December 11, 2006

If you loved The Chomsky Reader, you'll hate The Devil Wears Prada

From John Holbo at The Valve and John Emerson, some discussions of the UnSuggester at LibraryThing, which "analyzes the seven million books LibraryThing members have recorded as owned or read, and comes back with books least likely to share a library with the book you suggest." If you own or have read Great Expectations, for example, the site unsuggests Howard Rheingold's Smart Mobs; for Quine's Word and Object it unsuggests Little Women; and for Richard Rorty's Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity it unsuggests The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Owners of Steve Pinker's The Language Instinct are unrecommended, among other things, The Lake House and Vogue Knitting on the Go. And readers of my own Going Nucular are discounseled from The Nanny Diaries, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and St. Augustine's Confessions. Heck, I could have told them that.

Posted by Geoff Nunberg at December 11, 2006 07:19 PM