Duck Duck Book

What is Duck Duck?

Duck Duck Book is an irregular review periodical. It is intended for general readers; people whose interests are catholic, who like to read, and who are interested in my opinions and observations.

I was inspired to begin this project by many things. I’m surrounded by books in my personal life and in my professional life — in my work, I regularly suggest reading material to people, and before I began this booklist, I sent occasional notes to friends when I found a new book I thought they might like. But then I thought, hmmm, if I sent out updates on books in a more programmatic fashion, I’d do everyone a better service, because how do I know what people are going to be interested in?

So I asked some of my book-loving friends if they’d like to receive an irregular email from me containing reviews of books I think are interesting. The response was positive and I began sending a list of short reviews about once every two weeks.

Shortly after I began writing this list (the first one was sent on 13 June 2004), Michael McGrorty wrote a very compelling piece about why librarians should write book reviews.* If I hadn’t already thought I was on to a good thing, he convinced me.

In 2005 I began to wish for a web-based archive of my reviews. You are reading the realization of that dream.

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As Duck Duck Book is written in Portland, Oregon, USA, and its original core readership lives there, information is provided about items that are available at the Multnomah County Library, the public library that serves the Portland area. However, Duck Duck Book is not affiliated with the Multnomah County Library in any way (though, as it happens, I do work there when I am on the clock).

Each issue of Duck Duck Book is arranged by subject — more or less by the items’ call numbers in the Multnomah County Library catalog. Some items reviewed are not part of Multnomah County Library’s collection, so to maintain consistency I’ve just stuck them in where I thought they belonged. You can use this system of categories to find reviews — for example, if you’d like to look at all the books on science, just click on the science category over there on the right side of the screen. You’ll see a list of everything I’ve reviewed that had a call number in the 500s, the science section. There are separate categories for fiction, comix, websites, articles, films, zines, events, and a miscellaneous section.

Someday I really hope to have an index to reviews, by author and title at least. But for now, you will have to look for them by date or by category, or use the search feature.

If the title of an item is also a link, clicking on that link should take you either to a library record for the book and a list of libraries which own it (provided by the Online Computer Library Center’s Open WorldCat service), or, to the item itself, if it is a website or an article that has been published on the web.

I welcome your comments and suggestions; please email them to me at ejdawson [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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* Michael McGrorty’s blog, Library Dust, has disappeared, but you can look at his essay at the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.


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