Monthly Archives: July 2010

High Anxiety: American Bibliophobia

Book sales may be up overall this year due to the introduction of e-readers (see the New York Times report here).  But strange fears about the demise of the book still abound (read the New York Times on old-fashioned book covers and e-readers here). Are Americans simply afraid to buy books, or afraid that we’re, ...

The Acquisitions Table: Horseneck Truth-Teller

Horseneck Truth-Teller, and Gossip’s Journal (Greenwich, CT). Aug. 9, 1830. This is the first volume of a previously unrecorded newspaper. The publisher was given as Diedrich van Tod, but it was actually published by Whitman Mead. According to the prospectus, the paper would contain, “1st, truth; 2d, politics; 3d, anti-masonry; 4th, the spleenful or old maidship; ...

“It seems to me that a sick man in California digging gold in the water up to his knees would look funny”

wrapper

An earlier post about bibliographies on everything from the California Gold Rush to tomatoes got me wondering about the impetus behind that heady experience (the Gold Rush, not the tomatoes).  How did a man who heard all the fairy-tale stories of incredible wealth just waiting to be picked out of the rivers make the difficult ...

The Mince Meat Throwdown

MincePies

Per a suggestion on a previous post, my next adventure into historic cooking will be with a mince meat pie. (Thanks for the suggestion, David!) While I can’t say whether or not I would recommend this recipe, hopefully the results will speak for themselves. Having never had mince meat pie before, I feel I may ...

Private Libraries in a Digital Age

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In an age of inter-connectivity, mobility, and Librarything.com that purports to bring us together in a digital utopia, whither will the truly personal library go? Do we risk having a network of Gatsbys present and past, interested in books more essential for their social value than their literary or historical merit? ...

Something Fun for the Weekend

Barber

NPR had a piece this morning on an exhibit that just opened at the Smithsonian called Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.  If you are in the D.C. area, the exhibit is running until January. It sounds like they are making some interesting connections between the American ...

“Animal Magnetism” at its best

animalmagnatism

Over two hundred years ago Elizabeth Inchbald wrote and published the three act farce Animal Magnetism.  Heavily criticizing Mesmer’s magnetized baths and healing wands, this typical eighteenth-century afterpiece farce features befuddled lovers, lovers’ ruses, and battle of the sexes.  Two hundred years later, befuddled lovers remain but Animal Magnetism is now carefully housed in AAS's ...