Sunday, January 24, 2010

Links & Reviews

- A colonial silver bowl set a new auction record for American silver, selling for $5.9 million at Sotheby's New York on Friday (smashing the previous record by an order of magnitude). The bowl was made in New York c. 1700/1710, and passed down through the Loring family. Your starting point for further reading on this should John Bell's two blog posts: "The Mystery of the Loring Bowl" and "Silver Bowl, Belonged to Joshua Loring." On the latter, please note the comments, and also see this post at Real Clear Arts.

- The BPL's special collections holdings are profiled in today's Boston Herald.

- Dana Goodyear's profile of Neil Gaiman is in this week's New Yorker.

- Cool summer course at the Lilly, on rare-book references sources.

- The finalists for the National Book Critics Circle awards were announced yesterday. Carolyn Kellogg has a good rundown. The awards will be announced in March.

- Also in the New Yorker, a short story, "Trailhead," by E.O. Wilson. A fictionalized account of ants, which I found utterly beautiful. It's from Wilson's novel Anthill, coming out this spring from W.W. Norton. Deborah Treisman talks with Wilson about the book in a Book Bench blog post.

- The BPL's Poe exhibit and its curator Paul Lewis get some love in the Boston Globe today. It's a good show, so do stop by if you get the chance!

- In the Financial Times, Simon Schama muses about what a "24th-century digital archaeologist" will think about the objects of our time.

- Arson at a synagogue in Crete destroyed more than 2,500 rare books, the director said.

- Nick Basbanes highlights New York's Bibliography Week, coming up in late January.


- Heilemann and Halperin's Game Change: reviews by Hendrik Hertzberg in the New Yorker; by Sarah Baxter in the Sunday Times.

- Alison Weir's The Lady in the Tower: review by Hilary Mantel in the NYTimes.

- John Yoo's Crisis and Command and Garry Wills' Bomb Power: review by Walter Isaacson in the NYTimes.

- Seeing Further, a new collection of essays about the first 350 years of the Royal Society (edited by Bill Bryson): reviews by Leo Hollis in the Telegraph; by James McConnachie in the Sunday Times.

- A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book: review by Anita Sethi in the Independent.

- Robert Winder's The Final Act of Mr. Shakespeare: review by David Grylls in the Sunday Times.

- Peter Carey's Parrot and Olivier in America: review by Peter Kemp in the Sunday Times.

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