Tuesday, December 05, 2006


The 50 Greatest Commercials of the ’80s. Har!

This article made the front page of the Boston Globe, with good reason. Saving baby Mariam tells the story of a Navy medic who finds a baby girl in Iraq with a birth defect that requires surgery to save her life. He is determined to save her, and when he gets killed by a bomb, the marines in his unit continue his mission.

Book suggestions by LibraryThing. I rated a bunch of books on amazon.com, but the suggestions that they give me tend to stink- the majority of them are books by the same authors or other editions of books I've already read and rated (Oh, you liked For Whom the Bell Tolls? We recommend the Cliffs Notes version!). I like this engine a lot better- you enter a book and it gives you similar books you might enjoy (caveat: the search engine uses a database created by people who submit their personal libraries, so if you the book you list isn't all that well-known, it will not appear on the list.) For example, I entered Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and got these suggestions:
  1. Atonement : a novel by Ian McEwan
  2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  3. The magician's assistant by Ann Patchett
  4. The hours by Michael Cunningham
  5. The secret life of bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  6. Empire falls by Richard Russo
  7. The poisonwood Bible : a novel by Barbara Kingsolver
  8. The patron saint of liars by Ann Patchett
  9. The red tent / Anita Diamant by Anita Diamant
  10. The time traveller's wife : a novel by Audrey Niffenegger
  11. White teeth by Zadie Smith
  12. The shipping news by Annie Proulx
  13. Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  14. The kite runner by Khaled Hosseini
  15. The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay : a novel by Michael Chabon
  16. Girl with a pearl earring by Tracy Chevalier

Wow- pretty good! I've read and enjoyed 12 of the 16 on the list. LibraryThing also has an Unsuggester- you enter a book you own and it lists a bunch of books that you are unlikely to own. I entered East of Eden by John Steinbeck and it listed a whole bunch of fantasy and religious books I've never heard of.

link via RT


Eri said...

Hola Eileen,

Did you like Kite Runner? I work w/the authors bro-crazy smart family!

eileen said...

Yeah, I liked it. Sad.

Tina said...

Hey, I think you're the one who doesn't like reading non-fiction but I recommend "The Looming Towers: Al:Qaeda and the Road to 9/11." It's on the NY Times "10 best books of 2006." It's (literally) reads like a non-fiction.

Was Atonement one of the 12 you've read on the list? I think that is the next book I'm going to read. Would you recommend it?

eileen said...

I'll put that one on my list, Tina. I've been slowly warning to non-fiction.
Yes, I liked Atonement and would recommend it. My favorite two from the list are the Amazing Adventures of K and C (awesome!) and Middlesex, so I'd check those out if you haven't read them already.

Tina said...

I just re-read my comment and I meant to say "it (literally) reads like its fiction."

I caught a typo on my cover letter that read, "I am extremely I detailed-oriented." Oops, I don't think I'll be getting a call back from them...