Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"What We're Reading"


NPR has a new feature called "What We're Reading" brought to my attention on of their blogspots. Sounds like they could use some help sorting through the stacks or books collected by staffers...

"Welcome to the first issue of "What We're Reading." At NPR, we cover a lot of books every week. Among those, there are always a handful of standouts — the great reads as well as the books whose buzz-level makes them impossible to ignore. "What We're Reading" brings you our book team's shortlist of new fiction and non-fiction releases, along with candid reactions from our reporters, hosts and critics."

Wonder if they're reading them online? Most interesting.... this is one of the first books reviewed.


The End of the World As We Know It

By Ken Auletta
The subtitle of Ken Auletta's book is The End Of The World As We Know It, which gives you some idea of just how important he believes Google to be. Googled is not the first book about the rise of the titans of search (and other businesses), but Auletta, a media columnist for The New Yorker, prides himself on his 2 1/2 years of research and broad access to the company. Combining anecdotes about the founders and others who make the company work with efforts to use Google as a metaphor for the broader digital revolution, Auletta attempts to explain the company's functioning and mind-set while drawing lessons that apply beyond its very famous doors.
I've met some of these people, and Auletta really does nail something about them — a peculiar mix of goofiness, arrogance and brilliance. My only critique is that sometimes he falls victim to the Silicon Valley spin army. But I was not bored. For someone who wants to understand what is without a doubt one of the most important companies in history, this is a very readable way to get a grasp of the players, the technology and its implications.
— Laura Sydell, digital culture correspondent

Given the absence of a shapely narrative or a strong point of view, Googledreads as a timeline skimming across the key moments in the company's history and providing rote miniature profiles of the key players
— Troy Patterson, NPR reviewer

Hardcover, 400 pages, Penguin Press, list price: $27.95, pub. date: Nov. 3

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