Sunday, August 19, 2007

Links & Reviews

I'm still working on getting my house put back together after the Great Book Move; putting a few hundred books into something resembling order is taking longer than expected. I'll have more to say about book-organization shortly, but in the meantime, here are some goodies from the week:

- Via StarDotStar, a site to rank book search sites, largely from a sellers' perspective.

- Ed at Bibliothecary notes that a British man attacked a Joshua Reynolds portrait of Samuel Johnson at London's National Portrait Gallery on 8 August, smashing the covering glass and beating Johnson with a hammer. The damage has been estimated at more than £10,000.

- Louis Menand has a review essay in The New Yorker about several recent books on the crafting of biographies.

- Joyce has a guest post by
Judith Murphy, Conservator for Special Collections at the Center for Southwest Research in Albuquerque on terms for paper degradation.

- Travis adds some more details to the Jay Miller thefts, filling in some of the details about when and how the thefts were carried out.

- BibliOdyssey has some gripping and graphic images from John Gabriel Stedman's Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam, in Guiana, on the Wild Coast of South America, from the year 1772 to 1777.

- Paul Collins goes deep on the most difficult aspects of biographical writing: "reductionism and the deterministic interpretation of source material."

- Over at Boston 1775 (a great Boston history blog), J.L. Bell comments on Thomas Paine; he's right on the mark about why Paine's not typically included in the pantheon of iconic American founders. Reading this reminded me of a little tidbit I came across in an early almanac once (I've got a copy somewhere, I'll try to find the full citation), Tom Paine's epitaph:

Here lies Tom Paine, who wrote in Liberty's defense,
But in his Age of Reason lost his Common Sense

Back to shelving.