The Bookshelf

The Best of the Books … and Beyond!

Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category


The Subconscious Shelf

This month, the New Yorker, on their Book Bench blog, started a new feature called The Subconscious Shelf.  You email them a photo of your bookshelves and they “tell you what it says about you.”    The posted results are hilarious and, surprisingly, quite insightful.   I would post a picture here of my bookshelves at home, but I just have too many to fit into a single blog posting.  So, enjoy instead this stately picture of these lovely old books.

Posted under Books, Websites

Let the Tournament of Books Begin

It’s finally time for one of my favorite literary events of the year: The Morning News’ Tournament of Books. It combines two of my favorite things: great books and filling out brackets. (If each team in the NCAA basketball championship picked out a favorite read, I think I would die from sheer joy.)

It works like this. Each day of the tournament, two books face off. A judge compares the two and decides who advances to the next round. At the end, all of the judges compare the finalists to crown the winner. The grand prize, supposedly? A live rooster. (Though I’ve yet to see a single winner – including Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy, and Junot Diaz – claim their reward.)

The twists add the fun part. In order to advance to the finals, books have to make it through the Zombie Round, in which the most popular (by reader poll) eliminated books get one last chance. Judges range from literary critics (LA Times reviewer Carolyn Kellogg), bloggers (Jason Kottke, largeheartedboy), published authors (Julie Powell, Alexander Chee), and inimitable musician Andrew W.K. .  You never know how things will turn out.

It’s a lot of fun, and a great way to discover some new books. This year’s contenders are:

Which have you read? Do you have any favorites to win? So far I’ve finished 9 of the 16, and so far Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs is my favorite.

Posted under Books, Websites

Get Notified of Our Newest Items … But Only the Ones You are Interested In!

shelfrssGreat news!

It is now possible to have alerts about writers/series/subjects you are interested in sent via RSS.

For example, if you are interested in the author George R.R. Martin (see the first image) after performing a search  click on the RSS chicklet (circled in red on the right hand side) and subscribe (second image).  This means that whenever we get a new book written by George R.R. Martin or in the Twilight series or whatever is your passion an alert will be sent to your RSS aggregator such as Google Reader.


Posted under Books, Websites

Poetry on the Go mobile poetry

(Cross posted from the Radar, authored by Ruth in Youth)

Get ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day!

The American Academy of Poets website has a new Mobile Poetry page. Billed as “woo or woe on the go,” Mobile Poetry is a palm-sized version of the website. The site provides unlimited access to more than 2,500 poems, hundreds of biographies, and essays. The collection is organized into two sections: occasion and theme and form. A search feature offers the option to search or browse the collection by poet, poem, and prose.

Mobile Poetry is optimized for the iPhone, but is formatted for easy use on most mobile devices. Simply surf to on your Web-enabled handheld device. You can also use the same URL to preview the site from a desk- or laptop computer.

Posted under Websites

Have you had a chance to check out This neat simple site offers a cool new way of reading books. It sends you bite size portions of books (variable by your choice) to read through your email or RSS Aggregtor.

I am currently having portions of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother sent to my Google Reader account. I have decided to have a short (maybe 5 minutes of reading) section sent once a day, everyday (also variable) to break up my normal tech/library heavy email/RSS load. Perhaps you would like to intersperse your day with Willa Cather’s My Antonia in 98 emails or Leaves of Grass by Walt Witman in 423 installments.

One of the best aspects of this website is the majority of the books are completely free. Some books cost a few bucks but those are the newer items. DailyLit very intelligently added a send more link which will cause the next installment to be sent immediately (very useful if the section cut off at an exciting moment).

I think this service would be incredibly cool if you have a Blackberry or another like device. Or, like me, you want to break up working day with 5-10 minutes of fun reading.

Cross poster from The Radar

Posted under Websites