Sunday, November 23, 2014

Links & Reviews

Another excellent Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair was held last weekend; it was great to see so many good friends there and in Providence! Apologies if I've missed anything big in this roundup; I confess I was unable to pay quite as much attention to Twitter and other news during the fair.

- Rebecca Rego Barry has a good Fair rundown.

- Princeton alumnus William Scheide died on 14 November at the age of 100. See the Princeton obituary for a full run-down of Scheide's important philanthropy to his alma mater and elsewhere.

- The Museé des Lettres et Manuscrits in Paris, along with an associated institute and Aristophil, a company run by the museum's founder, Gérard Lhéritier, were reportedly raided by anti-fraud police on 18 November. It seems the company, which raised funds for the purchase of rare books and manuscripts, may have been involved in a massive Ponzi scheme. More on come on this front, I'm sure!

- The New York City Bar Association is set to auction off its rare books in a series of three auctions at Doyle New York. The first sale will be held tomorrow. The New York Law Journal also ran a piece on the upcoming sales, featuring some pretty shocking comments from Association staff and criticism from members.

- Bookseller Rick Gekoski's Guardian column "I quit: why I won't be finishing my history of the book" made the rounds this week. He's either completely missed the boat or is simply running in the wrong circles if he really believes his own statement: "I know of almost no creative writer or passionate reader who has the slightest interest in the history of the book." And as a bookseller, how on earth could he be "not particularly interested in the book as object"? Clearly he wasn't the right author for this book in the first place, and frankly I'm glad he's let it go.

- There's a story at Quartz by Daniel Hernandez about a Mark Twain-related plagiarism contretemps. See Kevin Mac Donnell's original review of the book in question. A co-author and editor of the book have issued a quite unsatisfying response.

- From Atlas Obscura, Secret Libraries of Paris.

- Scribner's is relaunching an e-magazine, Scribner Magazine.

- Amazon and Hachette have resolved their contract dispute, apparently leaving nobody very happy.

- A post from the Chicago SCRC blog highlights the Argos Lectionary, known as the "Gangster Bible" because Al Capone's gang reportedly swore their oaths over the book.

- Publisher David Godine is profiled in the Boston Globe.

- Over at AbeBooks, Beth Carswell has a feature article on Vesalius' Fabrica.

- The University of Michigan has claimed exemption from state public records laws, arguing that its employees do not have to keep official correspondence.

- Barbara Basbanes Richter has a short synopsis of the new Folger exhibit, "Decoding the Renaissance: 500 Years of Codes and Ciphers."

- James Atlas comments on the massive biography, and having received several 500+-page biographical tomes this month alone, I certainly get what he's saying!

- The winners of the 2014 National Book Awards were announced this week.

- A previously unknown Dylan Thomas notebook will be offered at Sotheby's London on 9 December.

- Amazon beat out Bowker and others for the rights to administer the .book domain name.

- Modern Notions has a short piece (with lots of good pictures) on Eric Kwakkel and his work on medieval doodles.


- Ezra Greenspan's William Wells Brown; review by Nell Irvin Painter in the NYTimes.

- Kirstin Downey's Isabella: The Warrior Queen; review by Richard L. Kagan in the WaPo.

- Pamela Smith Hill's Pioneer Girl; review by Lane Brown in the CSM.

- James McPherson's Embattled Rebel; review by Steven Hahn in the NYTimes.

- Mike Pitts' Digging for Richard III; review by Nick Romeo in the CSM.

- Jenny Uglow's In These Times; review by Peter Stothard in the TLS.

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