First, a quick note, to partially explain the fewer posts than usual lately: there's much going on, I've been busier than I usually am (and I'm usually pretty busy), and on top of all that, we're thinking about moving up to Portland (ME), so my brain has gotten well filled with the completely draining madness of apartment-hunting (which is hard enough as it is, and harder when you have accumulated as many books as I have). So bear with me - I'm sure things will settle down eventually ...
- The NYPL launched a neat new crowd-sourcing project this week, What's on the Menu? Folks can choose a menu and easily transcribe the dishes listed there (so far, more than 50,000 dishes have been transcribed). I did a few menus myself - it's rather addictive, quite fun, and entirely useful. Good stuff.
- Writing in the Chronicle, Robert Darnton offers "5 Myths about the 'Information Age'"
- Ben Ehrenreich's LA Review of Books piece "The Death of the Book" is well worth a read.
- Sarah Werner posts a fantastic binding mystery for us: a copy of John Smith's 1624 Generall historie with what appears to be George Villiers' family arms stamped atop those of James I.
- Swann posts top lots from their 22 April autograph sale.
- Happening this week at Brandeis: Steven Whitfield and Michael Gilmore will discuss the manuscript of Heller's Catch-22, donated to Brandeis by Heller himself. Details here.
- Rick Ring notes the arrival at Trinity's Watkinson Library of a special display case for their copy of Audubon's Birds of America. Having been at Union when the custom-made cases for that copy arrived, I can certainly vouch for the size of the things!
- The British Library has purchased the email archive of author Wendy Cope, paying £32,000 for some 40,000 emails.
- Jill Lepore writes in today's NYTimes about Ben Franklin's sister Jane Mecom, calling her story "a reminder that, especially for women, escaping poverty has always depended on the opportunity for an education and the ability to control the size of their families."
- Paul Collins pens another letter to the editors of the OED, and tweets about a 1956 plan for heating homes through the wallpaper.
- Arthur Phillips's The Tragedy of Arthur; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo. By far the best book review I've read in a long time.
- Eleanor Brown's The Weird Sisters; review by Tom DeHaven in the NYTimes.
- Wendy McClure's The Wilder Life; review by Jonathan Yardley in the WaPo.
- Simon Schama's Scribble, Scribble, Scribble; review by Phillip Lopate in the NYTimes.
- Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes; review by Nicole Cammorata in the Boston Globe.
- Adams Goodheart's The Civil War Awakening; review by Debby Applegate in the NYTimes.