Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Around the Word

Pandora's books: Surfing the web for a good book recommendation? A new site is attempting to do for books what Pandora did for music, giving specific recommendations based on books you already like. BookLamp uses your favorite book's "DNA" to make suggestions for other reads. It measures characteristics and themes (for example: history, travel, secrets) as well as writing style (like pacing, dialogue and density). There are only about 20,000 books on the site, according to Mashable, but BookLamp is looking to expand. Check it out and let us know what you think. Is BookLamp lighting your literary fire?

The Comedy of Borders: When Borders shuttered last month there was much hand-wringing in the publishing world about how to save brick-and-mortar bookstores. Apparently, those looking for a solution should have just asked Jon Stewart and Daily Show resident expert John Hodgman, who mocked the state of modern book selling in a segment last night. Hodgman suggested that bookstores can beat out Amazon by catering to lazy shoppers who don't even like to read. He advised nixing bookshelves and instead installing "downloading pods" to mimic the at-home shopping experience, "with the inconvenience of a twenty minute car ride." The other option: preserve a Borders as a historical relic, like colonial Williamsburg, called "Ye Olde Borders-Towne." Why didn't we think of that?

Compound controversy: When the subject of your sentence is two words joined by "and," sometimes things can get a little dicey in the singular-plural department. This week Grammar Girl comes to rescue, offering a quick refresher on whether "milk and cookies are delicious" or "peanut butter and jelly is the best sandwich." Check it out and let us know if you are in full agreement with GG's latest quick and dirty tips.

No comments: