Monday, November 7th, 2011

November Early Reviewers batch is up!

The November 2011 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 81 books this month, and a grand total of 2,143 copies to give out.

First, make sure to sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing address and make sure it’s correct.

Then request away! The list of available books is here:
http://www.librarything.com/er/list

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, November 28th at 6 p.m. EST.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, and a whole bunch of other countries. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Gefen Publishing House Mulholland Books Bloomsbury
WaterBrook Press Penguin Young Readers Group Henry Holt and Company
Chronicle Books Random House White Crow Books
Taylor Trade Publishing Zenith Press SmatteringsBooks
Harper Paperbacks Gunga Peas Books, LLC Ballantine Books
Advantage Media Group Telegram Books Chin Music Press
Matador BookViewCafe Doubleday Books
JournalStone SpaceStation Colt Kayelle Press
Maupin House Publishing MCM Publishing Small Beer Press
The Permanent Press Beacon Press William Morrow
Seven Oaks Publishing Prufrock Press Kirkdale Press
Human Kinetics PakaMdogo Press RFS Publishing
Quirk Books Candlemark & Gleam The Writer’s Coffee Shop
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. St. Martin’s Griffin
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Open Books Camel Press
Coffeetown Press University Press of New England Northeastern University Press
South Dakota State Historical Society Press

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

“Book haiku” field added

Just for the heck of it, we’ve added a “Book haiku” field on work pages (find it in the LibraryThing members’ description section, near the bottom of the page). Try your hand at summarizing your favorite books in 17 syllables!*

Some examples:

Run away from home
Lazy Summer down river
Ignorance ain’t bliss

(readafew, for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

Boat on the ocean
Was there really a tiger?
We will never know.

(mamajoan, for Life of Pi)

See recently-added haikus here, accessible via the More tab. Add yours (via the work page), and, if so inclined, tweet them using the hashtag #bookhaiku. We’ll be tweeting some of our favorites from @LibraryThing, too.


* Reminder: a haiku consists of three lines: five, seven, and five syllables respectively.

Labels: haiku, new feature, new features

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Big “other authors” changes

We’ve just pushed some rather major changes to how LibraryThing displays authors, as well as other contributors to a work, like translators, editors, etc. This functionality has been around for a few months for members of the Board for Extreme Thing Advances, but we’ve improved it and released it. We thank them very much for helping us get it right!

LibraryThing has long allowed you to edit and add multiple authors and their “roles” within their catalogs, the so-called “book level.” Now, work pages also include an “Other authors” module with a link to “Add/edit other authors.” Clicking that link will open up a lightbox where you can add, edit, confirm or reject other author entries for that work, assign the various authors to the correct roles, and mark whether they apply to the entire work or to only some editions. By popular request we have also opened up the “primary author” to editing, so you can now edit them, and their roles.

Some examples:

Other authors who apply to all editions of the work will show up at the top of the work page, like A Passion for Books, where Ray Bradbury wrote the foreword. Authors who contributed to some editions will show up in the “Other authors” section, linked from the top of the page: an example is Keigo Higashino’s The Devotion of Suspect X, showing Alexander O. Smith as the translator.

We’ve also added the ability to edit the name and add a role for the “primary” (ie., “lead”) author of a work, something much-requested during the BETA test of this feature. There’s no real need to do this for single-author books, but for some types of works it’ll be useful. Examples:

There will, of course, be debate on the issue of main and secondary authors. Generally speaking, co-author or co-editor status falls under the “main author” setting, while most other roles would count as “secondary author.” Obviously there will be exceptions to this, such as a book of photography or artwork where the artist rises to the level of “main author”.

This concept of “other authors” is live across the site, but it will take a while to play out how it should appear everywhere. But we wanted to get it out there and let you all have a go.

Come talk about the feature here, or report bugs here.

The changes prompted but do not require a change to how book/work pages show their book- and work-level data. This question is being discussed here.

Labels: authors, new feature, new features

Friday, October 28th, 2011

October Interviews: Susan Orlean and Richard Brookhiser

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, should have made its way to your inbox by now. You can also read it online.

Our author interviews this month:

I talked to author Susan Orlean about her new book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Find out how she got interested in Rin Tin Tin, which of her animals would make the best movie star, and about how Twitter has affected her work and her interactions with readers.

Read the full interview with Susan Orlean.

I also chatted with Richard Brookhiser; his newest biography, James Madison was published recently by Basic Books.

Asked what surprised him most about Madison, Brookhiser wrote “Everyone knows he is smart. I was interested to discover he was tough. Madison never quit. When he lost a fight, which happened often enough, he always thought: what next? what now? how do I go on from here? This is why he generally prevailed in the end. The history of the early republic is littered with the broken careers of people who got in his way.”

Read the full interview with Richard Brookhiser.

Catch up on previous State of the Thing newsletters.

If you don’t get State of the Thing, you can add it in your email preferences. You also have to have an email address listed.

Labels: author interview, state of the thing

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Occupy Libraries!

It’s been fascinating to watch the rise of libraries at the various Occupy sites around the world, particularly the impressively-large collection at Occupy Wall Street known as the People’s Library. We reached out and suggested a LibraryThing account for the collection, and the volunteer librarians in Zucotti Park responded enthusiastically.

The OWSLibrary catalog now includes more than 3,300 titles, and it’s quite a rich and varied collection (check out the tag mirror). We’ve got a Talk thread where members are posting the books they share with the library; as of this morning, I share 100 titles with them, everything from E.O. Wilson to Annie Dillard to Strunk & White. If you’re signed into LibraryThing, you can see what you share with the OWS Library here.

The OWSLibrary folks also have an active blog, Twitter, and Flickr presence (they’ve even got library stamps!). Many authors have visited to speak, lend support, and sign books, and there’s now even an Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology.

More than 1,300 writers have signed the Occupy Writers petition in support of the Occupy movement, including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Junot Díaz and more.

You can read some good coverage of the Occupy library movement in American Libraries, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Wall Street Journal.

On Friday, local librarian JustinTheLibrarian, Tim and I went downtown on our lunch break and cataloged the Occupy Maine library, a small collection housed at Portland’s Spartan Grill restaurant (which also serves a very tasty gyro).

Occupy Sacramento’s library is also up on LibraryThing, and we’ve been in touch with various other Occupy libraries; if your city’s library joins up, we’d love to know about it!

While you may agree or disagree with the Occupy movement as a whole, we think what they’re doing with books and libraries is simply awesome. And we’re very happy to be a part of it.

Labels: cataloging, flash mob, flash-mob cataloging, libraries

Friday, October 21st, 2011

LibraryThing Meetup in Boston!

Are you up for a day of bookish enjoyment, food, and LibraryThing socializing? Join us on Saturday, November 12 for a series of meetups in Boston, centered around the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, one of the best book fairs in the country!

We’ll begin the day by meeting for brunch at 10 a.m. at Trident Booksellers and Cafe on Newbury Street and stop in at Raven Used Books’ Newbury Street location before the book fair opens at noon (at the Hynes Convention Center).

Commonwealth Books is providing free passes for the book fair, and offering at 15%-off discount to LTers for Saturday, so after we’ve seen the fair we can head downtown during the afternoon for visits there and to the Brattle Book Shop. In the evening, we’ll go out to Cambridge for dinner and visits to Harvard Bookstore and the Raven location on JFK Street.

Help us plan in the Talk thread, and sign up on the wiki page to let us know what meetups you might attend (feel free to come to as many or as few as you like!). We hope to see you in Boston!

Labels: bookstores, boston, meet up, members

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Talking LT at the Montana Festival of the Book

Longtime LTer Benjamin L. Clark (benjclark) spoke about LibraryThing at the Montana Festival of the Book earlier this month, as part of a talk he gave there called “Adventures in Book Collecting.”

He writes: “There were tons of great questions, and people seemed genuinely interested in learning more when it was done. Of course, my favorite part was all the smiles at the end. It didn’t hurt that LibraryThing hooked me up with some great swag to give away! You can’t tell, but the guy in the greenish shirt is holding a cue-cat. Everyone else ran away to gloat over their prizes, so I missed photographing about half of the swag winners because I was mobbed by the audience. I should bring an assistant next year. Any volunteers?”

Read the full report over on Benj’s great blog, Exile Bibliophile, and many thanks for helping us spread the word about LibraryThing!

Labels: bibliosphere, conference

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

October Early Reviewers batch is up!

The October 2011 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 77 books this month, and a grand total of 2,189 copies to give out.

First, make sure to sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing address and make sure it’s correct.

Then request away! The list of available books is here:
http://www.librarything.com/er/list

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, October 31st at 6 p.m. EDT.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, and a whole bunch of other countries. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Taylor Trade Publishing Putnam Books Riverhead Books
Bloomsbury William Morrow Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Penguin Young Readers Group Bell Bridge Books Jupiter Gardens Press
Jupiter Storm Random House Matador
Greenleaf Book Group The Permanent Press University of Iowa Press
Plume Little, Brown and Company Palgrave Macmillan
BookViewCafe Crown Publishing Human Kinetics
Haffner Press Prufrock Press Gotham Books
Avery Camel Press Coffeetown Press
JournalStone Open Road St. Martin’s Griffin
Orca Book Publishers The Writer’s Coffee Shop Open Books
McFarland

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Announcing the November ReadaThing

Mark your calendars! The good folks from the ReadaThing group have announced that they’ll be hosting a 100-hour ReadaThing in early November, and all are welcome! (You don’t have to read for the full 100 hours, of course: the goal is to have a few people from around the world reading at any given time during the ReadaThing).

The official start time will be at Noon on Friday, November 4th in New Zealand. This will be at 23:00 on Thursday GMT and 8 p.m. Thursday, November 3rd, in the Eastern US/Canada time zone. It will last for 100 hours & end at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday in New Zealand, 4:00 a.m. Tuesday in Paris, 10:00 p.m. Monday in New York, and 5:00 p.m. Monday in Honolulu!! (the DST time change in the US/Canada is accounted for).

For more information, see the announcement thread; to sign up, head right to the ReadaThing wiki. As we get closer to the date, consider posting your reading selection in the “What will you be reading?” thread, and during the ReadaThing you can use the “Log Book” thread to document your ReadaThing experience. Might be fun to create a gallery of “reading spot” photos, or something, too!

For more on ReadaThings, and to participate in planning future events, join the ReadaThing group.

Labels: readathon

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

September Author Interviews

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, should have made its way to your inbox by now. You can also read it online.

Our author interviews this month:

I talked to acclaimed historical fiction author Sharon Kay Penman about her latest novel, Lionheart, a rich tale of Richard I and the Third Crusade. Find how about her research process, favorite historical sources, and how she feels about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Asked which of the characters from Lionheart she’d most like to spend a day with, Sharon replied “I’d like to hang around with Richard’s nephew, Henri of Champagne. I’d also like to spend a few hours with Richard’s sister, Joanna, and his queen, Berengaria, and if there was still time to spare, I’d be happy to visit with Saladin’s brother, al-Malik al-Adil, whom I found even more interesting than his more famous sibling. Oh, and Richard, of course, provided that he was in camp at the time and not out fighting Saracens; I’d want to see if my fictional Richard and the real Richard were compatible.”

Read the full interview with Sharon Kay Penman.

I also chatted with Charles Frazier, whose third novel, Nightwoods is out next week from Random House (and is already garnering favorable reviews on LT, including one from me; I had a difficult time putting it down).

I asked Charles “Are there any lines or scenes in the book of which you are especially fond?,” and very much liked his response. He wrote “I kind of like the way the first three sentences set up the main characters and suggest something about the tone and style of the book: ‘Luce’s new stranger children were small and beautiful and violent. She learned early that it wasn’t smart to leave them unattended in the yard with the chickens. Later she’d find feathers, a scaled yellow foot with its toes clinched.'”

Read the full interview with Charles Frazier.

And we have a fun third interview for September: Lisa Carey talked to author/illustrator Chris Van Dusen about his work and his latest work King Hugo’s Huge Ego. Lisa introduced the interview this way: “Chris is one of our favorite local children’s authors. Liam, our five year old, loved The Circus Ship so much that he memorized it and set it to a song, then sang the whole thing for Chris at the Maine Festival of the Book. After the event, Liam told me he wanted to be just like Chris Van Dusen when he grew up. I said that sounded like a great idea. Living on the coast of Maine, drawing every day, writing books, sounds like paradise. I hope he lets us live with him!”

Read Lisa’s full interview with Chris Van Dusen.

Catch up on previous State of the Thing newsletters.

If you don’t get State of the Thing, you can add it in your email preferences. You also have to have an email address listed.

Labels: author interview, authors, state of the thing