Sunday, August 03, 2008

Links & Reviews

- In the NYTimes, Caroline Winter (substituting for Bill Safire) discusses the history of the capital I as an English pronoun. I disagree with her proposal (simply because it's silly and not necessary) but the historical background is interesting.

- Des Moines police detective Ronald Foster has been named the Des Moines Rotary Club's Police Officer of the Year. What's the relevance to us? Foster assisted in the Blumberg investigation a few years ago.

- I've added a link to the Brattle Book Blog.

- More commentary on the Amazon/ABE deal has continued to come through - I've been updating my original post on the topic here.

- Jeanne found a handy Interactive Copyright Slider for American works. I like it, and I've added a link to the sidebar.

- When I was younger, the Guernsey Memorial Library in Norwich, NY, was the "big library" we went to occasionally. Now its director is in some seriously hot water after an audit revealed some suspicious expense claims. Among other problems: "The director authorized and processed transactions with little or no oversight by the board, resulting in numerous questionable expenditures, including more than $2,100 on travel, more than $1,500 on restaurants, more than $3,000 on food and beverages, nearly $800 on gifts, more than $2,300 on other unsupported purchases from online book vendors, discount stores and grocery stores, and $2,500 to a vendor for a theatrical performance." Yikes. [h/t LISNews]

- Tech Digest notes the BL's really nifty Turning the Pages digitization project.

- From NPR's "Living on Earth," a segment on the po'ouli, a little Hawaiian bird which went from discovery to extinction in just three decades. There's also a book on the subject, here.

- From BibliOdyssey, satirical maps from World War I.

- Travis comments on the Codex Sinaiticus digitization project in the context of the theft of that document.

- Via LISNews, a neat digital map of early modern London.

- John Bell points out some upcoming Revolutionary War reenactments in the Boston area. The Continental and British encampments will be held on different weekends to prevent incidents.

- Parisian bookman Simon Berès died on Monday, Scott Brown reports at Fine Books Blog. Berès' collection sold at auction in June 2006 for more than $17 million, and he earned much acclaim for donating a rare Stendhal manuscript to the French nation rather than putting it on the block.

- A house fire destroyed more then 30,000 books - many of them rare - from the collection of Barry Cavanaugh of Plumstead, PA. The blaze consumed the 1740 farmstead and most of its contents, according to media reports. No one was physically hurt. More at Book Patrol.

- Over at Paper Cuts, a(nother) debate over the Dewey Decimal System.


- In the NYTimes, Nicholson Baker reviews Ammon Shea's Reading the OED, which he describes as "the 'Super Size Me' of lexicography," and Thomas Mallon reviews Lee Israel's Can You Ever Forgive Me?

- In the Telegraph, Allan Massie reviews The Magnificent Monarch: Charles II and the Ceremonies of Power by Anna Keay, and Freya Johnson reviews Ophelia Field's The Kit-Cat Club: Friends Who Imagined a Nation.