I asked Kristin how her cool “what I’m reading now” display works. The magic behind the scenes is based on two nifty adaptations of Amazon’s generous web services: MTAmazon and BookQueue. MTAmazon makes it easy (via special tags) to provide information about any book that Amazon sells. BookQueue, when used in conjunction with MTAmazon, helps you manage lists of books. As an ensemble, it’s a beautiful illustration of how heterogeneous tools with clean APIs can work together in an open environment.
Thus inspired, I created a new book blog, Star Chamber Books. I’ve tried over the last year or two to build some useful tools for managing lists of books, but none of them worked very well. Too much work. I love books, and I enjoy managing lists of books that show what I’ve read and what I’m going to read. But even so, I was getting tired of writing special code myself. This way the special code problem belongs to somebody else.