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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rhapsody in Books and Comic Crits

One thing I always need is access to more reviews of books by regular readers.  I do like to go to Amazon and read actual reader comments about a book, especially older titles; however, these reviewers are not professional writers.  Good reviews by readers who are also writers (but not necessarily professional reviewers) are invaluable in helping readers.  I cannot read every book, but I do need to know where to find useful information about every book.  Professional writers tend to create a more reliable resource.

To that end, two resources have recently come to my attention that I feel are worth your time.

I have talked about Shelf Renewal before, but one of the best features Rebecca and Karen run is their weekly "Web Crush," where they highlight websites that they find useful when helping readers.  This past week Rebecca put Rhapsody in Books in the spotlight, calling it:
one of those great, personable book review sites.  Jill and Jim are “two professionals who like to write and teach.”  Filled with over 375 book reviews across all genres and age ranges, you’re sure to find a book of interest here.
I used Rhapsody in Books to help a reader at the desk yesterday and will continue to monitor it via RSS feed.  Thanks Rebecca.

As often as I use my various RSS feeds to keep me informed of "new-to-me" resources, I
also find out about great resources the old fashioned way...by talking to my fellow librarians.  Case in point is the email I received yesterday from a former student, friend, and fellow librarian, Madeline at the Deerfield (IL) Public Library.  She pointed me to Comic Crits via a twitter post.

Comic Crits is run  by John Bonner, an artist and book lover who draws comic reviews of the books he reads.  Here is his review of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom.  Bonner just started this month; there are only 4 comics/reviews, but what I like is that he seems to be a reader who reads across genres.  The site is worth keeping an eye on.

So, this post is both a report on two resources I have recently discovered, but also a reminder.  We should be monitoring websites for new information all of the time, but let's also not forget how important it is to share information amongst ourselves.  Librarians are known for how well we share information.  So when you find something new...pass it on.


Becky said...

In an addendum to this post, the Guardian has this essay asking if the age of the critic is over.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Thanks so much for your vote of confidence; it is very much appreciated!

Rebecca said...

thanks for the mention again, and glad you liked the web crush! I love knowing that people find new sites via the web crushes!