Nonfiction: Dylan’s Nobel Lecture, Information Science Reference, Dr. Ruth on Relationships | Xpress Reviews

Week ending December 8, 2017

Dylan, Bob. The Nobel Lecture. S. & S. Nov. 2017. 32p. ISBN 9781501189401. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501189418. MUSIC
From the moment Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, controversy ensued. First, there was great surprise—and in some quarters, dismay—that he had been chosen. Next, Dylan delayed acknowledging the award for several weeks. Then he announced that he would not be able to accept the prize in person. His short acceptance speech was read for him at the ceremony. Finally, he submitted a written lecture (an obligation for all recipients), accompanied by an audio recording. The text of that lecture has now been published in a slim hardbound volume. Initially well received, Dylan’s lecture quickly became the object of charges of plagiarism. After mentioning some of his early musical influences (Buddy Holly, Leadbelly, and “all the early folk artists”), he devotes most of the 23-page piece to works of literature that made an impression on him in “grammar school.” “And the themes from those books worked their way into many of my songs, either knowingly or unintentionally.” He focuses on three great works of literature—Moby-Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front, and The Odyssey—and here is where he gets into trouble. Apparently, the Nobel Laureate “borrowed” text and summaries of those books from SparkNotes guides. Nevertheless, Dylan brings it all back to his own creative process: “If a song moves you, that’s all that’s important. I don’t have to know what a song means. I’ve written all kinds of things into my songs.”
Verdict All Dylan fans will want to have the Nobel lecture in their collection, and this fine volume will give it permanence.—Thomas Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, PA

Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology. 4th ed. 10 vols. IGI Global. Jun. 2017. 8104p. ed. by Mehdi Khosrow-Pour. illus. index. ISBN 9781522522553. $5,695; ebk. ISBN 9781522522560. REF
The fourth edition of this encyclopedia (the first set hit shelves in 2005) features 705 chapters, each about ten pages long and focusing on a specialized subject in information science and technology (IS&T). Topics range from “efficient optimization using metaheuristics” to the “safeguarding of ATM” to “mobile game-based learning.” Editor Khosrow-Pour (executive editor, IGI Global) has gathered a variety of contributors, many of whom live and work outside the United States and deliver valuable global perspectives on IS&T. For example, one article examines discrimination against women in IT fields in the United States, while another tackles the same problem in Malawi and other African nations. Each chapter features a unique digital object identifier (DOI), enhancing discoverability. The encyclopedia is sold as a ten-volume print set and/or in e-format (downloadable, DRM-free PDFs are available at the book and chapter levels). Librarians will appreciate these options, and IS&T students and researchers should find specific chapters useful. Unfortunately, many of the contributors provide simplistic interpretations and unacceptable citations, such as Google. Others are poorly written to the point of incoherence, riddled with grammatical errors and awkward phrasing.
Verdict Notwithstanding some high-quality content, this title’s sloppy editing, uneven content, and high price make it a questionable investment for academic libraries or scholars.—Michael Rodriguez, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs

Westheimer, Ruth K. with Pierre A. Lehu. Stay or Go: Dr. Ruth’s Rules for Real Relationships. Amazon. Jan. 2018. 153p. ISBN 9781542046718. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781542096713. SELF-HELP
In this collaborative work “for the person who’s wondering whether to stay or go,” renowned relationship/psychosexual therapist Westheimer (Columbia Univ. Teachers Coll.; Sexually Speaking), aka Dr. Ruth, with writer Lehu, focuses on individuals who are on the precipice of ending troubled relationships. Couples are challenged to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their situation and encouraged to identify salvageable unions by being open to mutual compromise and thoughtful communication. Westheimer emphasizes that relationships are subjective collaborations between unique people and should be treated as such. Key concepts, bookmarked throughout by “Stop and Consider” questions, prompt practical application. Each chapter addresses financial pressures, power struggles, career goals, waning compatibility, and other relevant stressors that complicate emotional bonds. Above all, readers are instructed to manage expectations of fairy-tale endings by tailoring emotional requirements to the limitations of daily life and the evolution of personalities.
Verdict A clearly written, succinct resource for those waffling with the decision to stay or move on from a long-term relationship.—Angela Dixon, Georgia State Univ. Lib., Clarkston

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