Sunday, November 22, 2009

Links & Reviews

- First, a hilarious takedown of an incredibly ridiculous eBay listing, by Book Patrol's Stephen Gertz. This seller was attempting to sell an ex-lib, later edition of Mahan's The Influence of Sea Power Upon History (albeit one from the Department of Defense Library) as "Legitimate Contender World's Most Expensive Book," for $21 million. Wow.

- The next hearing on the Google Books Settlement will be 18 February 2010, according to a report in today's Independent. Opponents will have until 28 January to lodge complaints, and the Justice Department must weigh in before 4 February. The Open Content Alliance has collected a bunch of quotes from people opposing the revised settlement deal, and offers its own "post-mortem" on the settlement revision.

- From McSweeney's, Christopher Robinson offers up "Captain Blackbeard's College of Piracy - Ye Olde Course Catalogue, Spring '10."

- John Overholt notes a new Houghton Library website, Picturing Prayer: Books of Hours in Houghton Library, Harvard University, which had its roots in a 2006 exhibition. John also found a little anti-Johnson ditty in the back of a book in the Hyde Collection.

- Ian offers up his report from the trenches from last weekend's Boston Book Fair.

- Book Patrol offers up a list of their top books about books for 2009.

- Now that it's been published, the mss. (on index cards) of Nabokov's The Original of Laura will be going up for auction, at Christie's on 4 December (est. $400,000-600,000). I'll have a preview of this sale in a few days.

- reports on a new exhibit at the Rosenbach Museum and Library, "Friend or Faux: Imitation and Invention from the Innocent to the Fraudulent." The show will be on display through July 2010, and sounds very cool. [h/t Literary Fraud & Folly]

- In Collectors Weekly, an interview with Ken Sanders. Incidentally, the books section of Collectors Weekly is pretty nifty; I've added a sidebar link.

- David Aronovitch writes in the Times about spending a day with the anti-Stratfordians (those who believe Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare).


- Woody Holton's Abigail Adams is reviewed by Paul Nagel in the Boston Globe.

- Jonathan Yardley reviews Joan Waugh's U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth in the Washington Post.

- In the NYT, Judith Shulevitz reviews Ben Yagoda's Memoir: A History. The same book is reviewed by John Gross in the WSJ.

- Also in the Times, Sean Wilentz reviews Robert Merry's A Country of Vast Designs.

- Alexandra Mullen reviews Madeline Goold's Mr. Langshaw's Square Piano in the WSJ.

- Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna is reviewed by Liesl Schillinger in The Scotsman.