Sunday, May 27, 2007

Links & Reviews

- There's a most depressing story in today's Boston Globe about many small-town Massachusetts libraries being forced to cut hours or close completely due to lack of funding. Sickening, simply sickening.

- Review and musings on Anne Fadiman's Rereadings at Biblio's Bloggins.

- Over at Steamboats Are Ruining Everything, Caleb points out some good ongoing university press book sales. Sometimes there are very good deals during the seasonal sales, so do keep them in mind.

- A rare portrait in miniature of Scots poet Robert Burns - together with a lock of his hair - was sold at auction this week in London. It was expected to fetch as much as £700, but surpassed that mark easily, realizing £2,200 before premium and tax. The miniature has, until now, remained in the possession of the Burns family.

- Charle's Rappleye's
Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution has won the third annual $50,000 George Washington Book Prize, which honors "books that contribute fresh insights to that national conversation about the years the country was founded." Other finalists were Catherine Allgor's A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation and Francois Furstenberg's In the Name of the Father: Washington's Legacy, Slavery and the Making of a Nation.

- From the Telegraph, a review by Marcus Nevitt of John Adamson's The Noble Revolt: the Overthrow of Charles I.

- Our Bibliothecary friend Ed's review of The Children of Húrin ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

- At Fine Books Blog, Scott comments on Andy Rooney's ramblings about book fairs, and also reveals what might be the strangest, most unexpected Amazon recommendation I've ever seen. I've had some weird ones, but never anything quite as disturbing as this. Scott also notes a new plan from Alibris which will allow anyone to list up to 1,000 books for sale for a $20 annual fee plus a $1-per book charge and a commission.

- Travis puts his rebuttal skills to work over at Upward Departure, responding to another in what's becoming a lengthy series of commenters who don't like Travis' coverage of the David Breithaupt thefts.

- NPR ran a segment this week in which they interview Khaled Hosseini, whose new novel A Thousand Splendid Suns has just been released. I haven't listened to this since I want to read the book first, but will pass it along. Incidentally, Hosseini will be in Boston this week - on Tuesday 29 May he'll speak at the BPL at 6, and on Thursday he'll be at First Parish Church in Cambridge, an event arranged by Harvard Bookstore. That's at 6:30 p.m.

- Jill Lepore reviews Nancy Isenberg's new Aaron Burr biography, Fallen Founder, in the NYTimes. Another one I've skipped so far until I can get through the book; I'm taking a short break from biographies at the moment but it's probably first up when I resume them. Another one near the top of the list is Andrew Burstein's The Original Knickerbocker, a biography of Washington Irving. That's reviewed by Dennis Drabelle in the Washington Post.

- On Thingology, Tim recommends the video of Everything is Miscellaneous author David Weinberger's talk at Google. I'm looking forward to a spare little while when I can watch it.

- BibliOdyssey takes us this week through some illustrations from the Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand.