I haven’t paid too much attention to the Barnes & Noble website since moving to Canada in 1994, because I rarely buy books online from the U.S. But earlier this year I learned — I can’t quite remember how — about The Barnes & Noble Review. Not only is The Review an
online publication that aims to bring serious readers smart and useful appraisals of current books, music, and films (on DVD), as well as reconsiderations of important past works. It will accommodate many voices, publishing exclusive material from a wide range of established critics, reviewers, and authors.
But its editor-in-chief is James Mustich, founder of the late great book catalogue A Common Reader, which I continue to miss greatly. It was A Common Reader that brought Ernst Gombrich’s A Little History of the World, and so many other delights, to my attention. So when James Mustich talks about books, or gets others to talk about books, I listen*. And take notes. And add to my library lists, reading lists, wish lists…
Some of the others talking about books include A.C. Grayling, who reviews history books; Michael Dirda; Lisa Von Drasek on children’s books; John Freeman; Katherine Powers of the Boston Sunday Globe‘s the literary column “A Reading Life”; and author Dava Sobel.
There are interviews, by Mr. Mustich and others, of authors, from Jonathan Franzen, Salman Rushdie, and Ted Sorensen (on political campaigns past and present), to Geraldine Brooks, Nicholson Baker, and Philip Pullman (on the storyteller’s art).
Great fun is the Five Books feature — five books on a particular subject, and they include bridges, forensics, gardening, swimming, ancient Rome, wine, Paris, baseball, and elections.
And each week there’s The Long List, a selection of 50 books, CDs, and DVDs. I have just one not necessarily low-tech request, though. In addition to the Digg, Del.icio.us, Facebook, Reddit, and
I’m delighted that Mr. Mustich has found another way to share treasures, new and old, with other readers and kindred spirits.
* Though I miss the lyrical, evocative, sometimes breezy, blurbs, as much about the books as about how they make you feel. But because I saved several catalogues, I can still go back and read them. And add to my library lists, reading lists, wish lists…
Filed under: Books |