Monday, August 20, 2007

Critical Compendium: A Daily Dose of Book Reviews from Around the World

A couple of weeks ago, the weekly ALA Direct newsletter highlighted Critical Compendium, a blog with links to book reviews, mostly in newspapers. As its subtitle says, it supplies a daily dose of reviews, and the biggest dose for a day that I have found is seven reviews. I gather from this that there is no attempt at being comprehensive. A thorough attempt would have dozens of reviews every day, especially weekends. As a reference librarian helping students and book discussion leaders, I would have liked a more comprehensive effort, but as a book selector, I am pleased with the number and variety of titles reviewed.

In the left hand column of the website are links to over 100 sites from which the editors of the blog are choosing reviews. Click on any link to see more reviews. I find it interesting to see how varied the book reviewing selections are for different newspapers. My first impression is that some big city papers strive for serious and emphasize academic press titles. I can imagine that for some of these the reviews will be read by many more people than the actual books.

Critical Compendium has a customized Google search, but it has not worked well for me. Some words that I clearly see on the blog do not work as searchwords

Someone with a little time could take the sources links in the left hand column and make a customized search engine for book reviews that identify many more titles than the blog itself.

I am glad someone is looking at newspaper reviews. I hope the effort at Critical Compendium expands.


maggie moran said...

Rick, this is great! I bookmarked it! Thanks also for the revoogle language. I'll get that put on the blog this weekend. L8r

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Critical Compendium has a new, comprehensive search engine -