List of the Month: Suggestions for April

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List of the Month: Suggestions for April

1megbmore
Mar 25, 12:07pm

April will soon be here and I am looking for suggestions for a possible List of the Month.

In this thread there was a call for a list of books about climate change. Most people seemed to want the list to be all nonfiction, but there was some interest in a list that included both fiction and nonfiction.

April is also National Poetry Month (US), so a poetry-centered list might be interesting.

Of course, it could be a list totally unrelated to month or time of year, too.

Drop your thoughts and ideas in this thread. Thank you!

2paradoxosalpha
Mar 25, 1:19pm

Ooh. Poetry always gets short shrift. I'd like to see it go that way.

3LibraryCin
Mar 25, 1:36pm

I like the climate change idea. Personally, my preference is probably for nonfiction for that topic.

4aspirit
Mar 25, 2:06pm

Hmm. Environmental Nonfiction for September (containing several related events around the world) and Poetry (which can include the climate crisis as a book subject) for April seem good to me.

5spiphany
Mar 25, 2:46pm

I agree that it would be nice to see more poetry-related lists, and April is as good a time as any to feature one, but I would point out that aligning it with National Poetry Month again feels rather US-centric.

Regarding Earth Day, for what it's worth I wasn't specifically thinking of books about climate change when I suggested it. I associate Earth Day with other forms of environmentalism, not just climate change, though of course it's all interrelated. Maybe something more along the lines of nature writing. (There are actually probably some interesting overlaps between nature essayists and poets.)

6perennialreader
Mar 25, 5:11pm

I like the idea of nature writing. I am not familiar enough with whole poetry books to wade in on them.

7susanbooks
Editado: Mar 26, 11:44am

The advantage of keeping genre open is that if people want poetry or fiction or nonfiction ideas, they're all right there. Though as I typed that I just realized what a mess such a list might be. I guess I'm firmly ambivalent.

ETA: correcting poor sentence structure. Not that the above sentences are such marvels of prose.

8megbmore
Mar 29, 12:57pm

I am leaning toward Nature Writing as well. So, now, the question how many titles per person. I'm thinking 5, but am definitely open to suggestions.

Also, do we think this should be a "Best Nature Writing" or "Recommended Nature Writing" list? I would love something a little more descriptive, like "Nature Writing to Read when you are X," but I am drawing a blank on wha the X could be. Suggestions?

9lilithcat
Mar 29, 1:03pm

>8 megbmore:

Please make it "recommended". My idea of which books are "best" changes frequently, depending on my mood, what I read recently, etc. Also, I would prefer that you not add "to read when you are X", as it might be too limiting.

10AnnieMod
Mar 29, 1:14pm

>9 lilithcat: Seconded... "best" and "favorite" change for me based on my mood and sometimes based on my other reading. Recommended books tend to stay recommended.

>8 megbmore: "Recommended Nature Writing" is perfect. Ask in the description for people to mention "when would you read this?" if they want but leave the list title open IMO.

11susanbooks
Mar 29, 1:20pm

agree with >10 AnnieMod:

12perennialreader
Mar 29, 1:23pm

Also agree with >10 AnnieMod:

13elenchus
Mar 29, 2:29pm

Sounds like April will be Environmental, so expressing my support for a future list featuring Poetry / Verse.

Suggest that many "typical" readers will not feel as comfortable with poetry as with prose. Why not address that head-on in the list? For example: "Which poem do you recommend to someone interested in learning about verse but not sure where to start? (Include the name of the poem and a book in which it can be found.)"

Maybe listing both the poem and the book / collection will pose issues for the list.

14LibraryCin
Mar 29, 5:16pm

>8 megbmore: Five is a good number and I agree with everyone to title it "recommended".

15Bookmarque
Mar 29, 6:14pm

Recommended is good. I have several in my library that I will add as well as some titles I only borrowed. Five...well...I guess if I have to restrain myself I will. 😂

16megbmore
Abr 1, 9:49am

Okay, our April list of Recommended Nature Writing is live!

Please go ahead and add your recommendations of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

17perennialreader
Abr 1, 10:29am

>16 megbmore: One of my favorite subjects! Thanks!

18lorax
Abr 1, 10:47am

I like the limit of five. It makes me be thoughtful rather than just going through and saying "Ooh, I liked that one too!"

19perennialreader
Abr 1, 11:25am

I don't think I know how the score works. Can someone help me with this?

20lorax
Abr 1, 1:16pm

The score is a function of how many lists something is on, weighted by position - so if a work is on five lists as #1 it will rank ahead of one on five lists as #5. I don't know the exact weighting function.

21spiphany
Abr 1, 4:32pm

The setting to limit the number of titles users can vote for doesn't seem to be working anymore (as in: users are not prevented from voting for more than five titles).

22lorax
Abr 1, 5:03pm

Not sure whether spiphany is making a distinction between "voting" and "adding", but it is certainly possible for people to add more than five:

https://www.librarything.com/list/43001/DetailMuse/Recommended-Nature-Writing

I wouldn't have even thought to try to circumvent that myself!

23lorax
Abr 1, 5:08pm

Incidentally, at the bottom of the list I see a number of titles with a score of zero and no associated members. One of them is one I had added and removed - is it possible that this action removes a book from a member's list, but not from the list overall, even if they were the only member to add it?

24aspirit
Abr 1, 5:18pm

>23 lorax: Yes, that's what happens. A zero-member work must be removed separately from the main list.

25spiphany
Abr 2, 3:51am

>22 lorax: Not trying to make any particular distinction, just having trouble languaging last night.
It used to be that if a list was set to limit the number of books a user could add to their list, it wasn't possible to exceed that number (except for down-votes). It's easy to overlook the note in the side column, so I don't know that anyone was intentionally trying to circumvent the limit.

26perennialreader
Abr 2, 8:55pm

I am loving this list. Some of favorite books of all time. Some that I had forgotten about or didn't have room in my five choices.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner

27aspirit
Abr 6, 12:54pm

>16 megbmore: The list description mentions thumbing down, but the feature is missing. Can we not thumb down inappropriate works this month?

28spiphany
Abr 6, 1:29pm

>27 aspirit: I can see the option and am able to downvote items.

29lorax
Abr 6, 1:56pm

aspirit (#27), spiphany (#28):

It seems that once you've reached your five-book limit you can no longer thumbs-down books. I don't see the thumbs-down option either, and have added five to my own list, but I do see the option if I log into my secondary account (from which I haven't added any books to the list).

30spiphany
Editado: Abr 6, 2:02pm

>29 lorax: Yeah, I just tried that and came to the same conclusion.

On the other hand, it seems the ability to add more than five items to your list in spite of the limit has now been fixed (though it isn't applied retroactively).

31megbmore
Abr 6, 2:11pm

>30 spiphany: I haven't made any changes to the list set-up, so I admit I am perplexed as to how someone was able to add more than 5 at any time.

As for thumbing down, it does seem to be that once you have met your five book limit, you can no longer thumbs down. Any thoughts as to why it might be set up this way? I can bring up allowing thumbs down once one has met the list limit with the developers, but I'm curious if anyone sees benefits to this approach.

32lorax
Editado: Abr 6, 2:18pm

I would guess that the UI for "add to list / thumbs down" is a single element, since it's going to be similar code, and that it's just not available once someone's reached their limit. I doubt it's intentional.

As for how people were able to add more, kristilabrie did so, you might ask her. https://www.librarything.com/list/43001/kristilabrie/Recommended-Nature-Writing

33spiphany
Editado: Abr 6, 3:00pm

>31 megbmore: I'm assuming the developers changed something on the backend, as there have been a couple of bugs reported recently in connection with lists.

The limit function wasn't working correctly a few days ago, but the functionality now seems to have been restored. As lorax notes, the (new) restriction on thumbing down may be connected with this.

If I recall correctly, it used to be the case that the option to thumb down items was independent of any limits on how many items people could add to their list.

34LibraryCin
Abr 6, 10:25pm

>30 spiphany: it seems the ability to add more than five items to your list in spite of the limit

What does "add to your list mean", exactly? I don't have a list! I'm looking at the list. I don't have my own list to add to. Is that equivalent to a thumbs up?

36spiphany
Editado: Abr 7, 3:36am

>34 LibraryCin: LT uses the terminology "add to your list", so there is the list (the page as a whole, with the books everyone has added) and then your list within it with the subset of books that you have added.

"Vote for"/"vote up" and "vote down" might be somewhat more intuitive, but that also already confused people in this thread, so...

37krazy4katz
Abr 7, 11:03am

>34 LibraryCin: I think as soon as you click "add to your list", it creates one. You can then see it in the top right hand corner of the screen.

38LibraryCin
Editado: Abr 7, 9:34pm

>35 aspirit: Thanks. I hadn't really meant to start a list, either. I just thought it was a thumbs up kind of thing.

ETA: And thank you >36 spiphany: and >37 krazy4katz:.

Does it also kind of double as a "thumbs up", then?

39krazy4katz
Abr 7, 10:53pm

Not directly if I am remembering this correctly. I only used a thumbs up once so not much experience.

40aspirit
Abr 8, 8:03am

I'm fairly certain (though tired enough at the moment to make big cognitive mistakes) that works on the most member lists are at the top of the main list. Member lists do seem to serve as a thumbs up feature for works on multiple lists.

41spiphany
Editado: Abr 8, 8:37am

>38 LibraryCin: You didn't start a new list. The page with "your list" is a sub-page of the overall list page, showing only those books that you have "added". The "your list" feature allows you to quickly see, for example, what overall position your books have on the main list and which other users have added the same books you did, rather than scrolling through hundreds of titles to find them.

The "adding" function is similar to a "thumbs up", but a bit more complex because it also allows you to rank items (unless the list is set up as an "unnumbered" list). What this means is that the first work you add is ranked as "1", the second as "2" and so forth. This is indicated by the numbers next to the names of each user who has added a particular book. Ranking is useful for things like a "top 10" list where you want to list the items in order of descending importance.

LT sorts the items on the main list page according to a point system. This is generally based on how many people have "added" a title. In a numbered list these adds/votes are also weighted so that a book ranked as "1" on your list counts for more than a book ranked as "5" or "10" or "20". Thumbs-down count as negative points. I don't know the exact formula for the weighting.

In an unnumbered list, each "add" counts as 1 point. When multiple titles have an equal number of points, LT sorts them in descending order by popularity (i.e., how many copies have been catalogued on LT).

42lilithcat
Abr 8, 10:17am

>41 spiphany:

You didn't start a new list.

Yes, she did. When you add a book to the overall list, you have the option to create your own list and add the book to that as well.

The page with "your list" is a sub-page of the overall list page, showing only those books that you have "added".

Only if you choose to create "your list".

43spiphany
Abr 8, 1:20pm

>42 lilithcat: It's not a "new list" in the sense of something that exists independently of the main list (if the main list were to disappear, so would anything recorded on "your list"). I understood that to be what the poster meant -- but may, of course, have misinterpreted.

Given that there's no way to vote for titles anonymously (i.e., to increase their ranking on the list without your name being attached), it seems to me reasonable that one would expect to be able to view those titles that one has voted for in some aggregated form (i.e. a "list").

I'll reiterate that I think the terminology ("your list" and "add to list" rather than something like "vote for" or "thumb up") contains a certain amount of potential for confusion.

44lorax
Abr 8, 3:25pm

megbmore (#31):

It seems that disallowing thumbs-down for people who have added the maximum number of items to the list is unambiguously a bug, and I'm curious as to why you hesitate to even "bring it up". The only reason I haven't filed a bug report already is that it seems like overstepping, when you're already aware of the issue.

45LibraryCin
Abr 8, 4:59pm

>41 spiphany: Thank you for the detailed reply.

>43 spiphany: The terminology is definitely confusing! A "thumbs up" or "vote for" or something would have made more sense to me (obviously!), but I guess given that there is a "sub-list" created with my name, "thumbs up" or "vote for" doesn't entirely cover it, either! Since it's a bit more than that.

46LibraryCin
Abr 8, 5:01pm

>42 lilithcat: Oh! I didn't add anything to the list. I just wanted to vote for a book that was already there. But, the only way to do that is to "add to a list". But then I came here to clarify that I was voting for the book, after all, by doing that.

47megbmore
Abr 9, 8:53am

>44 lorax: The not being able to thumb down once you have 5 books (or whatever the limit is) seems to have been, like the adding over the limit issue, temporary.

48aspirit
Abr 9, 9:23am

>47 megbmore: Not on my side. I still don't have the option to thumb down a work on the main list.

49aspirit
Abr 9, 9:30am

More strangeness with the Recommended Nature Writing list:

100 Heartbeats by Jeff Corwin is showing as a zero-member copy but links to the work held by over 70 members.

50lorax
Abr 9, 9:32am

megbmore (#47):

I still cannot thumbs-down a work.

51spiphany
Editado: Abr 9, 11:10am

>49 aspirit: The "zero-member copy" thing happens if a work is combined with another work after having been added to a list. (There may be other reasons, but I definitely know that this is one cause of this phenomenon.)

I'm guessing the work number that is used to pull the information displayed on the list page doesn't get updated, even if the link directs to the work number that won out during combining.

...I suppose I should go create a bug report.

52al.vick
Abr 9, 12:56pm

>51 spiphany: Yeah, I have noticed this happening in various lists, but didn't care enough to report it.

53megbmore
Abr 9, 1:40pm

I have created a bug for the intermittent allowing of more than 5 books and the thumbs down issue: https://www.librarything.com/topic/331302

54lilithcat
Abr 19, 11:48am

>16 megbmore:

May I piggyback on this thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/331535 and suggest that future "Lists of the Month" have their own dedicated threads for discussion?

55igorken
Editado: Abr 19, 1:56pm

Some ideas for future lists:
1) best of a certain decade or other period or best youth or YA fiction of a certain period
2) your country/state's bestseller/classic/best recent book/...
3) best sports writing
4) a nice twist with cookbooks, eg very representative of your local cuisine
5) owned but unread - those books that you've been wanting to read for ages but never get around to