The Book That Cleans Water

A book with pages that can kill more than 99% of bacteria while also educating communities on safe water habits has passed multiple trials in countries such as Ghana, Bangladesh and South Africa. What's more the book is very cheap to produce and one copy can filter sufficient water for an individuals needs for a full four years!

This extraordinary concept is the result of Dr Teri Dankovich's work over several years. Dr Dankovich, now a postdoctural researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh developed and tested the concept at McGill University in Canada and at the University of Virginia. Like Liter of Light, the concept is wonderfully simple:

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Free White Paper: Book Clubs in The USA

Based on recent research, in-depth interviews and extensive experience, BookBrowse's just published white paper provides an intriguing and insightful look at Book Clubs.

Download it for free at bookbrowse.com/wp

Find out:

  • The two life stages when book club participation increases
  • How many belong to book clubs, both in-person and online
  • The five key attributes book clubs look for when choosing books
  • Which media channels are used most to discover books
  • The importance of libraries
  • What men in book clubs think

and more

The white paper also contains links to advice on how to start and run a book club, and interviews with a wide variety of book clubs, with a particular focus on clubs that meet in public places such as libraries and bookstores, and have a mix of men and women.

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Go Set a Watchman Resonates With Me

Go Set a WatchmanI pre-ordered Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee some time ago. It arrived Tuesday evening. I read it yesterday, in one sitting. I've also read many, many reviews and commentaries. Here are my Thursday morning thoughts:

Although GSaW was actually written before To Kill a Mockingbird most reviewers have spoken about it as a sequel since it deals with events that occur decades later. They seem to feel betrayed by the fact that the Atticus Finch they had so revered is shown to be a racist. I'm really puzzled by this reaction. Style and point of view aside I would expect that readers -- people I hold in the highest esteem and who, because they are readers after all -- would be among the first to understand the concepts of cognitive dissonance and character complexity.

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BEA 2015: Books, Books & More Books

It took me a couple of minutes to recognize her. It was only after a burly security guard urged me to move along did the realization sink in: that was the actress Julianne Moore signing copies of her new kids' book, Freckleface Strawberry: Lunch, or What's That?, at the Penguin Random House booth.

Some years ago, when I first attended Book Expo America (or BEA as it is usually known) I noticed just one signing line, an insanely long one for Stephen Colbert. If I were to know that he would leave The Colbert Report in a few short years, I would have expended the energy to wait around for his signature on the book he was releasing then.

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The 2014 Costa Award Winners

The Costas are considered by many the UK's most prestigious book awards. Established by Whitbread Plc in 1971, they were rebranded the Costa Awards in 2006. Costa is a UK based coffee shop chain owned by Whitbread. The five category winners (First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book) are announced in early January, honoring books published the previous year. The Costa Book of the Year Award is announced in late January.

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Banned Books Week "Celebrates" 30 Years

Banned Books Week (Sept 30-Oct 6) is celebrating, for want of a better term, its 30th year!

Banned Books Week logoBanning books has a long and ignoble history going back into the mists of time. Possibly the oldest known ban was against 5th century BC Greek philosopher Anazagoras who made the mistake of suggesting that the sun is "white hot stone and that the moon reflected the sun's rays" - which caused him to be exiled from Athens and all his writings burned.

Of course, through much of history it wasn't just the writings that got burned but the writers themselves. Indeed, it wasn't even necessary to put pen to paper to find oneself atop a bonfire, or other equally nasty fate - a word, a deed, or even the mere suspicion of a thought could have been enough. So, I suppose we should be grateful that in the USA today we've evolved from burning people to merely attempting to ban their books.

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