Archive for Books

National Academies Press

The NAP is the publishing arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Engineering – all are among the most prestigious STEM organizations in the world and as such produces highly regarded monographs, reports, briefings, and consensus documents on a whole host of topics from agriculture to national security. Well over 9,000 volumes are freely available online, sorted into specific topic areas. If one listens to the news, one will inevitably hear about a report issued by the NAP; the latest one to inform the general public dealt with The Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes. One can always look at the latest releases section to see what new reports have been generated; more than 200 are published every year. And you can stay in touch with the NAP via various media platforms as well




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New Security Reports From the National Academies Press

Among the many diverse subjects the NAP publishes on, one deals with Conflict and Security Issues; currently over 550 volumes are available for free downloading/perusal. The latest volumes reflect the ongoing commitment of the NAP to issue pertinent reports; these reports have been produced within the past month alone: Changing Sociocultural Dynamics and Implications for National Security: Proceedings of a WorkshopEmerging Trends and Methods in International Security: Proceedings of a Workshop; and Leveraging Advances in Social Network Thinking for National Security: Proceedings of a Workshop. To keep yourself current on what the NAP disseminates, you can subscribe to the Conflict and Security Issues RSS feed.

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Galaxy Novels

For the space of a decade or so, Galaxy Science Fiction issued abridged reprinted novels as part of its line; they were available as standalone publications in the same format as the magazine itself. Many of these novels are/were considered classics at the time. So peruse the shortened versions of works by Jack, Williamson, C.L. Moore, James Blish, and L. Ron Hubbard (yes, that L. Ron Hubbard – some of his science fiction is darn good), among others.

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However you phrase it, I find these to be a necessity. I cringe when people fold down the page where they have left off reading; that is just pure evil. I have a modest collection of these, ranging from a tattered Strand book store paper marker to one crafted out of metal. Here is a lovely collection of said items; they are even housed in museums such as the Smithsonian. And please don’t ignore the featured selection at the International Friends of Bookmarks. This short piece from 1907 – The History and Development of the Bookmarker – is quite informative.


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Who Hasn’t Read a Book in the Past Year?

Some interesting demographic data on the 24% of American adults who haven’t opened a book (print or electronic) in the last twelve moths can be accessed here.

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Norman Mailer’s Relationship With Books

I would have to say it was quite stormy, and possibly not quite what you would think of such an important author.

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The Irish/Ireland in the Printed World

A newly-established series of reports from OCLC examines the influence in printed works of specific nationalities; this report – An Exploration of the Irish Presence in the Published Record – highlights that “Ireland’s global cultural profile, and the widespread interest in “Irishness,” can be partially understood through the island’s manifestation in the published record. Using WorldCat, this publication offers reflections on the Irish presence in the published record, including its size and salient characteristics, evolving trends, and patterns of global diffusion.” (9)

Supplemented with tables and figures, the extent of Irishness in the printed world can be readily ascertained through the holdings in WorldCat, the world’s largest repository of library metadata holding more than two billion items. Who are the most popular Irish authors? The most translated? How many books deal with Irish-related topics? For such a small country, the Irish and Ireland have had, and continue to have, a significant presence in the published world.


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