

1. Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
2. Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb
3. 25 Days that Changed Toronto edited by Dylan Reid & Matthew Blackett 

Reread:

1. Treachery in Death
2. New York to Dallas
3. Chaos in Death

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Books read in February 2018

New:

1. Life on the Ground Floor by James Maskalyk
2. The Mask That Sang by Susan Currie

Reread:

1. Indulgence in Death
2. Possession in Death

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Books read in January 2018

New:

1. Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson
2. Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
3. Love and Friendship: In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan is Entirely Vindicated by Whit Stilman

Reread:

1. Fantasy in Death

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Books read in December 2017

New:

1. Forensics and Fiction: Clever, Intriguing, and Downright Odd Questions from Crime Writers by
D. P. Lyle, MD
2.  Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story by David Alexander Robertson, Scott B. Henderson
3. Flint and Fire: The Complete Poems of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) 
4. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
5. A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
6. The F-word by Jesse Sheidlower

Reread:

1. Kindred in Death
2. Missing in Death

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Books read in November 2017

New:

1. À la recherche du bout du monde by Michel Noël
2. The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew

Reread:

1. Promises in Death

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Colonel Fitzwilliam

The interesting thing about Colonel Fitzwilliam in Pride and Prejudice is he is in pretty much the same position in life as the Bennet sisters.

Colonel Fitzwilliam is charming, but he isn't an eligible suitor for Elizabeth because, as a second son, he has little fortune of his own and therefore has to marry an heiress to continue living in the style to which he is accustomed. This is why he has to be charming - all he has to offer the as-yet-theoretical heiress he needs to marry is his charms, and perhaps connections to an earldom if he finds a new-money heiress who doesn't yet have connections with nobility.

Similarly, the Bennet sisters have little fortune of their own and need to marry someone with money to continue living in the style to which they are accustomed. And they have to be charming, because all they have to offer a prospective husband is their charms, and perhaps connections with gentry if they find new-money husbands who don't yet have connections with gentry.

Now, Colonel Fitzwilliam does have his career in the military, which earns him some money. Indeed, it is more money than many people of that era have. But he still feels the need to marry an heiress because he would suffer a significant decline in quality of life if he were limited to living on his military salary.

Similarly, the Bennet sisters do have their dowries, which are more money than many people of that era have. But they still feel the need to marry well, because they would suffer a significant decline in quality of  of life if they were limited to living off their dowries after their father dies.

So despite the fact that, on the surface, a colonel has far more freedom and options than an unmarried young lady in this era, Colonel Fitzwilliam faces essentially the same challenges as the Bennet sisters if he doesn't want his quality of life to decline, and he has to perform the same emotional labour to have any hope of maintaining his quality of life.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Books read in October 2017

New:

1. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
2. Toronto Public Etiquette Guide by Dylan Reid
3. Why Won't You Apologize? Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts by Harriet Lerner
4. Dangerous Women (anthology) ed. George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
5. Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada by Chelsea Vowel 
6. Glass Houses by Louise Penny
7.  I Am Woman: A Native Perspective On Sociology And Feminism by Lee Maracle

Reread:

1. Strangers in Death
2. Salvation in Death
3. Ritual in Death

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowel

Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowel is a fantastic primer for those of us who are reading for reconciliation from an ignorant settler starting point.

In an easy and approachable style, it gives an overview that helped me get a better idea of where I am and am not ignorant - I now know far more about what I don't know, and about what else there might be to know.  It has spared me the embarrassment of several blog posts that I was vaguely considering but now know to be ignorant, and has led me to consider that various ideas I had in other areas of life might be ignorant as well.

I don't normally review books because I'm not particularly good at doing so, but this one had such a clear positive impact that I just had to share.  And I don't normally buy books, preferring instead to read from the library, but I will be buying this one so I can refer back to it as needed.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Books read in September 2017

New:

1. The Break by Katherena Vermette
2. Better Now: Six Big Ideas To Improve Health Care For All Canadians by Dr. Danielle Martin 

Reread:

1. Innocent in Death
2. Creation in Death

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Books read in August 2017

New:

1. Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer edited by John Lorinc, Jane Farrow, Stephanie Chambers, Maureen FitzGerald, Tim McCaskell, Rebecka Sheffield, Tatum Taylor, Rahim Thawer & Ed Jackson
2. Nipê Wânîn by Mika Lafond

Reread:

1. Memory in Death
2. Haunted in Death
3. Believe Me
4. Born in Death

Monday, July 31, 2017

Books read in July 2017

New:

1. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
2. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton
3. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin
4. Red: A Haida Manga by by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
5. Akilak's Adventure by by Deborah Kigjugalik Webster
6. Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill
7. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder


Reread:

1. Survivor in Death
2. Origin in Death

Friday, June 30, 2017

Books read in June 2017

New:

1. Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard
2. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Reread:

1. Divided in Death
2. Visions in Death

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Books read in May 2017

New:

1. The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed by Julie Barlow & Jean-Benoît Nadeau
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed
3. The Debs of Bletchley Park and Other Stories by Michael Smith
4. What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear by Danielle Ofri, MD

Reread:

1. Remember When

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Books read in April 2017

New:

1. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
2. Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb
3. Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness by Shawn Micallef
4. Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb
5. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

Reread:

1. Imitation in Death

Friday, March 31, 2017

Books read in March 2017

New:

1. We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
3. Northern Lights against POPs: Combatting Toxic Threats in the Arctic edited by David Leonard Downie and Terry Fenge
4. Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
5. Wenjack by Joseph Boyden

Reread:

1. Portrait in Death

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Books read in February 2017

 New:

1. Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel
2. The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King
3. Lightfinder by Aaron Paquette

Reread:

1. Reunion in Death
2. Purity in Death
3. Brotherhood in Death