Sunday, August 10, 2008

Links & Reviews

- An indictment this week in the Zollman case: on Thursday, a federal grand jury in Lexington, KY indicted Eugene Zollman on two counts of stealing objects of cultural heritage. Zollman, a Jefferson Davis collector, is accused of snatching more than $15,000 worth of Davis materials from Transylvania University in 1994. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in jail. Zollman's lawyer said arraignment is scheduled for 13 August.

- Orwell is blogging. Ian has more, with links.

- The Boston Globe offers a "Reader's Guide to Literary Boston" today, which isn't really that at all, just a map with snippet-quotations from literature plunked down at various points. How one can make a map like this and not include a quote from The Late George Apley is completely beyond me.

- Also in the Globe, an editorial on the selection process for the new president of the BPL, which has resembled the veep searches in its secrecy. On Thursday, we're told, the finalists (who they are and how many there will be remains unannounced) will meet with the library's trustees, who apparently are expected to make a decision that day or the next, though, the editorial says, "deliberations could be extended. It's an option they should consider, because overnight is not enough time for a thoughtful review, and could fuel suspicion that the choice for president already had been made." A fair point, that. The first public interview meeting, says the BPL's website, will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday 14 August in the McKim Building Orientation room.

- Paul Collins has two goodies for us this week: in Slate, he writes on strange travel guides (and blogs on that here), and he also notes a new book about giant vegetables.

- Ian finds a very cool criminal broadside.

- NPR's Melissa Block has a wonderful character study of E.B. White's Charlotte A. Cavatica.

- Joyce discovered (and raves about) EverNote, a browser-based or downloadable web-clipping program. I've started using the web version; it's handy.

- Travis comments on the Delaney 'sentence,' and coins a new motto for English justice: "England: where truth is not an absolute defence, but heroin addiction is." Heh. Travis also predicts Brubaker's sentence (still set for 15 September, as far as I know), saying it's likely to be anything from 15-21 months in jail.

- The Beijing opening ceremonies on Friday night were truly a sight for printophilic eyes: not only did a large LED scroll play a key role in the festivities, but one segment of the show included a marvelously complex display of Chinese movable type. Like Ian, I assumed throughout that some sort of pneumatics were being used to create the effect; when people jumped out at the end, everyone in the room gasped. It was incredibly impressive. Ian notes an interview with director Zhang Yimou where he said that the performers in that display had been practicing eight hours a day for four months (longer days recently), and that they'd never pulled it off perfectly until the ceremony itself. Wow. Laura noticed this too, and has some more excellent links for this week.

- A fun hodge-podge from BibliOdyssey.

- Ian Rankin has an essay in The Scotsman on the importance and relevance of James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. This is one of those classics that I've really been meaning to read; I'll have to start moving it up the list.

- The Bookseller has launched a public vote for the "Oddest of Odd" titles, offering a choice between thirty years' worth of strange book titles. The winner will be announced on 5 September. I have to say I'm pretty taken with the first award-winner, 1978's Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice.

- LISNews points out "100 Places to Connect to Other Bibliophiles Online". My list would have been different, but this isn't a bad selection.

- AHA Today highlights MHS' Thomas Jefferson Electronic Archive.


- Renee Weingarten's Germaine de Staƫl and Benjamin Constant is reviewed by Frances Wilson in The Telegraph.

- Ingrid Rowland's new biography Giordano Bruno: Philosopher Heretic is reviewed by Marc Kaufman in the Washington Post.

- Peter Martin's Samuel Johnson is reviewed by Dominic Sandbrook in The Telegraph.

- Ophelia Field's The Kit-Kat Club is reviewed by Allan Massie in The Scotsman. This book has gotten really impressive coverage in the British press.