"I certainly never write a review about a book I don't think worth reviewing, a flat-out bad book, unless it's an enormously fashionable bad book." --
says, John Gardner in Conversations with John Gardner
Quoted from 'Dictionary of Library and Information Science Quotations'     Edited by Mohamed Taher & L S Ramaiah. ISBN: 8185689423 (New Delhi , Aditya, 1994) p.150. Available @ Amazon.com

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Best Book Review: The Eternal Present Tense by Dr. Ziauddin Sardar

Book Review: The best and the worst at a glance:
The Worst:
I stumbled on a blog that presents awards if you have "The Worst Review Ever." And, today by surfing the Web, read one of the best reviews, by Dr. Ziauddin Sardar. [information courtesy: NewAgeIslam.Com]

To qualify what makes a 'worst review ever,' I have no choice to determine nor options to rate. Read the qualifications: 'BE A WORSTIE!' @ The Worst Review Ever. In addition, there are many blogs / sites that present: Best review EVER or Best * Worst book reviews or here. More on " best book review" is here

The Best:
And, to judge the best, one can look for best practices drawn by experts. A review is best if it has: (a) balanced perspective (visualizes strength, weakness, and commends), (b) presents a glimpse of what the book has as compared to the competitors in the market (with internal citation and external comparison), and (c) the reviewer knows the subject in-and-out (not just a superficial knowledge). All of this and much more is [in The Guardian, dated Saturday 21 June 2008)] Dr. Ziauddin Sardar's review of The Qur'an: A New Translation, by Tarif Khalidi, 'The eternal present tense':
"We look for two things in any new translation of the Qur'an. How close does it get to communicating the meaning of the original, that inimitable oral text, the very sounds of which move men and women to tears and ecstasy? And does it offer something more: a new perspective, perhaps; or an innovative rendering?
Tarif Khalidi, a professor of Islamic studies at the American University of Beirut, scores high on both these criteria. He manages to capture the allusiveness of the text, as well as something of its tone and texture. While being faithful to the original, he succeeds in conveying linguistic shifts, from narrative to mnemonic, sermons to parables. And there is an innovative component: it is the first translation that tries to capture both the rhythms and the structure of the Qur'an.
The best way to demonstrate its newness, and how close it is to the original text, is to compare it with an old translation...

Khalidi wants the reader to enjoy the experience of reading the Qur'an. Of course, he wants to communicate the majesty of its language, the beauty of its style, and the "eternal present tense" of its grammar. But he also wants the reader to appreciate the Qur'an's unique structure, how the language changes with the subject matter, how it swirls around and makes rhythmic connections. He wishes to show how each of the seven tropes of the Qur'an (command, prohibition, glad tidings, warnings, sermons, parables and narratives) registers a change in the style of its language. A lofty ambition, but one he pulls off with some success....
Continue reading The Eternal Present Tense
On the same shelf books by Dr. Ziauddin Sardar:

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Reading now: Library and Information Science Education in India

Library and Information Science Education in India, by Krishan Kumar and Jaideep Sharma. New Delhi, Har-Anand Publications Pvt. Ltd. 2009. ISBN: 8124114650; US$ 33.00; 312 p.
“LIS Education is the most crucial input for the development of libraries. … The book has been primarily written to meet the needs of the researchers of Library and Information Science. It will also serve as a basic source for students of LIS for the course of LIS Education both at M. Phil and MLIS levels.” (cover)
Contents: Chapter: I. History; II Organizations and their role; III. Levels of courses; IV. Admission requirements; V. Course content; VI. Course Delivery : teaching methods tools and evaluation; VII. Infrastructure; VIII. Status and accreditation; IX. Distance education; X. Issues, developments trends and suggestions
Professors Krishan Kumar and Jaideep Sharma have done an excellent job of cataloguing the main facets of LIS education in India. The authors have been directly involved in teaching, training and are personally exposed to the tools, techniques, methods and out-come of LIS programs in India. Both have a good grasp of what is imported and what is exported by LIS professionals and have a balanced approach about how much of thinking local and acting global is essential today—especially introduction of the book reflects this perspective of what works abroad and what works in India. For instance, the recent growth of I schools in California and Mysore will interest many LIS educationists to see the synchronization that is taking place (I-School movement, p. 57).

Library and Information Science Education in India is a handy source for researchers, post-graduates, as well as for an advanced study of LIS education in India as it evolves. This book is also useful for those interested in comparative education, comparative and international librarianship as well as historiography of library world. Library historians, in short, will find this book indispensable.

Full review will appear in Library Times International

On the same shelf:
  • Diversity and Commonality of Information Science Education in a Pluralistic World (SIG ED) by Ingrid Hsieh-Yee, Heting Chu, Joseph Janes, Eileen Abels, William Moen, Samantha Hastings
  • Stakeholder's Views on Information Education by Rachel Elkington, Cynthia Fugate, Deanna Morrow Hall, Mark Greene
  • Fifty years of library and information science education in India: Seminar papers: XV IATLIS National Seminar, Department of Studies in Library and Information ... of Mysore, Mysore, 27-29 November 1997
  • Another graduate school serving the library field is about to lose the “L” name
  • Libraries in India - National Developmental Perspectives: A saga of Fifty years since independence, by Mohamed Taher. New Delhi , Concept Publishing, 2001.