Friday, March 30, 2007

Book Review: "Treasure of Khan"

I will make this short and as painless (for me) as possible. In an effort to broaden my reading to cover "beach reads" and popular best selling fiction, I read "Treasure of Kahn," by Clive Cussler and his son, from beginning to welcomed end. I saw this book on a best seller list somewhere, and knew that Cussler was a popular writer, although I had never read anything before by him. I doubt I will read anything else by him either.

Cussler is a master of the plot. Unfortunately, the plot of this tale is totally unbelievable. I wish I had counted the incidents in which the main characters extracted themselves from death defying situations through extraordinarily unbelievable means. I just could not believe the machine that created earthquakes on demand, nor the hiding of an entire motorcycle under a desert bush.

As for characters, I was truly disappointed in the total lack of character development in this book. There was none. Two of the main players were so poorly defined that I constantly confused one from the other.

I will invite you to read Amazon or some other cite for a formal review. I consider this one to be more in the nature of a warning.

Cussler co-wrote this book with his son--I suppose he is trying to groom the younger man to continue the Cussler dynasty. This book did nothing to pass on a brilliant legacy. Sorry.

The Dirty Dozen: Common Everyday Actions that Assholes Use

Although I have only recently graduated from library school and am now searching for a fun, satisfying position somewhere, recollections of my first career as an attorney still linger in the mind. When I reviewed the brand new bestseller noted below, I immediately recognized a work long overdue. In the workplace, there is no place for assholes. The author makes this brilliantly clear in his book. Without further adieu:

The Dirty Dozen: Common Everyday Actions that Assholes Use

  • Personal insults
  • Invading one's "personal Space"
  • Uninvited physical contact
  • Threats and intimidation, both verbal and nonverbal
  • "Sarcastic Jokes" and "teasing" used as insult delivery systems
  • Withering e-mail flames
  • Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims
  • Public shaming or "status degradation" rituals
  • Rude interruptions
  • Two-faced attacks
  • Dirty looks
  • Treating people as if they are invisible
Excerpted from "The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't," by Robert E. Sutton

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

As a librarian, I am constantly striving to find that ultimate single ready reference web site. Among some of the sites that I have discovered is the Librarian's Internet Index. Another good reference source is Bartleby's. However, I believe that I am safe in stating that the best overall reference site on the internet at this time is the Drudge version of Here , in one location, you are no more than one click away from most any information you might need. not only aggregates many references sources--dictionaries, encyclopedias, news sources, and other ready reference sources--but it also is one click from most popular mailboxes. For instance, I hit a drop down box at the upper right corner of, locate Google or Yahoo, click, and am brought automatically to my two primary mailboxes. Check out for yourself.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Friday, March 02, 2007

New Competition for the Public Library?

Libraries now have another source of competition. In addition to bookstores, libraries must now compete for patrons with a new internet book rental service called "Bookswim." Patterned after Netflix, the popular movie rental program, Bookswim will charge a monthly fee and supply a stream of books to the customer. As additional enticement, Bookswim bears all costs of shipping, and there is no time limit imposed to return a book.

Several different programs are available, covering people who read only a book or two each month to those who read many, or for a family of readers to pay a single fee for all members combined.

Bookswim claims not to be in direct competition with libraries. In fact, it offers a program to libraries which Bookswim claims will alleviate the not infrequent problem when a rush of requests for a particular item exceeds the inventory in the library.

I am inclined to think that if this new book rental program survives and thrives, that it will be a bigger threat to the large booksellers than to the public libraries. After all, it is hard to compete with free! Should be interesting!