@abook4you

The @abook4you website is linked to the @abook4you Twitter bot. The website crossposts to Facebook, Google+Tumblr, and Instagram. You can see a full description of the bot on the About page.

The content on all four is mostly generated on a fully-automated basis, focusing on book recommendations, alongside reviews from both critics and readers. Additionally, they all feature a stream of book-related quotes.

The bot is possible due to the explosion in access to public databases through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), and scripting. The Twitter bot is able to respond autonomously to unique mentions requesting a book recommendation, as long as a genre is cited. However, the 140-character limitation does not allow for much, so the website vastly expands the amount of information that can be presented.

In addition to more data, the bot functionality has been enhanced to manage content on the website. Apart from posting, storing and indexing, it is now possible to solicit a genre-specific recommendations via a form request, and if the query is successful, a user-generated post will result. Similarly, a search query can be made via a separate form request, with a user-generated post also created if the query is successful. In order to assist with the search query, a Google custom search tool is also available. Lastly, fully functional membership and social tools have been deployed, and there is a forum for members to have their say. In summary, visitors, and members can populate the website with content that they generate.

Developed pro-bono, and for the fun of it, by @replies4u (feel free to see more bot examples at http://www.r4utools.co.uk).

A law book recommendation: Pretentiousness: Why It Matters by Dan Fox

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2cznoSl.
Google has served as Fox’s busy research assistant, and his book is choked with lists and quotes, which are the shield of pretension he holds out to defend his thesis. But at last he dispenses with academic citations and ends autobiographically…
Book description from Google Books:
Pretentiousness is for anyone who has braved being different, whether that’s making a stand against artistic consensus or running the gauntlet of the last bus home dressed differently from everyone else. It’s an essential ingredient in pop music and high art. Why do we choose accusations of elitism over open-mindedness? What do our anxieties about “pretending” say about us? Co-editor of frieze, Europe’s foremost magazine of contemporary art and culture, Dan Fox has authored over two hundred essays, interviews, and reviews and contributed to numerous catalogues and publications produced by major international art galleries and institutions.
The book is rated 3.77/5 at goodreads.com, from 261 ratings. See 40 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1QQM43a.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2twqSzr.

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir by Betsy Lerner

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2d5yJqM.
The very fact that the Bridge Ladies keep bravely playing on, year after year —through illness and loss and the indignities of old age — is something Lerner comes to see as admirable. She’s right.
Book description from Google Books:
A fifty-year-old Bridge game provides an unexpected way to cross the generational divide between a daughter and her mother. Betsy Lerner takes us on a powerfully personal literary journey, where we learn a little about Bridge and a lot about life.After a lifetime defining herself in contrast to her mother’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” generation, Lerner finds herself back in her childhood home, not five miles from the mother she spent decades avoiding. When Roz needs help after surgery, it falls to Betsy to take care of her. She expected a week of tense civility; what she got instead were the Bridge Ladies. Impressed by their loyalty, she saw something her generation lacked. Facebook was great, but it wouldn’t deliver a pot roast.Tentatively at first, Betsy becomes a regular at her mother’s Monday Bridge club. Through her friendships with the ladies, she is finally able to face years of misunderstandings and family tragedy, the Bridge table becoming the common ground she and Roz never had.By turns darkly funny and deeply moving, The Bridge Ladies is the unforgettable story of a hard-won—but never-too-late—bond between mother and daughter.
The book is rated 3.68/5 at goodreads.com, from 2105 ratings. See 409 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2azELli.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sWR2qy.

A children book recommendation: Booked by Kwame Alexander

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/1TJinm5.
“Booked” is certainly not ragabash, and Nick is having too much fun with this stuff to make his claim about hating words believable. You might even say it’s a load of codswallop.
Book description from Google Books:
National Book Award Long ListNew York Times Bestseller Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/can’t nobody cop you…In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match!
The book is rated 4.21/5 at goodreads.com, from 6320 ratings. See 1213 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1TJiFcL.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tzettr.

A science book recommendation: I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2d3mDhR.
Even the book’s endnotes are rich with interesting asides, swarming with interesting sidelights, a teeming microbial world. This is the world you live in. This is the skin you live in. Make yourself at home.
Book description from Google Books:
New York Times BestsellerNew York Times Notable Book of 2016NPR Great Read of 2016Economist Best Books of 2016Brain Pickings Best Science Books of 2016Smithsonian Best Books about Science of 2016Science Friday Best Science Book of 2016A Mother Jones Notable Read of 2016A Bill Gates “Gates Notes” PickMPR Best Books of 2016Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2016 Minnesota Star-Tribune Best of the YearA Kirkus Best Book of the YearA PW Best Book of the Year Guardian Best of the YearTimes (London) Best of the YearJoining the ranks of popular science classics like The Botany of Desire and The Selfish Gene, a groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Ed Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are.The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.
The book is rated 4.21/5 at goodreads.com, from 3256 ratings. See 524 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cumCWV.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uAoszc.

A health book recommendation: Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Companion to Recovery by Neil Steinberg

A critic review (source Toronto Star) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2fiw6Hn.
Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Companion to Recovery, published in early September by University of Chicago Press, is like a pub crawl around the globe and across the ages, in company with an artistic who’s who of brilliant if besotted company.
Book description from Google Books:
“There’s still time to change things.”—Siri Hustvedt, The Blazing World Addiction is easy to fall into and hard to escape. It destroys the lives of individuals, and has a devastating cost to society. The National Institute of Health estimates seventeen million adults in the United States are alcoholics or have a serious problem with alcohol. This scourge affects not only those who drink or use drugs but also their families and friends, who witness the horror of addiction. Both the afflicted and those who love them are often baffled by what is happening, never mind what to do about it. With Out of the Wreck I Rise, Neil Steinberg and Sara Bader have created a resource like no other—one that harnesses the power of literature, poetry, and creativity to illuminate what alcoholism and addiction are all about, while forging change, deepening understanding, and even saving lives. Structured to follow the arduous steps to sobriety, the book marshals the wisdom of centuries and explores essential topics, including the importance of time, navigating family and friends, Alcoholics Anonymous, relapse, and what Raymond Carver calls “gravy,” the reward that is recovery. Each chapter begins with advice and commentary followed by a wealth of quotes to inspire and heal. The result is a mosaic of observations and encouragement that draws on writers and artists spanning thousands of years—from Seneca to David Foster Wallace, William Shakespeare to Patti Smith. The ruminations of notorious drinkers like John Cheever, Charles Bukowski, and Ernest Hemingway shed light on the difficult process of becoming sober and remind the reader that while the literary alcoholic is often romanticized, recovery is the true path of the hero. Along with traditional routes to recovery—Alcoholics Anonymous, out-patient therapy, and intensive rehabilitation programs—this literary companion offers valuable support and inspiration to anyone seeking to fight their addiction or to a struggling loved one.
The book is rated 4.24/5 at goodreads.com, from 42 ratings. See 7 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dOideF.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tLOmQZ.
Google Books preview available in full post.