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Other posts by Joanna Cabot

Morning Links: Amazon launches Prime Now. Book culture heroes of 2014
December 19, 2014 | 9:00 am

prime nowFive Book Culture Heroes of 2014 (Book Riot) I say this every year, but folks: it’s never been a better time to be a reader. This year, in particular, we’ve been blessed by some incredible people who are making book culture better and more inclusive. So here’s to the book culture heroes of 2014: thanks for your great work. We salute you. *** EU-Canada Trade Agreement May be Incompatible with EU Law (Techdirt) By seeking to move "behind the borders", tackling "non-tariff barriers" that are actually regulations protecting health, safety, the environment, etc., these agreements may interfere with too many core functions of how...

Do You Write in Your Books?
December 17, 2014 | 4:25 pm

write in your booksOur friends at Book Riot have another cool 'Reading Life' feature up this week. Johann Thorsson writes about his new year's 'resolution' to write in his books, as a way to engage in his reading more 'actively.' From the article: "You see, my books are usually still in pristine condition after reading. I bend the spine as little as I can while reading, and I get dizzy just thinking about marking books, even with a pencil. But the idea of reading more actively has been swimming around in the back of my head recently, of somehow immersing myself more in the...

2014 Reading Challenge: How Did I Do?
December 17, 2014 | 12:25 pm

reading challengeA timely article hit my RSS feed recently, from a Book Riot contributor who has set herself the 2015 challenge of...well, not having a challenge. Boy, can I relate! As Jessica Pryde explains: "And then I realized, late this year, that I was reading myself crazy. I was reading while I was catching up on the DVR. I was reading while I was EATING DINNER. I was reading every chance I got. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to catch up...So in 2015, I’m going to give myself a year-long thirtieth birthday present. I’m going to give myself...

Morning Links: Year’s fattest cookbooks. Interactive children’s book gift guide
December 17, 2014 | 9:00 am

cookbooksThe Year's Fattest Cookbooks (PW) From How to Cook Everything Fast at a thousand-plus pages to an authoritative collection of Mexican recipes that clocks in at 705 pages, the year 2014 saw a slew of hefty cookbooks. Here’s a look at just a few. *** Where Are All the Boy Books? You're Buying Them (Book Riot) Even the most well-meaning, socially-conscious adults fall into this trap, believing that the boys are being left behind and that girls and girl interests “dominate” the children’s book world. *** e-Readers- The Race to the Bottom (GoodeReader) When Sony and Amazon first got into the e-reader business, they were considered a...

Joanna’s Best Books of 2014
December 16, 2014 | 4:25 pm

best books of 2014It's that time of year again! There are still two weeks left in the year, and that's time enough to find another great book, I guess. But there was so much I loved about my 2014 reading year! I managed just over 50 books, and they covered a range of genres and styles. What were my top reads of the year? In no particular order, my best books of 2014. [easyazon-link asin="1439102775" locale="us"]The Storyteller[/easyazon-link] by Jodi Picoult: The first of my 'read more Jewish books' project, this book was a can't-put-down, in spite of some minor flaws. I found the modern-day character...

Morning Links: What makes a “good reader?” DRM screws blind people.
December 16, 2014 | 9:00 am

drmWhat Does it Mean to be a 'Good' Reader? (Dear Author) Last weekend delivered a hat trick of essays on critical reading, two on KJ Charles’s m/m novel Think of England, and one on Deborah Fletcher Mello’s The Sweetest Thing, in which Liz McCausland also addresses the intertwined issues of “good writing” and “good reading.” *** Instead of Killing Comments, We Should be Trying to Fix Them (GigaOM) Every month or so, it seems, a media outlet decides to get rid of their comments. The latest is The Week, which follows Reuters and Re/code, both of whom shut down their comments recently. *** DRM...

I’ve Got the Gadget Shopping Blues!
December 16, 2014 | 8:59 am

gadget shoppingI am gadget shopping this week! And wow, what a pain it is. All these years of computer-owning, and I still feel like every time I buy a new one, there is all this manual labor involved. How have they not found ways to make this easier yet? I have an Apple store gift card that has been earmarked for a new iPad Air. My iPad 2 is starting to show its age a little, and I had an opportunity to make a deal with my boss for it, so I seized the opportunity. I have been happy enough with the...

Should Reading Be a Tool for Leisure, or a Tool for Personal Growth?
December 15, 2014 | 7:25 pm

readingWhen I first added this Book Riot article to the Morning Links last week, I only gave it a cursory read. The core premise seemed interesting:  writer Jeremy Anderberg proposed a reading goal for 2015, to read 'less'---he wanted to spend his time on other hobbies too, and felt he was too constrained by making reading his default leisure activity. But in the rest of the article, Anderberg goes deeper, and I found his premise grow more debatable. Yes, I too have found my interest increasingly occupied by other activities, and I too relate to his desire to spend his time...

What device are you reading on?
December 15, 2014 | 2:25 pm

kindle deviceOur friends at Book Riot have been on fire in the last week or so, posting a ton of great stuff. One of my favourite posts of the week was this participation-required roundup called 'What Are You Reading On?' At the time I myself took the poll, 49% of respondents had listed an e-ink Kindle amongst their stable of devices, which surprised me. I was anticipating that more people than not would have abandoned their Kindles for the world of the tablet. So...why haven't they? Why are e-ink devices still holding their share in the marketplace? I think that for many serious...

Morning Links: Pseudonymous comments just as trusted. Book Riot Read Harder challenge
December 15, 2014 | 9:00 am

book riotReaders Say Comments Posted by Pseudonyms Are Just as Trustworthy (GigaOM) The value of having reader comments on news stories has taken a bit of a beating, with sites like Re/code and Reuters being the latest to do away with them because they are seen as a troll-filled wasteland. *** Six Hacks to Improve Diversity in Book Publishing (PW) In many ways, this year’s annual survey of African-American publishing is a response to a series of events in 2014 that directly focused on diversity. *** The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge (Book Riot) I’ve included 24 tasks, averaging out to two per month, that...

Morning Roundup: Five great 2014 novels; more
December 12, 2014 | 10:51 am

So here are five terrific 2014 novels you may have missed....

Star Trek and Literature, Part 2: Alien Language and Literature
December 11, 2014 | 3:07 pm

When I wrote previously on the surprisingly literary Star Trek world, I focused more on the technological side of things---how what once took props and post-production effects has now come true in the real world. But as The Beloved and I get deeper into our re-watch of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I am finding the show replete with actual literary...well, literature. I think these sorts of details are what has in the past set Star Trek apart as a sci-fi show: it's not just that they have aliens who speak other languages, it's that they hire actual linguists to write these languages for them---Marc Okrand, for example, was the creator of the Klingon language, and has a PhD in this area....