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"Bad books" and how to spot them.

"The world is full of 'bad books'; not just uninteresting, or ill-informed, or morally repugnant books, but books that set out to present or defend positions that are insupportable in logic….Often these bad books become quite popular, and frequently gain a wider audience than good books on the same subjects. In discouraging my students from relying on such bad books, I began to wonder why they are popular." [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 23, 2012 - 135 comments

What makes a bad book bad?

In its latest issue, the American Book Review has taken stock of literature and come up with its Top 40 Bad Books [pdf]. Faced with the unusual Top 40 list (which is not strictly a list and includes, among other things, The Great Gatsby) Alison Flood at the Guardian responds by asking, "What makes a bad book bad?" while at the L.A. Times, Carolyn Kellogg puts forth that the list's only constant is "that the best books that appear on their worst-book list are subject to the most unreasonable critiques." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Mar 16, 2010 - 100 comments

It Came From the Stacks

Awful Library Books Volumes that are so outdated or so outmoded that they no longer belong in a public library. Your grandfather's Computer Science. Your grandfather's Rocket Science. Your grandmother's Feminism. Your great-grandmother's Pre-Feminism. (And your great-grandfather's.) Your grandparents' parents! World Powers that no longer exist! Old predictions that didn't happen! Bios of people when they were famous for something else! Roller Disco! Books considered crackpot when they were new! Stuff even the Politically Incorrect would think are Just Plain Wrong! And more! Are any of these books hiding in YOUR library? (If so, mail them to me.) [more inside]
posted by wendell on Jul 13, 2009 - 78 comments

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