Re: book club availability for May and "rules" (was Re: [python-46] resurrecting the book club)

From: Doug H.
Sent on: Thursday, April 30, 2009 1:47 PM
On Apr 30, 2009, at 12:15 PM, Shawn Russell wrote:

> Doug,
>
> So exactly how would the book review work?

Good question, and I hope you don't mind me replying to the list to  
answer it.

You'll find some of the reviews I've done on my blog here:  http://blog.dough...­

When you're writing, think about what you'd want to read as advice  
about whether to pick up a book.  I try to include my opinion about  
whether the book met my expectations, whether the material was  
relevant and accurate, how it reads (slow and dry, quick and light,  
etc.).  A brief outline of the book can be helpful, but more and more  
that sort of info is available on the publisher's web site so I only  
include it if I think I have something to say about each section or  
chapter.

Let me know if that gives you enough to go on.

> I would like to review
> livelessons: Python Fundamentals (DVD, Addison-Wesley/Pears­on).

Skylar will have the first set of books at the meeting on the 14th, so  
check with him then to see if it's still available.  I'm curious about  
that one myself, so I'll be interested to see what you think.

>
>
> Shawn Russell
>
> On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 11:14 AM, Doug Hellmann <[address removed] 
> > wrote:
>>
>> On Apr 30, 2009, at 10:28 AM, Ryan wrote:
>>
>>> Hey Doug,
>>>
>>> Do you have the list of books you want people to read and review? I
>>> would be interested in contributing.
>>
>> We have these titles available:
>>
>> - Agile Testing (Addison-Wesley/Pear­son)
>> - Core Python Programming (Addison-Wesley/Pear­son)
>> - Programming in Python 3 (Addison-Wesley/Pear­son)
>> - livelessons: Python Fundamentals (DVD, Addison-Wesley/Pears­on)
>> - Expert Python Programming (Packt)
>>
>> I've picked one book, and Skylar picked another (he got to pick early
>> because he's going to deliver the books this month, see below).  I  
>> left
>> those items off of the list.
>>
>> I'm working on getting more titles from other publishers, but the
>> arrangements take some time.  I think we'll be able to get another  
>> batch
>> from Addison-Wesley once the reviews for this set hit the net.
>>
>> If you have requests for specific titles, let me know.  So far I've  
>> been
>> telling publicists "Python and general development-related topics",  
>> but they
>> usually ask if we want something specific.
>>
>>
>>
>> I'd like to propose a few ground rules to keep operations simple  
>> and make
>> sure everyone has a chance to participate.
>>
>> 1. You must be present to win.
>>
>> Books will be distributed at our monthly meetings at GTRI.  I will  
>> try to
>> post titles the week before the meeting (or when I have them, if  
>> they come
>> in closer than that), but don't want to mess around with trying to  
>> take
>> reservations via email.  That keeps delivery relatively simple as I  
>> don't
>> have to keep up with who said they wanted what book on the mailing  
>> list.  It
>> also encourages attendance at the meetings.  :-)  Depending on the  
>> schedule
>> for any given meeting, we'll either hand out books at the beginning  
>> or the
>> end.
>>
>> The exception to this rule is if you're helping out with running  
>> the club
>> (delivering books, etc.), as Skylar is this month.  I'll post to  
>> the list
>> when I'm going to need someone to help coordinate deliveries.
>>
>> 2. If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding!
>>
>> We have more interested readers than books available, so we need for
>> everyone to write the review for the book you have before picking  
>> another
>> one.
>>
>> I'm going to ask everyone to sign up for the book they've taken, so  
>> we can
>> keep track of who is reading what, but mostly I think we can depend  
>> on the
>> honor system for this one.  Send the link to your review to this  
>> list, that
>> will clear the way for you to pick up your next book.
>>
>> The exception for this rule is if you return the book unread so it  
>> can go to
>> someone else.  Sometimes a book just isn't as interesting as you  
>> thought,
>> and that's OK.  Maybe it will be exactly what someone else was  
>> looking for.
>>
>> 3. Punctuality Counts
>>
>> The publishers are sending us free books with the expectation that  
>> we'll
>> post the reviews to help with publicity.  We don't have to  
>> guarantee GOOD
>> reviews, but we do need to post reliably.  Typically 4-6 weeks  
>> should be
>> long enough to read and write up a short piece with your opinions.   
>> Again,
>> I'm not going to come track you down and harass you, I just want to  
>> make
>> expectations clear.  Rule #2 should take care of lapses in #3.
>>
>> 4. Recycle!
>>
>> If you find a book especially valuable, you're welcome to keep it  
>> -- that's
>> explicitly part of the deal.  On the other hand, if you don't think  
>> a book
>> is something you'll re-read or use as a reference, consider  
>> bringing it back
>> and letting someone else have a go at it.  This is optional, but  
>> brings good
>> karma.
>>
>>
>> I don't think any of that is controversial, but I'm open to  
>> suggestions as
>> long as they don't make managing the whole thing too complicated.
>>
>> As far as posting the reviews goes, I'm looking at some sites like
>> readernaut to make sharing the reviews easy, but I think a blogged  
>> review is
>> going to be preferable for most of the publishers.  Some have  
>> requested
>> Amazon reviews, too, so those should be acceptable.  If you need  
>> some place
>> to post and don't have a blog, send me your Google ID and I'll add  
>> you to
>> the PyATL group blog.  If you have had experiences (good or bad)  
>> with online
>> book club sites, let me know about that, too.
>>
>> Doug
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
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