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Work Distraction Alert: McSweeney’s Lists April 8, 2010

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If you haven’t run into McSweeney’s Internet Tendency or are unaware of the print journal McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (the offshoots of McSweeney’s Publishing House started by author and all-around awesome guy David Eggers), then you are missing out on an important development in the literary world. But that is neither here nor there. What I am here to post about is an awesome time-waster presented courtesy of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency – Lists! Some are good, some are not so good…so I have weeded out a number of my favorites that you might want to check out:

1. STD Medication or Character from The Neverending Story?

2. My Personal Netflix Recommendation Categories

3. Reasons You Might Die of Consumption in a 19th-Century Novel, in Order From Least Likely to Most Likely

4. Roman Bumper Stickers

5. Thoughts I’ve Had While Watching Intervention That Could Possibly be Red Flags

6. All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Spam Box

7. Phrases I’d Rather Not Be Used at My Funeral

8. Titles of Songs I Could Credibly Write If I Became a Rap Star

9. Less-Threatening Islamist Groups

10. Things That Are Just Barely Thicker Than Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows

And many many many many more!

Just Because We Love Lists December 30, 2009

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You know we here at Infomavens’ Desktop love lists, so when I saw Time’s Top Ten Lists for EVERYTHING (political gaffes, underreported stories, animal stories, new species, pictures of the year, movies, books, ads, TV shows, etc., etc., etc.) I had to share the link with you! : )

Where to Spend Those Gift Cards December 26, 2009

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Just when your pocket is full of holiday gift cards and cash from Grandma, Abebooks.com has listed the Most Collectible Books of the Decade–the perfect investment for any bibliophile. Even if you don’t care to spend thousands of dollars on books, this list is interesting for its mix of classics, prizewinners, and fantasy genre bestsellers like Harry Potter, Twilight, Eragon, Inkheart, and works by J.R.R. Tolkien. If anything, it proves getting a signature is worth waiting in line!

The Worst Books of the Decade December 8, 2009

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It’s always fun to compare lists, especially when the “best of” and “worst of” often share some the same responses. The Guardian’s Books Blog recently posed the question, “What were your worst books of the decade?”, with some interesting responses. The Times Online also posted their list of the 5 worst books of the decade, and they are not exactly what you would expect. In all honesty, the worst books of the decade are probably the books no one has heard of because no one cared enough to read them. Even so, it’s interesting to see that so many New York Times bestsellers ended up on the Times Online’s list. What do you think are the worst books of the decade?

Lists to Be Thankful For November 20, 2009

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Recently we posted about why people make lists. Since then, lists seem to be popping up everywhere. And now, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner, people are making lists of things for which they are thankful.

I, personally, am thankful for the lists. Here are a couple I came across this morning, that I thought were worth sharing.

Television Without Pity’s 10 TV things We’re Thankful For This Year

Wired’s GeekDad Blog’s 10 Geeky Things to Be Thankful For

I expect there will be more as we get closer to Thanksgiving, and Year-End Reviews, so check back for more in the weeks to come. If you have a list you’d like to see us highlight, let us know in the comments!

Photo by Steve Voght; used under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Umberto Eco: Closet Librarian? November 16, 2009

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In this interesting interview by Spiegel,  Umberto Eco, renowned author and scholar, perhaps best known for his mystery work The Name of the Rose, explains his upcoming exhibit at the Louvre–a showcase on the importance of lists in society and the arts. While this seems like an abstract (or odd) choice at first, Eco explains that lists have a way of combating mortality, saying “We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That’s why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die.”  Eco goes on to explain why the lists generated by Google do not fulfill these spiritual needs, and how education should address the transient and unreliable nature of information on the web. Though he may not realize it, he is fighting for information literacy as an educational standard; something we American librarians have been fighting for for a long time. Eco, we are behind you!