Sunday, December 07, 2008

Links & Reviews

- Michael Dirda provides the 10 Commandments of Book Giving.

- In the NYTimes today, a piece by Rebecca Cathcart on the release of 920 newly-processed boxes of material at the Reagan Presidential Library. The 750,000 pages of documents relate to Reagan's 1980 presidential bid.

- Also in the Times, guest columnist Timothy Egan urges publishers to be a little more discriminating, and Annette Gordon-Reed goes on the record with Deborah Solomon for a short Q&A.

- An early and uncommonly large fragment of the Gospel of John on papyrus (c. 200 AD), failed to sell at Sotheby's on 3 December. I guess everyone was saving their pennies for this.

- Speaking of Q&A, Kamensky and Lepore have another one, in the Wall Street Journal.

- Some authors have given Barnes & Noble their "three favorite" books.

- Paul Collins points out his NYTimes essay on George Leonard Herter, who he terms the "all-American cranks." Collins also makes this comparison between Herter and one of our own contemporaries: "think John Hodgman, but with a gun."

- Richard from Bytown Bookshop reports that Johnny Depp's production company has bought the rights to Nick Tosches' In the Hand of Dante. If he ends up making the movie, I sure hope it's better than the book. Also, Richard's headline made me chuckle.

- From BibliOdyssey, images from the Landauer Twelve Brother's House manuscript, showing medieval craftspeople at work.

- One of my favorite authors, E.O. Wilson, was on NPR this week with his co-author Bert Hölldobler. The duo were discussing their new book, The Superorganism.

- Rick Ring has more on the death of Thomas R. Adams.

- Larry Nix has a "tribute to library historians" up on his Library History Buff blog.

- Jessamyn recommends a New Yorker piece (here) about Anne Carroll Moore, who "more or less invented the children’s library."

- This coming Tuesday marks the 400th anniversary of John Milton's birth. Writing in The Independent, Boyd Tonkin examines Milton's political and literary legacies.

- Alex Beam comments on the Google-authors deal.

- From among the end-of-year lists: the LATimes has a special Favorite Books 2008 section; the Boston Globe has its top fiction and non-fiction lists; the WaPo his its top ten titles (five fiction, five non-fiction; and the NYTimes narrows its list this week to the top ten (also five and five).

- [Update: I'm adding Orhan Pamuk's essay in the current NYRB, "My Turkish Library," which I hadn't read yet when I first posted. It's very nice.]


- In the NYTimes, Toni Bentley reviews Ian Kelly's new biography of Casanova.

- Pierre Bayard's Sherlock Holmes was Wrong is reviewed by Paula Woods for the LATimes.

- For the Times, James Robertson reviews Marcy Norton's Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World.

- In the WaPo, Jonathan Yardley reviews Les Standiford's The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol' Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits.

- Adam Gopnik has a delightful review essay on two recent biographies of Samuel Johnson. John Overholt pointed this out and has some links to other reviews of these titles.

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