Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ruminations, Links, & Reviews

I've just now realized that with all the hustle and bustle of the Boston Book Fair last weekend that I didn't manage to get links & reviews posted then, so I'm way behind (hence, this will be a long post).

First, a few thoughts on this year's Boston Book Weekend. The Book Fair seemed as well attended as any over the past few years, with a steady, diverse crowd throughout the weekend and what seemed to be a good deal of buying going on. As always, it was great fun to walk the aisles and chat with dealers about their new and exciting books, and to have a chance to catch up with old friends and make some new ones, too. The "shadow show" on Saturday was also well attended, with a good selection of dealers and an impressive variety of material up for grabs.

Now that the fair, the Thanksgiving holiday, and a couple big writing deadlines are behind me, I should be able to get back to a more regular posting schedule here, with any luck at all. Fingers crossed.

- The Hartford Courant reports that the first batch of items stolen from the Connecticut Historical Society by Barry Landau and Jason Savedoff have been returned. In related news, Savedoff was sentenced recently to a year in prison. I've heard that other institutions have also begun taking receipt of their recovered materials as well.

- Todd Andrlik's new book Reporting the Revolutionary War is profiled in the WSJ.

- In the November issue of College & Research Libraries there's an article by Todd Samuelson, Laura Sare, and Catherine Coker, "Unusual Suspects: The Case of Insider Theft in Research Libraries and Special Collections." Worth reading, though some of the methodology seems a bit odd.

- The British Library announced this week that they're making more than 35,000 digital images from their illuminated manuscripts collection available under a public domain mark.

- The only known extant presentation copy of Emma will be on the block at Sotheby's on 12 December. This copy, inscribed to Austen's friend Anne Sharp, was last sold in March 2010 to a British collector for £325,000 (after being purchased at Bonhams in 2008 for £180,000). Sotheby's has placed a £150,000-200,000 estimate on the book this time.

- Over at The Little Professor, Miriam Burstein comments on how she's found herself using e-books. I nodded along as I read, because on just about every point I feel the same way. And in the Washington Post, Ron Charles reflects on his first attempt to write a book review after having read the book solely on his Kindle. Over at Slate, Andrew Piper offers up his thoughts on reading as physical experience.

- The Appendix blog has launched, and as expected it's already filling up with some fascinating posts. Read them all here.

- A couple recent articles on some neat cryptographic breakthroughs make for interesting reading: the first was in the 24 October New York Times, and the second in Wired on 16 November.

- Now available in public beta, juxta commons, an online collation tool. I got to work with this a bit over the summer at UVA, and it's really quite fascinating to use.

- A private collector of Revolutionary-era materials was the winning bidder on all 27 lots of material from the Muhlenberg family at Freeman's auction house on 16 November, so the collection will be kept intact.

- Karin Wulf has been named the next director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

- Not too long after news broke that he'd been hired at the bookstore of the New York State Military Museum, Daniel Lorello (convicted of thefts from the State Archives) was fired.

- The DPLA has posted some "Key Takeaways" from an October meeting in Chicago.

- David Wagner summarizes the continuing dustup over Henry Weincek's new book about Jefferson, Master of the Mountain.

- Evolutionary biologist Blair Hedges is back at the books again: this time he's analyzed wormholes in woodblock illustrations to explore historical distribution of wood-boring beetle species.


- John A. Jenkins' The Partisan; review by Adam Cohen in the NYTimes.

- Amy Greenberg's A Wicked War; review by Jonathan Yardley in the WaPo.

- Michael Slater's The Great Charles Dickens Scandal; review by Simon Callow in The Guardian.

- Daniel Swift's Shakespeare's Common Prayers; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

- Sheila Hale's Titian; review by Nicholas Delbanco in the LATimes.

- Philip Gura's The American Antiquarian Society, 1812-2012; review by Michael Ryan in C&RL.

- Robert Sullivan's My American Revolution; review by Sam Roberts in the NYTimes. I picked this one up in a bookstore a while back, thinking it might be interesting, but put it back on the shelf immediately when I got page 7, where Sullivan calls Boston's Freedom Trail the "Liberty Trail." Shudder.

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