A melted listicle
December 4, 2013 7:23 AM   Subscribe

NPR is sick of the list. For their year end book round up this year, they have instead compiled an interactive web app which categorizes books by type (allowing you to apply these types as filters) and connects similar books by hyper-linked keywords.
posted by codacorolla (25 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
So that's how you spell Philipp Goedicke.
posted by psoas at 7:27 AM on December 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well...hate listsicles, love year-end lists. They are very different things.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:44 AM on December 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


And it works well on my mobile device in Chrome. Yippie!
posted by tilde at 7:50 AM on December 4, 2013


I couldn't figure out the usefulness of this until I clicked on two filters and oh that's what it does.
posted by griphus at 7:51 AM on December 4, 2013


So, I generally choose books based mostly on their spines--and have a pretty good success rate--and I was super-happy to see the primary-colored "Little Elvises" in this collection. The trilogy caught my eye at the library this summer, and I devoured it. Really fun, lightweight mysteries that are (really, I don't say this lightly) laugh-out-loud funny.

Glad to see this isn't just a collection of heavyweight litch-ra-chore and dull memoirs.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:55 AM on December 4, 2013


"the perfect mind-bender for people who are addicted to the Economist"

Oh man, I was gonna READ that.
posted by poe at 7:58 AM on December 4, 2013


Notifying me of the existence of Mark Twain's "Advice to Little Girls" has justified MetaFilter's existence.
posted by Etrigan at 7:59 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can it sort by the reviews I am most likely to take spittle-flecked exception to? That would same me a lot of time in my year-end reading of lists.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:02 AM on December 4, 2013


"the perfect mind-bender for people who are addicted to the Economist"

That actually sounds pretty much right up my alley, thanks for highlighting it!
posted by psoas at 8:07 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm a bit grumpy that the "history lovers" section seems to have a lot of historical romances. I love some good history, but I am definitely not looking to have my bodice ripped.
posted by immlass at 8:09 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit grumpy that the "history lovers" section seems to have a lot of historical romances.

They left the "for" out of the graphic.
posted by Etrigan at 8:18 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hooray for fancy presentation that doesn't suck! I was about to grumble that all the source was minimized and I couldn't figure out what it did. Then I found the thoughtful comment in the Javascript that points to the NPR Books13 GitHub repository.

It's well documented code too, looks like it's designed to let others create their own lists in this style. Reads data from Google Docs, deploys to S3/EC2. Primary contributors are Christopher Groskopf and Shelly Tan. Didn't spend the time figure out what all they're using, but there's lots of CSS and mention of Underscore templates.
posted by Nelson at 8:40 AM on December 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Excellent! Most fortuitous timing. I usually forego New Year's Resolutions in favor of "General Theme(s) for Next Year", but I have been contemplating a resolution for 2014: eschewing lists. More specifically Internet lists. They are lazy and artificial and usually clickbaity.

Down with lists in 2014!
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:40 AM on December 4, 2013


Ooh, I forgot there was a new Kim Stanley Robinson book out.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:41 AM on December 4, 2013


Great... earlier today I was looking at 2013 movie listicles [best of the year, best nobody saw, etc] and I realized I've barely seen anything all year long.

And now NPR want to come along and remind me I've hardly read anything either? Thanks NPR. That's really nice. Real christmassy of you.
posted by xqwzts at 9:04 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


> Didn't spend the time figure out what all they're using, but there's lots of CSS and mention of Underscore templates.

The requirements.txt has a list of everything pulled in by pip and most of their js libs are in the base template.

It looks really well done, though I would have appreciated a friendlier license.
Copyright 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No part of these materials may be reproduced, modified, stored in a retrieval system, or retransmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, without prior written permission from NPR.

(Want to use this code? Send an email to nprapps@npr.org!)
posted by xqwzts at 9:08 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is tragically lovely and easy to use and goddammit I do not need to know about more books I haven't read yet but would like to. My kindle is already popping at the seams.
posted by rtha at 9:23 AM on December 4, 2013


My guess is the license isn't permissive because the programmers who put this on GitHub don't have permission to license it. I've worked with organizations to open source stuff and it's a huge PITA, as soon as you try to do anything official lawyers get involved and it takes weeks and thousands of dollars. I'm thankful we can even read the source, probably somewhere inside NPR is a manager waiting for open source requests to see if it's worth getting the buy-in for a proper license.

The Planet Money t-shirt project we talked about on Metafilter also published source. Both apps are based on the same template. Turns out NPR has a News Apps team with a blog. Cool stuff!
posted by Nelson at 9:39 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I approve. Between this and the tournament of books long list (not yet released), I will be set for gifts and reads for the next few months (yeah right).

I would suggest using the 'seriously great writing' filter first to pare down the choices. ymmv.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:57 AM on December 4, 2013


Men We Reaped, by Jesmyn Ward Dolan sorry
posted by phong3d at 9:59 AM on December 4, 2013


> It looks really well done, though I would have appreciated a friendlier license.

Hi, I'm Jeremy, one of the NPR news apps developers on this project.

It turns out, licensing is really hard.

It's particularly hard for us to separate out the code from the bits that our lawyers think are NPR content. We have a blog post coming on this whole issue and our name for it: "Public source."

Posting our code publicly on GitHub but asking for an email is the most pragmatic solution we have at the moment.

Glad you checked out our code!
posted by jeremybowers at 10:10 AM on December 4, 2013 [23 favorites]


Notifying me of the existence of Mark Twain's "Advice to Little Girls" has justified MetaFilter's existence.

In case it's not obvious it's a tiny little essay: no more than a page or so long. But an unforgettable one. I read it at a very young age (it was one of a number of shorts appended to an ancient edition of one of his novels) and can remember every word of it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:17 AM on December 4, 2013


Hooray for fancy presentation that doesn't suck!

Hm. Wellllll... for any given book you can see the cover or the blurb but not both at the same time. (Unless you click, of course, to get the popup.) When you're pointing at a book, its cover is the only one you can't see. To see the cover again you have to move the mouse away, which reveals the blurb of an adjacent book, which is kinda distracting. The more conventional mega-tooltip approach where the blurb would appear in an adjacent floating window as you point at the cover would be a bit more usable.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:55 AM on December 4, 2013


Notifying me of the existence of Mark Twain's "Advice to Little Girls" has justified MetaFilter's existence.

In case it's not obvious it's a tiny little essay: no more than a page or so long.


Hey, as long as I'm putting a buck or two in his pocket.

What?

What? When?

Well, shit.
posted by Etrigan at 11:02 AM on December 4, 2013


Mark Twain's Advice to Little Girls
posted by garlic at 12:09 PM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


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