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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Websites that help you find books that are right for you

By Randy A. Salas


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) As the weather turns cooler, thoughts might turn toward curling up with a good book by a nice fire. But which book? These websites can help you find one that's right for you.

Reader's Robot
The Reader's Robot — operated by the Thompson Nicola books.jpgRegional District Library System in Kamloops, British Columbia — is an exciting online application that's falling short of its potential.
Cool: Users can search through eight genres of books using "appeal factors." So, for example, if you want a short horror or war book with female characters that's "a real page-turner," you'd get results that include H. Rider Haggard's African adventure "Benita" and Laurell Hamilton's zombie thriller "The Laughing Corpse." For science-fiction and mystery books, you can "have the Robot recommend books." Just pick your favorite books from a list, and the database will suggest comparable selections.
Bummer: The site isn't vibrant enough for long-term use, with big gaps among user submissions and infrequent updates. Only two genres have the recommendation feature. Worst of all, poor monitoring has allowed sex-related spam to creep in among recent additions.

Whichbook
Whichbook is a Flash-enabled U.K. site managed by Opening the Book, an organization that promotes reading.
Cool: Readers pick degrees of moods and style using a sliding scale in up to four categories to find matching books. Feel like reading a novel that's "fairly serious," "very unusual" and "extremely bleak"? Try "American Psycho," by Bret Easton Ellis. You can search qualitatively by plot, character and setting, too.
Bummer: The database includes only fiction and poetry books published since 1995. You can't look up a book you like to use its attributes to find a similar book.

Rating Zone
The all-encompassing Rating Zone offers personalized recommendations not only for books, but also movies, TV shows, video games and even wine.
Cool: Rate every book you've read on a scale from 1 to 10, and the Rating Zone will use that information to recommend other books that you should enjoy. It claims 91 percent accuracy. Optional registration, which allows you to save your ratings, requires no personal info.
Bummer: You won't find every book you've read in the database. The site's seemingly useful "ignore settings" for unwanted books was not working on a recent visit.

What Should I Read Next?
What Should I Read Next? is another U.K. site, an online project developed by Thoughtplay, which has a similar beta site for movies and music.
Cool: Compile a list of your favorite books using the site's search engine. Select one or more titles from your list that suit your current mood, and click on "What should I read next?" The users' collective taste for those items is used to make a suggestion. Disparate picks give interesting results. For example, selecting Malcolm Gladwell's nonfiction bestseller "Blink" and Richard Adams' talking-rabbit classic "Watership Down" gives suggestions that include Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff" and Alexander Dumas' "The Man in the Iron Mask."
Bummer: The search results aren't always accurate when looking for a title to add to your list, a process that itself can be balky.

Final decision
If ranking the sites, I'd pick the Rating Zone as the best, followed by What Should I Read Next? Whichbook and the Reader's Robot. But try them all to see what results you get. Of course, you could always ask someone for a book recommendation. But you wouldn't need a web search for that, would you?

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Randy A. Salas is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Do you have a favorite Web site or a question about how to find something on the Internet? Send a note by clicking here.



Previously:

Coping with illness
Some serious face time
Some serious face time
In reply to your e-mail ...
Turn your handwriting into a computer-based font that will allow you to churn out homespun greetings
Music for everyone
'Elusive planet' can be viewed clearly from Earth with the naked eye
Central characters
E-mail @ 35
Idle chatter
Funny money
Classic artwork in motion
For an unusual Thanksgiving
Your slip is showing
Best of the worst
Test your mind power
Remain anonymous

© 2006, Star Tribune Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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