Thursday, July 26, 2007

Links & Things

Alright, the delayed book reviews are finally all written, the books that arrived while I was on vacation (and those I purchased up in Maine, more on which later) are all catalogued, but the Google Reader still runneth over. A few goodies:

- First, continuations. Part two of "The Affair of the Diamond Necklace" at Mutterings of a Mad Bookseller is here (also, here's Part one, in case you missed it). And over at Bibliothecary, Ed continues his tale of what sounds like a super-exciting visit to Philadelphia by recounting a behind-the-scenes tour at the Free Library (first installment here).

- From BibliOdyssey, images from Athansius Kircher's Musurgia Universalis (1650), "an exhaustive compendium of musical knowledge at the transition point between sacred renaissance polyphony and secular Baroque music."

- Joyce passes along an op/ed from the Hartford Courant by Janet Nocek, director of the Portland library and a member of the Executive Board of Library Connection, a Greater Hartford library consortium. Nocek was one of the "Connecticut Four", libraries who challeneged the Patriot Act's national security letters provision as it applied to libraries. She writes about her experience under the court-ordered gag rule.

- Your Friendly Neighborhood Book Dragon makes the argument that the Harry Potter series is a "brilliant, ingeniously-crafted, long-resonating message about choice." "This isn't a fantasy series. Its not even a kids book, in the common sense of the phrase. This is a non-author's daring stand against a bleakening future, against apathy and selfishness. And it's BEAUTIFUL. Millions of children will internalize the Harry Potter myth, will latch onto one character or another as a small part of their psyche, and by that will come to unconsciously understand that we have CHOICES. We have the choice to be good or evil, to do harm or good, to be brave or craven. More importantly, we can choose to CHANGE. We can choose to turn the darkness in ourselves into light."

- fade theorist points out two news items: first, that Publisher's Weekly has a comparison chart for some of the major "social book cataloging" sites (in which they get at least a few things wrong), and, second, that the University of Edinburgh has announced a new one-year postgraduate program in Material Cultures & the History of the Book, which sounds quite interesting.

- Tim's giving away some copies of Everything is Miscellaneous to those who comment on the thread What Does Tagging do to Knowledge? It's a good discussion down there so far.

- Also, I forgot to link earlier to this Times story, in which just one of eighteen publishers and literary agents recognized Jane Austen's work when it was submitted using a different name (the others rejected the submissions).

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