Sunday, February 08, 2009

Links & Reviews

- In the Boston Globe, Erin McKean profiles the strange and ever-evolving Twitterverse (I will say, it's much more addictive than I thought it would be).

- A cabinet of Alfred Russel Wallace's biological specimens has turned up in a D.C. lawyer's home, the Washington Post notes today.

- Ian (among others) pointed out Save the Words this week: an effort to get little-used words into normal conversation.

- Rick Ring reports a really neat find at the Providence Public Library: a piece of the shirt collar of Maj. Sullivan Ballou, whose famous final letter to his wife Sarah was featured so prominently on Ken Burns' Civil War documentary (and has become forever linked to the beautiful "Ashokan Farewell" music in my head).

- The Times ran a story this week on the UK's most stolen books (as determined by a straw poll of 50 independent booksellers): the winner was London A-Z. The piece also comments on some library thefts. [h/t Shelf:Life]

- Nick Basbanes recommends two new Darwin books to read for the bicentennial, and mourns the loss of Ron Ravneberg, a famed collector of James Cook materials and a founding member of the Aldus Society.

- Reading Copy notes the discovery of a Library of Congress book at the John F. Kennedy Library; Kennedy had checked out the book (a biography of Lincoln) while a senator and never returned it. The book will be displayed at the JFK Library through Presidents' Day, and then will be returned to DLC.

- Tim has some stats on where LT's records come from and how they're used. Good stuff.

- The American Historical Review has rejected the controversial article criticizing Stanley Kutler's published version of the Nixon tapes. In a response to the author, AHR editor Robert Schneider said that the essay, "despite its intrinsic interest, is too narrow in focus for this publication. ... Essays must therefore reach beyond the issues, concerns or jargon of a particular sub-field and speak to larger theoretical, methodological, or substantive issues. It seems to us that your essay is more appropriately placed in a more specialized journal." Author Peter Klingman told the NYTimes he is considering what steps to take next.

- Laura has an account of her recent trip to Antwerp, where she visited the Plantin-Moretus Museum. Sounds like a great trip, and the pictures are beautiful!

- J.L. Bell throws a little cold water on the "hot Martha Washington" item I mentioned earlier this week. Bell's also begun a new series of CSI:Colonial Boston in recent days, and continues to uncover intriguing things.

- GalleyCat lists some good publisher blogs.

- Chris catches a great library story: the pilot who ditched his plane in the Hudson had a library book in his luggage, and the library has not only agreed to waive the replacement costs, but has dedicated the new copy to Mr. Sullenberger.

- Former Manhattan prosecutor turned crime novelist Linda Fairstein has turned to recent map theft cases for her latest book, Lethal Legacy, in which the thief is called Eddy Forbes (and is based in part on E. Forbes Smiley).

- Rare Book Review notes a new gimmick from the BL: an adopt-a-book scheme centered on Valentine's Day.

- In the NYTimes, Blake Wilson has some "Stray Questions" for Steven Johnson, in which he comments briefly on his use of Google Books for his most recent book, The Invention of Air.


- In the LATimes, M.G. Lord reviews a whole slew of new books on Darwin (and some whacky offshoots of his ideas).

- Malcolm C. Lyons, with Ursula Lyons; the tales are introduced and annotated by Robert Irwin.

- Walter Olson reviews David Liss' Whiskey Rebels in the NYTimes.

- Steven Gunn reviews several new books on Henry VIII as the 500th anniversary of his accession approaches.

- For the Times, Roy Hattersley reviews Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals.

- In the NYRB, Frank Kermode reviews a trio of new Milton biographies.

- Richard Cox reviews Ann Laura Stoler's Across the Archival Grain and Peter Charles Hoffer's The Historian's Paradox.