Blogroll

U.S. falling behind — in press freedom

There’s plenty of problems plaguing the press, particularly the mainstream media. The digital and social media world seem to have preempted or seriously damaged the traditional press. But I found this a real shock: the United States fell from 20th to 47th in the annual Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders.

Twentieth was bad […]

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Book Review: The Druggist of Auschwitz by Dieter Schlesak

“A human being, like a dog, can get used to anything!”

So says Adam Salmen, a fictional narrator in Dieter Schlesak’s The Druggist of Auschwitz: A Documentary Novel. But what Salmen and others imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II got “used to” is staggering, so much so that it continues to […]

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An updated snapshot of the book-buying public

A survey conducted by an advertising firm at the end of last year seeks to give us a picture of book buying in America. I can’t vouch for the statistical validity of the internet-based survey, which had 2,200 respondents, It claims to have a 1.5 percent margin of error.

So what did the survey results […]

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Weekend Edition: 1-28

Bulletin Board

The Main and Ronning branches of Siouxland Libraries have registered to be book pickup locations for World Book Night. The library will have a party for the book givers selected by World Book Night and give them a reusable Siouxland Libraries bag. You can apply here to be a book giver.

Interesting Reading […]

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Ebook demand booms locally

How popular have e-books and ebook readers and apps become? Consider this: ebook checkouts from the Siouxland Libraries increased 201 percent over the course of 2011. Meanwhile, the number of electronic materials went up 139 percent from 2010 to 2011.

The figures are rather stunning. Last January, the first complete month of use by those […]

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Pretty much 0-fer again

Last year I read nearly 150 books, with fiction (74) slightly exceeding nonfiction (67). In the latter category, about one third of the books were biographies or autobiographies. So how did I do in voting for the National Book Critics Circle awards? Once again an 0-fer in the finalists in four main categories: fiction, biography […]

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