Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: Uncategorized

507: Preparing Literature Reviews by M. Ling Pan


507.2: Pan, M. Ling. Preparing Literature Reviews: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing, 2003. 190 pp. ISBN 1-884585-27-2.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 500: Natural Science and Mathematics
  • 507: Education, research, and related topics
  • 507.2: Research and statistical methods

Ling Pan’s Preparing Literature Reviews is a book with a clear goal and purpose: help the reader write literature review. A literature review is a synthesis of available written or published material on a topic. For scientific articles, this is usually the first section of the article. Pan’s many guidelines, examples, and full models contain a wealth of information on the topic and if you are writing a literature review for the first time, pick this book up. After reading this one, I feel that if someone asked me to write a review tomorrow, I would be amply prepared for the task at hand. Burgeoning scholars needs to have this one in their arsenal of reference material. A very informative book.


750: The Louvre


750: Laclotte, Michel and Jean-Pierre Cuzin. The Louvre: Paintings. Paris, France: Editions Scala, 2000. 284 pp. ISBN 2-86656-236-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts and Recreation
  • 750: Painting and paintings

On August 10, 1793, a wondrous building was made open to the public. Exactly one year before, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the monarchy felled. The National Assembly urged that the works of art hoarded by Louis and previous kings be collected and displayed so that they could preserve the national memory. At it’s opening, The Louvre showcased 537 paintings and 184 other objects of art. From there started an interesting and sometimes sordid history. Michel Laclotte and Jean-Pierre Cuzin’s The Louvre gives a history of each of the museum’s major collection, but more importantly, displays a wide variety of the museum’s pieces in glorious color plates.

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692: Hiring Contractors Without Going Through Hell by Ellis Levinson


692.8: Levinson, Ellis. Hiring Contractors Without Going Through Hell: How to Find, Hire, Supervise, and Pay professional Help for Home Renovations and Repairs. New York: Walker & Company, 1992. ISBN 0-8027-7381-8.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 690: Buildings
  • 692: Auxiliary construction practices
  • 692.8: Contracting

When you’re a homeowner, there are few things more daunting than the prospect of remodeling or house repairs. You can either go it yourself and invest a lot of time in YouTube videos and gumption, or you can rely on the services of contractors. Ellis Levinson’s Hiring Contractors Without Going Through Hell deals with the reality, and sometimes the surreality, of dealing with the latter situation. He uses humor and sometimes a fatherly hand to help guide the reader through a bevy of contractor-related scenarios.

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822: Shakespeare is Hard, But So Is Life by Fintan O’Toole


822.33: O’Toole, Fintan. Shakespeare is Hard, But So Is Life: A Radical Guide to Shakespearean Tragedy. London: Granta, 2002. 162 pp. ISBN 1-86207-528-X.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 820: English and Old English literatures
  • 822: English drama
  • 822.3: Drama of the Elizabethan Period, 1558-1625
  • 822.33: William Shakespeare

I’m a firm believer that if you are a reader of English, you need to get at least one Shakespeare play under your belt as an adult. High schools trot out Shakespeare and try to make students understand it, but they’re basically brain damaged until the age of 25 (talk to any neuroscientist, they’re with me on this). If you’ve read one and don’t enjoy it, well, that’s fine by me, but don’t immediately dismiss the idea altogether. Fintan O’Toole’s Shakespeare Is Hard, But So Is Life is an ardent attempt to get people who would normally write off Shakespeare as oblique and antiquated to approach it in terms that they’ll understand.

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320: Thomas Paine by Craig Nelson

320.51092: Nelson, Craig. Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations. New York: Penguin, 2007. 339 pp. ISBN 978-0-14-311238-9.

Dewey Construction:

  • 300: Social Science
  • 320: Political science
  • 320.5: Political ideologies
  • 320.51: Liberalism
  • +092: Biography

There had to be someone who came first. Someone had to write it before anyone else. In the winter of 1776, a fellow known as “Poor Tom”, a “dirty little atheist” set down in print the phrase “the United States of America.” He couldn’t even sign his name to it. The colonies, gearing up for the fight of their lives against the might of the British Empire, were just now coalescing, just now learning how to work together as a new nation. But for Thomas Paine, a liberal rabble-rouser born in England, having just come to the colonies two years earlier, it was the beginning of a new age. And he would be its father.

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Unassigned: Question For You

So. I’m about 7.5% done with this project (hey, it’s 890 books, so it’ll take a while), and I have a question for anybody listening out there? Right now, my book buying is done using Mechanical Turk earnings. After 2-4 weeks of work, I usually have a decent stockpile of cash, so I go on a book buying binge at Amazon–usually anywhere from 8-15 at a time (on birthdays and Christmases, I usually end up with a stack of Amazon gift cards, so then it’s more like 20-40 books).

My question is this: do you, the loyal followers of this blog, want to know what books I buy in each bundle so that you get a sneak peek at potential upcoming reviews, or do you want to remain in suspense? I only add books to The Tally page once they’re read, so you’d only get a list of new books added to the library on an intermittent basis. In the last week alone, I’ve added 22 books to the mountain I’m keeping in the wings for future picks.

Let me know in comments — I’m eager for your responses.


[Also, my campaign is still going on at Indiegogo to help offset additional costs. Every little bit helps, even just sharing it with (hopefully generous) friends.]

Unassigned: Panhandling for Paperbacks

So. I’ve been doing some calculating. Looking at all the book left on the list and my library’s availability, I have about 550 books to acquire to flesh out my collection and read all the readable sections. Tromping through bibliographic databases and Amazon for ideas and prices, it will cost me about $6,000 to get all the books I need for this quest.

To help defray some of the costs, I’ve set up a Indiegogo campaign (here) to collect some money to supplement the home collection. I know, trolling the blogosphere for handouts seems gimmicky and even a little sad, but a person has to try.

Now–there are perks to contributing. You’ll have to head over to the campaign website to see them all, but one of the perks is control over which books get read next. I’ll send you the list of books I have on hand and you get to pick the next three on the docket.

This is just an initial campaign to gauge interest and see if I’ll have to find other revenue streams. But, if this first round pans out, then I’ll be able to get about 100 more books for the quest. Honestly, I didn’t think that there would be anyone out there who’d be interested in following my journey, but you first 36 followers are proof of the power of niche groups. I’m glad to have a few friendly faces on this trek. Now–let’s get some more books!