Another installment of articles, books, etc., that have caught my attention.
“God’s Librarians: The Vatican Library enters the twenty-first century” by Daniel Mendelsohn (New Yorker, Jan. 3, 2011) explores the renovations and history of the “Vat.”
“The Flip Side: The secrets of conserving the wood behind an early masterpiece” by Peter Schjeldahl (New Yorker, Nov. 29, 2010) investigates the Ghent Altarpiece and it “six centuries of tumultuous history.” Both of the New Yorker articles are only readable online in their entirety if you have a subscription. I’m sure your local library subscribes.
The ALA Presidential Task Force on Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) will be presenting its final report to ALA Council on Monday, January 10, during ALA Council II, which meets from 10:00am-11:30am
The Visual Miscellaneum by David McCandless explores better ways to represent complicated statistics and information. What could you do with your yearly ARL stats following this model? think of the possibilities.
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton. My favorite modern philosopher tackles the issue of working for a living. From his own description on Amazon:
“The strangest thing about the world of work is the widespread expectation that our work should make us happy. For thousands of years, work was viewed as something to be done with as rapidly as possible and escaped in the imagination through alcohol or religion. Aristotle was the first of many philosophers to state that no one could be both free and obliged to earn a living.” -Alain de Botton
If you haven’t read any of de Botton’s work I will recommend two others: The Consolations of Philosophy and Status Anxiety. Both offer thought provoking philosophical romps that are surprisingly readable and actually useful for navigating our modern society.
And finally, because it is the new year and I’ll be the first to support your resolutions to eat better, and the first to offer you something to kill off that resolution if you need an excuse, I give you Southern Pies by Nancie McDermott. This follows her popular Southern Cakes, which in my opinion should also be on your shelf.
Happy New Year to all and to all good reading!