I've gotten myself a bit swamped this week, so here are a hodgepodge of things I've love to post individually but haven't got quite enough time for.
- A bunch of elementary school students from Pittsfield, MA (and a few other interested parties) are trying to get the legislature to pass a law declaring Moby-Dick the "official book" of Massachusetts. Setting aside the ridiculousness of the stunt (does anyone seriously think the elementary school students have actually read Moby-Dick and evaluated its importance?), I disagree strongly that Melville's book - important as it is - ought to be accorded "official" status. Thoreau? Emerson? Hawthorne? Not to mention the 'current' official book, William Bradford's Of Plimouth Plantation (so designated in 1897), which retains its importance as an early chronicle of the settlement of Massachusetts.
- J.L. Bell's got some more excellent fact-checks for the most recent "John Adams" episode: here's his quiz about Episode 3, and here are the answers. John also rated a positive mention in yesterday's Globe column by Alex Beam about historically accurate t.v. (Beam's a bit too melodramatic for me, but his underlying point is quite fair).
- John Overholt's got an update on the digitization of Houghton's Samuel Johnson correspondence; he notes that 232 letters from Johnson to Hester Thrale Piozzi are now available, among many other things.
- From BibliOdyssey, a compilation of images from the Othmer Library of Chemical History.
- At PaperCuts, Bob Harris reveals his "Seven Deadly Words of Book Reviewing." Quite a fair list.