Reviews by mmitchel
Don't be afraid of Moby Dick
Moby Dick is a humongously long book and takes quite a bit of sustained concentration to get through, but the rewards of such an endeavor are similarly huge. You will be forever enriched by the detailed description of Ishmael's reasons for going to sea (whenever he feels a damp, drizzly November in his soul and he fears he may just start going about methodically knocking people's hats off. You will understand his fear of his first roommate, the cannibal Queequeg, and you will be delighted as his fear turns to undying affection and respect as he realizes this cannibal is more civilized than most church-going seamen. But wait -- we are only through chapter 16 of 135 chapters! We haven't even gotten to Ishmael's description of the mad Captain Ahab or Ahab's true goal, the white whale, or even the steady, patient first mate Starbuck (whose name was later used by the ubiquitous Starbucks coffee chain).

Moby Dick can be a tortuous read (especially if you are being forced to read it for a college class as I was the first three times I read it), however when read for pleasure this book brings unheard of delights of description and satisfying details you won't find anywhere else.

So don't be afraid of Mody Dick. Take it slowly. Be sure not to skip past any words you don't know (I guarantee there will be plenty of them even for the well-read reader). If you savor it, scenes from this book will stay with you for a long time after you finally put it down.
Google no longer the Dark Side
As a reference librarian I've always heard a lot of distrust from my peers of the huge search company Google. Some say it has already replaced reference librarians. That's a load of nonsense-nothing can replace a good reference librarian, but she should use her tools with precision and Google is the most precise and useful of them all.

Vice's book traces Google's history all the way back to when founders Page and Brin met as college students. It details the amazingly precise page rank system that finds web pages that most others sites point to, the innovative and profitable advertising model that charges by the number of hits on ads, and the unusual work environment (including free gourmet lunches) that fosters creativity among the young and smart Googlers around the world.

If you want to find out how Google does it, pick up this book immediately. Reference librarians may especially enjoy it since it will restore confidence in the future of libraries, and coincidentally bring Google back from the Dark Side.
Long tail is a big trend that we shouldn't overlook
Chris Anderson has captured a new trend that will affect the future of business. With online businesses carrying more possible inventory (and not even necessarily in one location) they have a chance to sell a wider variety of items. In the past there was a limit to how much inventory a store could carry--not anymore. Once you read it you'll understand why Amazon and NetFlix will continue to prosper while brick and mortar stores may falter.