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April 23, 2001

UMBC Professor's Book Honored by New York Public Libraries

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) psychology professor Robert Provine's book on the physiological and sociological meanings of laughter has been named one of The New York Public Library's 25 "Books to Remember" of 2000.

Provine, a neurobiologist with world-renowned expertise on such involuntary behaviors as laughter and yawning, received the honor on Friday along with other winning authors at a special presentation in the landmark Humanities and Social Sciences Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in New York City.

Provine's book, "Laughter: A Scientific Investigation" (Viking) has received positive reviews from national and international press, including Scientific American, Newsweek, Elle, The London Evening Standard, The New Republic, The Boston Herald, The New York Times, The Ottawa Citizen, and many others.

The honored literary works spanned all genres from fiction to nonfiction and poetry. The event was attended by a number of authors whose works are featured in the list, including Dr. Provine, John K. Howat, Catherine Voorsanger, Anne Roiphe, Louise Barnett and Robin Marantz Henig.

Selection criteria for the 45th annual "Books to Remember" list include literary excellence, uniqueness of concept and presentation, and command of subject. The selection committee consists of six librarians who specialize in adult works from The New York Public Library's Branch and Research divisions.

According to library officials, the selection committee begins the process by reading hundreds of book reviews. Self-described "voracious readers from whom no genre is safe," the group next takes a closer look, reading on average more than 100 of the most notable books. Discussions and debates follow as the merits of each book are weighed. Finally, each book on the short list is read by all committee members; a final vote decides which 25 contenders will make the list.

"Books to Remember," now in its 45th year, is published by The New York Public Library's Office of Adult Services. It is an annual list of books chosen by specialty librarians for their distinct and lasting contribution to literature and knowledge for the general adult reader, and includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The booklist is available free at all 85 branches of The New York Public Library.

Posted by dwinds1 at April 23, 2001 12:00 AM