Tuesday, December 19, 2006


This was posted to a mailing list I'm on (I'm leaving out the URLS):

"Write Online Book Reviews

We need 5 reviewers for 3 of our newly released titles.
We ask that you write a 1-3 Paragraph review with a 5
star rating (5 being best) of each of the 3 books. We
will then ask that you forward the reviews over to us so
that we can look over them before you post them on
Amazon.com and Barns and Noble.com. Most of our reviewers
are paid from $5- to $10 per review or $15.00 to $30.00
per 3 review book set. Unfortunately, Amazon has recently
instituted a new procedure whereby you can only review
books if you have an account that you have used to
purchase books / products from them before, so in order
to bid you must have an account with Amazon that you have
used to purchased books with them from before. You are
bidding on writing 5 reviews and posting them to
Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and lulu.com Long term

Well. Really, what is there to say? The problems inherent in online reviews have been apparent for a long time. Caveat lector.

No, I have to say more. This really does make me feel sick. I hate the necessity for cynicism about something that I love participating in, something that can be so vital and true and is so integral to the spirit of freely sharing information that is the best part of the Internet. I feel like I've been spat on, and that's the polite phrase for it.

what my son is reading today: Where Willy Went

Where Willy Went written and illustrated by Nicholas Allan. Knopf, 2004 (0-375-83030-8) $15.95

"Where babies come from" is one of the Big Questions for parents... but Big Questions don't always require Big Answers. And silly answers can be a plus. It doesn't get much sillier than this story about a smiley little sperm named Willy, who isn't very good at math--"'If there are 300 million sperm in the race, how many will you have to beat to win the egg?' the teacher asked. 'Ten?' said Willy"--but who luckily, is VERY good at swimming. All of the essential facts are presented here, including two hilarious "treasure maps" Willy and his competing sperm are given of Mr. Brown (Willy's place of residence) and Mrs. Brown (home of the egg), so it's easy to use this book to open up dialogue with interested kids--and the humor in it is a great help for parents overcoming some embarrassment about the topic. We never do find out exactly where Willy went when he disappeared into the egg (sorry if that's a spoiler!)--and it's puzzling that a "boy" sperm could produce a girl baby--but those seem to be questions that only bother adult readers. (4-8)